Monday, October 14, 2019

Peering at (literal) scary book from Germany in 1920

This hardcover book was published in Munich [Muenchen], Germany, in 1920 by Georg Mueller. The title is Das unheimliche Buch, which literally, and wonderfully, translates to The Scary Book. (Or The Eerie Book in some translations.)

Of course, the rest of it's in German, too, so there's not a whole lot I can tell y'all without spending a month on Google Translate. But I do know some things. It's a collection of supernatural stories, as compiled by editor Felix Schloemp (1884-1916). The illustrations were done by Alfred Rubin.

Some of the stories included are by Heinrich Mann, Frédéric Boutet, Gustav Meyrink, Edgar Allan Poe, J.P. Jacobsen, and E.T.A. Hoffmann.

And it features a foreword by Karl Hans Strobl (1877-1946), who wrote horror and fantasy stories, but whose awful existence was defined by being a member of the Nazi Party, an anti-Semite and a voluminous producer of Nazi propaganda. So screw him and his foreword. And also screw the story he contributed to this book.

Das unheimliche Buch was first published in 1914, two years before Schloemp's death. I have seen references to other editions. By 1938, Das unheimliche Buch was on the list of "harmful and unwanted literature" and would have been subject to Nazi book burnings.

Here's a look the bookplate on the inside front cover...

And here are two of Alfred Rubin's illustrations...

1 comment:

  1. Very cool looking book. My daughter is a student of German, I'd love to find her a copy.