Bodenstedt, Friedrich

Bodenstedt, Friedrich


Born Apr. 22, 1819, in Peine, near Hannover; died Apr. 18, 1892, in Wiesbaden. German writer and translator.

Bodenstedt studied in Göttingen and Munich. From 1841 to 1843 he was a private tutor in Moscow; later, he taught in a Gymnasium in Tiflis, where he took lessons in oriental languages from the Azerbaijani poet Mirza Shafi Vazekh. Bodenstedt was acquainted with A. I. Herzen and M. Iu. Lermontov, and he corresponded with N. A. Nekrasov, F. I. Tiutchev, A. K. Tolstoy, and I. S. Turgenev. He extended the knowledge of Russian literature in Germany by translating works by K. N. Batiushkov, A. S. Pushkin, A. V. Kol’tsov, G. R. Derzhavin, and A. A. Fet into German. He wrote the work Lermontov’s Poetic Legacy (1852). The book A Thousand and One Days in the Orient (1850) included images from oriental poetry jotted down by Bodenstedt from Vazekh’s words and translated into German. Bodenstedt included poems by other Azerbaijani and Persian poets in the collection The Songs of Mirza Shafi (1851), while attempting to present the translations as his own poems on oriental motifs. Among Bodenstedt’s own works are the narrative poem Ada the Lezghian (1853) and the tragedies Dmitrii (1856) and Emperor Paul (1876). To a considerable extent, these works are pervaded by commonplace bourgeois morality.


Gesammelte Schriften, vols. 1–12. Berlin, 1865–69.


Schenk, G. F. von Bodenstedt, ein Dichterleben in seinen Briefen. Berlin, 1893.
Dukmeyer, F. Die Einführung Lermontows in Deutschland. . . . Berlin, 1925.