Grimmelshausen the Storyteller

Grimmelshausen the Storyteller

A Study of the `Simplician' Novels

Alan Menhennet


Camden House



Critical study of Grimmelshausen's `Simplician' novels.
Johann Jakob von Grimmelshausen (1622-76) wished to be taken seriously as a writer, which by and large, in his own day, he was not. He was in fact the author of the first great German novel, Der abentheuerliche Simplicissimus (1688), out of which arose a kind of cycle of `Simplician' novels. Later generations have made up for this neglect, and established him as an accomplished satirist and profound allegorist, who confronted the temporal and eternal issues of the seventeenth century. This study sets out to show, principally through detailed textual analysis, that Grimmelshausen's `Simplician style' allows of the co-existence of general religious and moral concerns with a spontaneous response to the individual vitality, curiousness, and above all, humour of life, which is the motive force of true storytelling. In addition, while the constituent novels of the `Simplician Cycle' should be and are considered as separate entities, the author's claim that they should also be seen as a coherent whole cannot be brushed aside, and this becomes a progressively more important theme.


August 1997
1 black and white illustrations
224 pages
22.8x15.2 in
Studies in German Literature Linguistics and Culture
ISBN: 9781571131027
Format: Hardback
Camden House
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Entirely new synthesis based primarily on previous scholarly observations [forges] a different and more holistic view of Grimmelshausen...both as a product of his age and as a keen observer of it... Likely to become a standard resource for students and scholars of the era. CHOICE
A valuable and precise book... ETUDES GERMANIQUES
Embodies the wisdom of a career's worth of thinking and writing on Grimmelshausen...SEVENTEENTH-CENTURY NEWS
Meticulously researched...GERMAN STUDIES REVIEW
Mehennet presents a convincing and original argument. Scholarly, entertaining, and enlightening work. SEMINAR 'Menhennet's book is arguably the best book ever written in English on Grimmelshausen's ' Simplician' novels.' JEGP

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