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Christian Gellert's Last Christmas From "German Tales" Published by the American Publishers' Corporation   By: (1812-1882)

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Christian Gellert's Last Christmas, from "German Tales" published by the American Publishers' Corporation, is a moving and introspective work that leaves a deep impact long after turning the final page. Authored by Berthold Auerbach, a renowned German writer of the 19th century, this novella transports readers into a poignant tale of love, loss, and the power of redemption.

Set in a small German village during the joyous Christmas season, Auerbach adeptly captures the essence of the period, immersing readers in a world filled with holiday cheer and bustling preparations. However, beneath the surface lies the vulnerable and tormented soul of Christian Gellert, our complex protagonist. Gellert, a well-respected schoolmaster, embodies a deep sorrow and guilt which pervades his every action and conversation.

Auerbach has a remarkable talent for character development, enabling readers to truly connect with the inner workings of Gellert's mind and heart. The author masterfully unveils Gellert's past through flashbacks, painting a vivid picture of the turbulent events that shaped his present. Through these glimpses into Gellert's past, readers witness the heart-wrenching tragedies he has endured, adding depth and understanding to his current struggles.

The narrative is enriched by Auerbach's beautiful prose, which effortlessly evokes a sense of longing, melancholy, and hope. The author's words have a poetic quality, allowing readers to effortlessly visualize the wintry landscape and empathize with Gellert's emotional state. Auerbach skillfully employs symbolism and metaphors, subtly weaving them into the narrative to convey deeper layers of meaning and emotional resonance.

As the story unfolds, Gellert's life becomes intertwined with a young girl named Elsa, whose pure and innocent spirit acts as a catalyst for Gellert's transformation. Elsa's unwavering faith and unconditional love provide a glimmer of light in Gellert's otherwise desolate existence, offering him a chance at redemption and healing.

Auerbach's exploration of themes such as forgiveness, redemption, and the power of human connection are bound to strike a chord with readers. The narrative beautifully captures the complexities of the human condition, highlighting the significance of forgiveness and the profound impact a single act of kindness can have on a person's life.

Christian Gellert's Last Christmas is a profoundly introspective and spiritually uplifting novella. Auerbach's sensitive portrayal of the human psyche and his exploration of the transformative power of love and forgiveness make this a timeless and universally relatable piece of literature. Although it delves into darker themes, the story ultimately leaves readers with a sense of hope and the belief that even in our darkest moments, redemption is possible. Auerbach's storytelling prowess combined with his profound insights elevate Christian Gellert's Last Christmas to a literary work deserving of recognition and admiration.

First Page:


By Berthold Auerbach

From "German Tales." Published by the American Publishers' Corporation.


Three o'clock had just struck from the tower of St. Nicholas, Leipzig, on the afternoon of December 22d, 1768, when a man, wrapped in a loose overcoat, came out of the door of the University. His countenance was exceedingly gentle, and on his features cheerfulness still lingered, for he had been gazing upon a hundred cheerful faces; after him thronged a troop of students, who, holding back, allowed him to precede them: the passengers in the streets saluted him, and some, students, who pressed forwards and hurried past him homewards, saluted him quite reverentially. He returned their salutations with a surprised and almost deprecatory air, and yet he knew, and could not conceal from himself, that he was one of the best beloved, not only in the good city of Leipzig, but in all lands far and wide.

It was Christian Furchtegott Gellert, the Poet of Fables, Hymns, and Lays, who was just leaving his college.

When we read his "Lectures upon Morals," which were not printed until after his death, we obtain but a very incomplete idea of the great power with which they came immediately from Gellert's mouth. Indeed, it was his voice, and the touching manner in which he delivered his lectures, that made so deep an impression upon his hearers; and Rabener was right when once he wrote to a friend, that "the philanthropic voice" of Gellert belonged to his words... Continue reading book >>

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