Friedrich Von Spielhagen

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Spielhagen, Friedrich Von


Born Feb. 24, 1829, in Magdeburg; died Feb. 25, 1911, in Berlin. German writer.

Spielhagen studied first at the law faculty of the University of Berlin and then at the philosophy faculties of the universities of Bonn and Greifswald. His most famous novel, In Formation (1866; Russian translation under the title One Not a Soldier in the Field, 1867–68), shows that an exceptional personality cannot successfully transform society without the support of the masses. Spielhagen’s works are noted for their veracity of portrayal, their wealth of ideas, and their declamatory spirit. After 1870 his novels became predominantly sentimental, moralizing, and melodramatic; some of them, however, such as Storm Flood (1876), have marked denunciatory elements.

Spielhagen’s topical political novels were popular in Russia during the second half of the 19th century, especially among the Narodniki (Populists).


Ausgewählte Romane [vols. 1–10]. Leipzig, 1907–10.
Meisterromane, vols. 1–3. Leipzig [1929].
In Russian translation:
Sobr. soch., vols. 1–23. St. Petersburg, 1896–99.
Sobr. soch., vol. 1, books 1–5. Leningrad, 1929–30.
Otkrytoepis’mo kgrafu L’vu Tolstomu. St. Petersburg, 1896.


Mehring, F. “F. Spil’gagen.” In his book Literaturno-krilicheskie stat’i, vol. 2. Moscow-Leningrad, 1934.
Kuczynski, J. “Fr. Spielhagen.” In his book Gestalten und Werke, vol. 1. Berlin-Weimar, 1969.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
However, such uses of the word objektiv should not lead to confusion between his aversion to a dominant authorial voice and the poetics of total objectivity advanced, most notably, by his contemporary Friedrich Spielhagen, who requires that the novel show characters 'hinter denen der Dichter ullig und ausnahmslos verschwindet'.
(11) Friedrich Spielhagen, Neue Beitrage zur Theorie und Technik der Epik und Dramatik (Leipzig: Staackmann, 1898), p.
Thus he not only provides a detailed account of Friedrich Spielhagen, who in the much-read Sturmflut (1876) surveyed the condition of Grunderzeit Germany, but tells us about the Swiss dramatist Joseph Victor Widmann, author of a play, Maikaferkomodie (1897), whose characters are all insects, and recalls the scandal surrounding the Viennese ex-prostitute Ada Christen, who began her poetic career with Lieder einer Verworfenen (1868).
Friedrich Spielhagen: Novelist of Germany's False Dawn.
There can be no doubt that Friedrich Spielhagen (1829-1911) was one of the most prolific novelists of German Realism and certainly the most important proponent of the German socio-political novel (Zeitroman) in the later nineteenth century.
Plett begins with Friedrich Spielhagen's Problematische Naturen, the Goethean title of which has supplied her own, and In Reih' und Glied; the dubious heroes of both deviate considerably from Spielhagen's theoretical requirements.
Along the way Wagner contextualizes Friedrich Spielhagen's slating of Middlemarch, even by his standards of criticism a maddeningly obtuse performance.