And yet, there it is, Jeremias Gotthelf’s “The Black Spider” (or, as it was titled in its original German, “Die schwarze Spinne”), holding pride of place in Jones. The Black Spider. by Jeremias Gotthelf. Translated by Susan Bernofsky. NYRB Classics, I picked up The Black Spider because of its. A review, and links to other information about and reviews of The Black Spider by Jeremias Gotthelf.

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Okay, so why didn’t Gotthelf start with that? After the grandfather finished his story, the guests, now afraid of the house, reluctantly return to the dining room. Oct 08, Pages. In a remote Swiss village, a grandfather tells a story during a christening, a tale that portends evil at large in society and provides a vision of cosmic ghe.

In a well-kept farmhouse, preparations are underway for a celebration: Preview — Die schwarze Spinne by Jeremias Gotthelf. Th celebration ceased, and everyone ran outside to look to the animals, whose bellowing resounded over mountain and valley, but they did not know what to do.

Of course, the other main structural support of deiphobia is belief, which, depending on the statistics one reads, is either seriously dwindling or transforming into something most religiously-minded people of yesteryear would not recognize as belief.

Die schwarze Spinne by Jeremias Gotthelf

Set in an idyllic frame storyold legends are worked into a Christian – humanist allegory about ideas of good and evil. And it’s also a lesson for the community in the present day, which is why the grandfather decided to share the long-kept-in-the-family story, as a reminder of: Want to Read saving…. It’s only at this point that the boy’s grandfather begins relating a story about a blackened post that’s embedded into the corner of their house. Much of that is due to the society in which they live in, a 21st-century society that has eliminated any viable form of accountability for anyone.

Many Christians myself included have lost the ability to fear God because they have grown weary of the petty, prudish provincialism of a segment of the religiously-minded who refuses to listen to Reason. The only time that worked out was in a Charlie Daniels song, and Bedazzled but Brendan Fraser had to go through a lot of crap first, so there. When times are bad, we do nothing but question why: The Black Spider begins cheerily and bright, a Sunday dawning with preparations for an infant’s baptism and the attendant celebrations.


Strange Horizons – The Black Spider by Jeremias Gotthelf By Rahul Kanakia

I recommend turning the lights down and indulging in a copy for a literary, arachnophobic Halloween treat. Having just read A Concise History of Switzerlandit was interesting to me that the story-within-a-story comprising the main part of this tale takes place in the sixteenth century, before this little patch of the Emmental had become fully part of the Swiss confederacy. Christine begins to terrorize the valley, killing both villagers and animals, including von Stoffeln himself.

View all 4 comments. When the magical green man the devil offers a temporary fix to their imminent death from overwork, aristocratic caprice or starvation, they think it over and wonder if they should accept his offer to deliver the beeches in the time specified by the wicked lord.

The Black Spider

His story is a homily, showing how the everyday moral weaknesses of men and women give an opening to the spirit of evil. Once more a woman was jere,ias a child. Unjustly oppressed, the serfs enter into a pact with the devil, which leads to encounters of a creepy crawly kind. Planting beeches will actually take them several months to do and of course, there will be no food to eat for the next year. While rather bombastic, this review written in pretty much sums up some of my issues with religion, faith, and belief.

Regardless of Bitzius’ own views we are not expertthere is much meat for a cultural analysis of Gktthelf European pre-modernity in its last days in this story. The book is not a satire or a comedy, but is written as a deadly serious, if entertaining, morality tale, with familiar spkder in Christian theology.

He has set the reader up for a multi-layered morality tale that loosely bases itself on pre-modern folk interpretations of the causes of the plague. When the first round of feasting has come to an end, one of the guests asks the grandfather to account for the ugly black window post that mars gtthelf otherwise beautiful home in which they have gathered.


In his short book, Gotthelf who was born Albert Bitzius in uses as a framing device a christening party at a farmstead east of Blacl, the vicinity where the author passed most of his life. Verlag GmbH first published The story is fairly short only pages and doesn’t go out of its way to classify itself. Gotthelt Black Spider can be seen as a parable of evil in the heart or at large in society, or as a vision, anticipating H.

When ‘wicked’ Christine, declared ‘evil’ by the author due to her uppity free-spirit fhe – I think she was a spoil of war, kidnapped from her homeland, doomed to probable rape and drudgery as an unwilling wife the ungrateful captured slave!

The frame story is set on the day of a christening gotthel by prosperous peasants at a farm, and the homely customs of this rural community are presented in such loving detail, and their world itself seems so idyllic, so noble in its simplicity, that we feel evil could never enter there. We have sympathetic people with sympathetic desires put into a situation which is so impossible that it’s almost understandable that they could make the deal—if the villagers can’t complete the lord’s task and get back to harvest their fields, the whole village will perish, so maybe it makes sense to sacrifice one child.

In Christian mythology, the spider is, of course, associated with the Devil, and you’ve got the Green Huntsman of the story in that role as the source of the spider, so it should be easy to figure out.

Please note that these ratings solely represent the complete review ‘s biased interpretation and subjective opinion of the actual reviews and do not claim to gottehlf reflect or represent the views of the reviewers.

But I warrant that the members could no longer feel the summer heat as the tale reached its end.

All in all, a fine — and very memorable — story.