Christoph Martin Wieland

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Wieland, Christoph Martin


Born Sept. 5, 1733, in Oberholzheim, near Biberach; died Jan. 20, 1813, in Weimar. German writer. A pastor’s son.

Wieland studied at the University of Tubingen. He published didactic religious narrative poems, including The Trial of Abraham (1753). In 1772 he became tutor to the future Duke Charles Augustus in Weimar, where he published the magazine Der Deutsche Merkur (1773-1810). In poking fun at both sentimental daydreaming and moral asceticism, Wieland contributed to the rococo literature of the aristocratic salon. His Agathon (1766; Russian translation, 1783-84) was the first example in Germany of the Enlightenment ’’novel of education.” His satirical novel The Abderites (1774; Russian translation, 1832-40) and his narrative poemMusarion (1768) are set in ancient Greece. Wieland’s best work is his fantastic narrative poem Oberon (1780; Russian translation, 1787). Wieland’s philistine trust in the final victory of“common sense” and his role as court poet made him a target of ridicule by the Sturm und Drang writers, notably Goethe, and later by H. Heine. However, his translations of Lucian and Shakespeare were of progressive significance for the development of German culture.


Sümtliche Werke, vols. 1-53. Leipzig, 1818-29.


Reiman, P. Osnovnye techeniia v nemetskoi literature, 1750-1848. Moscow, 1959. (Translated from German.)
Sengle, F. Wieland. Stuttgart, 1949.
Hecker, J. Wieland…. Weimar, 1966.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
In his discussion of Christoph Martin Wieland's fictional Reise des Priesters Abulfauaris ins innere Afrika (1768), he then highlights the dilemma of critical exoticism, since Wieland critiques Rousseau's concept of the 'noble savage' and exposes the (gendered) violence of colonial conquest, while at the same time reinforcing the Enlightenment's vision of cultural development defined by Europe.
Many leading writers of the age, including Friedrich Nicolai, Johann Caspar Lavater, Johann Gottfried Herder and Christoph Martin Wieland, wrote abou t the implications of the crime.
Baudach uses this enframed text as a way to develop a classification scheme for his primary subject in this study, the European state-of-nature utopian text in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries in general, and as exemplified in the writing of Christoph Martin Wieland in particular, because he sees in Knigge's narrative an example of an explicit consciousness of genres within utopian literature of that period.
In that year her close friend and cousin, the well-known writer Christoph Martin Wieland, edited and published her first novel.
One of the most important of these initiatives was Der Teutsche Merkur, founded by Christoph Martin Wieland and published at Weimar in collaboration with Friedrich Justin Bertuch, a man with sound business acumen.
Lord Berners' prose translation of Huon de Bordeaux furnished the name Oberon and the fairy element for William Shakespeare's play A Midsummer Night's Dream (performed 1595-96), Ben Jonson's court masque Oberon, the Faery Prince (1611), and Christoph Martin Wieland's verse romance Oberon (1780).
Finally, in relation to Das Kathchen von Heilbronn, Oesterle extends Max Kommerell's observation, 'Kleist liebt die Verhore', into an interpretation of Kathchen as a 'schone Seele' as conceived by Christoph Martin Wieland. This is a rich collection of essays (lacking only an index), and it will surely be an indispensable reference point for all future Kleist scholars.