LIFE OF A GOOD-FOR-NOTHING by Joseph Von Eichendorff


Age Range: 1788 - 1857
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Unflappable Epicureanism suffuses this 1826 novella by a German Romantic writer (1788–1857) best known for his lyrical lieder. Von Eichendorff’s unnamed, highly engaging layabout (and narrator) is dismissed by his hardworking father, employed as a (particularly inept) assistant gardener at a Viennese estate whose beauteous daughter thereafter fills his dreams; then he’s subjected to miscellaneous adventures and perils in Italy and Austria (including encounters with Leonardo da Vinci and an abusive parrot), before a coincidence-driven finale rewards him with far more happiness than he has earned. A delightful tale, featuring a Candide who wouldn’t think of exerting himself to cultivate his garden, preferring instead to sit back and smell the flowers.

Pub Date: April 1st, 2003
ISBN: 1-84391-004-7
Page count: 110pp
Publisher: Hesperus/Trafalgar
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 2003