Karl Kraus

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Kraus, Karl

 

Born Apr. 28, 1874, in Gitschin, now Jičín, Czechoslovakia; died June 12, 1936, in Vienna. Austrian writer, publicist, and philologist.

In 1897, Kraus wrote a satirical lampoon, “Destroyed Literature,” against the Viennese decadents. He published and edited the journal Die Fackel (1899–1936), in which he carried on polemics with bourgeois philosophical, political, and aesthetic ideas. He published many essays and articles on literature and language and collections of satirical feuilletons and aphorisms about international and Austrian life. His major work was the philosophical antiwar drama The Last Days of Mankind (1918–19). In his lampoon “The Invincible Ones” (1928), Kraus glorified the Viennese workers who, in the summer of 1927, stormed a reactionary law court. Kraus’ verse, written in the spirit of Goethe’s philosophical lyric poetry, often approached the impressionist poetry of C. Morgenstern and D. von Liliencron. His style is filled with metaphors and contrasts.

WORKS

Werke, vols. [1–9]. Munich, 1955–61.

REFERENCES

Iggers, W. A. Karl Kraus: A Viennese Critic of the Twentieth Century. The Hague, 1967. (Bibliography, pp. 230–45.)
Engelmann, P. Dem Andenken an Karl Kraus. Vienna [1967].
Kuhn, C. Karl Kraus als Lyriker. Paris, 1968.
References in periodicals archive ?
Kraus, especially through the publication of a literary and political review, Die Fackel (The Torch), offered critical, satirical, and sometimes brutal commentary on fin de siecle Vienna, leading up to the rise of German fascism.
His primary vehicle, the magazine Die Fackel (The Torch), was both the toast and scorn of Austria.
Kraus published Die Fackel from 1899 to 1936 on a more or less weekly schedule, covering countless matters and taking just as many positions on them.
THE GERMAN satirical magazine Simplicissimus (1896-1944), like its contemporaries Die Fackel in Austria and L'Assiette au beurre in France, used black humor to discuss the political and social issues of the times--in the case at hand, the differing approaches to colonialism by various European nation-states.
The pale figure of death appears with a torch: "Und manchmal da drehet / Die Fackel er um" [And then sometimes he turns / The torch upside down] (Eichendorff ,Werke, Vol.
In these pages, Mahler-Werfel presents the whole panoply of Viennese cultural life: her stepfather, the painter Carl Moll and the world of the Secession, Karl Kraus (whose first edition of Die Fackel she both praises and criticizes), Peter Altenberg, the salon of Bertha Zuckerkandl, theater director Max Burckhard, and the Wagnerian tenor Erik Schmedes, who, in a passage on page 100, memorably confirms her perception of the essential vanity of singers.