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About the Author: Jakob Wassermann

Born in Fürth, Wassermann was the son of a shopkeeper and lost his mother at an early age. He showed literary interest early and published various pieces in small newspapers. Because his father was reluctant to support his literary ambitions, he began a short-lived apprenticeship with a businessman in Vienna after graduation.
He completed his military service in Nuremberg. Afterward, he stayed in southern Germany and in Switzerland. In 1894 he moved to Munich. Here he worked as a secretary and later as a copy editor at the paper Simplicissimus. Around this time he also became acquainted with other writers Rainer Maria Rilke, Hugo von Hofmannsthal, and Thomas Mann.
In 1896 he released his first novel, Melusine. Interestingly, his last name (Wassermann) means "water-man" in German; a "Melusine" (or "Melusina") is a figure of European legends and folklore, a feminine spirit of fresh waters in sacred springs and rivers.
From 1898 he was a theater critic in Vienna. In 1901 he married Julie Speyer, whom he divorced in 1915. Three years later he was married again to Marta Karlweis.
After 1906, he lived alternatively in Vienna or at Altaussee in der Steiermark where he died in 1934 after a severe illness.
In 1926, he was elected to the Prussian Academy of Art. He resigned in 1933, narrowly avoiding an expulsion by the Nazis. In the same year, his books were banned in Germany owing to his Jewish ancestry.
Wassermann's work includes poetry, essays, novels, and short stories. His most important works are considered the novel Der Fall Maurizius (1928) and the autobiography, My Life as German and Jew (Mein Weg als Deutscher und Jude) (1921), in which he discussed the tense relationship between his German and Jewish identities.


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Goodreads rating: 3.13

, by Reclam

ISBN10: 3150069009 | ISBN13: 9783150069004

Page count: 72

1923 als Teil der Sammlung „Der Geist der Pilger“ erschienen, ist die Geschichte Das Gold von Caxamalca eine fast authentische Episode aus der Zeit der Eroberung des südamerikanischen Kontinents durch die spanischen Konquistadoren. Im Kloster Limas schreibt der Mönch Domingo de Soira Luce die Ereignisse auf, die zur Hinrichtung des Inkas Atahuallpa führten. Wassermann konfrontiert die Welt des edlen Wilden mit den Sitten und Gebräuchen der Eroberer. Im Mittelpunkt steht das Gold, für Atahuallpa ein „nichtiges Ding“ für die Spanier ihr Gott oder der „Traum der Träume“. Die Inkas schaffen enorme Goldschätze zur Rettung Atahuallpas herbei, aber der wird vom Dolmetscher Felipillo denunziert und schließlich wegen Verrats zum Tod auf dem Scheiterhaufen verurteilt.

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