“ ‘That was so,’ said Serapion, turning pale, and his eyes glowing with a somber fire. ‘But Serapion the martyr, had no connection with that monk, who, in the fury of his asceticism, did battle against human nature. I am Serapion the martyr, to whom you allude.’
“ ‘What?’ I cried, with feigned surprise. ‘ You believe that you are that Serapion who suffered such a hideous martyrdom so many hundred years ago?’
“ ‘That,’ said Serapion with much calmness, ‘may appear incredible to you, and I admit that it must sound very wonderful to many who cannot see further than the points of their own noses. However, it is as I tell you. God’s omnipotence permitted me to survive my martyrdom, and to recover from its effects, because it was ordained, in His mysterious providence, that I had still to pass a certain period of my existence, to His praise and glory, here in the Theban desert. There is nothing now to remind me of the tortures which I suff
“Thus equipped, I set out one fine morning in search of my anchorite. “I found him working in his garden with hoe and spade, singing a devotional song. Wild pigeons, for which he had strewed an abundant supply of food, were fluttering and cooing round him, and a young deer was peeping through the leaves on the trellis.
He was evidently living in the closest intimacy with the woodland creatures. Not the faintest trace of insanity was visible in his face; it bore a quiet expression of remarkable serenity and happiness; and all this confirmed what Hr. S n B had told me. When he heard of my projected visit to the anchorite, he advised me to go some fine, bright, pleasant morning, because he said, his mind would be less troubled then and he would be more inclined to talk to a stranger, whereas at evening lie would shun all intercourse with mankind.
“As soon as he saw me he laid down his spade, and came towards me in a kind and friendly manner. I said that, being
He was taken to the lunatic asylum at B, and there the methodical system, based upon profound psychological knowledge, pursued by the medical man then in charge of that institution, succeeded in bringing about a condition of much less excitement, and greater quietness in the form of his malady. Whether this doctor, true to his theory, gave the patient an opportunity of escaping, or whether he himself found the means of doing so, escape he did, and was lost sight of for a considerable time.
“Serapion appeared, ultimately, in the country some eight miles from B, where I had seen him; and the doctor declared that if any true compassion was to be shown him, he should not be again driven into a condition of wild excitement; but that, if he was to be at peace, and, after his fashion, happy, he should be left in these woods in perfect freedom, to do just as he liked; in which case he, the said doctor, would be responsible for the consequences.
Accordingly, the police
“With which he arose and walked down into the ravine.
“I felt as if I must be in a dream. Presently I heard the sound of wheels close by. I made my way through the thickets, and found my space in a forest track, where I saw a countryman going along in a cart. I overtook him, and he shortly brought me to the high road lending to B. As we went along I told him my adventure, and asked if he knew who the extraordinary man in the forest was.
‘Oh, sir,’ he said, ‘that was the worthy man who calls himself Priest Serapion, and who has been living in these woods for some years, In n little hut which he built himself. People say he’s not quite right in his head, but he is a nice, good gentleman, never does any harm, and willies us of the village with pious discourses, giving us all the good advice that he can.’
“I had come across the anchorite some six or eight miles from B so I concluded that something must be known of him there, and this proved
E. T. A. Hoffmann (1776—1822)
Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann was a master of one particular type of short story, which was to a great extent a product of the romantic tendencies of his times. His earliest collection of tales, Fantasy Pieces in the Manner of Callot, are characterized by those qualities of fantasy and mystery with which his name is always associated. The collection under the title of The Serapion Brethren, is set within a “frame narrative of the storytelling club in Berlin, where Hoffmann spent the last six years of his life as judge of a criminal court.” Poe was especially indebted to Hoffmann in the composition of his stories, as were several of the most important Nineteenth Century fiction writers all over Europe.
The present translation, by Alexander Ewing, is reprinted from The Serapion Brethren, Bohn Library, London, by permission of the publishers, G. Bell and Sons.
The Story of Serapion
From The Serapion Brethr
Are cyber wars at our doorstep?
In recent months the world has made the acquaintance of a
new and perfectly designed computer worm with a specific purpose. Known as
Stuxnet, this dangerous code targets industrial systems by using hitherto
unknown security portals. Stuxnet is the first harbinger of a new era in which
computer worms will be able to wreak damage beyond the abstract world on the
concrete world around us.
Viruses like Stuxnet can, for example, damage the pumps on
water, natural gas, and oil pipelines. They can cause overloads on electrical
power distribution grids and transmission lines, causing them to malfunction,
even explode. They can pave the way to the unanticipated collapse of systems
such as mass transport, health, logistics and banking systems.
Given that the digital hardware and software produced by
humans is not going to be flawless, it is very difficult right now to estimate
where and how far this danger may go in the future. I
An East – West Journalist Hasan Mert Kaya Caner
Her latest book, Begum, acclaimed writer describes journalist Kenize Murad describes life and the struggle of a woman of the eastern world caught in a triangle of love, power and social pressure. Making a splash with her much-talked-about novel, From Palace to Exile, Murad in this latest book takes up the story of the uprising led by Begum Hazret Mahal, who lived in Northern India’s powerful Awad Kingdom in the 19th century. We spoke with Murad about her career in journalism, the world of the east and her most recent work, Begum, in an interview for readers.
You have a long career in journalism that has taken you to some of the world’s most dangerous places. Do you love your work?
Yes, journalism is a job that is very important to me and that I have always loved to do. This profession has been a great adventure for me that 1 could never give up. I could easily have worked in France and French p
Hope for Egypt: Dream or Reality?
Don the theme, Dream or Reality? International Book Fair welcoming bibliophiles this month. And Egypt is the guest of honor.
Last year 5 guest of honor was Spain. By the end of the fair, which featured interviews with popular Spanish writers Julio Llamazares, Soledad Puertolas and Angelas Caso, we had learned so much about Spanish life and culture that we wondered all year long who the next guest country would be. Finally the day came and it was announced: Egypt. And we realized how little we know about this country we have been following closely in recent months, especially during the 18-day people’s movement.
When it comes to the literature of this sunny land that is striving to turn dream into reality, a single writer comes to mind: Naguib Mahfouz. Egyptian Ambassador to Turkey Abderahman Salaheldin summed it up perfectly when he said, “The situation is deplorable. Very few Egyptian writers have been transl
Let’s start the day sweetly
Jamana marmalade, the best way to preserve fruit and vegetables out of season, are an indispensable part of Turkish breakfast. How about adding a dash of color to winter tables with unfamiliar flavors like pistachios, tangerines, black mulberries and lemon peel jams and marmalades?
Making jam is one of the favorite ways to preserve fruits and certain vegetables before they go bad. Jams made from almost any fruit as well as vegetables such as aubergines, courgettes and olives, and from petals of flowers such as rose, is one of the indispensable additions to Turkish breakfasts. It’s easier than you think to make jams and marmalades, mixing in season fruit with sugar in the same pan and cooking it to just the right consistency.
Maria Ekmekgioglu, famous for her jams and marmalades, suggests giving your winter tables a touch of color with unfamiliar flavors like pistachios, tangerines, black mulberries and lemon peel.
All will be ready there, and thou shalt have thy pleasure of me, and no one in the world shall know it, and I shall not have acted like a woman of the streets.’” When the page had returned to Setna, he repeated to him all the words that she had said without exception, and he said, “Lo, I am satisfied.” But all who were with Setna began to curse.
Setna caused a boat to be fetched; he embarked, and delayed not to arrive at Bubastis. He went to the west of the town, until he came to a house that was very high; it had a wall all round it, it had a garden on the north side, there was a flight of steps in front of it. Setna inquired saying. “Whose is this house?” They said to him, “It is the house of Tbubui.”
Setna entered the grounds, and he marveled at the pavilion situated in the garden while they told Tbubui; she came down, she took the hand of Setna, and she said to him, “By my life the journey to the house of the priest of Bastit, lady of Ankhut