Wilhelm Raabe

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Raabe, Wilhelm


Born Sept. 8, 1831, in Escherhausen; died Nov. 15, 1910, in Braunschweig. German writer.

Raabe’s novella The Chronicle of Sparrow Lane (1856) dealt with the poor residents of the Berlin outskirts, who, despite conditions, still retained their sense of humor. His chief work is the trilogy consisting of the novels The Hungry Parson (1864), Abu Telfan (1867), and The Plague Cart (1870). The trilogy’s growing pessimism results from the eternal dissatisfaction that motivates people and from hunger, poverty, and the obtuseness and cynicism of the capitalist order. The tragically lonely hero of the novel The Chronicle of the Birds’ Song (1895) cannot resolve the conflict between lofty but illusory dreams and philistine reality. Raabe’s historical novellas lack originality. Despising capitalism, Raabe dreamed of a utopia of free cities in a patriarchal Germany.


Ausgewählte Werke, vols. 1–6. Berlin-Weimar, 1964–65.
In Russian translation:
Povesti i novelly. Moscow, 1959.


Istoriia nemetskoi literatury, vol. 4. Moscow, 1968.
Hagemann, L. W. Raabe Katalog, 2nd ed. Berlin, 1927.
Fehse, W. W. Raabe. Berlin, 1937.


References in periodicals archive ?
The nineteenth century German writer, Wilhelm Raabe, had been largely forgotten until a reassessment of his work began in the 1960s.
In his novel Der Hungerpastor, written in 1862, Wilhelm Raabe portrays in a positive manner a young pastor and provides a representative portrait of many clerics of the midnineteenth century.