Georg Christoph Lichtenberg

Also found in: Wikipedia.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Lichtenberg, Georg Christoph


Born July 1, 1742, in Ober-Ramstadt; died Feb. 24, 1799, in Göttingen. German writer, publicist, and scientist.

Lichtenberg graduated from the University of Göttingen, where he became a professor of physics in 1769. He researched the spark discharge at the interface between the solid dielectric and gas. In 1795 he was made an honorary member of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences. Lichtenberg wrote pamphlets opposing the physiological fabrications of Lavater and the excessive sentimentality of Sturm und Drang writers. The height of his Enlightenment satire was reached with Ample Commentary on the Engravings of Hogarth (1794–99) and Commentary on the Copper Engravings of Daniel Chodowiecki. In Aphorisms (1762–99; published 1902–08) he spoke out against serfdom and political fragmentation, hailed the French Revolution, and defended realist art.


Aphorismen, Essays, Briefe. Leipzig, 1963.
In Russian translation:
Aforizmy, 2nd ed. Foreword and concluding remarks by G. S. Slobodkin. Moscow, 1965.


Tronskaia, M. L. Nemetskaia satira epokhi Prosveshcheniia, ch. 5. Leningrad, 1962.
Promies, W. Georg Christoph Lichtenberg in Selbstzeugnissen und Bilddokumenten. Reinbek bei Hamburg, 1964.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Georg Christoph Lichtenberg's Idealism, STEVEN TESTER
But the reflections on style, the marginalia on art, the lists of novels and films, all generously accumulated here, eclipse autobiography, amounting instead to "waste books" affectionately modeled on those of Georg Christoph Lichtenberg. The great European modernists, the exiles--whose seriousness she first tasted as a child in California, at tea with Thomas Mann--are present throughout, giving the impression of a universal project to which Sontag's favored contemporary writers all managed somehow to contribute.
"A knife without a blade, which is missing the handle": While preparing the International Surrealist Exhibition in 1946, Andre Breton contemplated this impossible object, described in an aphorism by Georg Christoph Lichtenberg. The eighteenth-century German physicist-aim-philosopher is also quoted in Breton's Anthologie de l'humour noir (1940), which gave us the term black humor.
(1) Georg Christoph Lichtenberg The Waste Books; translated and with an introduction by R.
These insights also accounted for his fame and influence on his disciples: in England, Lord Chesterfield and Thomas Hardy; in Germany, Friedrich Nietzsche and Georg Christoph Lichtenberg; in France, Stendhal, Charles-Augustin Sainte-Beuve, and Andre Gide.
This in itself is remarkable in that its protagonist is a cripple: namely, Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742-99), the Enlightenment philosopher and scientist who was a dwarf-sized hunchback.