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Simplicissimus (Anglais) Broché – 11 octobre 2005


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Book by Grimmelshausen Johann


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Amazon.com: 10 commentaires
52 internautes sur 54 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Delightful English translation, but NOT the complete novel 22 avril 2004
Par Jaundiced Eye - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Mitchell's translation of Grimmelshausen's picaresque novel about a boy from SW Germany in the 1620s who has his life disrupted by the Thirty Years War, into which he is swept up for decades is delightfully funny. Unfortunately, Mitchell's version follows the commonly available (and artificially antiquated) Goodrick translation and omits the sixth book! Grimmelshausen wrote a whole cycle of ten novels revolving around Simplicissimus and other Thirty Years War characters, most of which are not readily available in a contemporary English translation. This, the core novel, is the most famous of the lot, but I can't help but feel disappointed by the lack of the sixth book, which was referenced by Borges (in "The Book of Imaginary Beings") and by others. I feel as though readers of "Don Quixote" must if they discover that they have read only the first part of his multi-part novel. The work of Cervantes, however, is much more readily available in English than is Grimmelshausen, so the absence is easily rectified; with the Simplicissimus books, however, one takes what one can get. Mitchell's translation of Books 1 - 5 is, fortunately, quite good, and there aren't any references in the first five books to events in the sixth book which would be weirdly jarring if the final book is missing, so there's no reason to feel cheated unless you KNOW that something has been left out. Mitchell's version is in good colloquial English and is a fast and satisfying read. I went through the whole book in a few days, finding it very difficult to put down. Mitchell writes so smoothly that the reader is swept breathlessly along just as Simplicissimus himself was.
This is THE classic novel of the Thirty Years War, which caused the death of one-third the population of Germany and involved almost every country from Sweden to Italy and from Spain to Russia, and -- strangely enough -- it's a comedy. Perhaps the war was so terrible that afterwards the only way for the survivors to stay sane was to laugh about the bitter joke which history played upon them. "Simplicissimus" is regarded by many as a definitive account of the mood and temperment of many of the survivors. Read it and laugh ... or weep. It's the story of Everyman and Everywoman caught up in an insane war in which the only option is make everything a joke, because the reality of the situation is too terrible to consider.
31 internautes sur 35 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Classic Eye-Witness Account of the 30Years War. 11 avril 2000
Par bob - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Obviously, nobody here cared to tell you what this book is about. It's the story (some say it's autobiographical - some say it's not - The author has been a mercenary captain in the war) about a simple peasant-boy being torn into the chaos and suffering of one of Europe's longesr and THE most devastating war (half of the population in the area died). He gradually advances from being servant to being court-jester and becomes a warleader. The fascinating thing about this is:
a- Even after nearly 400 years it's easy to read.
b- Every aspect of war is described in (sometims painful) detail.
c- It's done by a man who's seen it all. So although it reads like a fantasy novel, it's authentic.
17 internautes sur 20 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Excellent Book 15 décembre 2000
Par "boris_yanez" - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
One of the finest and funniest books I have ever read, I suggest to read along "Vida y Hechos de Estebanillo Gonzalez, Hombre de Buen Humor", also a XVII century rogue amidst the 30 years war!!. I find Grimmelhausen book very clever and defenitely a must to anybody who is interested in Europe. Unfortunately I do not read German so I miss many of the jokes, still the book is very well worth cover to cover. I am surprised that such a classic of the German Literature have not got a wider reputation: it is so amusing to read.
7 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
The Great Bildungsroman of World Weariness 20 septembre 2008
Par Flippy - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
This book captured me from the first page and as I read chapter after chapter, I was delighted, impressed and taken in to a world that is both far away in setting yet close to heart and mind.

On the outside, this book is about a boy becoming a man through the various trials and errors of life. There is the Bildungsroman element here (Bildung - building up or 'growing up', roman - novel) He is the pure fool, the original innocent, looking for guidance. He goes from his parent's farm, to the hermit's hut, to the courts, to the battlefields, to the forests, to the cities, to the slums, finding himself in allegiance not with either side in the Thirty Years War but with himself.

Simplicissimus wears many masks, plays many roles. He is court jester, a warrior, a huntsman, a lover, a quack, a musketeer, a duped man, a cuckhold, a mystic. He begins as the fool but is transformed by the knowledge he acquires within the World. But his knowledge leads him eventually into corruption. He is continually wise, at times naive, at times bitter.

By the end, the reader feels he/she has journeyed with the narrator, accompanied him and begins to sense the world weariness of his wanderings, his lack of place in a dark time; the longing to turn away from life pervades the last quarter of the novel. The last chapter alone could have been written in any century, in any time. Simplicissimus is the great Everyman reflecting on the hopelessness and absurdity of life where the useless are presented as useful and the useful, useless. Especially now, in a time where politics is more a sideshow, where leaders appear less real and like characters in a bad Disney movie, Simplicissimus' remarks and conclusions hit home in a profound and universal way.

This book is timeless and will carry on through the centuries. So long as we are born into the freak show of life (as George Carlin put it), this book will be a faithful and timeless mirror to the mockery that is the World governed by men and their greedy, foolish and hopeless ideals.
UK crit on 'old' lit 3 février 2015
Par Dudley - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
An excellent translation. I was too lazy to attempt the original again after 45 years, but have now ordered the original version for €5!
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