Polenz, Wilhelm Von

Polenz, Wilhelm Von

 

Born Jan. 14, 1861, in Ober-cunewalde; died Nov. 13, 1903, in Bautzen. German writer.

Polenz studied history and law and began his literary career by writing dramas, including Heinrich von Kleist in 1891 and Andreas Bockhott in 1898. He was influenced by E. Zola. His famous trilogy— The Pastor of Breitendorf (1893; Russian translation, 1903), The Peasant Cooper (1895; Russian translation, 1902, with a foreword by L. N. Tolstoy), and The Gravedigger (1897)—depicts the downfall of the patriarchal way of life under the destructive impact of capitalism. Dramatic episodes from the life of the impoverished peasantry and farmhands are essential to the collection Village Stories (1901; Russian translation, 1910). In the cycle of sketches The Land of the Future (1903; Russian translation, 1904), he expressed a critical attitude toward the social system of the USA. He also wrote poetry, which was collected in Harvesttime and published in 1904.

WORKS

Gesammelte Werke, vols. 1–10. Berlin, 1909–11.
In Russian translation:
Na zarabotkakh. [Moscow] 1930.

REFERENCE

Tholen, W. W. von Polenz…. Cologne, 1924. (Dissertation.)
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