Zettels Traum. [Arno Schmidt] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Numbered edition, signed by the author. One of copies. Folio size. It is crossed, and they leave at the other end. At the bridge at the end ~Arno Schmidt, Zettels Traum [Quoted/translated in Innovative Fiction. Esther Yi writes about the German writer Arno Schmidt’s magnum opus, “Zettel’s Traum,” which has been translated into English by John E.

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Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Zettels Traum by Arno Zdttels. Zettels Traum by Arno Schmidt. First and foremost it is about Edgar Allan Poe, or perhaps it is language itself that plays that lead role; and it is certainly about sex in its many Freudian disguises, but about love as well, whether fragile and unfulfilled or crude and wedded.

As befits a dream upon a heath populated by elemental spirits, the shapes and figures are xrno, its protagonists suddenly transformed into trees, horses, and demigods. In a single day, from one midsummer dawn to a fiery second, Dan and Franzisca, Wilma and Paul explore the labyrinths of literary creation and of their own dreams and desires.

Readers are now invited to explore its verbally provocative landscape in zsttels English translation by John E. Hardcoverpages. Published by S.

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Zettels Traum

Purchasable only with Amazon coupons. See 1 question about Zettels Traum…. Lists with This Book. Jun 02, Matt rated it it was amazing Recommended to Matt by: Received the book today! And what a book this is!! I never realized how large it is, and heavy too!!! I guess some photos are in order. I wonder if the two tomes are equally big. I will post a photo of both of them. In the meantime check out Ronald’s status pic here: And feeling pretty much like this right settels View all 50 comments.

Translation is, as I am wont to say, an impossibility. Every language is unique to itself. So schmivt translator tackles that impossibility anew with every author, with every sentence for that matter. I know enough about what Schmidt was doing to at least be able to glimpse what has likely been sacrificed; but I also know enough to recognize what a monumental accomplishment this translation is.

I have to wonder: Will we ever see anything else from him again? After Mann and now Schmidt, what else can he tackle and does he take suggestions? Okay, so the book itself. Graum enjoyed the narrative portions of the text there is some really great, insightful, dialogue; presented in distinctly convincing voices ; thankfully I enjoyed the other portions just as much at times more sofor zette,s are considerably more prevalent.

Some stuff that you should read before tackling this behemoth, all Poe: And, if not, see the first item on the next list Some stuff that would traun you to read: Understanding that Schmidt was influenced by FW is enough; even Schmidt himself acknowledged he was pursuing a much different avenue than Joyce. Zchmidt that note, dchmidt to that end: You would basically need to be Arno Schmidt himself not to. While it is smutty and puerile, it is also ferociously intelligent; Schmidt displays an awe-inspiring depth of knowledge not just surrounding Poe, adno around literature in general, and he makes leaps and connections that are genuine pleasures to behold.


So this monster arrives as the Dalkey Archive book to end all Dalkey Archive books. The invaluable independent Dalkey Press has long been known zettsls publishing monstrous and difficult tomes of literature like Miss Macintosh, My Darling and Women and Men could we get a reprint on this one please?

For all that, it’s not as difficult as your typical Dalkey offering, and far easier than Finnegans Wake, which Schmidt at one time intended to translate, and which looms very large as an influence here. Despite the constant puns and wacky punctuation, the language is in relatively clear English, and the overall structure is a lot more easily grasped.

A married couple, both translators, go to visit a Poe scholar, there begins a very, very digressive evening on the nature of literature, language, love, meaning, and the like. The couple’s teenage daughter is there too, nursing a huge crush on the Poe scholar. Yes, you may find Schmidt a tad regressive in his gender attitudes. I’ve only made it through the first of the eight chapters, but I gather that Schmidt sticks more or less with the program for the entire book.

The program appears to be constant literary allusions, direct references, quotes, and analyses, all tied together and mutilated with a Joycean sense of punning. Unlike with Joyce, Schmidt’s agenda is focused more narrowly on literature, leaving aside myth and history. While Finnegans Wake very explicitly claimed the mantle of all of human history, Schmidt is after a sort of shared linguistic unconscious, where “etyms” form a deep structure of language that guides how we interpret reality.

The resemblance could be pure coincidence, but the dual structure is uncannily reminiscent of Chomsky’s universal grammar in form, though not in content. These are the reference points to which I kept returning: Chomsky I don’t claim to have any grasp of the motivic movement of the book, so I cannot assemble the allusions to Jean Paul, Goethe, Hoffmann, and thousands of others into a whole beyond the explicit “etym” theory.

And I suspect a lot of people won’t see Chomsky in it. But that’s one of the main communal purposes of a book like this: And not just puns; Schmidt has his own dirty emoticon language, as with this punctuational depiction of sexual intercourse: Schmidt was a working-class autodidact who never went to university, and he shared with Joyce the paradox of relying on high culture for an audience while disdaining it for its narrow-minded snobbery and superficial intellect.

Both Joyce and Schmidt loved high art and trash alike. And both Joyce and Schmidt happened on roughly the same solution to their alienation from high culture: That’s how you dethrone the literati.

As far as I can tell, Schmidt did not intend Bottom’s Dream to be his greatest work, just his biggest. He did not devote the majority of his life to it, unlike Robert Musil with The Man Without Qualities or Uwe Johnson with his magnificent, forthcoming-in-translation Anniversaries. The afterword by Schmidt’s long-time and indefatigable translator John E. Woods, who also typeset this thing even remarks that Schmidt suggested readers stick to chapters 1, 4, and 7, advice which I may yet take.


It’s hard for me to say that readers would be better served by starting here than Nobodaddy’s Children or the currently unavailable School for Atheists.

Hell, I would also recommend that Americans in particular read more Edgar Allen Poe before tackling Schmidt, since the background will be useful and because Poe is a vastly more important author whose influence is hidden in subsequent works high and low alike.

Arno Schmidt’s Modernist masterpiece – TheTLS

Thomas Disch called Poe “our embarrassing ancestor,” which is exactly what makes him suitable for Schmidt’s Freudian take on the unconscious history of literature. Poe is the sort of author and influence a writer will tend to repress out of his or her mind.

Poe’s erudite violence, filth, and rage make him the perfect raw material for Schmidt’s comparatively genteel book. Also, “po” is German slang for “buttocks,” as Woods pointed out in an interview. That leaves this book’s attraction for many as a literary fetish object, a handsomely produced yet ungainly monster of indisputable erudition yet highly selective appeal.

Schmidt has his followers, trau, in a time when literature is desperately striving for social relevance, Schmidt’s work stands proud and naked as a work of literature first and cultural politics second, though Schmidt’s crabbed leftist elitism dchmidt hardly buried. In contrast, the work of Marianne Fritz, which plays far crazier typographical games than Schmidt’s, puts those tools to far more explicitly schmiddt ends in the portrayal of suffering and oppression.

Schmidt may regain ground once the pivot swings back away from politics and back toward the sort of Barthian “everything is a story” hijinks that were popular in the 70s and 80s. For now, this is one seriously unfashionable book. The question in my mind as I read it is whether all the jokes and play will reconnect in some profound way to the living world, or whether they will become a hermetically sealed world of their own, aesthetically stunning but unable to move the human heart.

An easy five stars for effort and intellect, but by its very nature a mixed bag. I recommend it, but only to those who have read this review and already find themselves interested. Regardless, full plaudits to Woods and to Dalkey for their pursuit of the literary and the obscure in a time of increasing indifference and cultural illiteracy.

Not My President marchers who want schmdit display their solidarity with the forgotten working class. Arno Schmidt might just as well have said, I wrote a Big Book, and a handful of readers in close circles had a Wet Dream about it. Und but so too, zettel let it be written And a bigger ass to try to read it singlehandedly but who actually has??? As with other forms of Big Wet Book: As with other schmiidt of masturbation, the greatest risk factor is that you will end up with a wrist fracture.

Australian Translation of the Title: For now, my updates from this maelstrom will be sporadic at best. Didn’t they already do this with poetry? Since when is experimentalism the duplication of past experiments? Pulpit or Pulp It?