(urth) The Simplicissimus

Mark Millman markjmillman at gmail.com
Mon Nov 23 09:55:44 PST 2009

Dear Mr. Wynn,

Thank you very much for this information.

I agree; it's all too common for modern editors to summarize those
chapters that deal with the fantastic.  One of the editions I have
does that, and it's very frustrating.


Mark Millman

On Monday 23 November 2009, you wrote:

> Mine is translated by George Schultz-
> Behrend and published by Bobbs-Merrill
> "Library of Liberal Arts". Yellow paper-
> back. Red titling. HOWEVER, because
> the translator believed chapters 2-18
> would bore the modern reader, he sum-
> marizes them. Until I read the introduc-
> tion just now, I assume these summaries
> were merely all that was extant of the
> text. This is his summary of the Baldan-
> ders chapter:
> "ON a walk through the woods Simplicius
> finds a life-sized statue. It looks like an
> old German hero; and when he tries to
> turn it over, it begins to speak, saying its
> name is "Soon-different," who has always
> been with him and who will not leave him
> until he dies. It gives Simplicius a recipe
> for conversing with lifeless objects and,
> as if for fun, changes into about a dozen
> different shapes, but always remains its
> own true Soondifferent self. Having
> changed into a bird, it flies away."
> Borges tells us that one of the things it
> changes into is a secretary that writes
> "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning
> and the end."  And this phrase is the key
> to a coded document that tells Simplicius
> how to talk to lifeless objects ("chairs,
> benches, pots and kettles"). He also
> says that the Baldanders can change
> into a  man, oak, sow, sausage, meadow
> full of clover, dung, flower, flowering
> branch, mulberry tree, silk tapestry, and
> "many other things". It's coat of arms is
> the "inconstant moon".
> Here's the cover of the first edition of
> Book 6 with a picture of the Baldanders.
> http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/1c/Simplicissimus_Cover_page1669.jpg/140px-Simplicissimus_Cover_page1669.jpg

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