One has just been sent out as a biblical dove, has found nothing green, and slips back
into the darkness of the ark -- Kafka

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Hofmannsthal's "An Incident in the Life of Marshall de Bassompierre"

IMHO, other than Ein Brief, perhaps the best story in the slender NYRB selection. Apparently it's connected to Goethe's Conversations of German Refugees in a big way.

From Joel Rothenberg's A NOTE ON THE SELECTION:

"An Incident in the Life of Marshall de Bassompierre" incorporates material from Goethe's Conversations of German Refugees (1795). Hofmannsthal's failure to include an attribution in his story as first published in 1900 attracted some unfavorable notice at the time. Karl Kraus had this to say about the controversy: "What ignorant persons are calling plagiarism here is actually quotation."

*If I can locate the related Goethe text I will post it.
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