Peter Schlemihl

Peter Schlemihl

Peter Schlemihl is the title character of an 1814 novella, Peter Schlemihls wundersame Geschichte (Peter Schlemihl's Miraculous Story), written in German by exiled French aristocrat Adelbert von Chamisso. In the story, Schlemihl sells his shadow to the Devil for a bottomless wallet (the gold sack of Fortunatus), only to find that a man without a shadow is shunned by human societies. The woman he loves rejects him, and he himself becomes involved in guilt. Yet when the devil wants to return his shadow to him in exchange for his soul, Schlemihl, as the friend of God, rejects the proposal and throws away the bottomless wallet besides. He seeks refuge in nature and travels about the world in scientific exploration, with the aid of seven-league boots. When overtaken with sickness, he is reconciled with his fellow men who take care of him, and in regard for his sickness do not look for his shadow. Finally, however, he returns to his studies of nature and finds his deepest satisfaction in communion with nature and his own better self.

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Publisher Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
Release Date
ISBN 9781532717567
Pages 64 pages
Rating 4/5 (63 users)
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