04/19/2024, 04:06, Vienna  DEUTSCH / ENGLISH

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"Max and Moritz" is the story of two rascals told in "Seven Tricks" by the German poet and illustrator Wilhelm Busch. From the first to the last prank, there is a constant conflict between Max and Moritz and the villagers: nobody is spared from the evil deeds of the two boys. The two protagonists, however, are never there to witnesses their own deeds; the reader is the only one to keep an eye on all events. The author separates the reader from the persons in the story quite explicitly through the language:

“Ah, how oft we read or hear of Boys we almost stand in fear of!
For example, take these stories
Of two youths, named Max and Moritz.” (Busch W. 1978)

The direct form of addresses such as: Seht, da ist die Witwe Bolte [N.T. direct quote: See, there is the widow Bolte in English translation One of these was Widow Tibbets] or “O be joyful! all gone by Is the May bug´s deviltry!” create a distance between the reader, the boys and the villagers.
In this way, the reader and the observer of the story are enabled to participate in the evils deeds and to live out their own aggressiveness, without however being punished or even to have a guilty conscience. And that´s the humor about it! The reader, whether a child or an adult, experiences through it a pleasure....

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