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SPOTLIGHT: ETA Hoffman & the Genius of Simplicity

Monday, January 25, 2016





A self-portrait by ETA Hoffman


Today is ETA Hoffman's birthday (he was born 24 January 1776) and so I thought I'd share just a little of my own interest in this fascinating writer.

He is best known as the author of the 'The Nutcracker & the Mouse King', which inspired the famous Nutcracker ballet with its wonderful score by Tchaikovsky. It is one of my all-time favourite ballets, and helped inspire my lifelong love of ballet. 

He also wrote a number of strange and wonderful stories, of which the best known would be 'The Sandman'.  

However, the way in which he has most influenced me is in this wonderful quotation about artistic creation:


"Is it not in absolute simplicity that real genius plies its pinions most wonderfully?"


I remind myself of this often!

Here is another of my favourite Hoffman quotes:






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