Doge and Dogaresse

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Doge and Dogaresse is a story by ETA Hoffmann , which was written in the summer of 1817 and published in the autumn of 1818 in the "Paperback for the year 1819. Dedicated to love and friendship" by the Wilmans brothers in Frankfurt am Main by Dr. Stephan Schütze was published. In 1819 the text appeared in the third section of the second volume of the collection " Die Serapionsbrüder " at G. Reimer in Berlin.

Right in the picture: The Doge's Palace in Venice


Carl Wilhelm Kolbe the Elder J .: Doge and Dogaresse, 1816

The Serapion brother Ottmar ( Julius Eduard Hitzig ) reads from his manuscript. Two storylines running in parallel, one containing the love story of Antonio alias Anton Dalbirger and also the story of the reign of Doge Marino Falieri , are finally brought together. The two references to the oil painting “Doge and Dogaresse” by Carl Wilhelm Kolbe serve as a framework . ETA Hoffmann saw it in September 1816 at the Akademie der Künste . A black and white copy ( Bamberg State Library ) of the picture can be found in the edition used after p. 1199 on Fig. 4 (part of the picture, p. VI). ETA Hoffmann refers to one of his sources - Johann Friedrich LeBret : "State history of the Republic of Venice, from its origins to our times" (1769–1777).

The fearsome sea ​​in front of Venice plays a major role in several passages in the text . For example, when the lovers Antonio and Annunziata drowned in it with Margaretha at the end of the text, ETA Hoffmann wrote: “O my Antonio! - Oh my Annunziata! 'So they shouted, ignoring the storm, which was raging and roaring more and more terribly. Then the sea, the jealous widow of the beheaded Falieri, stretched up the foaming waves like giant arms, seized the lovers and tore them and the old woman down into the bottomless abyss! "

Text form: Paragraphs are a rarity. Quotation marks are set by the author (as can be observed in his other works) or left out as the mood takes them. Nevertheless, the narrative is legible. ETA Hoffmann's style appears to be fluid and in places almost reaches poetic heights.


In the late summer of 1354, just as the Genoese admiral Paganino Doria was cruising in front of Venice, the doge died . Marino Bodoeri, the oldest councilor, successfully proposes his old friend, the 80-year-old Marino Falieri , who is currently in Avignon , as his successor.

Lying in front of the pillars of the Doge's Palace , Antonio, a young porter beaten up in the harbor, feels his end is near. An old, giggling begging woman whom Antonio - alias Anton from Augsburg - knows, pulls the supposedly dying man up. The sea ​​storms in the Gulf of Venice during the return of the Marino Falieri. Antonio, reawakened by the beggar woman's ointments, jumps into a "small fishing boat" and rescues the new Doge, who is in distress at sea, from his magnificent Bucintoro . A bad omen accompanies the arrival of the new ruler. In a hurry, Marino Falieri is led through those two pillars on a path that offenders usually have to pass before their execution. In the palace the doge gives his rescuer three thousand zechines . This is the end of this case for Marino Falieri. He actually only has worries , but the new office also brings the old man a convenience. Marino Bodoeri brings his 19-year-old niece, the virgin Annunziata, to the bachelor as a wife. The very young wife with the pure angelic disposition is highly sought after by the young Venetians, especially Michaele Steno . The jealous doge takes action against the hot spur. At Giovedi grasso , Antonio celebrates the acrobatic-risky angel flight over St. Mark's Square , presents Annunziata with a bouquet of flowers at the height of the dangerous aviation and names the beautiful woman by her name. From then on Antonio and Annunziata are lovers. Disguised, Antonio approaches the lovely lover and is familiarized with his forgotten origins and past by the beggar woman - as it were in an anamnesis procedure. The beggar woman is his old nurse and nurse, the faithful Margaretha, daughter of a surgeon. Antonio's mother had died during his birth. Antonio's father, a wealthy Augsburg merchant, had been slandered as a counterfeiter and executed in Venice. Margaretha had Antonio with the "noble Venetian" Bertuccio Nenolo in a country house near Treviso . There the boy had grown up with Nenolo's daughter Annunziata.

The doge heads a conspiracy against the Signory . He wants to become the sovereign Duke of Venice, i.e. sole ruler. Bertuccio Nenolo wins Antonio as a conspirator. The company fails. The Signory has the conspirators, among them Marino Bodoeri and Bertuccio Nenolo, strangled and beheaded the Doge in front of his palace . On the run in a boat to Chiozza , Annunziata, Antonio and Margaretha perish on the high seas.


19th century
Recent comments
  • ETA Hoffmann uses clichés, caricatures the medical profession and writes trivially.
  • The imaginative ETA Hoffmann borrowed from Gotthilf Heinrich von Schubert'sViews from the Night Side of Natural Science ” (Arnoldische Buchhandlung Dresden 1808) for the alchemical and mesmerismic passages concerning the healer and visionary Margaretha . According to Heimes, the author also proclaimed Schubert's view of life and death when depicting the mutual death of the lovers. In the context of the anamnesis mentioned above, Margaretha treated - in modern terms - an Oedipus complex with Antonio.
  • Heimes names further work: Dieterele (Marburg 1988), Klier (Hoffmann-Jahrbuch 1999, p. 29) and Neumann (Bild und Schrift in der Romantik, Würzburg 1999, p. 107). Feldt (quoted in Kaiser, p. 84, 3. Zvo) discusses the 1982 novella in more detail.


The first edition in the Serapion Brothers

  • Doge and Dogaresse in: The Serapionsbrüder. Collected stories and fairy tales. Published by ETA Hoffmann. Second volume. Berlin 1819. With G. Reimer. 614 pp.

Used edition

  • ETA Hoffmann: Doge and Dogaresse p. 429–483 in: Wulf Segebrecht (Ed.): ETA Hoffmann: The Serapions Brothers. German classic publisher in paperback. Vol. 28. Frankfurt am Main 2008, ISBN 978-3-618-68028-4 (corresponds to: Vol. 4 in: Wulf Segebrecht (Ed.): "ETA Hoffmann: Complete Works in Seven Volumes", Frankfurt am Main 2001)

Secondary literature

  • Gerhard R. Kaiser: ETA Hoffmann. Metzler, Stuttgart 1988, ISBN 3-476-10243-2 . (Metzler Collection; 243; realities on literature)
  • Gerhard Schulz : The German literature between the French Revolution and the restoration. Part 2. The Age of the Napoleonic Wars and the Restoration: 1806–1830. C. H. Beck, Munich 1989, ISBN 3-406-09399-X .
  • Alexandra Heimes: Doge and Dogaresse. P. 298–303 in: Detlef Kremer (Ed.): ETA Hoffmann. Life - work - effect. Walter de Gruyter, Berlin 2009, ISBN 978-3-11-018382-5


  1. Margaretha, the beggar woman's name, looks ninety but is only fifty. Her skills as a wound healer had drawn the envy of the Ciarlatani on St. Mark's Square, the Rialto and the Zecca . After her arrest by the superstitious Venetians, she was handed over to the torturers by a spiritual court and cruelly disfigured. Thanks to an earthquake, her prison door had opened.

Individual evidence

  1. Segebrecht, p. 1399, 12. Zvu and Heimes, p. 298, 10. Zvo
  2. Segebrecht, p. 1399, 7. Zvo
  3. Segebrecht in the edition used, p. 1221, 4. Zvo and p. 1681 middle
  4. Edition used, p. 478, 27. Zvo
  5. Heimes, p. 298, 11. Zvo
  6. see also Segebrecht, p. 1654
  7. Edition used, p. 483, 1. Zvo
  8. Heimes, p. 298, 5th Zvu
  9. Edition used, p. 482, 6. Zvo
  10. Heimes, p. 303, 9. Zvo
  11. Schwenck, quoted in Segebrecht, p. 1401, 4th Zvu
  12. ^ Kugler, quoted in Segebrecht, p. 1402, 5th Zvu
  13. ^ Kaiser, p. 71, 5. Zvo
  14. Schulz, p. 442, 20. Zvo
  15. Friedhelm Auhuber in 1985, quoted in Segebrecht, p. 1401, 13. Zvu
  16. Heimes, p. 299, 6. Zvo
  17. Heimes, p. 303, 9th Zvu
  18. Heimes, p. 303, 16. Zvo
  19. Heimes, p. 299, 5th Zvu
  20. quoted in Heimes: Bernard Dieterle: “Narrated pictures. On the narrative handling of paintings "
  21. quoted in Heimes: Melanie Klier: “Kunstsehen. ETA Hoffmann's literary painting Doge and Dogaresse "
  22. quoted in Heimes: Gerhard Neumann : “Narration und Bildlichkeit. For the staging of a romantic pattern of fate in ETA Hoffmann's novella Doge and Dogaresse "
  23. Segebrecht in the edition used, p. 1221 above

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