Cloth $45.00 ISBN: 9780226141428 Will Publish October 2014
Paper $16.00 ISBN: 9780226141565 Will Publish October 2014
An e-book edition will be published.

The Nightwatches of Bonaventura

Bonaventura

The Nightwatches of Bonaventura
Bookmark and Share

Bonaventura

Translated and with a new Introduction by Gerald Gillespie
216 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 | © 2014
Cloth $45.00 ISBN: 9780226141428 Will Publish October 2014
Paper $16.00 ISBN: 9780226141565 Will Publish October 2014
E-book $16.00 ISBN: 9780226177533 Will Publish October 2014
First published in German in 1804, under the nom de plume “Bonaventura,” The Nightwatches of Bonaventura is a dark, twisted, and comic novel, one part Poe and one part Beckett. The narrator and anti-hero is not Bonaventura, but a night watchman named Kreuzgang, a failed poet, actor, and puppeteer who claims to be the spawn of the devil himself. As a night watchman, Kreuzgang takes voyeuristic pleasure in spying on the follies of his fellow citizens, and every night he makes his rounds and stops to peer into a window or door, where he observes framed scenes of murder, despair, theft, romance, and other private activities. In his responses, Kreuzgang is cynical and pessimistic, yet not without humor. For him, life is a grotesque, macabre, and base joke played by a mechanical and heartless force.

Since its publication, fans have speculated on the novel’s authorship, and it is now believed to be by theater director August Klingemann, who first staged Goethe’s Faust. Organized into sixteen separate night watches, the sordid scenes glimpsed through parted curtains, framed by door chinks, and lit by candles and shadows anticipate the cinematic. A cross between the gothic and romantic, The Nightwatches of Bonaventura is brilliant in its perverse intensity, presenting an inventory of human despair and disgust through the eyes of a bitter, sardonic watcher who draws laughter from tragedy.

Translated by Gerald Gillespie, who supplies a fresh introduction, The Nightwatches of Bonaventura will be welcomed by a new generation of English-language fans, eager to sample the night’s dark offerings.
Contents
Preface
Introduction
 
THE NIGHTWATCHES
Nightwatch 1. The dying freethinker
Nightwatch 2. The devil’s apparition
Nightwatch 3. Stony Crispin’s discourse on the chapter de adulteriis
Nightwatch 4. Woodcuts; along with the life of a madman as a marionette play
Nightwatch 5. The brothers
Nightwatch 6. Doomsday
Nightwatch 7. Self-portraiture—Funeral oration on a child’s birthday—The itinerant minstrel—Suit for slander
Nightwatch 8. The poet’s apotheosis—Farewell letter to life—Hanswurst’s prologue to the tragedy Man
Nightwatch 9. The madhouse—Monologue of the insane creator of the world—The reasonable fool
Nightwatch 10. The winter’s night—Love’s dream—The white and the crimson bride—The nun’s burial—Run through the musical scale
Nightwatch 11. Premonitions of one born blind—The vow—The first sunrise
Nightwatch 12. The solar eagle—The immortal wig—The false pigtail—Apology of life—The comedian
Nightwatch 13. Dithyramb on spring—The title without book—The invalid home of the gods—The backside of Venus
Nightwatch 14. The love of two fools
Nightwatch 15. The marionette theater
Nightwatch 16. The Bohemian woman—The man with second sight—The father’s grave
 
Afterword: Authorship and Reception
Notes
Select Bibliography
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
Google preview here

Chicago Manual of Style |

Keep Informed

JOURNALs