PUBLISHERS OF LITERARY FICTION SINCE 1983
This is Germany's first-ever bestseller, republished and translated more than 200 times. Brecht took Mother Courage out of it, and it receives a mention in one of John Le Carre's novels. It is a violent and often all-too-realistic picaresque, set in war-torn Europe during the 17th-century Thirty Years War. Simplicissimus is the eternal innocent, the simple-minded survivor, and we follow him from a childhood in which he loses his parents to the casual atrocities of occupying troops, through his own soldiering adventures, and up to his final vocation as a hermit alone on an island. It is Rabelasian in some respects, but more down to earth and melancholy.
It is the rarest kind of monument to life and literature, for it has survived almost three centuries and will survive many more. It is a story of the most basic kind of grandeur - gaudy, wild, raw, amusing, rollicking and ragged, boiling with life, on intimate terms with death and evil - but in the end, contrite and fully tired of a world wasting itself in blood, pillage and lust, but immortal in the miserable splendour of its sins.
No. of pages: 434
Publication date: 23.02.2009
Re-print date: 08.12.2011
978 1 903517 42 0
978 1 907650 12 3
978 1 907650 13 0
World English Language in this translation.