Der blonde Eckbert: Ludwig Tieck: of Tieck’s best short novels, Der blonde Eckbert (“Fair Eckbert”), the fantastic story of an obsessive fear; this work won the . Blond Eckbert is an opera by Scottish composer Judith Weir. The composer wrote the English-language libretto herself, basing it on the cryptic supernatural short story Der blonde Eckbert by the German Romantic writer Ludwig Tieck. Der blonde Eckbert / Der Runenberg has ratings and 29 reviews. Nickolas the Kid said: Ο Ξανθός ΈκμπερτΗ γυναίκα του Έκμπερτ διηγείται ένα βράδυ στο.

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The Importance of Ambiguity in “Der blonde Eckbert”. In Tieck’s hands, however, the combination of these two fairly straightforward forms takes on a life of its own, confronting the reader with an astounding depth and intricacy: Tieck’s “Der blonde Eckbert,” published inis a classic example of this genre in early Romantic writing, incorporating representative philosophical as well as literary tendencies.

Significant, however, is that none of these themes is presented unambiguously; each is portrayed at times as positive, only to prove destructive or impossible in the end.

For Tieck, daily life and the fantastic have become inseparable; any attempt to live one without the other is doomed to failure. Psychology and philosophy, most notably conceptions from both Hlonde Moritz and J.

Fichte, work together in this complex system: The bourgeois society is condemned, but, as in Germany in the aftermath of the French Revolution, no redemptive paradigm can be found. Eckbert seeks to end his “entsetzliche Einsamkeit” but finds only dementia; in so doing, he destroys his previous lifestyle but is incapable of creating a new one.

As Ribbat writes, the subject in Tieck’s narratives “sucht [ The seemingly idyllic if unfruitful life of Eckbert and his wife Bertha, both of whom profess to be content in their protected isolation from society, is dealt a severe shock when Eckbert’s only close friend Walther comes to visit.

Eckbert, feeling a compulsion to reveal any and all secrets to his friend, prompts his wife to recount the odd story of her youth: During the woman’s frequent absences, Bertha learned to take care of the dog and the magic jewel-laying bird. One day, however, at the age of fourteen, Bertha decided to abandon the hut in search of human company and adventure. Leaving the dog behind but carrying the bird, whose jewels she sold for a fortune, she fled; soon afterwards, however, she was besieged by guilt, and strangled the bird.


Finally, still fearing retribution, she settled down and married Eckbert. As she closes her tale, Bertha notes that she cannot remember the name of the old woman’s dog; then, to her surprise, Walther reminds her rather offhandedly of the dog’s name, and takes his leave.

Eckbert the Blond – Wikisource, the free online library

This strange coincidence sends Bertha to her deathbed, wracked by doubts, and drives Eckbert to murder Walther in the woods.

Later, having found a sckbert friend in Hugo, Eckbert is again compelled to confess his story in full. After doing so, however, Eckbert becomes insanely suspicious of his friend; Hugo then proceeds to take on, to Eckbert’s eyes, the features of Walther, and finally, after his journey through the bonde and to the secluded hut, the features of the old woman as well.

Approaching insanity, Eckbert reels when the vengeful old woman reveals to him that Bertha was, in fact, his own sister.

Bewailing his life of horrific isolation, Eckbert collapses in madness and despair. Tieck’s narrative raises many questions, none of which can be answered eer, and all of which have provided critics and readers with ever-changing analyses and interpretations. Perhaps the most banal question is at once the farthest-reaching: Another question arises from Tieck’s rather ambivalent placement of natural elements: Some critics accuse Tieck, as the Berlin city-dweller, of sentimentalizing nature, and for evidence point to the first refrain of the bird’s chorus about the blissful innocence of Waldeinsamkeit.

This view ignores, however, the significant failings of nature for the characters themselves: The ambiguities that necessarily appear upon closer analysis of Tieck’s work eclbert, to my mind, their center in the ethical questions raised by the story.


Is Eckbert responsible for his own ecobert Is the old woman a symbol of judgment or revenge, meting out punishment to the wicked?

What, then, was Eckbert’s sin, and even Bertha’s, for that matter?

Eckbert the Blond

And finally, tiedk the outcome of the story lead us to believe that Eckbert had made a choice of free will, or is this simply the fulfillment of his fate? It is clear that Eckbert and Bertha are punished, even victimized, in the story; the question remains, however, with what justification, and why?

For Bertha, the answer can perhaps be found in her abandoning the dog and her duties in the secluded hut, thus violating the old woman’s trust; if this is true, however, then the figure of the old woman must be seen as having extended a trustworthy offer.

Significantly, though, this is not the case.

Der blonde Eckbert

If Bertha has failed her Probezeit in the forest, so too has the old woman failed: As such, holding Bertha responsible for her actions is at best a questionable endeavor. So too is Eckbert’s punishment rather inexplicable: Here the ambiguities surrounding the woman’s character run deep: Having led his life in a world of dwr own construction, holding firmly to his belief in free will, Eckbert has prohibited any intrusion of the irrational workings of his subconscious; as a result, he, like Blondf, is unprepared for the “fate” which awaits him in the form of the old woman, and cannot withstand the shock.

For the reader, the disturbance is similarly unsettling, leaving a distinct sense of unease and confusion, yet fulfilling precisely Tieck’s poetic goal. These ethical ambiguities, though, centering around the character of the old woman, remain and give rise to a multitude of other dilemmas and considerations, many of which have yet to be satisfactorily examined.