Hermann Broch

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Broch, Hermann


Born Nov. 1, 1886, in Vienna; died May 30, 1951, in New Haven, Conn. Austrian writer. Son of a factory owner.

Broch directed a textile concern in Vienna until 1928, when he began his literary career. In 1938 he emigrated to the USA. His novels portray the life of Austrian and German society in the period of the approaching collapse of monarchical Germany (the trilogy Lunatics, 1931-32) and Austria before World War I (The Tempter, 1953). The novel The Death of Virgil (1945) is devoted to the problems of artistic creativity. In the novel The Innocents (1950) Broch demonstrated how people’s indifference to politics facilitated fascism’s rise to power. The novella A Passing Cloud (1931) and the plays For They Know Not What They Do (1933) and Atonement (1933) have an antifascist character. Broch’s art contains the contradictory combination of a realistic critique of bourgeois relations and exposure of fascism along with subjectivism and alogism in the spirit of J. Joyce. Broch wrote the study James Joyce and Contemporaneity (1936).


Gesammelte Werke, vols. 1-8. Zürich, 1953-57.
Die Idee ist ewig: Essays und Briefe.[Munich, 1968.]


Durzak, M. H. Broch. Berlin, 1968.


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Most of the essays are either reviews of individual works or retrospective appreciations of other writers, examples including Rainier Maria Rilke, Franz Kafka, Stefan Zweig, Hans Hagen, Herman Broch, Rudyard Kipling, Randall Jarrell, Bertolt Brecht, W.