Till Eulenspiegel

Till Eulenspiegel

Patron Saint of this Blog

Entertaining prankster, or dangerously provocative troublemaker? It depends on your point of view.

Till Eulenspiegel, a legendary figure from German folklore, relishes deflating the arrogant, the smug and the superior.

Till was real enough to have a statue erected in his memory in the town of Malln, where according to legend he died in 1350 of the black plague. His gravestone bore no written name, only the chiseled image of an owl with a looking glass.

The name Eulenspiegel means “Owl’s Mirror” and alludes to an old adage, “One sees one’s own faults no more clearly than an owl sees its own ugliness in a looking glass.”

no-2.JPGThe earliest known complete edition of Eulenspiegel’s adventures was written by an unknown author who used the pen name “N.” Printed in 1515 by Johannes Graninger, it was accompanied by woodcuts by Hans Baldung Grien, a friend and assistant to Albrecht Durer (1471-1528).

It is believed “N”was Hermann Bote (ca. 1460-1520), a customs scribe with a sarcastic streak.

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