Dienstag, 30. Oktober 2012

The one with the only book I read out - MoFo Book Challenge #29 - The Sandman by E.T.A Hoffmann

I came in touch with this book because a friend had to read it for school and was too lazy, so she bought the audio book and we wanted to listen to it together, but the narrator was so terrible that we turned it off and I promised to read it out instead. The Sandman is part of Hoffmann's book Night Pieces and one of German horror classics. It contains several themes: it is a story about childhood fears and how they haunt the main character even years later, about gothic stories coming to life, about madness and alchemical experiments.
Nathaniel, a young boy, is often lying awake because he is afraid of the Sandman, a monster that comes to children who are not asleep to steal their eyes to feed them to his children that live on the moon. As his father is often visited by a strange man, he guesses this mysterious man called Coppelius must be the Sandman. One day he hides in his father's room to catch a glimpse of the Sandman, but is discovered. His father begs Coppelius to spare Nathaniel's eyes. One week later the father dies from a mysterious experiment and Coppelius vanishes without a trace.
When Nathaniel is a young adult he meets a man whom he identifies as Coppelius, even though the facts prompt that he is not. As he tries to prove the true identity, he comes across a young woman called Olimpia. He immediately falls in love with her, leaves his fiancée and even though everyone around is suspicious as Olimpia seams dull, motionless and stupid with strangely mechanical actions, he wants to propose to her. When he arrives he finds the man he suspected to be Coppelius and Olimpia's father arguing over her motionless body and who made the eyes and the clockwork, this finally supplies evidence that the man is the hated enemy. Coppelius wins the struggle and flees with the robot body; he vanishes without a trace. The sight of Olimpia's eyes lying on the floor drives Nathaniel to insanity and so he is taken to the asylum.

When Nathaniel recovered from insanity he goes back to his old fiancée, proposes again and she accepts. They decide to move to a pleasant estate near their home town and on their way to visit the town, they climb the high steeple to look out at the view. Suddenly the madness strikes Nathaniel again and he tries to hurl his fiancée from the steeple. Luckily she is saved by her brother. Immediately a crowd gathers below and Nathaniel spots Coppelius in it, he yells "pretty eyes, pretty eyes!" and leaps over the railing to his death. 

I decided to go with the eyeball theme and I think this is really versatile when it comes to Halloween and other horror stories. I think the horror effect doesn't really come clear in the pictures, but it looked really disgusting and still was delicious, strange world ;)
I would not call this a recipe, but I give you directions on what to do to create eyeball jelly:

Eyeball Pot

lychees (peeled&pitted), cranberries

cherry juice (or any other red juice)
agar agar
(amount of juice, agar and sugar depends on the jar used)

1. prepare eyeballs:
stuff cranberries in lychees and put in a jar
2. prepare jelly:
bring cherry juice, sugar and agar to the boil then immediately pour into jar and store in fridge overnight

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