The Info List - Max And Moritz

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MAX AND MORITZ (A STORY OF SEVEN BOYISH PRANKS) (original: MAX UND MORITZ - Eine Bubengeschichte in sieben Streichen) is a German language illustrated story in verse. This highly inventive, blackly humorous tale, told entirely in rhymed couplets , was written and illustrated by Wilhelm Busch
Wilhelm Busch
and published in 1865. It is among the early works of Busch, nevertheless it already features many substantial, effectually aesthetic and formal regularities, procedures and basic patterns of Busch's later works. Many familiar with comic strip history consider it to have been the direct inspiration for the Katzenjammer Kids
Katzenjammer Kids
and Quick one of the two was destroyed, the other captured at Stalingrad. It is currently on display at the Kubinka Tank Museum.

After World War 2, German-U.S. composer Richard Mohaupt created together with choreographer Alfredo Bortoluzzi the dance burlesque (Tanzburleske) Max und Moritz , which premiered at Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe on December 18, 1949.


The widow's four chickens (first trick) The widow's house (second trick) Sawing through the bridge planks (third trick) The teacher with his pipe (fourth trick) The uncle and the May bugs (fifth trick) The baker with Max and Moritz
Max and Moritz
covered in dough (sixth trick) The fate of Max and Moritz
Max and Moritz
(final trick)

There have been several English translations of the original German verses over the years, but all have maintained the original trochaic tetrameter :


Ah, how oft we read or hear of Boys we almost stand in fear of! For example, take these stories Of two youths, named Max and Moritz, Who, instead of early turning Their young minds to useful learning, Often leered with horrid features At their lessons and their teachers.

Look now at the empty head: he Is for mischief always ready. Teasing creatures - climbing fences, Stealing apples, pears, and quinces, Is, of course, a deal more pleasant, And far easier for the present, Than to sit in schools or churches, Fixed like roosters on their perches

But O dear, O dear, O deary, When the end comes sad and dreary! 'Tis a dreadful thing to tell That on Max and Moritz
Max and Moritz
fell! All they did this book rehearses, Both in pictures and in verses.


The boys tie several crusts of bread together with thread, and lay this trap in the chicken yard of Bolte, an old widow, causing all the chickens to become fatally entangled.

This prank is remarkably similar to the eighth history of the classic German prankster tales of Till Eulenspiegel .


As the widow cooks her chickens, the boys sneak onto her roof. When she leaves her kitchen momentarily, the boys steal the chickens using a fishing pole down the chimney. The widow hears her dog barking and hurries upstairs, finds the hearth empty and beats the dog.


The boys torment Böck, a well-liked tailor who has a fast stream flowing in front of his house. They saw through the planks of his wooden bridge, making a precarious gap, then taunt him by making goat noises (a pun on his name being similar to the zoological expression 'buck'), until he runs outside. The bridge breaks; the tailor is swept away and nearly drowns (but for two geese, which he grabs a hold of and which fly high to safety).

Although Till removes the planks of the bridge instead of sawing them there are some similarities to Till Eulenspiegel (32nd History).


While their devout teacher, Lämpel, is busy at church, the boys invade his home and fill his favorite pipe with gunpowder. When he lights the pipe, the blast knocks him unconscious, blackens his skin and burns away all his hair. But: "Time that comes will quick repair; yet the pipe retains its share."


The boys collect bags full of May bugs , which they promptly deposit in their Uncle Fritz's bed. Uncle is nearly asleep when he feels the bugs walking on his nose. Horrified, he goes into a frenzy, killing them with a shoe.


The boys invade a bakery which they believe is closed. Attempting to steal pretzels, they fall into a vat of dough. The baker returns, catches the breaded pair, and bakes them. But they survive, and escape by gnawing through their crusts.


Hiding out in the grain storage area of a farmer, Mecke, the boys slit some grain sacks. Carrying away one of the sacks, farmer Mecke immediately notices the problem. He puts the boys in the sack instead, then takes it to the mill. The boys are ground to bits and devoured by the miller’s ducks. Later, no one expresses regret. (The mill really exists in Ebergötzen , Germany, and can be visited)


Max und Moritz was adapted into a ballet by Richard Mohaupt and Alfredo Bortuluzzi . In 1956 Norbert Schultze adapted it into a straightforward children's film, Max und Moritz (1956), while Thomas Frydetzki and Annette Stefan made a more loose, satirical adaptation in 2005 named Max und Moritz Reloaded. The comic was also adapted into two 1978 animated TV specials.


* ^ Ruby, Daniel (1998). Schema und Variation – Untersuchungen zum Bildergeschichtenwerk Wilhelm Buschs (in German). Frankfurt am Main: Europäische Hochschulschriften. p. 11. ISBN 3-631-49725-3 . * ^ "The German presidential elections in June 2010" (in German). Retrieved 2010-08-02. * ^ "Von Richthofen\'s Belongings.......". theaerodrome.com. Retrieved 2015-06-14. * ^ Richthofen, M. (1972). The red air fighter. Arno Press. ISBN 9780405037849 . Retrieved 2015-06-14. * ^ "Wanpaku monogatari" (in Japanese). Retrieved 2010-08-02. * ^ Derleth, August in Dirks, Rudolph : The Katzenjammer Kids, Dover Publications , New York 1974 * ^ "8th history of Till Eulenspiegel" (in German). Retrieved 2010-08-02. * ^ "32nd history of Till Eulenspiegel" (in German). Retrieved 2010-08-02. * ^ https://www.lambiek.net/artists/b/busch.htm * ^ https://www.lambiek.net/artists/b/busch.htm * ^ https://www.lambiek.net/artists/b/busch.htm * ^