Posted by: Sarah | December 28, 2009

Advice for readers.

“The Travelling Enthusiast, from whose journals we are presenting another ‘fancy-flight in the manner of Jacques Callot’, has apparently not separated the events of his inner life from those of the outside world; in fact we cannot determine where one ends and the other begins. But even if you cannot see this boundary very clearly, dear reader, the Geisterseher may beckon you to his side, and before you are even aware of it, you will be in a strange magical realm where figures of fantasy step right into your own life, and are as cordial with you as your oldest friends. I beg of you — take them as such, go along with their remarkable doings, yield to the thrills and shudders that they produce, since the more you can go along with them, the better they can operate. What more can I do for the Travelling Enthusiast who has encountered so much strangeness and madness, everywhere and at all times, but especially on New Year’s Eve in Berlin?”

— “A New Year’s Eve Adventure”, E.T.A. Hoffman (transl. Alfred Packer)


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