Cats in the 19th Century (Part 20-The Life and Opinions of Tomcat Murr)

Tomcat MurrThe Life and Opinions of the Tomcat Murr is an autobiography of a cat written (1819-1821) by the German writer and composer, E.T.A. Hoffmann (1776-1822).  The story is about the very literate  and precocious Tomcat Murr who decides to write  his own autobiography.  He feels he should write it because he has lived a full life and has something important to tell.  As a cat, he has been a human underling, relegated to an inferior existence to humans, but in his own cat way, he doesn’t care.  

Of course Tomcat Murr believes himself superior to humans because he is feline.  Murr is a well-read cat and looks down upon those who are not as educated as himself.  Murr writes his autobiography on scraps of paper that he has found which are the ripped apart fragments of the composer Johannes Kreisler’s manuscript.  Because of this, Murr intersperses his story with pieces of Kreisler’s story and the two are merged.   The two versions alternate side by side in a double narrative: the story of the intelligent confident carouser and sometimes thug, Tomcat Murr, and the genius, albeit moody, hypochondriac Kreisler.  These two amazingly different characters portray the ridiculous and the profound while making their way through their routine daily lives. 



Tomcat Murr


Want to know more about the cat in literature, art and history? Then Revered and Reviled is the book for  you. Now available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle formats. 

Revered and Reviled: A Complete History of the Domestic Cat, cat history, cats


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