A lawyer by day and a creator of a world of fantasy by night, Hoffman (1776-1822) lived a Jekyll and Hyde existence. Many of the characters in his stories are subject to a similar split personality.
The duality of his nature is frequently reflected in some of his characters--Cardillac the goldsmith in Mademoiselle de Scud ry
and Nathaniel in The Sandman
, for example. Cardillac is a virtuous, industrious man by day but a violent criminal at night, while Nathaniel, obsessed by a childhood fantasy, is driven to madness and cruelty.
These tales can be read on several levels... View More...