Hans Jakob Christoffel von Grimmelshausen  

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"Into this I went, and bade him make me an ointment to do away the pock-marks on my face, and because I had no money I gave him a fine soft shirt ; for he was not so nice as the other fools that would take no clothes of me." -- Simplicius Simplicissimus by Hans Jakob Christoffel von Grimmelshausen

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Hans Jakob Christoffel von Grimmelshausen (1621/22 – 17 August 1676) was a German author. He is best known for his 1669 picaresque novel Simplicius Simplicissimus (Der abenteuerliche Simplicissimus) and the accompanying Simplician Scriptures series.

Grimmelshausen's work is greatly influenced by previous utopian and travel literature, and the Simplicissimus series attained a readership larger than any other seventeenth-century novel.

Formerly, he was credited with Der fliegende Wandersmann nach dem Mond, a translation from Jean Baudoin's L'Homme dans la Lune, itself a translation of Francis Godwin's The Man in the Moone, but recent scholars have disputed this; he did, however, write an appendix to a 1667 edition of that translation, the basis for that association. Der fliegende Wandersman was included in his collected works, though without the appendix.

In 1668, Grimmelshausen published Der abenteuerliche Simplicissimus, which has been called the greatest German novel of the 17th century. For this work he took as his model the picaresque romances of Spain, already to some extent known in Germany. Simplicissimus has been interpreted as its author's autobiography; he begins with the childhood of his hero, and describes the latter's adventures amid the stirring scenes of the Thirty Years' War. The rustic detail with which these pictures are presented makes the book a valuable document of its time. For some, however, the later parts of the book overindulge in allegory, and finally become a Robinson Crusoe story.

The historian Robert Ergang draws upon Gustav Könnecke's Quellen und Forschungen zur Lebensgeschichte Grimmelshausens to assert that "the events related in the novel Simplicissimus could hardly have been autobiographical since [Grimmelshausen] lived a peaceful existence in quiet towns and villages on the fringe of the Black Forest and that the material he incorporated in his work was not taken from actual experience, but was either borrowed from the past, collected from hearsay, or created by a vivid imagination."

Among Grimmelshausen's other works, are the so-called Simplicianische Schriften (Template:Lang-de):

  • Die Ertzbetrügerin and Landstörtzerin Courasche (1670)
  • Der seltsame Springinsfeld (1670)
  • Das wunderbarliche Vogelnest (1672)

He also published satires, such as Der teutsche Michel (1673), and gallant novels, like Dietwald und Amelinde (1670).

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Hans Jakob Christoffel von Grimmelshausen" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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