five gothic and surreal tales you should read.

best five gothic books

escaping into the thick, chilling haze of a good gothic or surreal novel is one of my most beloved passions. let me present you the five sinister tales of the 19th and 20th century i love most. please enjoy - what is your favorite surreal or gothic novel?

e. t. a. hoffmann - the devil's elixir (1815/1816)

eta hoffmann the devils elixir

Carl Blechen, Pater Medardus (1826), after E. T. A. Hoffmann’s The Devil’s Elixir

medardus is sent to the monastery, set to amend for the sins of his father. but soon, the slave of a weak will, yields to tempation.


e. a. poe - ligeia (1838)

ea poe skeleton

e.a. poe with a skeleton and skull.

'And the will therein lieth, which dieth not. Who knoweth the mysteries of the will, with its vigor? For God is but a great will pervading all things by nature of its intentness. Man doth not yield himself to the angels, nor unto death utterly, save only through the weakness of his feeble will.'


e. t. a. hoffmann - the sandman (1816)

eta hoffmann the devils elixir

Nathanael's Dream after E.T.A. Hoffmann's The Sandman, Performer: Petar Miloshevski, Choreography: Liana Nyquist

the young student nathanael, being haunted by the eerie incidents of his childhood, enlaces himself deeper and deeper in his gloomy fantasies, after he encounters a strange italian salesman and hopelessly falls in love with his mysterious daughter.


franz kafka - the metamorphosis (1912)

franz kafka the metamorphosis

gregor samsa wakes up to find himself transformed into a human-sized insect, sending him onto an absurd and surreal journey.


theodor storm - the rider on the white horse (1888)

theodor storm rider on the white horse

a traveler finds himself in a wicked storm, catching a glimpse of a mysterious spectral rider. when he finally finds shelter at an inn, the locals unveil the story of the rider on the white horse.

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