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Book Title: Le avventure del barone di Münchausen|
The author of the book: Rudolf Erich Raspe
Date of issue: 2001
ISBN 13: 9788845126598
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 5.53 MB
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Reader ratings: 5.2
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Everybody knows that to lie is bad. But Baron Munchausen used to lie with such virtuosity that his lying achieved the state-of-art quality and he is highly respected for this art all over the world.
“One evening I missed a bee, and soon observed that two bears had fallen upon her to tear her to pieces for the honey she carried. I had nothing like an offensive weapon in my hands but the silver hatchet, which is the badge of the Sultan’s gardeners and farmers. I threw it at the robbers, with an intention to frighten them away, and set the poor bee at liberty; but, by an unlucky turn of my arm, it flew upwards, and continued rising till it reached the moon. How should I recover it? How fetch it down again? I recollected that Turkey beans grow very quick, and run up to an astonishing height. I planted one immediately; it grew, and actually fastened itself to one of the moon s horns.”
I guess Baron had one bee too many in his bonnet…
The Surprising Adventures of Baron Munchausen is capable to arrest attention equally of children and grownups and may be greatly enjoyed by both.
“We looked round, and now found the reason why the postillion had not been able to sound his horn; his tunes were frozen up in the horn, and came out now by thawing, plain enough, and much to the credit of the driver; so that the honest fellow entertained us for some time with a variety of tunes, without putting his mouth to the horn…”
The tale of the frozen music is one of my favourite…
Books are the sort of frozen music as well. We open them and the music of words thaws.
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Read information about the authorRudolf Erich Raspe was a German librarian, writer and scientist, called by his biographer John Carswell a "rogue". He is best known for his collection of tall tales, The Surprising Adventures of Baron Munchausen, originally a satirical work with political aims.
Raspe was born in Hanover, studied law and jurisprudence at Göttingen and Leipzig and worked as a librarian for the university of Göttingen. In 1762, he became a clerk in the university library at Hanover, and in 1764 secretary to the university library at Göttingen. He had become known as a versatile scholar and a student of natural history and antiquities, and he published some original poems and also translations, among the latter of Leibnitz's philosophical works and of Ossian's poems. He also wrote a treatise on Thomas Percy's Reliques of Ancient English Poetry.
In 1767, he was appointed professor in Cassel, and subsequently librarian. He contributed in 1769 a zoological paper to the 59th volume of the Philosophical Transactions, which led to his being selected an honorary member of the Royal Society in London, and he wrote voluminously on all sorts of subjects. In 1774, he started a periodical called the Cassel Spectator. From 1767, he was responsible for some collections of Frederick II, Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel (or Hesse-Cassel). He had to flee to England in 1775 after having gone to Italy in 1775 to buy curios for the Landgrave. He was found to have sold the Landgrave's valuables for his own profit.
In London, he employed his knowledge of English and his learning to secure a living by publishing books on various subjects, and English translations of German works, and there are allusions to him as "a Dutch savant" in 1780 in the writings of Horace Walpole, who gave him money and helped him to publish an Essay on the Origin of Oil-painting (1781). But Raspe remained poor, and the Royal Society expunged his name off its list.
From 1782 to 1788, he was employed by Matthew Boulton as assay-master and storekeeper in the Dolcoath mine in Cornwall. At the same time, he also authored books in geology and the history of art. The Trewhiddle Ingot, found in 2003, is a 150-year-old lump of tungsten found at Trewhiddle Farm. This may predate the earliest known smelting of the metal (which requires extremely high temperatures) and has led to speculation that it may have been produced during a visit by Raspe to Happy-Union mine (at nearby Pentewan) in the late eighteenth century. Raspe was also a chemist with a particular interest in tungsten. Memories of his ingenuity remained to the middle of the 19th century. While in Cornwall, he seems to have written the original version of Münchausen, which was subsequently elaborated by others.
He also worked for the famous publisher John Nichols in several projects, among which was a descriptive catalogue he compiled of James Tassie's collection of pastes and casts of gems, in two quarto volumes (1791) of laborious industry and bibliographical rarity. Raspe then went to Scotland, and in Caithness found a patron in Sir John Sinclair of Ulbster, whose mineralogical proclivities he proceeded to impose upon by pretending to discover valuable and workable veins on his estates. Raspe had "salted" the ground himself, and on the verge of exposure, he absconded. He finally moved to Ireland where he managed a copper mine on the Herbert Estate in Killarney. He died in Killarney, County Kerry, of typhoid, in November 1794.
The Baron Münchausen tales were made famous when they were "borrowed," translated into German, and embellished somewhat by Gottfried August Bürger in 1786 — and have been among the favourite reading of subsequent generations, as well as the basis of several films, including Terry Gilliam's The Adventures of Baron Munchausen. Today it is not known whether anyone during Raspe's lifetime was aware of his authorship of the Adventures, other than his friend
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