E.T.A. Hoffmann’s Visual Light-Near Dissociation – Prostitute’s Pupil
Jahrbuch für Internationale Germanistik
In E.T.A. Hoffmann’s Nachtstücke (1816/1817) the opening tale, Der Sandmann, has a young physics student Nathanael as its main character, one who suffers from certain psychological, neurotic, and visual disorders stemming from trauma experienced in his childhood. In this somewhat epistolary tale, he is tortured by the idea of the Sandman who comes after children if they won’t go to bed, throws sand in their eyes, and inflicts bleeding from the eyes. The Sandmen have crooked beaks, similar to owls’, with which they can pluck out the eyes of naughty children. In Hoffmann’s tale, the story of the Sandman and what it did to children haunted Nathanael for the rest of his life. A figure called Coppelius, the night visitor, who wanted eyes and was also Nathanael’s father’s master, personified the Sandman for him.
Hughes, Jolyon T..
"E.T.A. Hoffmann’s Visual Light-Near Dissociation – Prostitute’s Pupil."
Jahrbuch für Internationale Germanistik, 52 (2): 239-252: Peter Lang International Academic Publishers.
doi: https://doi.org/10.3726/JA522_239 source: https://www.ingentaconnect.com/contentone/plg/jfig/2020/00000052/00000002/art00009#
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