Hans Carossa (December 15, 1878 - September 12, 1956)
Born: 15th December, 1878
Died: 12th September, 1956
Nationality: German writer
Region: Germany
Notable works: "Doktor Burgers Ende", "Der Tag des jungen Arztes", "Stella Mystica", "A Roumanian Diary"

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Biography

Hans Carossa, (born Dec. 15, 1878, Tolz, Ger.--died Sept. 12, 1956, Rittsteig, W.Ger.), poet and novelist who contributed to the development of the German autobiographical novel.

Carossa's literary career began with a book of lyric poetry, Stella Mystica (1902; "Mystical Star"), in which a reflective, philosophical attitude dominates the expression of emotions. This attitude of detachment toward his own life and a desire to seek and bring forth the most noble in humankind remains dominant throughout his work. His first novel, Doktor Burgers Ende (1913; "The End of Doctor Burger"; revised and republished in 1930 as Die Schicksale Doktor Burgers, "The Fortunes of Doctor Burger"), in which a young doctor, driven to despair by the suffering around him, commits suicide when he fails to save the woman he loves, is an exploration of, as well as a variation on, Goethe's "Werther" theme--Carossa expressed his indebtedness to Goethe in Die Wirkungen Goethes in der Gegenwart (1938; "Goethe's Influence Today"). Rumanisches Tagebuch (1924; A Roumanian Diary; republished in 1934 as Tagebuch im Kriege, "War Diary") is an evaluation of Carossa's observations as an army doctor in Romania during World War I and a probe into the deeper mysteries of life; it was the first of his books to gain recognition outside of Germany.

More directly autobiographical works are Eine Kindheit (1922; A Childhood), Das Jahr der schonen Tauschungen einer Jugend (1941; The Year of Sweet Illusions), and Verwandlungen einer Jugend (1928; Boyhood and Youth). In Ungleiche Welten (1951; "Different Worlds") Carossa treats his involuntary presidency of the European Writers Association, a National Socialist organization. Carossa's last and unfinished work, Der Tag des jungen Arztes (1955; "The Day of the Young Doctor"), explores the conflicts between his duties as a physician and his responsibilities as a writer.

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