Rudolf Erich Raspe: Baron Munchausen's Narrative of his Marvellous Travels and Campaigns in Russia

(1763 words)
  • Sarah Kareem (University of Chicago )

“Munchausen” is likely a name with which most of us are familiar. What that name conjures up is less predictable; perhaps the headline-grabbing psychiatric disorder in which patients fabricate their symptoms; or maybe the image of a jovial, portly, well-heeled figure replete with beaky nose, rosy cheeks, and twirling moustache will come to mind, as Munchausen has been portrayed in several twentieth-century movies, most recently Terry Gilliam's 1988 epic extravaganza. But was he man or myth? English or German? Did he emerge in the eighteenth or nineteenth century? The answer to all of these questions, appropriately enough for a character who defies true / false distinction, is: “both”.

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Kareem, Sarah. "Baron Munchausen's Narrative of his Marvellous Travels and Campaigns in Russia". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 06 October 2004
[, accessed 26 September 2016.]

Related Groups

  1. Picaresque narrative
  2. Children's Literature