One has just been sent out as a biblical dove, has found nothing green, and slips back
into the darkness of the ark -- Kafka

Monday, November 25, 2013

Franz Grillparzer (1791 - 1872)

Another Franz alludes to him quite often. I downloaded (to my Kindle) a free version of some "German classics," which include his "Poor Musician" and some of Beethoven's letters.

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Franz Seraphicus Grillparzer (15 January 1791 – 21 January 1872) was an Austrian writer who is chiefly known for his dramas. He also wrote the oration for Ludwig van Beethoven's funeral.[1] 


Assessment

Although Grillparzer was essentially a dramatist, his lyric poetry is in the intensity of its personal note hardly inferior to Lenau's; and the bitterness of his later years found vent in biting and stinging epigrams that spared few of his greater contemporaries. As a prose writer, he has left one powerful short story, Der arme Spielmann (1848), and a volume of critical studies on the Spanish drama, which shows how completely he had succeeded in identifying himself with the Spanish point of view.

Grillparzer's brooding, unbalanced temperament, his lack of will-power, his pessimistic renunciation and the bitterness which his self-imposed martyrdom produced in him, made him peculiarly adapted to express the mood of Austria in the epoch of intellectual thraldom that lay between the Napoleonic Wars and the Revolution of 1848; his poetry reflects exactly the spirit of his people under the Metternich regime, and there is a deep truth behind the description of Der Traum, ein Leben as the Austrian Faust. His fame was in accordance with the general tenor of his life; even in Austria a true understanding for his genius was late in coming, and not until the centenary of 1891 did the German-speaking world realize that it possessed in him a dramatic poet of the first rank; in other words, that Grillparzer was no mere Epigone of the classic period, but a poet who, by a rare assimilation of the strength of the Greeks, the imaginative depth of German classicism and the delicacy and grace of the Spaniards, had opened up new paths for the higher dramatic poetry of Europe.


[From Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franz_Grillparzer]
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