The Singular Life Story of Heedless Hopalong

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Wayne State University Press, 1981 - Literary Collections - 124 pages

When Grimmelshausen's The Singular Life Story of Heedless Hopalong (Der seltzame Springinsfeld) first appeared in 1670 or 1671, it was as nearly guaranteed of commercial success as any work of fiction can be. Its titular hero and primary narrator was already familiar to the German-reading public as a minor character in the most popular novel of the age, Simplicissimus, and a major character in its sequel, The Runagate Courage.

The Singular Life Story of Heedless Hopalong is the third of the five novels by Hans Jacob Christoffel von Grimmelshausen which make up the so-called Simplician cycle. The first novel, Simplicissimus, has long been available in English translation; the second appeared fifteen years ago. This publication makes a complete and annotated English version of the third novel available to English readers for the first time. Like it predecessors, Heedless Hopalong is full of earthy humor and penetrating observations about man's foibles and the human dilemma. In it Grimmelshausen vividly portrays the most important Simplician characters, Courage and Hopalong, as they are in their old age.

In the remaining two-thirds of the novel Hopalong tells the story of his life, describing his experience as a juggler boy, as a member of various armies during the Thirty Years' War, as an innkeeper, a beggar, etc., in language refreshingly direct, forthright, and lively.

In his characterization of Hopalong, Grimmelshausen created one of German literature's finest portraits of the common soldier.

The Singular Life Story of Heedless Hopalong is the recipient of the First Basilius Award in Germanics.


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User Review  - hsifeng - LibraryThing

REENACTORS NOTES (16th Century): Warning, this book is set during the Thrity Years War 123 pages: The far less fortunate friend of Simplicius, Heedless Hopalong's life is a tale of woe. Never quite ... Read full review


Conjunctio Saturni Martis Mercurii
The Author falls in with a band of gypsies
The Author continues with the aforementioned
Under what conditions Simplicissimus taught
Concerning three noteworthy wastrels true
Tells of Hopalongs further fortunes
How Hopalong fared from the Tuttlingen Fair
Hopalongs Turkish war in Hungary and
What other pranks the hurdygurdy girl played

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About the author (1981)

Robert L. Hiller and John C. Osborne are professors of German at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Hiller holds the Ph.D. degree from Cornell University, Osborne the Ph.D. degree from Northwestern University. They previously collaborated on a translation of The Runagate Courage, the second of the Simplician novels.

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