Martin Opitz


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Opitz, Martin

 

Born Dec. 23, 1597, in Bunzlau; died Aug. 20, 1639, in Danzig. German poet, classicist, and art theorist.

Opitz studied law and philology in Heidelberg and was in the diplomatic service of various princes. In his treatise Aristarchus (1617), he called on Germans to study and perfect their native language. In Buch von der deutschen Poeterey (1624) he provided a theoretical basis for the use of syllabotonic versification, which had become firmly established in German poetry. His poetry, written mostly to illustrate his theory, was based on the traditions of the classics and the Renaissance. Opitz introduced new forms, furthered the German literary language, and helped free poetry from antiquated medieval traditions. His best work is the narrative poem Trostgedichte in Widerwärtigkeit des Krieges (1633).

WORKS

Gesammelte Werke, vol. 1. Stuttgart, 1968.

REFERENCE

Purishev, B. Ocherki nemetskoi literatury XV-XVII v. Moscow, 1955.
References in periodicals archive ?
Are furthermore entitled to their own account - The public institution Disposal Herne : - The Foundation Martin Opitz library : - The Herne baths mbH.
Poetry, Knape observes, did not provide an item of analysis and discussion until the seventeenth century, when Martin Opitz, following Latin and French models, established a framework for literary creation and criticism that definitively supplanted the native, non-written tradition of the Meistersinger, whose practices were rooted in medieval Minnesang.
Whether or not he thought of the Provencal troubadour Arnaut Daniel, of Dante Alighieri, or of his fellow German poet Martin Opitz, Oskar Pastior presses his liberated word compositions into strict form.
27) Martin Opitz conceived his "Poems of Consolation in Adversities of War" equally early in the war, in 1621, before the true horrors of the war had begun, and suggested that: "The poor farmer has left everything/like when a dove sees a falcon in a stoop/his estate is stolen away, his buildings burned down/his animals gone, the barns knocked down/the noble vine ripped out/trees stand no more/the gardens are devastated/the sickle and plow are now a sharp sword.
Most typically the settings display syllabic declamation of the poetry, the majority of which is secular and written by contemporary poets, such as Martin Opitz, August Buchner, Johann Rist, Philipp von Zesen, and a number of others (including a few composers).
In trying to show "why the antiquaries did what they did," (131) he examines personal and more immediate meditations on the detritus of the past in Montaigne's Essays, in the poetry of Martin Opitz, in Thomas Browne's Urne Burriall, and in a telling episode from Tristram Shandy.
In German lands, the Poetics was not much cited before the end of the century, when from Jacobus Pontanus and Michael Praetorius to Martin Opitz above all, it became a fount of judgments and ideas.
Bernhard Asmuth (94113) identifies five epochs of German poetry; the one associated with humanism reached from Celtis to Martin Opitz.