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last updated: 10 December 2008

georg heym

The Thief and Other Stories

The translation is superb throughout’ – Choice (USA)

These stories have a terrible inevitability that makes them, for all their gothic horror, very beautiful, exorcising evil rather than dabbling in it’ – Independent on Sunday

Written in 1910/11 by an author in his early twenties, the violence of these stories is contained by their control and transfigured by compassion. When their original publisher expressed fears that they would repel potential readers, the author replied that his subjects had chosen him as much as he had chosen them. This compulsive relationship with his material is reflected in the mesmeric character of the stories themselves. They have become classics of German Expressionist prose and are compared to the tales of Edgar Allan Poe and the short prose of Charles Baudelaire.

Susan Bennett is a freelance film-maker, writer and translator who lives in London.

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