The Golden Pot
From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
"The Golden Pot" fairy tale is about Anselmus, a young man who has a split personality. His real life is dull, ordinary, and without meaning. Life in his fantasy dreams is exciting, unusual and important. His friends, such as theology professor Paulmann, the professor's daughter Veronica, and the college registrar Heerbrand all regard him as essentially "mad."
Influences of published works
The "deepening" of The Golden Pot probably also was influenced by published works that Hoffmann is known to have read shortly before and during the period of his work on the novella (Feldges & Stadler 1986, 72). Important appears to be Gotthilf Heinrich von Schubert's Views on the Night Side of the Natural Sciences [Ansichten von der Nachtseite der Naturwissenschaften]. The theories of the romantic mythologist and linguist Johann Arnold Kannes, and Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling's Ideas for a Philosophy of Nature as Introduction to the Study of this Science [Ideen zu einer Philosophie der Natur als Einleitung in das Studium dieser Wissehschaft] also appear to have had an influence on The Golden Pot. Hoffmann also read Montfaucon de Villar's Count of Gabalis or Conversations on the Hidden Sciences [Le Comte de Gabalis ou Entretiens des Sciences Secrètes], from which he clearly derived material for his depiction of the elemental spirits (Robertson 1992, xiii).