Franz Werfel


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Franz Werfel
Birthday
BirthplacePrague, Austria-Hungary
Died
Occupation
Novelist, playwright and poet

Werfel, Franz

 

Born Sept. 10, 1890, in Prague; died Aug. 26, 1945, in Beverly Hills, California. Austrian writer.

Werfel studied at the German university in Prague. In the collections of versed Friend of the World (1912),We Exist (1913), and Judgment Day (1919) he exposed the horrors of war. A pioneer of expressionism in lyrics and drama, Werfel collaborated on the Berlin jounal Aktion. His plays Mirror Man (1920; Russian translation, 1922) and Paul Among the Jews (1927) and novels The Murdered Man Is Guilty (1920; Russian translation, 1924), The Class Reunion (1928), and The Star of the Unborn (1946) are characterized by ideas of abstract humanism with an inclination toward the mysticism of passive antimilitarism. His play Jacobowsky and the Colonel (1944) is antifascist.

WORKS

Gesammelte Werke [vols. 1-4]. Stockholm, 1948-56.
In Russian translation:
Smert’ meshchanina. Leningrad, 1927.
Verdi: Roman opery. Moscow, 1962.

REFERENCES

Puttkammer, A. von. Franz Werfel: Wort und Antwort. Würzburg [1952].
Turrian, M. Dostojewski} und Franz Werfel. Bern [1950].
Keller, E. Franz Werfel: Sein Bild des Menschen. Aarau, 1958.

S. D. KOMAROV

References in periodicals archive ?
On May 10, 1933, the year of the canonization of Saint Bernadette, Franz Werfel's books (among those of some 130 authors), which had first been systematically removed from libraries and bookstores throughout Germany, were publicly burnt, ]ungk relates, "in the centers of all German university towns" (141).
Based on extensive reading of the relevant secondary literature and research into (often heavily redacted) FBI records--supplemented by research into relevant, accessible records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, the Office of Strategic Services, and the State Department--the author has written an important study of "FBI surveillance of German emigre writers" (notably, Bertolt Brecht, Thomas Mann, Lion Feuchtwanger, Anna Seghers, Berthold Viertel, Oscar Graff, Franz Werfel, and Erwin Piscator).
[and] the only publishing venture of its kind on the West Coast, the Pazifische Presse fulfilled its stated mission, which was 'to give testimony to the eminent cultural force that was expelled by Hitler and which found a future in America.'" The eleven books have become collectors' items, although most American readers are unlikely to be familiar with the authors other than Thomas Mann and maybe Franz Werfel and Alfred Doblin.
architect and Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius and writer Franz Werfel;
Outsiders were encouraged to seek out their own homelands, and the Nazi powers before and during the Third Reich were quite happy when Jewish and Gentile dramatists, writers, filmmakers, and scientists such as the Manns, Bertold Brecht, Max Reinhardt, Ernst Toller, Carl Zuckmeyer, Peter Weiss, Franz Werfel, Fritz Lang, Otto Preminger, William Wyler, Fred Zinnemann, Billy Wilder, and Albert Einstein fled into exile.
NAMES LIKE FEUCHTWANGER, Werfel, and Seghers probably won't ring many bells today, but in the 1930s and `40s a long list of German playwrights, poets, and novelists were household names in America: Not just Thomas Mann, Nobel Prizewinning author of Magic Mountain, and Bertolt Brecht, librettist of The Three Penny Opera, endure today, but dozens of others who time has forgotten, including Anna Seghers, Franz Werfel, and Lion Feuchtwanger.
It was a three-hanky movie that sent me off to the library to read Czech novelist Franz Werfel's book of the same title.
The book's many merits include its attention not only to Kafka but to Max Brod, Franz Werfel, Paul Kornfeld and Egon Erwin Kisch, with occasional reference to less-known Prague writers.
Over a period of thirteen months he rescued approximately 1,500 prominent men and women of letters and political leaders, among them Marc Chagall, Enrico Fermi, Lion Feuchtwanger, Heinrich Mann, and Franz Werfel. In rescuing these figures and bringing them to America, Fry played a role in developing Western culture in the postwar world.
They included Heinrich Mann and his nephew, the historian Golo Mann; Lion Feuchtwanger; Franz Werfel; the Hitler biographer Konrad Heiden; Marc Chagall; and the sculptor Jacques Lipchitz.
But a second team consisted of Marc Chagall, Max Ernst, Jacques Lipchitz, and the writers, Heinrich Mann, Lion Feuchtwanger and Franz Werfel and his demon wife, Alma Mahler.
George Perle is the obvious person to give us the definitive study of Berg's Lyric Suite: it was he who discovered the annotated score that, in revealing Berg's passion for Hanna Fuchs-Robettin, sister of Franz Werfel and sister-in-law of Alma Mahler, changed the face of Berg studies.