Quick Links:. The Importance of Ambiguity in "Der blonde Eckbert". In Tieck's hands, however, the combination of these two fairly straightforward forms takes on a life of its own, confronting the reader with an astounding depth and intricacy: the interweaving of both mundane and fantastic, even demonic occurrences, the emphasis on psychology and subjectivity, and the insistence on unresolved ambiguities leave the reader at once frustrated and intrigued -- and open up nearly endless avenues for interpretation. Tieck's "Der blonde Eckbert," published in , is a classic example of this genre in early Romantic writing, incorporating representative philosophical as well as literary tendencies. Significant, however, is that none of these themes is presented unambiguously; each is portrayed at times as positive, only to prove destructive or impossible in the end.
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Events start suspiciously, and soon go from bad to worse. This is one of the most haunting texts that German literature has to offer. It shows how desire and fear can be interlinked: Bertha and Eckbert are torn between the desire for friendship and the fear of intimacy. The narrative technique remains tied to the perspectives of Eckbert and Bertha: since they are both unreliable and confused witnesses, it becomes virtually impossible to distinguish between reality and delusion.
German Literature. Search this site. Navigation Home. Guide Books. Parallel Texts. Hall of Fame. Early Modern. Web Links. She warns Walther that her story is not a fairy tale, no matter how strange it seems; this highlights the problematic status of her story: is it true as she claims, or is it a delusion?
Even as a child Bertha had a rich fantasy life: she imagined being rich and she saw spirits who gave her pebbles which turned into gemstones. Bertha travels through villages and cliffs until she comes to a forest where she is taken in by an old woman who lives with a dog and a singing bird which lays eggs containing gemstones and pearls. The old woman tells Bertha she is going away for some time. Bertha ties up the dog and runs away with the bird; she knows that she has condemned the dog to death because the old woman is not due back for a long time.
When the bird starts to sing a melancholy song Bertha kills the bird too. Then she starts to fear that her maid could rob or kill her just as she has robbed and killed. Then she marries Eckbert, who had no money of his own. Walther comments that he can well imagine Bertha feeding Strohmian, and Bertha is terrified: how could Walther know the name of the dog which she herself had forgotten or repressed?
Instead of asking Walther this question directly Bertha worries herself to death; Eckbert becomes paranoid and kills Walther. Shortly afterwards he descends into madness.
Eckbert the Blond
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Der Blonde Eckbert
Blond Eckbert is an opera by Scottish composer Judith Weir. The composer wrote the English-language libretto herself, basing it on the cryptic supernatural short story Der blonde Eckbert by the German Romantic writer Ludwig Tieck. Weir completed the original two act version of the opera in , making Blond Eckbert her third full-length work in the genre. Like its predecessors, it was received well by the critics.
Der blonde Eckbert / Der Runenberg
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