The Book, Cat, & Cat Book Lovers Almanac

of historical trivia regarding books, cats, and other animals. Actually this blog has evolved so that it is described better as a blog about cats in history and culture. And we take as a theme the advice of Aldous Huxley: If you want to be a writer, get some cats. Don't forget to see the archived articles linked at the bottom of the page.

May 31, 2013

May 31, 1773

Ludwig Tieck (May 31, 1773 to April 28, 1853) was a German writer. He is associated with the Romantic movement, which, in his case, includes fantasy as a means of inducing strong emotions. Der gestiefelte Kater was a play included in Tieck's Volksmärchen von Peter Lebrecht (1797).

Der gestiefelte Kater is described as "witty dramatic satire on Berlin literary taste," by the Encyclopedia Britannica. That was in 1911. I like the description of Der gestiefelte Kater by Carl Van Vechten who wrote in The Tiger in the House (1922):

..... Hinze the Tom Cat in Ludwig Tieck's Der gestiefelte Kater is one of the most delightful and sympathetic cats to be found in all literature. This cat, almost white with a few black spots, is the wisest and wittiest personage in the comedy, ....The piece is a mad fantastic satire on the German people, the German government, and even the play form itself.

Der gestiefelte Kater is translated as Puss In Boots. In one scene Hinze says

Nice people, these so-called humans.[referring to a couple which has just twisted his ears] — .... — Now, Fortune, bestir yourself, for I too am almost out of patience. — I no longer have any desire to eat...partridges. It's clear that through mere habit we can accustom our natures to every possible virtue.

Sounds like a satire on people in general to me.


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