Storm Tina
   

cover - Tales of EnchantmentTales of Enchantment

- Selected Fairy Tales by Theodor Storm

Translated by Denis Jackson. An Amazon eBook publication.

 

Book cover ‘Kobold’ illustration reproduced by kind permission of Boyens Buchverlag GmbH & Co. Heide. North Friesland.

 

The Rain Maiden (Die Regentrude)
Little Hans (Der kleine Häwelmann)

The Rain Maiden is considered to be one of the loveliest and most imaginatively real of all Storm’s fairy tales, weaving together both the elements of mythology and natural realism against a tapestry of vivid and startling landscapes. It is here fully translated into English for the first time and distributed as an eBook on-line via Amazon. The narrative combines the oral tradition of story-telling with the ghost stories, superstitions, legends and folktales of his homeland, that all combine to transport the reader into a timeless world of realistic fantasy. At every point of the story the passage from the real world to that of the elemental spirits is completely natural. The tale embraces the essential folk tales and lore of North Friesland and captures a magical world woven by the region’s occult past. A prominent figure within the tale is a goblin (Kobold), who lives underground. Known as the Fire Goblin within this translation, he is reminiscent of the well-known figure in North Frisian folk-lore, Niß Puk, who terrifies villagers and farmhands until he is fed. If hungry, he can make animals lame and do all kinds of harmful mischief about the farm. His home is in the lofts of farmhouses, and many farms in the district have a space in their lofts, especially for him! The Fire Goblin is given equal evil powers within the tale, though here causing a lasting drought in which animals are dying in the fields. The Rain Maiden is judged to be one of Storm’s lasting legacies to a region rich in folklore, an enchanting tale that has become almost an obligatory read by the youth of his homeland.

Little Hans. A short, delightful tale for young children, written in the manner of Hans Christian Andersen, and the first of Storm’s fairy tales to be included in an edition of his works. Inspired to write the tale while sitting by the cot of his first-born, one-year-old son, Hans, its simple form, lively dialogue, and perfect innocence mark the beginning of Storm’s artistic talent as a story teller. It is a story for telling rather than reading, and retains even today its popularity among German parents as an ideal bedtime story for their children. It has been translated many times into numerous languages and frequently well and colourfully illustrated. The narrated conflict between the rude, impetuous little Hans, ever wanting to be rocked or pushed, and the parental authority of his mother, concludes in the manner of the mythological Icarus and Daedalus with the fall of Hans from the sky. ‘Häwelmann’ is a local Low German name for such a rude, impetuous child. The moral of the tale, in the manner of the Biedermeier times, is quietly present in the true tradition of a folk tale

 


   

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