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Old 02-18-2006   #1
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Hanns Heinz Ewers

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In the present generation German horror-fiction is most notably represented by Hanns Heinz Ewers, who brings to bear on his dark conceptions an effective knowledge of modern psychology. Novels like The Sorcerer Apprentice and Alraune, and short stories like The Spider contain distinctive qualities which raise them to a classic level.
- H.P. Lovecraft
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I read the European writers, the ones whose work deals with cruelty and pain: Hanns Heinz Ewers, Stefan Grabinski and Leonid Andreyev.
- from Vrolyck by Mark Samuels

I spent the whole week delving into Adolph Hitler's favorite writer: Hanns Heinz Ewers. Some of his stories, in spite of being usually extremely gruesome, are very remarkable. He certainly isn't my favorite weird fiction writer but I think such pieces as "Spider" (which you can find over HERE) and "Mamaloi" are well worth reading.
Mark Samuels always mentions interesting and sophisticated authors of weird fiction (some of them are even way too sophisticated, like Lilith Blake). One thing which binds the three names mentioned in Vrolyck is that all of them are simply long forgotten European masters of strange tales. I was wondering, how come that such writers as Meyrink or Hoffman are still being frequently mentioned whilst others have faded into oblivion. Hanns Heinz Ewers was very popular at the time he wrote but it seems that his popularity after his death simply turned to dust (and to the wind that has come to blow the dust away ;)).
Nevertheless, Ewers and Grabinski is a very interesting but dangerous conjunction. As far as I know, the latter one despised the first one to such extend that whenever someone put his name next to Ewers' Grabinski would instatnly feel sick.
Ok, I'll finish now with this rambling and let everyone speak.

So, has anyone read anything by Ewers (his famous horror novel "Alraune", perhaps)?

Or maybe you have seen the famous classic silent film "Student from Pague" written and co-directed by Ewers?

P. S. More info here:
http://www.violetbooks.com/REVIEWS/rockhill-ewers.html
and here:
Hanns_Heinz_Ewers Hanns_Heinz_Ewers

"In my imagination, I have a small apartment in a small town where I live alone and gaze through a window at a wintry landscape." -- TL
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Old 02-19-2006   #2
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Re: Hanns Heinz Ewers

I've just read Ewers' "The Spider" in H.P Lovecraft's Book of Horror edited by Stephen Jones and Dave Carson. Although the tale telegraphs its ending, it was well worth my time. I liked Ewers' straightforward writing style. Worth hunting down.

Thank you, Slawek, for the nudge to truly delve into this anthology. I've not bothered before since I've read much of the book's contents in a number of other anthologies.

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Old 02-20-2006   #3
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Interesting stuff. Ewers work was put on the Nazis' list of banned works after initially finding favour with Hitler. Although he was a champion of the idea of a master race, he fell out of favour for advocating the idea that Jews as well as Aryans were eligible for inclusion therein.

I don't think that Ewers ever matched his tale "The Spider" although I also enjoyed "C33" and "Fairyland" from his pen.
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Old 03-01-2006   #4
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Re: Hanns Heinz Ewers

I'm afraid I haven't read "C33" and "Fairyland" as they are not included in my Ewers short story collections. I quite liked Mamaloi. There is something ironical about the relationship between the main character, his innumerable (illegitimate) children, who all share their father's weird deformity (three bends on the middle finger) and the local people worshipping Vandoux. The very fact that the diary's keeper is intrinsically evil and tries to confront an even more evil cult, which prays on his own spawn makes the tale more compelling.

The Polish edition of Ewers' short tales, which I have read, includes author's own account of his travel and stay on Haiti - taken out from his 'Mit meinen Augen' it is a sort of a fascinating (and revolting) introduction to his stories, which adds some flavour. HHE used to be very popular in Poland thanks to his avid admirer - a well known satanist
Stanislaw_Przybyszewski Stanislaw_Przybyszewski
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Old 03-02-2006   #5
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Re: Hanns Heinz Ewers

I have only read a few short stories by Hanns Heinz Ewers, but I have liked them enough to buy a couple of his novels over the years. I have Alraune and The Sorcerer's Apprentice. The latter has been on my "To Read" list for years. Sad. I have been periodically checking the net for his books for a long time. I am still looking for Vampire and his monograph on Poe. Both were translated into English: Poe in 1905 and Vampire in 1921. Like Baudelaire, Ewers was a great admirer of Poe. He also translated some of his work into the German language.

I am the proud owner of the only copy that I have ever seen on the net of The Sorcerer's Apprentice with its original dust jacket. For a long time I thought the book must have been published without one. The illustration is by Mahlon Blaine who also does the interiors. He is one of my favorite book illustrators. I have some other notable books that he illustrated including: Candide by Voltaire, Vathek by Beckford, and Alraune by Ewers. I would like to share a scan but I recently destroyed my copier/scanner in a fit of Office Space rage.

I know that TL has mentioned Ewers a couple of times in interviews. I can't remember if it was HPL or TL that introduced me to this writer. There is an eight page section on Ewers in Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism, Vol. 12. It includes a photo of Hanns, monocle and all.
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Old 03-02-2006   #6
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Re: Hanns Heinz Ewers

Quote Originally Posted by s_wielh";p=&quot View Post
Seems to redirect to Stanislaw Marcin Ulam, though there is clearly an article on Prybyszewski there...

"And into his dreams he fell...and forever."
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Old 03-02-2006   #7
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Re: Hanns Heinz Ewers

Wow, thanks for pointing this out. It's weird because the address would clearly indicate that the wiki page should be about Przybyszewski. :shock: :?:
Now it should be better.

"In my imagination, I have a small apartment in a small town where I live alone and gaze through a window at a wintry landscape." -- TL
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Old 06-23-2006   #8
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Re: Hanns Heinz Ewers

I've read Herr Ewer's "Spider" in a Spanish translation; it is a very eerie story, I found it in a "masters of horror according to Lovecraft" kind of anthology.

I also have a Spanish translation of another work of his, "Alraune" like some of you have, however I haven' read it yet. I've heard his work is near impossible to find save for very imited pieces...

Nevertheless I'm going to Germany in a couple of months and hope to find an old, worn out original copy of his work in one of those old bookstores that live within cities.

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Old 03-05-2008   #9
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Re: Hanns Heinz Ewers

Sorry to resurrect this thread after so much time has passed....
I have owned a copy of Hanns Heinz Ewers' slim volume, Blood (in English) for quite a long time now and I've found it be intriguing, but not a great deal more. I only recently read his story, The Spider, however, and was thoroughly impressed! It absolutely renewed my interest in Ewers. Incidentally, I have this story in an anthology entitled Creeps By Night, edited by Dashiell Hammett!
Anyway, it's no secret that his work is quite difficult to find in English translation, but I wonder if anyone knows of any other anthologised Ewers short stories? I think The Spider, in particular, has appeared numerous times elsewhere, but what about the stories mentioned by Mark Samuels: C33 and Fairyland? Is there a book of Ewers' short pieces around (other than Blood)?

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Old 11-30-2008   #10
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Re: Hanns Heinz Ewers

Hi Everyone!
I'm new here but I translate Hanns Heinz Ewers and love reading him. Most of the stories I translate I have not read before so they are continually surprizing!

While many of his stories have been cherry picked for horror and gruesomeness I haven't done that since I have no idea what I am getting into.

Here then is the link to my webpage of Ewers Translations:

Anarchist World - Hanns Heinz Ewers

The Stories include:

Edgar Allan Poe
The Lost Monkey
How Eleven Chinese Devoured Their Bride
The Eleven Thousand Virgins and the Four Holy Three Kings
Anthropoovaropartus
My Burial
My Mother the Witch
The Crucified Minstral

I'm also working on three novels:

Alraune
Vampire
Fundvogel

So far I've got three chapters of Alraune done, one chapter of Vampire and am deep into the middle of the second chapter of Fundvogel. I only work on a few pages at a time and post them in their own blogs. After each chapter is finished it goes on my webpage.

The blogs are:

Alraune Alraune

Vampire Vampire

Fundvogel Fundvogel


Guy Endor's translation of Alraune was censored. My translation of Chapter two is quite different from his. In my opinion his translation was not very good.

Fritz Salinger's translation of Vampire was smooth as far as I can tell. I've only read chapter one that someone sent me to compare against. The difference is that his translation seems to round things off to a lower and cruder level while mine seems to raise things up to a more spiritual and philosophical level. Maybe I am reading more into it than he did but I don't think so.

Anyone that has read the masterpiece Edgar Allan Poe would agree with me. Ewers fascination is that he mixed the highest and the lowest together in a way that has not been done before.

I would love getting into discussions about some of the ideas he brings up in his stories.

Well, enjoy and there is much more to come but it is a bit slow.

-anarchistbanjo


Oh, I almost forgot the Hanns Heinz Ewers blog:

Hanns Heinz Ewers
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