Hans Jacob Christoffel von Grimmelshausen (ca. 1621-1676) is the most significant (and still readable) author of seventeenth-century German novels. His "Abenteuerlicher Simplicius Simplicissimus" remains the one German novel of its time that has attained the stature of "world literature": its unique mix of violent action and solitary reflection, its superlative humor, its realistic portrayal of a peasant turned soldier turned hermit has made it the longest-running bestseller in German literature.Read by students and scholars in comparative literature, history, and German, and by those interested in the development of the picaresque novel in Europe, the work and its "Continuations" have increasingly occupied scholars around the world, who have in recent years shown it to be a work of subtle structure and characterization, bearing the imprint of the most advanced political thinking of the time, and showing the influences of some of the most significant works of world literature, including Cervantes' "Don Quixote" and Barclay's "Argenis".This volume of essays by leading Grimmelshausen scholars from Germany, the United States, and England provides analyses of significant topics in his life and works, including questions of genre, structure, satire, allegory, narratology, political thought, religion, morality, humor, realism, and mortality.
Contributors include: Christoph E. Schweitzer, Italo Michele Battafarano, Klaus Haberkamm, Rosmarie Zeller, Andreas Solbach, Dieter Breuer, Lynne Tatlock, Peter Hess, Shannon Keenan Greene, and Alan Menhennet. Karl F. Otto is Professor of German at the University of Pennsylvania and has written extensively on German Baroque literature.