Brant, Sebastian


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Brant, Brandt, or Brand, Sebastian

(sābäs`tyän bränt), 1457–1521, German humanist and moralist. He taught law at the Univ. of Basel and in 1503 became town clerk of Strasbourg. His verse allegory Das Narrenschiff [ship of fools] (1494) became world famous. Illustrated with woodcuts, it went through six editions in Brant's lifetime alone. The story tells of 112 fools—each representing a fashionable foible—who sail out to sea and die because of their folly. An English translation by Alexander BarclayBarclay, Alexander
, 1475?–1552, Scottish clergyman and poet. Although the first to write pastoral eclogues in English, he is best known for The Ship of Fools (1509), a translation and elongation of Sebastian Brant's widely popular poem Das Narrenschiff.
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 appeared in 1509.

Bibliography

See verse translation (with the woodcuts) by E. H. Zeydel (1944). The poem inspired the novel Ship of Fools (1962) by Katherine Anne Porter.

Brant, Sebastian

 

Born circa 1458 in Strasbourg; died May 10, 1521, in Strasbourg. German writer-humanist. Doctor of law.

In 1494, Brant published a book of verse satires, Ship of Fools, in which he exposed “knights” who earned their living through robbery, usurers who ruined poor people, dishonorable rulers, and self-interested members of the clergy. Brant’s satire was successful even in his own life. In 1877 the book was translated into modern German.

WORKS

Das Narrenschiff. Berlin, 1958.
In Russian translation:
Korabl’ durakov. Moscow, 1965. (Introduction by B. I. Purishev.)

REFERENCES

Purishev, B. I. Ocherki nemetskoi literatury XV-XVII vv. Moscow, 1955.
Zeydel, E. H. Sebastian Brant. New York [1967]. (Bibliography, pp. 157–62.)