Christian Furchtegott Gellert (July 04, 1715 - December 13, 1769)
Born: 4th July, 1715
Died: 13th December, 1769
Nationality: German writer
Region: Germany, Leipzig
Notable works: "Die Himmel ruhmen des ewigen Ehren", "Das Leben der schwedischen Grafin von G", "Geistliche Oden und Lieder", "Fabeln und Erzahlungen", "Die Ehre Gottes aus der Natur"

Christian Furchtegott Gellert Facts

Biography

Christian Furchtegott Gellert, (born July 4, 1715, Hainichen, Saxony [now in Germany]--died Dec. 13, 1769, Leipzig), poet and novelist, a prominent representative of the German Enlightenment whose works were, for a time, second in popularity only to the Bible.

The son of a pastor, Gellert was reared in a poor and extremely pious family. After working as a tutor, he studied at the University of Leipzig, where he became a Privatdozent (unsalaried lecturer) in 1745 and a professor in 1751. Popular both for his work and for his personality, his lectures on poetry, rhetoric, and ethics were exceptionally well attended.

Gellert was best known for his Fabeln und Erzahlungen (1746-48; "Fables and Tales"), a collection of naively realistic fables and moralizing stories charming for their directness and simplicity. These tales not only had many readers among the common people but also influenced other fable writers. Equally popular was Geistliche Oden und Lieder (1757; "Spiritual Odes and Songs"), poems and hymns that combined religious feeling with the rationalism of the Enlightenment. The most famous of these, "Die Himmel ruhmen des ewigen Ehren" ("The Heavens Praise the Eternal Glories") and "Die Ehre Gottes aus der Natur" ("The Glory of God in Nature"), were later set to music by Beethoven and still appear in hymnbooks. Gellert also wrote a sentimental novel, Das Leben der schwedischen Grafin von G (1748; "The Life of the Swedish Countess of G"), which combined the late 17th-century novel of exotic adventure with the character novel of modern literature and introduced the moralistic "family novel" in German literature.

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