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The Goose Man   By: (1873-1934)

Book cover

First Page:

The GOOSE MAN

by JACOB WASSERMANN

Author of "THE WORLD'S ILLUSION"

Authorized translation by ALLEN W. PORTERFIELD

[Illustration: Das Gänsemännchen]

GROSSET & DUNLAP ~ Publishers by arrangement with HARCOURT, BRACE & COMPANY

NOTE

The first chapter, "A Mother Seeks Her Son," and sections I and II of the second chapter, "Foes, Brothers, a Friend, and a Mask," were translated by Ludwig Lewisohn. The rest of the book has been translated by Allen W. Porterfield. The title, "The Goose Man" ("Das Gänsemännchen"), refers to the famous statue of that name in Nuremberg.

COPYRIGHT, 1922, BY HARCOURT, BRACE AND COMPANY, INC.

PRINTED IN THE U. S. A.

CONTENTS

PAGE

A Mother Seeks Her Son 1

Foes, Brothers, A Friend and a Mask 23

The Nero of To day 44

Inspector Jordan and His Children 65

Voices from Without and Voices from Within 97

In Memory of a Dream Figure 123

Daniel and Gertrude 153

The Glass Case Breaks 178

Tres Faciunt Collegium 204

Philippina Starts a Fire 239

Eleanore 277

The Room with the Withered Flowers 323

The Promethean Symphony 352

Dorothea 405

The Devil Leaves the House in Flames 435

But Aside, Who Is It? 455

THE GOOSE MAN

A MOTHER SEEKS HER SON

I

The landscape shows many shades of green; deep forests, mostly coniferous, extend from the valley of the Rednitz to that of the Tauber. Yet the villages lie in the midst of great circles of cultivated land, for the tillage of man is immemorial here. Around the many weirs the grass grows higher, so high often that you can see only the beaks of the droves of geese, and were it not for their cackle you might take these beaks to be strangely mobile flowers.

The little town of Eschenbach lies quite flat on the plain. In it a fragment of the Middle Ages has survived, but no strangers know it, since hours of travel divide it from any railway. Ansbach is the nearest point in the great system of modern traffic; to get there you must use a stage coach. And that is as true to day as it was in the days when Gottfried Nothafft, the weaver, lived there.

The town walls are overgrown with moss and ivy; the old drawbridges still cross the moats and take you through the round, ruined gates into the streets. The houses have bay windows and far projecting overhangs, and their interlacing beams look like the criss cross of muscles on an anatomical chart.

Concerning the poet who was once born here and who sang the song of Parsifal, all living memory has faded. Perhaps the fountains whisper of him by night; perhaps sometimes when the moon is up, his shadow hovers about the church or the town hall. The men and women know nothing of him any more.

The little house of the weaver, withdrawn by a short distance from the street, stood not far from the inn at the sign of the Ox. Three worn steps took you to its door, and six windows looked out upon the quiet square... Continue reading book >>




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