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[Murner the Ghost Kitty - a Gothic Tale]. Murner in der Hölle. Ein scherzhaftes Heldengedicht
Rostock: Johann Christian Koppe, 1767. Neue verbesserte Auflage. Softcover. Very good antiquarian condition. 4to. 42 pp. With an engraved title-vignette, 8 woodcut headpieces, and one engraved tailpiece (see below). Loose as issued in original printed "wrappers" (see below); text somewhat browned as is true in all copies on account of the paper stock. ADDED: a printout of the text of the 1791 English translation "Tabby in Elysium" (9 pages). Protected by a 3-flap mylar chemise and lig-free board. Highly curious, and very little-known poem which relates the consequences of failing to bury a cat named "Murner." The first lines of Canto I, translated into English, read: "Sing, smiling Muse! Sing the great heroic deeds and the miserable death of an immortal Cat; he passed the black banks of Cocytus; and his bones, as those of other heroes, were entombed in marble." Written in heroic hexameter, "Murner in Hell" tells the tale (tail) of Murner the Ghost Kitty who, having been killed whilst attacking a caged canary, haunts his owners because his corpse was not properly interred. Technically, the poem is a travesty on Book XI of the Odyssey, in which Elpenor pleads for Odysseus to bury his body. In the present Gothic Tale, Murner the cat haunts the whole house and its occupants until his corpse is buried. The title vignette depicts the Ghost Kitty in Hell (Cocytus) aboard Acheron's boat, tormented by Cerberus the three-headed Dog (see p. 30 in the text). The engraved tailpiece shows Murner's urn. Indirectly, the author raises the question: Are animals worthy of a proper burial? ADB XLIV, 634-641. See Goedeke IV:2, 71, 5; 8; 9.
      [Bookseller: Michael Laird Rare Books LLC]
Last Found On: 2018-02-24           Check availability:      Biblio    


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