The introduction to this volume intends first to introduce the theme of transgression in the works of the German Romantic author E.T.A. Hoffmann. First, Hoffmann’s life is briefly summarized through the lens of how he encountered and engaged with transgression through his own career as a lawyer and later as a judge, as well as through his transgressive behavior with respect to alcoholism and personal, asocial demeanor, and finally in the tales of aberrant psychology and crime that he penned. Next, the transgressive nature of his literary tales is revealed through a brief presentation of these themes in the novel Elixirs of the Devil. Finally, each chapter is introduced and contextualized within the overarching theme of “transgression” with respect to Hoffmann’s broad range of literary and artistic interests.
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