Wilhelm Busch

» Max and Moritz «

A Story of Two Bad Boys in Seven Tricks.
Translated by Ann Elizabeth Wild
With all illustrations in colour
English and German

64 pages
ISBN 978-3-937467-94-8


Ann Elizabeth Wild’s Max and Moritz is a congenial new rendering into modern English of the “story of two bad boys in seven tricks.” She not only succeeds in faithfully translating the original using Busch’s favourite trochaic tetrameter, but also manages most convincingly to convey the author’s sense of humour and wit, and to echo his mastery of language and skill of versification. We are pleased to publish her translation for the first time. Printing the German text next to the English will give readers fluent (or interested) in both languages the opportunity to compare Busch’s famous original with Ann Wild’s fine translation. (From the Preface).

Oh! How often tales of sly,
Naughty children make us sigh.
These two here played wicked games –
Max and Moritz were their names –
And they had no time for learning,
Or for growing more discerning,
And advice to mend their ways
Had them sniggering for days.
But for things they shouldn't do
They had time enough, these two.
Teasing, hurting man and beast,
Robbing fruit trees for a feast,
That is clearly much more fun,
And, when all is said and done,
Easier than church or school,
Sitting still upon a stool.