German

Berthold Auerbach (February 28, 1812 - February 08, 1882)
Berthold Auerbach (February 28, 1812 - February 08, 1882)
Berthold Auerbach, pseudonym of Moyses Baruch, Moyses also spelled Moses, (born Feb. 28, 1812, Nordstetten, near Horb, Wurttemberg [Germany]--died Feb. 8, 1882, Cannes, France), German novelist noted chiefly for his tales of village life. Auerbach prepared for the rabbinate, but, estranged from Jewish orthodoxy by the study of the 17th-century Dutch philosopher Benedict de Spinoza, he turned instead to literature. Spinoza's life formed the basis of his first novel (1837); a translation of Spinoza's works followed in 1841. In 1843 Auerbach began publishing the Schwarzwalder..
Hugo Ball (February 22, 1886 - September 14, 1927)
Hugo Ball (February 22, 1886 - September 14, 1927)
Hugo Ball, (born February 22, 1886, Pirmasens, Germany--died September 14, 1927, Sant'Abbondio, Switzerland), writer, actor, and dramatist, a harsh social critic, and an early critical biographer of German novelist Hermann Hesse (Hermann Hesse, sein Leben und sein Werk, 1927; "Hermann Hesse, His Life and His Work").Ball studied sociology and philosophy at the Universities of Munich and Heidelberg (1906-07) and went to Berlin (1910) to become a theatrical producer and an actor. A staunch pacifist, he left Germany during World War I and moved to neutral Switzerland (1916). In Zurich he..
Emil Ludwig (January 25, 1881 - September 17, 1948)
Emil Ludwig (January 25, 1881 - September 17, 1948)
Emil Ludwig, original name Emil Cohn, (born Jan. 25, 1881, Breslau, Ger. [now Wroclaw, Pol.]--died Sept. 17, 1948, near Ascona, Switz.), German writer internationally known for his many popular biographies.Ludwig was trained in law but at 25 began writing plays and poems. After serving as foreign correspondent for a German newspaper during World War I, he wrote a novel (Diana, originally published as two works, 1918-19; Eng. trans., 1929). In 1920 he published a biography of J.W. von Goethe, which established him as a writer in the "new school" of biography that emphasized the personality..
Eduard Hanslick (September 11, 1825 - August 06, 1904)
Eduard Hanslick (September 11, 1825 - August 06, 1904)
Eduard Hanslick, (born Sept. 11, 1825, Prague--died Aug. 6, 1904, Baden, near Vienna), celebrated music critic and a prolific author of works on music and concert life.Hanslick studied philosophy and law in Prague, received his doctorate from the University of Vienna in 1849, and taught there from 1856, becoming a regular professor in 1870. He was music critic for the Wiener Zeitung and subsequently was music editor of Die Presse and of the Neue Freie Presse. An excellent pianist, Hanslick served as a juror at various exhibitions of musical instruments, and, for his accomplishments in advancing..
Horst Faas (April 28, 1933 - May 10, 2012)
Horst Faas (April 28, 1933 - May 10, 2012)
Horst Faas, German photojournalist (born April 28, 1933, Berlin, Ger.--died May 10, 2012, Munich, Ger.), captured the fear, suffering, and exhaustion of war in images taken for the Associated Press (AP) during the Vietnam War and other international conflicts; in the process, he won two Pulitzer Prizes--in 1965 for combat pictures taken in Vietnam and in 1972 for photos shot in rebellious East Pakistan (now Bangladesh). As the AP's chief of photography in Asia (1962-74), he recruited young Vietnamese photographers into "Horst's army" and was responsible for the distribution and publication..
Angelus Silesius (.. - July 09, 1677)
Angelus Silesius (.. - July 09, 1677)
Angelus Silesius, original name Johannes Scheffler, (born December 1624, Breslau, Silesia [now Wroclaw, Poland]--died July 9, 1677, Breslau), religious poet remembered primarily as the author of Der cherubinischer Wandersmann (1674; "The Cherubic Wanderer"), a major work of Roman Catholic mysticism.The son of a Lutheran Polish nobleman, Scheffler was court physician to the duke of Oels in his native Silesia when his readings in the mystics, especially Jakob Bohme, and in the Church Fathers led him to the Roman Catholic Church, into which he was received in 1653. After six years as physician..
Ernst Toller (December 01, 1893 - May 22, 1939)
Ernst Toller (December 01, 1893 - May 22, 1939)
Ernst Toller, (born Dec. 1, 1893, Samotschin, Ger.--died May 22, 1939, New York, N.Y., U.S.), dramatist, poet, and political activist, who was a prominent exponent of Marxism and pacifism in Germany in the 1920s. His Expressionist plays embodied his spirit of social protest.Toller studied at Grenoble University in France but went back to Germany in 1914 to join the army. Invalided after 13 months at the front during World War I, Toller launched a peace movement in Heidelberg. To avoid arrest he fled to Munich, where he helped lead a strike of munition workers and was finally arrested. In 1919 Toller,..
Christoph Martin Wieland (September 05, 1733 - January 20, 1813)
Christoph Martin Wieland (September 05, 1733 - January 20, 1813)
Christoph Martin Wieland, (born September 5, 1733, Oberholzheim, near Biberach [Germany]--died January 20, 1813, Weimar, Saxe-Weimar), poet and man of letters of the German Rococo period whose work spans the major trends of his age, from rationalism and the Enlightenment to classicism and pre-Romanticism.Wieland was the son of a Pietist parson, and his early writings from the 1750s were sanctimonious and strongly devotional. During the 1760s, however, he discovered another, more sensual aspect of his nature and moved toward a more worldly, rationalistic philosophy. Although some of..
Heinrich Mann (March 27, 1871 - March 12, 1950)
Heinrich Mann (March 27, 1871 - March 12, 1950)
Heinrich Mann, (born March 27, 1871, Lubeck, Ger.--died March 12, 1950, Santa Monica, Calif., U.S.), German novelist and essayist, a socially committed writer whose best-known works are attacks on the authoritarian social structure of German society under Emperor William II.Mann, the elder brother of the novelist Thomas Mann, entered publishing, but, after the death (1891) of their father, a prosperous grain merchant, he became financially independent and lived in Berlin, spending long periods abroad, particularly in France. His early novels portray the decadence of high society (Im..
Erich Maria Remarque (June 22, 1898 - September 25, 1970)
Erich Maria Remarque (June 22, 1898 - September 25, 1970)
Erich Maria Remarque, pseudonym of Erich Paul Remark, (born June 22, 1898, Osnabruck, Ger.--died Sept. 25, 1970, Locarno, Switz.), novelist who is chiefly remembered as the author of Im Westen nichts Neues (1929; All Quiet on the Western Front), which became perhaps the best-known and most representative novel dealing with World War I.Remarque was drafted into the German army at the age of 18 and was wounded several times. After the war he worked as a racing-car driver and as a sportswriter while working on All Quiet on the Western Front. The novel's events are those in the daily routine of soldiers..
Franz Werfel (September 10, 1890 - August 26, 1945)
Franz Werfel (September 10, 1890 - August 26, 1945)
Franz Werfel, (born Sept. 10, 1890, Prague [now in Czech Republic]--died Aug. 26, 1945, Hollywood, Calif., U.S.), German-language writer who attained prominence as an Expressionist poet, playwright, and novelist and whose works espoused human brotherhood, heroism, and religious faith.The son of a glove manufacturer, Werfel left home to work in a Hamburg shipping house. Shortly afterward he published two books of lyric poems, Der Weltfreund (1911; "The World's Friend") and Wir sind (1913; "We Are"). After fighting on the Italian and Galician fronts in World War I, he became antimilitary,..
Lion Feuchtwanger (July 07, 1884 - December 21, 1958)
Lion Feuchtwanger (July 07, 1884 - December 21, 1958)
Lion Feuchtwanger, (born July 7, 1884, Munich, Ger.--died Dec. 21, 1958, Los Angeles, Calif., U.S.), German novelist and playwright known for his historical romances.Born of a Jewish family, Feuchtwanger studied philology and literature at Berlin and Munich (1903-07) and took his doctorate in 1918 with a dissertation on poet Heinrich Heine. Also in 1918 he founded a literary journal, Der Spiegel. His first historical novel was Die hassliche Herzogin (1923; The Ugly Duchess), about Margaret Maultasch, duchess of Tirol. His finest novel, Jud Suss (1925; also published as Jew Suss and Power),..
Rudolf Christoph Eucken (January 05, 1846 - September 14, 1926)
Rudolf Christoph Eucken (January 05, 1846 - September 14, 1926)
Rudolf Christoph Eucken, (born Jan. 5, 1846, Aurich, East Friesland [now in Germany]--died Sept. 14, 1926, Jena, Ger.), German Idealist philosopher, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature (1908), interpreter of Aristotle, and author of works in ethics and religion.Eucken studied at the University of Gottingen under the German thinker Rudolf Hermann Lotze, a teleological Idealist, and at Berlin under Friedrich Adolf Trendelenburg, a German philosopher whose ethical concerns and historical treatment of philosophy attracted him. Appointed professor of philosophy at the University..
Nelly Sachs (December 10, 1891 - May 12, 1970)
Nelly Sachs (December 10, 1891 - May 12, 1970)
Nelly Sachs, in full Nelly Leonie Sachs, (born Dec. 10, 1891, Berlin, Ger.--died May 12, 1970, Stockholm, Swed.), German poet and dramatist who became a poignant spokesperson for the grief and yearnings of her fellow Jews. When, with Shmuel Yosef Agnon, she was awarded the 1966 Nobel Prize for Literature, she observed that Agnon represented Israel whereas "I represent the tragedy of the Jewish people."The daughter of a prosperous manufacturer, Sachs grew up in the fashionable Tiergarten section of Berlin and began writing verse at age 17. Romantic and conventional, her poems of the 1920s appeared..
Georg Buchner (October 17, 1813 - February 19, 1837)
Georg Buchner (October 17, 1813 - February 19, 1837)
Georg Buchner, (born Oct. 17, 1813, Goddelau, Hesse-Darmstadt [Germany]--died Feb. 19, 1837, Zurich, Switz.), German dramatist, a major forerunner of the Expressionist school of playwriting of the early 20th century.The son of an army doctor, Buchner studied medicine at the Universities of Strasbourg and Giessen. Caught up in the movement inspired by the Paris uprising of 1830, Buchner published a pamphlet, Der hessische Landbote (1834; The Hessian Messenger), in Giessen calling for economic and political revolution, and he also founded a radical society, the Society for Human Rights...
Frank Wedekind (July 24, 1864 - March 09, 1918)
Frank Wedekind (July 24, 1864 - March 09, 1918)
Frank Wedekind, original name Benjamin Franklin Wedekind, (born July 24, 1864, Hannover, Hanover [Germany]--died March 9, 1918, Munich), German actor and dramatist who became an intense personal force in the German artistic world on the eve of World War I. A direct forebear of the modern Theatre of the Absurd, Wedekind employed episodic scenes, fragmented dialogue, distortion, and caricature in his dramas, which formed the transition from the realism of his age to the Expressionism of the following generation.The son of a German American father and a Swiss mother, Wedekind lived in Switzerland..
Novalis (May 02, 1772 - March 25, 1801)
Novalis (May 02, 1772 - March 25, 1801)
Novalis, pseudonym of Friedrich Leopold, Freiherr von (baron of) Hardenberg, (born May 2, 1772, Oberwiederstedt, Prussian Saxony [Germany]--died March 25, 1801, Weissenfels, Saxony [Germany]), early German Romantic poet and theorist who greatly influenced later Romantic thought.Novalis was born into a family of Protestant Lower Saxon nobility and took his pseudonym from "de Novali," a name his family had formerly used. He studied law at the University of Jena (1790), where he became acquainted with Friedrich von Schiller, and then at Leipzig, where he formed a friendship with Friedrich..
Adelbert von Chamisso (January 30, 1781 - August 21, 1838)
Adelbert von Chamisso (January 30, 1781 - August 21, 1838)
Adelbert von Chamisso, original name Louis-Charles-Adelaide Chamisso de Boncourt, (born Jan. 30, 1781, Chateau de Boncourt, Champagne, France--died Aug. 21, 1838, Berlin, Prussia [Germany]), German-language lyricist best remembered for the Faust-like fairy tale Peter Schlemihls wundersame Geschichte (1814; Peter Schlemihl's Remarkable Story).When he was nine, Chamisso's family escaped the terrors of the French Revolution by taking refuge in Berlin. After abandoning his native French language for German, Chamisso published his first works in the Berliner Musenalmanach, which..
Herta Muller (August 17, 1953 - ..)
Herta Muller (August 17, 1953 - ..)
Herta Muller, Muller also spelled Mueller, (born August 17, 1953, Nitchidorf, Romania), Romanian-born German writer who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2009 for her works revealing the harshness of life in Romania under the dictatorship of Nicolae Ceausescu. The award cited Muller for depicting "the landscape of the dispossessed" with "the concentration of poetry and the frankness of prose."Muller, of German Swabian descent, grew up in Banat, a German-speaking region of totalitarian Romania. She attended the University of Timisoara and, as a student, became involved with Aktionsgruppe..
Ferdinand Christian Baur (June 21, 1792 - December 02, 1860)
Ferdinand Christian Baur (June 21, 1792 - December 02, 1860)
Ferdinand Christian Baur, (born June 21, 1792, Schmiden, near Stuttgart, Wurttemberg [Germany]--died December 2, 1860, Tubingen), German theologian and scholar who initiated the Protestant Tubingen school of biblical criticism and who has been called the father of modern studies in church history.Educated at the seminary at Blaubeuren and at the University of Tubingen, Baur became a professor of theology in 1817 at the seminary and in 1826 at the university, where he remained until his death. Influenced by the thought of the German philosopher G.W.F. Hegel, Baur began to develop a new perspective..
Ernst Junger (March 29, 1895 - February 16, 1998)
Ernst Junger (March 29, 1895 - February 16, 1998)
Ernst Junger, (born March 29, 1895, Heidelberg, Ger.--died Feb. 16, 1998, Wilflingen), German novelist and essayist, an ardent militarist who was one of the most complex and contradictory figures in 20th-century German literature.Junger joined the French Foreign Legion in 1913, but his father had him brought back to Germany. In 1914 he volunteered for the German Army at the outbreak of World War I and served as an officer on the Western Front throughout the conflict. As a soldier Junger was conspicuous for his bravery: he was wounded at least seven times, and in 1918 he was awarded the Pour le Merite..
Ludwig Tieck (May 31, 1773 - April 28, 1853)
Ludwig Tieck (May 31, 1773 - April 28, 1853)
Ludwig Tieck, (born May 31, 1773, Berlin, Prussia [Germany]--died April 28, 1853, Berlin), versatile and prolific writer and critic of the early Romantic movement in Germany. He was a born storyteller, and his best work has the quality of a Marchen (fairy tale) that appeals to the emotions rather than the intellect.The son of a craftsman, Tieck was educated at the Berlin gymnasium (1782-92) and at the universities of Halle, Gottingen, and Erlangen (1792-94). Through friendship with W.H. Wackenroder, he began to realize his talent; together, they studied William Shakespeare, Elizabethan..
Paul Hindemith (November 16, 1895 - December 28, 1963)
Paul Hindemith (November 16, 1895 - December 28, 1963)
Paul Hindemith, (born November 16, 1895, Hanau, near Frankfurt am Main, Germany--died December 28, 1963, Frankfurt am Main), one of the principal German composers of the first half of the 20th century and a leading musical theorist. He sought to revitalize tonality--the traditional harmonic system that was being challenged by many other composers--and also pioneered in the writing of Gebrauchsmusik, or "utility music," compositions for everyday occasions. He regarded the composer as a craftsman (turning out music to meet social needs) rather than as an artist (composing to satisfy his..
Hermann Hesse (July 02, 1877 - August 09, 1962)
Hermann Hesse (July 02, 1877 - August 09, 1962)
Hermann Hesse, (born July 2, 1877, Calw, Germany--died August 9, 1962, Montagnola, Switzerland), German novelist and poet who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1946. The main theme of his work is the individual's efforts to break out of the established modes of civilization so as to find an essential spirit and identity.Hesse grew up in Calw and in Basel. He attended school briefly in Goppingen before, at the behest of his father, he entered the Maulbronn seminary in 1891. Though a model student, he was unable to adapt and left less than a year later. As he would later explain ,I was a good..
Heinrich Boll (December 21, 1917 - July 16, 1985)
Heinrich Boll (December 21, 1917 - July 16, 1985)
Heinrich Boll, in full Heinrich Theodor Boll, (born December 21, 1917, Cologne, Germany--died July 16, 1985, Bornheim-Merten, near Cologne, West Germany), German writer, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1972. Boll's ironic novels on the travails of German life during and after World War II capture the changing psychology of the German nation.The son of a cabinetmaker, Boll graduated from high school in 1937. He was called into compulsory labour service in 1938 and then served six years as a private and then a corporal in the German army, fighting on the Russian and other fronts. Boll's..
Jean Paul (March 21, 1763 - November 14, 1825)
Jean Paul (March 21, 1763 - November 14, 1825)
Jean Paul, pseudonym of Johann Paul Friedrich Richter, (born March 21, 1763, Wunsiedel, Principality of Bayreuth [Germany]--died Nov. 14, 1825, Bayreuth, Bavaria), German novelist and humorist whose works were immensely popular in the first 20 years of the 19th century. His pen name, Jean Paul, reflected his admiration for the French writer Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Jean Paul's writing bridged the shift in literature from the formal ideals of Weimar Classicism to the intuitive transcendentalism of early Romanticism.Jean Paul, the son of a poor teacher and pastor, studied theology at Leipzig..
Gunter Grass (October 16, 1927 - April 13, 2015)
Gunter Grass (October 16, 1927 - April 13, 2015)
Gunter Grass, in full Gunter Wilhelm Grass, (born October 16, 1927, Danzig [now Gdansk, Poland]--died April 13, 2015, Lubeck, Germany), German poet, novelist, playwright, sculptor, and printmaker who, with his extraordinary first novel Die Blechtrommel (1959; The Tin Drum), became the literary spokesman for the German generation that grew up in the Nazi era and survived the war. In 1999 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.In his native Danzig, Grass passed through the Hitler Youth movement and was drafted during World War II. As he revealed in 2006, he was called up to the Waffen-SS..
Max Muller (December 06, 1823 - October 28, 1900)
Max Muller (December 06, 1823 - October 28, 1900)
Max Muller, in full Friedrich Max Muller, (born Dec. 6, 1823, Dessau, duchy of Anhalt [Germany]--died Oct. 28, 1900, Oxford, Eng.), German scholar of comparative language, religion, and mythology. Muller's special areas of interest were Sanskrit philology and the religions of India.Life and chief worksThe son of Wilhelm Muller, a noted poet, Max Muller was educated in Sanskrit, the classical language of India, and other languages in Leipzig, Berlin, and Paris. He moved to England in 1846 and settled in Oxford in 1848, where he became deputy professor of modern languages in 1850. He was appointed..
Bertolt Brecht (February 10, 1898 - August 14, 1956)
Bertolt Brecht (February 10, 1898 - August 14, 1956)
Bertolt Brecht, original name Eugen Berthold Friedrich Brecht, (born February 10, 1898, Augsburg, Germany--died August 14, 1956, East Berlin), German poet, playwright, and theatrical reformer whose epic theatre departed from the conventions of theatrical illusion and developed the drama as a social and ideological forum for leftist causes.Until 1924 Brecht lived in Bavaria, where he was born, studied medicine (Munich, 1917-21), and served in an army hospital (1918). From this period date his first play, Baal (produced 1923); his first success, Trommeln in der Nacht (Kleist Preis, 1922;..
Theodor Mommsen (November 30, 1817 - November 01, 1903)
Theodor Mommsen (November 30, 1817 - November 01, 1903)
Theodor Mommsen, in full Christian Matthias Theodor Mommsen, (born November 30, 1817, Garding, Schleswig [now in Germany]--died November 1, 1903, Charlottenburg, near Berlin, Germany), German historian and writer, famous for his masterpiece, Romische Geschichte (The History of Rome). He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1902.Early yearsMommsen was the son of a Protestant minister in Garding, Schleswig, and he grew up in Oldesloe (now Bad Oldesloe). He received his basic classical training in the senior classes of the Gymnasium (secondary school) Christianeum in Altona,..
Robert Schumann (June 08, 1810 - July 29, 1856)
Robert Schumann (June 08, 1810 - July 29, 1856)
Robert Schumann, in full Robert Alexander Schumann, (born June 8, 1810, Zwickau, Saxony [now in Germany]--died July 29, 1856, Endenich, near Bonn, Prussia [Germany]), German Romantic composer renowned particularly for his piano music, songs (lieder), and orchestral music. Many of his best-known piano pieces were written for his wife, the pianist Clara Schumann.The early yearsSchumann's father was a bookseller and publisher. After four years at a private school, the boy entered the Zwickau Gymnasium (high school) in 1820 and remained there for eight years. He began his musical education..
Heinrich Heine (December 13, 1797 - February 17, 1856)
Heinrich Heine (December 13, 1797 - February 17, 1856)
Heinrich Heine, in full Christian Johann Heinrich Heine, original name (until 1825) Harry Heine, (born Dec. 13, 1797, Dusseldorf [now in Germany]--died Feb. 17, 1856, Paris, France), German poet whose international literary reputation and influence were established by the Buch der Lieder (1827; The Book of Songs), frequently set to music, though the more sombre poems of his last years are also highly regarded.LifeHeine was born of Jewish parents. His father was a handsome and kindly but somewhat ineffectual merchant; his mother was fairly well educated for her time and sharply ambitious..
Thomas Mann (June 06, 1875 - August 12, 1955)
Thomas Mann (June 06, 1875 - August 12, 1955)
Thomas Mann, (born June 6, 1875, Lubeck, Germany--died August 12, 1955, near Zurich, Switzerland), German novelist and essayist whose early novels--Buddenbrooks (1900), Der Tod in Venedig (1912; Death in Venice), and Der Zauberberg (1924; The Magic Mountain)--earned him the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1929.Early literary endeavoursMann's father died in 1891, and Mann moved to Munich, a centre of art and literature, where he lived until 1933. After perfunctory work in an insurance office and on the editorial staff of Simplicissimus, a satirical weekly, he devoted himself to writing,..
Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (January 22, 1729 - February 15, 1781)
Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (January 22, 1729 - February 15, 1781)
Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, (born Jan. 22, 1729, Kamenz, Upper Lusatia, Saxony [Germany]--died Feb. 15, 1781, Braunschweig, Brunswick [Germany]), German dramatist, critic, and writer on philosophy and aesthetics. He helped free German drama from the influence of classical and French models and wrote plays of lasting importance. His critical essays greatly stimulated German letters and combated conservative dogmatism and cant while affirming religious and intellectual tolerance and the unbiased search for truth.Education and first dramatic works.Lessing's father, a highly respected..
Martin Buber (February 08, 1878 - June 13, 1965)
Martin Buber (February 08, 1878 - June 13, 1965)
Martin Buber, (born February 8, 1878, Vienna--died June 13, 1965, Jerusalem), German-Jewish religious philosopher, biblical translator and interpreter, and master of German prose style. Buber's philosophy was centred on the encounter, or dialogue, of man with other beings, particularly exemplified in the relation with other men but ultimately resting on and pointing to the relation with God. This thought reached its fullest dialogical expression in Ich und Du (1923; I and Thou).From Vienna to JerusalemBuber was the son of Carl Buber, an agronomist, and his wife--both assimilated Jews...
Karl Marx (May 05, 1818 - March 14, 1883)
Karl Marx (May 05, 1818 - March 14, 1883)
Karl Marx, in full Karl Heinrich Marx, (born May 5, 1818, Trier, Rhine province, Prussia [Germany]--died March 14, 1883, London, England), revolutionary, sociologist, historian, and economist. He published (with Friedrich Engels) Manifest der Kommunistischen Partei (1848), commonly known as The Communist Manifesto, the most celebrated pamphlet in the history of the socialist movement. He also was the author of the movement's most important book, Das Kapital. These writings and others by Marx and Engels form the basis of the body of thought and belief known as Marxism. (See also socialism;..
Martin Luther (November 10, 1483 - February 18, 1546)
Martin Luther (November 10, 1483 - February 18, 1546)
Martin Luther, (born November 10, 1483, Eisleben, Saxony [Germany]--died February 18, 1546, Eisleben), German theologian and religious reformer who was the catalyst of the 16th-century Protestant Reformation. Through his words and actions, Luther precipitated a movement that reformulated certain basic tenets of Christian belief and resulted in the division of Western Christendom between Roman Catholicism and the new Protestant traditions, mainly Lutheranism, Calvinism, the Anglican Communion, the Anabaptists, and the Antitrinitarians. He is one of the most influential figures..
Rainer Maria Rilke (December 04, 1875 - December 29, 1926)
Rainer Maria Rilke (December 04, 1875 - December 29, 1926)
Rainer Maria Rilke, original name René Maria Rilke, (born Dec. 4, 1875, Prague, Bohemia, Austria-Hungary [now in Czech Republic]—died Dec. 29, 1926, Valmont, Switz.), Austro-German poet who became internationally famous with such works as Duino Elegies and Sonnets to Orpheus.Early life.Rilke was the only son of a not-too-happy marriage. His father, Josef, a civil servant, was a man frustrated in his career; his mother, the daughter of an upper-middle-class merchant and imperial councillor, was a difficult woman, who felt that she had married beneath her. She left her husband in 1884 and..
Friedrich Schiller (November 10, 1759 - May 09, 1805)
Friedrich Schiller (November 10, 1759 - May 09, 1805)
Friedrich Schiller, in full Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller, (born Nov. 10, 1759, Marbach, Württemberg [Germany]—died May 9, 1805, Weimar, Saxe-Weimar), leading German dramatist, poet, and literary theorist, best remembered for such dramas as Die Räuber (1781; The Robbers), the Wallenstein trilogy (1800–01), Maria Stuart (1801), and Wilhelm Tell (1804).Early years and playsFriedrich Schiller was the second child of Lieut. Johann Kaspar Schiller and his wife, Dorothea. After Johann Kaspar retired from military service, he devoted himself to horticulture and was appointed..
Carl Maria von Weber (November 18, 1786 - June 05, 1826)
Carl Maria von Weber (November 18, 1786 - June 05, 1826)
Carl Maria von Weber, in full Carl Maria Friedrich Ernst, Freiherr (baron) von Weber, (born Nov. 18, 1786, Eutin, Holstein [Germany]—died June 5, 1826, London, Eng.), German composer and opera director during the transition from Classical to Romantic music, noted especially for his operas Der Freischütz (1821; The Freeshooter, or, more colloquially, The Magic Marksman), Euryanthe (1823), and Oberon (1826). Der Freischütz, the most immediately and widely popular German opera that had been written to date, established German Romantic opera.Weber was born into a musical and theatrical..
Carl Rakosi (November 06, 1903 - June 24, 2004)
Carl Rakosi (November 06, 1903 - June 24, 2004)
Carl Rakosi, (Callman Rawley), American poet and psychotherapist (born Nov. 6, 1903, Berlin, Ger.--died June 24, 2004, San Francisco, Calif.), with George Oppen, Louis Zukovsky, and Charles Reznikoff formed a poetic movement known as Objectivism. (The movement placed emphasis on viewing poems as objects that could be considered and analyzed in terms of mechanical features.) Rakosi changed his name to Callman Rawley in 1926, keeping his original name as his pen name. After 1939 he became a social worker and psychotherapist, and, though he wrote much in his field, he ceased writing poetry...
Karl Philipp Moritz (September 15, 1756 - June 26, 1793)
Karl Philipp Moritz (September 15, 1756 - June 26, 1793)
Karl Philipp Moritz, (born Sept. 15, 1756, Hameln, Hannover [Germany]--died June 26, 1793, Berlin, Prussia), German novelist whose most important works are his two autobiographical novels, Andreas Hartknopf (1786) and Anton Reiser, 4 vol. (1785-90). The latter is, with J.W. von Goethe's Wilhelm Meister, the most mature 18th-century German novel of contemporary life.Moritz' family was very poor, and he was apprenticed to a hatter, but patrons helped him to study theology. His restless and unhappy nature led him to abandon theology in an attempt to become an actor. This attempt failed, however,..
Julius Wellhausen (May 17, 1844 - January 07, 1918)
Julius Wellhausen (May 17, 1844 - January 07, 1918)
Julius Wellhausen, (born May 17, 1844, Hameln, Hanover [Germany]--died Jan. 7, 1918, Gottingen, Ger.), German biblical scholar best known for his analysis of the structure and dating of the Pentateuch.Wellhausen studied at the University of Gottingen and taught there briefly before becoming professor of the Old Testament at Greifswald in 1872, a position he resigned 10 years later because of conflicts with his academic superiors. After teaching at other German universities, he returned to Gottingen in 1892, remaining there until his death.His major writings put forth the view that the..
Erich Auerbach (November 09, 1892 - October 13, 1957)
Erich Auerbach (November 09, 1892 - October 13, 1957)
Erich Auerbach, (born Nov. 9, 1892, Berlin, Ger.--died Oct. 13, 1957, Wallingford, Conn., U.S.), educator and scholar of Romance literatures and languages.After gaining a doctorate in philology at the University of Greifswald, Germany, in 1921, Auerbach served as librarian for the Prussian State Library. From 1929 until his dismissal by the Nazi Party in 1936, he was ordinarius university professor of Romance philology at the University of Marburg. From 1936 to 1947 Auerbach taught at the Turkish State University in Istanbul, where he wrote his magisterial survey of the linguistic means..
Alfred Einstein (December 30, 1880 - February 13, 1952)
Alfred Einstein (December 30, 1880 - February 13, 1952)
Alfred Einstein, (born Dec. 30, 1880, Munich--died Feb. 13, 1952, El Cerrito, Calif., U.S.), eminent German-American musicologist and critic.Einstein was born into a family of scholars (Albert Einstein was his cousin), and, as a young man, studied law for a year before completing his doctorate (1903) in musicology and composition at the University of Munich. As the first editor (1918-33) of the Zeitschrift fur Musikwissenschaft ("Journal of Musicology"), he held a position of considerable authority in his field. Einstein lived in Munich until 1927, where he was also the music critic of..
Christian Morgenstern (May 06, 1871 - March 31, 1914)
Christian Morgenstern (May 06, 1871 - March 31, 1914)
Christian Morgenstern, (born May 6, 1871, Munich, Ger.--died March 31, 1914, Meran, South Tirol, Austria-Hungary [now Merano, Italy]), German poet and humorist whose work ranged from the mystical and personally lyrical to nonsense verse.Morgenstern had studied law at the universities of Breslau and Berlin when in 1893 he was diagnosed as having pulmonary tuberculosis, from which he ultimately died. He left school to travel and lived for a time in Norway, where he translated Henrik Ibsen's verse dramas with the collaboration of the author and also translated plays by such other Scandinavian..
Walter Benjamin (July 15, 1892 - September 27, 1940)
Walter Benjamin (July 15, 1892 - September 27, 1940)
Walter Benjamin, (born July 15, 1892, Berlin, Ger.--died Sept. 27?, 1940, near Port-Bou, Spain), man of letters and aesthetician, now considered to have been the most important German literary critic in the first half of the 20th century.Born into a prosperous Jewish family, Benjamin studied philosophy in Berlin, Freiburg im Breisgau, Munich, and Bern. He settled in Berlin in 1920 and worked thereafter as a literary critic and translator. His halfhearted pursuit of an academic career was cut short when the University of Frankfurt rejected his brilliant but unconventional doctoral thesis,..
Hermann Broch (November 01, 1886 - May 30, 1951)
Hermann Broch (November 01, 1886 - May 30, 1951)
Hermann Broch, (born Nov. 1, 1886, Vienna, Austria--died May 30, 1951, New Haven, Conn., U.S.), Austrian writer who achieved international recognition for his multidimensional novels, in which he used innovative literary techniques to present a wide range of human experience.In 1927 Broch renounced his inheritance by selling his family's textile mill and enrolling in the University of Vienna in order to pursue studies in physics, mathematics, and philosophy. His first major work was the trilogy Die Schlafwandler (1931-32; The Sleepwalkers), which traces the disintegration of European..
David Friedrich Strauss (January 27, 1808 - February 08, 1874)
David Friedrich Strauss (January 27, 1808 - February 08, 1874)
David Friedrich Strauss, (born Jan. 27, 1808, Ludwigsburg, Wurttemberg [Germany]--died Feb. 8, 1874, Ludwigsburg), controversial German-Protestant philosopher, theologian, and biographer whose use of dialectical philosophy, emphasizing social evolution through the inner struggle of opposing forces, broke new ground in biblical interpretation by explaining the New Testament accounts of Christ mythologically.Influenced during his studies at the universities of Tubingen and Berlin (1825-31) by the doctrine of G.W.F. Hegel, Strauss proposed a developmental theory of formative..
Alfred Doblin (August 10, 1878 - June 26, 1957)
Alfred Doblin (August 10, 1878 - June 26, 1957)
Alfred Doblin, (born Aug. 10, 1878, Stettin, Ger.--died June 26, 1957, Emmendingen, near Freiburg im Breisgau, W.Ger.), German novelist and essayist, the most talented narrative writer of the German Expressionist movement.Doblin studied medicine and became a doctor, practicing psychiatry in the workers' district of the Alexanderplatz in Berlin. His Jewish ancestry and socialist views obliged him to leave Germany for France in 1933 after the Nazi takeover, and in 1940 he escaped to the United States, where he converted to Roman Catholicism in 1941. He returned to Germany in 1945 at the war's..
Ruth Prawer Jhabvala (May 07, 1927 - April 03, 2013)
Ruth Prawer Jhabvala (May 07, 1927 - April 03, 2013)
Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, original name Ruth Prawer, (born May 7, 1927, Cologne, Germany--died April 3, 2013, New York, New York, U.S.), novelist and screenwriter, well known for her witty and insightful portrayals of contemporary Indian lives and, especially, for her 46 years as a pivotal member of Ismail Merchant and James Ivory's filmmaking team.Jhabvala's family was Jewish, and in 1939 they emigrated from Germany to England; she was made a naturalized British citizen in 1948. After receiving an M.A. in English (1951) from Queen Mary College, London, she married an Indian architect and moved..
Ernst Moritz Arndt (December 26, 1769 - January 29, 1860)
Ernst Moritz Arndt (December 26, 1769 - January 29, 1860)
Ernst Moritz Arndt, (born Dec. 26, 1769, Schoritz bei Gartz, Rugen, Swed.--died Jan. 29, 1860, Bonn, Ger.), prose writer, poet, and patriot who expressed the national awakening in his country in the Napoleonic era.Arndt was educated at Stralsund, Greifswald, and Jena and qualified for the Lutheran ministry. At the age of 28 he rejected his clerical career and for 18 months travelled through Europe. On his return to Germany the sight of ruined castles along the banks of the Rhine River moved him to bitterness against the French who had destroyed them. He described the impressions of this journey..
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