NPR : News

From Our Readers: Germany's Forest Boy, A Second Act?

"Joseph Erhardt" writes that the appearance and enigmatic identity of Germany's "Forest Boy" reminds him of the tale of Kaspar Hauser, who appeared in Nuremberg in the spring of 1828 with a very odd story as to his origins.

At the time, Hauser's claims that he was raised in an isolated cell by a man whose face he never saw stimulated much public debate and hypothesis.

Famed French poet Paul Verlaine was inspired to write a poem about the mysterious young man, and included it in his volume Sagesse (1881):

Kaspar Hauser Sings:

A quiet orphan, I came forth,

rich only in my tranquil eyes,
to men of the great towns of earth:
they've found me neither shrewd nor wise.

When I was twenty a new care,
the flames of love, set me aglow,
and I thought every woman fair:
but they have not found me so.

Although not being brave at all,
with neither king nor country, I
yet wished in some great war to die:
but death passed up a thing so small.

Born too early or too late,
what have I on earth to do?
My misery is deep and great:
pray for poor Kaspar, all of you!

(translated by C. F. MacIntyre)

Hauser died of a stabbing wound in 1833, but directed authorities towards a pouch at the scene of the crime. Inside was a note, allegedly from Hauser's early caretaker, yet curiously folded exactly as Hauser was known to fold his notes.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Jhumpa Lahiri Finds Freedom In Italian Memoir: 'No One Expected Me To Do It'

The Interpreter of Maladies author is a successful, Pulitzer Prize-winning English-language writer. But she found writing in Italian gave her true freedom; "Language is a very messy thing," she says.
NPR

Gulf Of Mexico Open For Fish-Farming Business

For the first time, companies can apply to set up fish farms in U.S. federal waters. The government says the move will help reduce American dependence on foreign seafood and improve security.
WAMU 88.5

What's Behind Trends In U.S. Violent Crime Rates

FBI data suggest there was a slight uptick in violent crime in the first half of last year, but overall violent crime rates in the U.S. have dropped dramatically over the last twenty years. What led to the long-term decline, and why do some say it’s likely to continue?

WAMU 88.5

Blocked: Twitter's Role In Combating Violent Extremism

Over the course of seven months, Twitter has suspended over 125,000 accounts for threatening or promoting terrorist acts.

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