Georg Brandes

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Brandes, Georg


Born Feb. 4, 1842, in Copenhagen; died there on Feb. 12, 1927. Danish literary critic and publicist.

Brandes began his literary career in the 1860’s. In his major works he followed the principles of positivist aesthetics and some principles of the comparative historical method, combining them with psychological and biographical characterizations of writers and literary heroes. In 1871 he began giving lectures at the University of Copenhagen; these lectures were the beginning of his principal work, Main Currents in 19th-century Literature (vols. 1–6, 1872–90). In this work Brandes offered a characterization of the literature of the first half of the 19th century and made the first attempt to correlate the literatures of Western Europe. He published the works Søren Kierkegaard (1877), Benjamin Disraeli (1878) and Ludvig Holberg (1884) and so-called monographs on heroes—William Shakespeare (vols. 1–3, 1895–96) and Wolfgang Goethe (vols. 1–2, 1914–15). All these works reflected his idealistic views.

Brandes’ publicistic activity in the 1870’s and 1880’s played a considerable role in the struggle against political and religious reaction. His books Polish Impressions (1888) and Russian Impressions (1888), which were written after his travels in Poland (1886) and Russia (1887), as well as his essays on A. S. Pushkin, I. S. Turgenev, A. I. Herzen, N. G. Chernyshevskii, L. N. Tolstoy, Gorky, and others, contributed to the popularization of Slavic and especially Russian literature in Western Europe. In 1912, Brandes noted the appearance of a proletarian literature in Denmark in connection with the publication of M. Andersen Nexö’s novel Pelle the Conqueror. He opposed World War I, and in 1920 he signed the Ciarté Manifesto. Brandes spoke out in defense of the Soviet republic.


Samlede skrifter, vols. 1–19. Copenhagen, 1899–1910.
Levned, [vols.] 1–3. [Copenhagen], 1905–1908.
In Russian translation:
Sobr. Sochinenii, 2nd ed., vols. 1–20. St. Petersburg, [1906–14].
“Iz avtobiografii Georga Brandesa.” Russkaia mysl’, 1907, no. 8.


Derzhavin, N. “Georg Brandes.” Zhizn’ iskusstva, 1927, no. 10.
Nusinov, I. “K stoletiuu so dnia rozhdeniia Georga Brandesa.” Internatsional’ naia literatura, 1942, no. 2.
Aleksandrov, D. B. “Georg Brandes ν otsenke sovremennogo datskogo literaturovedeniia.” Skandinavskii sbornik, 1964, issue 9.
Rubow, P. V. Georg Brandes og den kritiske tradition i det nittende aarhundrede. Copenhagen, 1931.
Fenger, H. Georg Brandes’ laereår, 1857–1872. [Copenhagen], 1955.
Fenger, H. Den unge Brandes. [Copenhagen], 1957.
Rue, H. Georg Brandes og socialismen. Skjern, 1957.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
89-174; Edward Dowden, 'Shakspere Primer,' 119 ff.; Barrett Wendell, 'William Shakspere,' 250 ff.; Georg Brandes, 'William Shakespeare,' one vol.
In 1889, two years after the publication of Harald Hoffding's Etik, the literary historian Georg Brandes (1842-1927) published the article "Aristokratisk Radikalisme" (Aristocratic radicalism) in the magazine Tilskueren.
A major discussion involves the Danish modernist movement in which literary critic Georg Brandes and his book Det moderne Gjennembruds Mand (Men of the Modern Breakthrough [Copenhagen: Gyldendal, 1883]) were major factors.
133; among his detractors Wolfgang Menzel's nationalistic rant near the beginning and Adolf Bartels's anti-Semitic rant near the end; a great deal of poetry, from bits of the verse of Empress Elisabeth, which she believed had been dictated by Heine from the other world, to Gottfried Keller's rascally Der Apotheker von Chamounix, one of the few critical engagements with Heine that can compete with him in wit and imagination; the Jewish assimilationists Gustav Karpeles and Karl Emil Franzos; and a number of observers of subtlety and seriousness, among them Friedrich Nietzsche, the Danish literary historian Georg Brandes, here admitted as an honorary German, the perceptive Naturalist critic Leo Berg, and Thomas Mann.
Benedictsson committed suicide shortly after completing the play and the action cleaves to her relationship with the famous Danish critic Georg Brandes. In the play, however, central character Louise (Nancy Carroll) is seduced by Gustave (Zubin Varla), a powerfully engaging sculptor.
In 1805 Adam Gottlob Oehlenschlager published Aladdin or the Wonderful Lamp and, in the words of the Danish critic Georg Brandes, he became the figure who energized Denmark's intellectual life in the nineteenth century.
And when he moved from so-called romantic verse to so-called realistic prose, under the influence of Georg Brandes, he could have written novels.
Sell, "Henry V and the Strength and Weakness of Words: Shakespearean Philology, Historicist Criticism, Communicative Pragmatics"; Clas Zilliacus, "Notes on Metrical and Deictical Problems in Shakespeare Translation"; Niels Bugge Hansen, "Observations on Georg Brandes' Contribution to the Study of Shakespeare"; Michael Srigley, "'Heavy-headed revel east and west': Hamlet and Christian IV of Denmark"; and Gunnar Sorelius, "The Stockholm 1944 Anti-Nazi Merchant of Venice: The Uncertainty of Response."
Danish culture changed after the day Georg Brandes said the name "Nietzsche" in a lecture.