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Master Flea

E. T. A. Hoffmann

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Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann was a contemporary of Ludwig von Beethoven: a composer himself, a music critic, and a late-German-Romantic-movement writer of novels and numerous short stories. His incisive wit and poetic imagery allow the reader to peer into the foibles of society and the follies of human psychology. (In fact, Hoffmann’s wit may have gotten him into a bit of legal trouble, as parts of Master Flea were censored and had to be reworked when authorities disliked certain satirical criticisms of contemporary dealings of the court system.)

Join gentleman bachelor Peregrine Tyss as his life as a recluse takes a twist, when he gains an epic advantage of tiny proportions. Part proto-science-fiction and part Romantic fantasy, Master Flea follows the fate of a mysterious, captivating princess at the intersection of numerous suitors, human and insect. Like a lesson from a fable or a tale of classical mythology, Hoffmann’s fairy-tale allegory shows how seeking forbidden knowledge can poison the soul, and how following the heart can heal it.

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