Georg Christoph Lichtenberg


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Lichtenberg, Georg Christoph

 

Born July 1, 1742, in Ober-Ramstadt; died Feb. 24, 1799, in Göttingen. German writer, publicist, and scientist.

Lichtenberg graduated from the University of Göttingen, where he became a professor of physics in 1769. He researched the spark discharge at the interface between the solid dielectric and gas. In 1795 he was made an honorary member of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences. Lichtenberg wrote pamphlets opposing the physiological fabrications of Lavater and the excessive sentimentality of Sturm und Drang writers. The height of his Enlightenment satire was reached with Ample Commentary on the Engravings of Hogarth (1794–99) and Commentary on the Copper Engravings of Daniel Chodowiecki. In Aphorisms (1762–99; published 1902–08) he spoke out against serfdom and political fragmentation, hailed the French Revolution, and defended realist art.

WORKS

Aphorismen, Essays, Briefe. Leipzig, 1963.
In Russian translation:
Aforizmy, 2nd ed. Foreword and concluding remarks by G. S. Slobodkin. Moscow, 1965.

REFERENCES

Tronskaia, M. L. Nemetskaia satira epokhi Prosveshcheniia, ch. 5. Leningrad, 1962.
Promies, W. Georg Christoph Lichtenberg in Selbstzeugnissen und Bilddokumenten. Reinbek bei Hamburg, 1964.
References in periodicals archive ?
The eighteenth-century German physicist, philosopher, and aphorist Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742-99) is well known for his objection to the substantial view of the self, but his thoughts on idealism and the relationship of his views to the positions of his philosophical predecessors are less familiar.
Existen tres antologias publicadas por el FCE en el 2012 muy recomendables: Paisaje caprichoso de la literatura rusa (antologia de obras de Pushkin, Gogol, Chejov, Bulgakov y Tsvietaieva, entre otros escritores; prologo de Juan Villoro y traduccion de Selma Ancira); Aforismos de Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (edicion y traduccion de Juan Villoro), una reimpresion de la primera edicion publicada en 1989.
But the reflections on style, the marginalia on art, the lists of novels and films, all generously accumulated here, eclipse autobiography, amounting instead to "waste books" affectionately modeled on those of Georg Christoph Lichtenberg.
A knife without a blade, which is missing the handle": While preparing the International Surrealist Exhibition in 1946, Andre Breton contemplated this impossible object, described in an aphorism by Georg Christoph Lichtenberg.
In the exacting ledger of posterity, the aphorist Georg Christoph Lichtenberg rates high but is undeniably a specialty item.
This in itself is remarkable in that its protagonist is a cripple: namely, Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742-99), the Enlightenment philosopher and scientist who was a dwarf-sized hunchback.
De esto ultimo fue enteramente consciente el gran aforista aleman Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, corresponsal de Goethe, academico, profesor de fisica en la Universidad de Gotinga (todo esto, segun informes de su traductor y presentador magnifico Juan Villoro).