The Life and Opinions of the Tomcat Murr
Author E.T.A. Hoffmann.
It was first published in 1819-1821
An English translation by Anthea Bell was published in 1999
From the cover sleeve: "Tomcat Murr is a loveable, self-taught animal who has written his own autobiography. But a printer's error causes his story to be accidentally mixed and spliced with a book about the composer Johannes Kreisler. As the two versions break off and alternate at dramatic moments, two wildly different characters emerge from the confusion - Murr, the confident scholar, lover, carouser and brawler, and the moody, hypochondriac genius Kreisler. In his exuberant and bizarre novel, Hoffmann brilliantly evokes the fantastic, the ridiculous and the sublime within the humdrum bustle of daily life, making "The Life and Opinions of the Tomcat Murr" (1820–22) one of the funniest and strangest novels of the nineteenth century."
Jeffrey Ford described the novel as a "complex, truly wild fiction" where Hoffman "pieced together the fragments of his own shattered psyche and commented on the relationship of art and artists to society."
Murr's story is written upon pieces of paper that he found. More to the point: on a manuscript he found, that he ripped apart to suit his purposes.