Rudolf Erich Raspe

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Raspe, Rudolf Erich


Born 1737 in Hanover; died 1794 in Muckross, Ireland. German writer.

In 1786, Raspe anonymously published an English translation of the adventures of Munchausen from the German collection The Merry Folks’ Companion (1781–83), to which he added episodes from English history. The stories can be traced back to folk, ancient Greek and Roman, and oriental anecdotes and center on the actual life of Baron K. F. Münchhausen, who served in the Russian Army and who Raspe claimed was the author of the book. The authorship of the book has never been conclusively established. The name “Munchausen” has come to mean a teller of tall tales.


Baron Munchausen’s Narrative of His Marvellous Travels and Campaigns in Russia, part 1. Oxford, 1786.
In Russian translation:
Udivitel’nye prikliucheniia, puteshestviia i voennye podvigi barona Miunkhgauzena. Petrograd-Moscow, 1923. (Translated from English and edited by K. Chukovskii.)


Istoriia nemetskoi literatury, vol. 2. Moscow, 1963.
Carswell, J. The Prospector: Being the Life and Times of R. E. Raspe. London, 1950.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Peer Gynt also resembles Baron Munchausen, the 18th-century book by Rudolf Erich Raspe that Terry Gilliam adapted into the film The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, starring the Monty Python ensemble.
The fourth chapter examines Baron Munchausen's Narrative of his Marvellous Travels, written by natural philosopher Rudolf Erich Raspe, which, instead of "inviting an unstable vacillation between belief and skepticism," "solicits credulity suspended within skepticism" and suggests that this posture "should be one's default orientation towards the world" (154).
According to press materials, the fragmented heroine is Sally Salt from Rudolf Erich Raspe's Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1785), imagined here as Genene Jones, a pediatric nurse convicted in 1984 of murdering her charges.