Thomas Mann (essay date 1911)
SOURCE: "Chamisso," in Essays of Three Decades, trans. by H. T. Lowe-Porter, Alfred A. Knopf, 1948, pp. 241-58.
[In the following essay, originally published in 1911, Mann surveys Chamisso's life and writings, concentrating on his novel Peter Schlemihl, which he calls "one of the most charming youthful works in German literature."]
Among our schoolbooks was one that stood out from all the rest. On the outside it looked dry and forbidding, like any textbook. But within it gave of its contents with lovely human charm. Actually, strange as it may seem, it was an amusing book, full from cover to cover of delightful things which got our interest straightway, with no...
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