erlking


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erlking

(ˈɜːlˌkɪŋ)
n
(European Myth & Legend) German myth a malevolent spirit who carries children off to death
[C18: from German Erlkönig, literally: alder king, coined in 1778 by Herder, a mistranslation of Danish ellerkonge king of the elves]
References in periodicals archive ?
Melancholy had been one of the formative features of German Romanticism, most prominently exemplified in the tragic play Faust or the winter poem, The Erlking, by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, himself known to have suffered from depression and possibly bipolar disorder (Holm-Hadulla et al.
The total effect is to suggest other worlds and, drawing from his country's dramatic landscapes and deep-rooted Norse mythology, Frans' paintings feature strange dogs and winged horses - one of a horse and a rider in a wasteland is like a scene plucked from Goethe's spooky poem The Erlking.
Coached to "let the weak disappear" by a pedophiliac black marketeer, a kind of Nazi Erlking who was once his schoolteacher, the child poisons his ailing father and then kills himself, less out of contrition than despair.
The latter is nicely characterized between the narrator, boy, father and Erlking, but Berg maintains the intimate lieder quality without making it operatic, as is sometimes the case with young singers.