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Washington, United States
loves: you win if you guessed "pets" and "museums". Also books, art history, travel, British punk, Korean kimchi, bindis, martinis, and other things TBD. I will always make it very clear if a post is sponsored in any way. Drop me a line at thepetmuseum AT gmail.com !

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

the romantic tomcat: e.t.a. hoffmann's "kater murr"

"Is it such a great thing to walk upright on two feet that the species calling itself Mankind should claim dominion over all of us who go about, better balanced, on four?"  So asks the cat hero of the German Romantic writer E.T.A. Hoffmann's last great novel, The Life and Opinions of the Tomcat Murr (originally published in Germany over the years 1819-1821).
Full disclosure:  I haven't read this book yet, as I was introduced to it only last weekend and it's 384 pages (and I promised someone I'd read The Master and Margarita first).  But it is considered to be perhaps the first "postmodern" novel in its experimental approach, wildly inventive and full of left-handed observations on art and society. 
Murr, a sapient tomcat, has written his life's story and hasn't a scrap of modesty false or otherwise in the product - but supposedly a mixup at the printer's interleaves his book with the autobiography of the gifted but darker musician Kreisler.  Get a glimpse of this tale with the "Look inside!" feature at Amazon.  A web search will bring up all kinds of notes and thoughts on this novel, but maybe you'll like this one.  And you must see the glorious original title page!

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