Hebel, Johann Peter

Hebel, Johann Peter

(yō`hän pā`tər hā`bəl), 1760–1826, German short-story writer and dialect poet. Editor of Der rheinländische Hausfreund [Rhineland home companion] from 1801 to 1811, Hebel gained popularity as author of realistic, often humorous folk anecdotes with overtones of Christian ethic. A collection of these, Schatzkästlein [treasure box], appeared in 1811. In his Alemannische Gedichte [Alemannic poems] (1803), dialect is employed for fine poetic expression in verses that extol youth, mother love, and the beauties of nature.

Hebel, Johann Peter

 

Born May 10, 1760, in Basel; died Sept. 22, 1826, in Schwetzingen, Baden. German writer.

Hebel graduated from the faculty of theology of the University of Erlangen in 1780. In the collection Alemannic Poems (1803) he depicted the hard life of peasants and soldiers and the idyllic aspects of everyday rural life. Between 1808 and 1815, Hebel published popular calendars, which contained the short stories and anecdotes that are collected in The Treasury of a Rhineland Family Friend.

Hebel reworked folktales and ordinary events from contemporary life to create the genre of the brief humorous story. This form was further developed by such writers as B. Brecht and E. Stritmatter. In Russia, V. A. Zhukovskii translated some of Hebel’s works, and L. N. Tolstoy took an interest in the writer.

WORKS

Gesammelte Werke, vols. 1–2. Edited by E. Meckel. Berlin, 1958.
In Russian Translation:
In Nemetskie poety v biografiiakh i obraztsakh. Edited by N. V. Gerbel’. St. Petersburg, 1877.
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