E. T. A. Hoffmann (1776-1822) was one of the best known and most influential authors of his time. Phantasiestucke, his earliest collection of tales, appeared in 1814. This was followed three years later by Nachstucke and then in 1819-21 by Die Serapoins bruder. Among his longer works is his second and final novel, Die Lebensansichten des Katers Murr (The Life and Opinions of the Tomcat Murr), which represents the highpoint of his art. He exploited the grotesque and the bizarre in a manner unmatched by any other Romantic writer.
Joachim Neugroschel (translator, 1938-2011) won three PEN translation awards and the French-American Foundation Translation Prize. He translated Thomas Mann's Death in Venice and Sacher-Masoch's Venus in Furs, among other works, for Penguin Classics.