After one of their own people repeatedly fails to live up to a pact with the Devil, a petty and morally bankrupt village community is plagued by a swarm of deadly black spiders. Using a complex narrative structure, Gotthelf’s cautionary novella shrewdly dissects the
iniquitous social dynamics of rural life.
First published in 1842, The Black Spider displays its author’s talent for dark satire and realism, as well as the visionary powers of his imagination.
'I admire The Black Spider
like almost no other piece of world literature.' - Thomas Mann
Read an excerpt from The Black Spider