Franz Grillparzer

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Grillparzer, Franz


Born Jan. 15, 1791, in Vienna; died there Jan. 21, 1872. Austrian playwright.

Grillparzer studied law in Vienna and combined careers in literature and the civil service. In 1856 he retired and traveled around Europe. In 1826 he became acquainted with Goethe, and in 1836 in Paris he met L. Börne, who gave a very favorable evaluation of Grillparzer’s first important drama, the “tragedy of fate” The Ancestress (1817). He also became acquainted with Heine, and was a friend of Beethoven.

Grillparzer is the father of modern Austrian drama. His works were pervaded with protest against the reactionary feudal-bureaucratic regime of Chancellor Metternich and the egoistic spirit of emerging capitalist society. Thus, many of his plays were banned by the censor or were received with hostility by bourgeois audiences (for example, the comedy Thou Shalt Not Lie, 1838). However. Grillparzer’s world view was inconsistent: he saw no forces capable of countervailing the old Austria, which he despised, and in the Revolution of 1848–49 in Germany he took the side of the government.

In Grillparzer’s works the traditions of Enlightenment classicism are combined with romanticism and realism and the clarity and austerity of classical composition with romantic lyricism, symbolism, and the fervid fantasy and color of mass scenes. In the tragedy Sappho (1818) he depicted the tragic incompatibility of art and life. In Waves of the Sea and of Love (1831), Grillparzer upheld the freedom of natural craving against religious asceticism. In the plays King Ot-tocar: His Rise and Fall (1825) and The Dream, a Life (1834) he debunked lust for power and conquest and the cult of the strong man, for whom Napoleon served as prototype. Libussa (1844) conveys the humanist dream of a future society. Outstanding among Grillparzer’s short stories is “The Poor Musician” (1848), which is about the fortunes of an oppressed man of the people.


Sämtliche Werke, vols. 1–42. Berlin, 1909–48.
In Russian translation:
P’esy. Introductory article and annotations by E. Etkind. Moscow-Leningrad, 1961.
[“Novelly.”] In Avstriiskaia novella XIX v. Moscow. 1959.


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Wells, G. A. The Plays of Grillparzer. London [1969].


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"Argonaut und Tourist: Reprasentationen der Fremde(n) bei Franz Grillparzer." Aneignungen, Enfremdungen: The Austrian Playwright Franz Grillparzer (1791-1872).
So, for example, Part 1 begins with an epigraph, taken from Austrian writer Franz Grillparzer's play Die Argonauten and translated into English (35).
Du Arme!" (Franz Grillparzer, Medea [Berlin: Ullstein Bucher, 1966], 19).
Franz Grillparzer was a prolific dramatist influenced by the Spanish theatre of the siglo de oro as well as by classical drama.
Other noteworthy authors, represented by one play each, are Georg Buchner (Dantons Tod), Friedrich Hebbel (Judith), Johann Nestroy (Judith und Holofernes), Franz Grillparzer (Konig Ottokars Gluck und Ende), and Karl Lebrecht Immermann (Andreas Hofer).
Just as Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel and Franz Grillparzer had rebuked Weber for violating their classicistic ideals of musical beauty in Freischutz and Euryanthe so too did Berlioz's detractors, like Franz Brendel, criticize him for emphasizing "character" to such a degree that his music seemed to sacrifice unity of mood and to deny the true nature of instrumental music.
Since entering the Viennese public with the gothic drama Die Ahnfrau (1817), Franz Grillparzer's work and Grillparzer the man have been contested territory, as is obvious from the mixed reception and the continuing controversies: nineteenth-century conservatives claimed him as their own, as did early feminists and post-WWI adherents to the imperial ideal.
Here, her examples range from Zacharias Werner's Wanda, Konigin der Sarmaten and Johann Karl Musaus' and Franz Grillparzer's Libussa texts to Clemens Brentano's Die Grundung Prags and Karoline von Woltmann's Der Madchenkrieg.
Lessing, Friedrich Schiller, Achim von Arnim, Annette von Droste-Hulshoff, Adalbert Stifter, and Franz Grillparzer, Helfer shows how these authors create their Jewish characters from stock images of anti-Semitism.
Attempts such as those of Scribe and Halevy, Albert Dulk, and Franz Grillparzer (essays by Sieghart Dohring, Anat Feinberg and Florian Krobb) to elevate the role of Jewish protagonists beyond caricature and place them in a serious ethical and political debate about Jewish and Christian coexistence in modern Europe are offset by the persistence of stereotypical portrayals of Jewish characters, such as in Hans Pfitzner's operas Die Rose vom Liebesgarten and Das Herz (Sabine Busch-Frank), Strauss's Salome, and Busoni's Die Brautwahl (Frank Halbach).