The Life and Opinions of the Tomcat Murr, together with a fragmentary Biography of Kapellmeister Johannes Kreisler on Random Sheets of Waste Paper is a Romantic novel by E. T. A. Hoffmann, written in two volumes (a planned third part wasn't finished due to Author Existence Failure) in 1819 to 1821.
The book is a deliberately over-the-top parody of the genius concept in Romanticism as well a satire on the highlife of Hoffmann's time. Its unusual form consists of two biographies sliced into one: the autobiography of the pretentious Tomcat Murr, and the biography about the genius musician Johannes Kreisler, whose servant Master Abraham is the owner of Murr.
Animal Tropes brought to you by the genius tomcat Murr:
- Anachronic Order: The Kreisler segments.
- Brotherhood of Funny Hats: The novel's brotherhood of cats, as a parody on Studentenverbindungen, ambiguously militaristic and authoritarian associations of elite students.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Johannes Kreisler, oh my god, Kreisler. He almost has No Social Skills and randomly disappears or practices at 2 in the morning, but is also one of the most accomplished musicians and composers of his time.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass / Took a Level in Badass: Being a barely respected new member of the brotherhood of cats, he is involved into a duel and discovers his great agility. He wins and thus is considered a Badass by his peers.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Something bad happened to Hektor in Italy, but we never get to know.
- Deadpan Snarker: Among the positively Romantic cast, Master Abraham stands out as the snarkiest guy.
- Direct Line to the Author: Hoffmann states in the foreword that he merely is the editor for Murr.
- Doppelgänger: Kreisler gets a minor Heroic BSoD when he considers that he is one of Mad Artist Leonhard Ettlinger.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: Muzius' sudden death by a paw infection.
- Duel to the Death: When Murr battles a rival, he nearly kills him.
- Heartbroken Badass: Master Abraham, who misses his beloved Chiara and happened to be an undercover agent back in his days at Italy.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: Multiple: Kreisler / Abraham, Murr / Muzius, Princess Hedwiga / Julia.
- Large Ham: Tomcat Murr, one of the Largest Hams you will find in the realm of animals.
- Long Title
- Love Dodecahedron: Princess Hedwiga crushed on the Prince Hektor, who in turn crushed on Julia, who crushed on Kreisler, who crushed on the Princess.
- Mad Artist: The painter Leonhard Ettlinger went insane.
- Mr. Imagination: Kreisler and Master Abraham both have their moments.
- Ms. Fanservice: Julia, for the Kreisler segments, and the cat Miesmies, at least according to Murr.
- Mysterious Past: Master Abraham, who gets recognized by Prince Hektor from his Dark and Troubled Past in Italy.
- No Social Skills: Zigzagged with Kreisler, who is occasionally portrayed as genuinely antisocial (especially when dealing with authority figures), but is popular in the court and has many friends.
- Unreliable Narrator: The pretentious tomcat Murr, who constantly brags about himself while his actual list of achievements is small.
- Scrapbook Story
- Small Name, Big Ego: Tomcat Murr runs with this trope, even after he Took a Level in Badass.
- Surprise Incest: The beautiful cat that Murr tries to seduce after the funeral of his best friend Muzius is actually his daughter.
- Talking Animal: Neatly played with as Murr is a writing animal.