Gottfried August Bürger

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Bürger, Gottfried August


Born Dec. 31, 1747, in Molmerswende; died June 8, 1794, in Göttingen. German poet. Son of a pastor. Received a legal education.

Bürger was one of the spokesmen for the ideas of Sturm und Drang. Using folklore traditions, he created the genre of the serious ballad, which was new to German literature (Lenore, 1773, Russian translation by V. A. Zhukovskii and free translation by P. A. Katenin entitled Ol’ga; The Wild Hunter, 1786; and others). Burger’s hostility to the feudal system was manifested strikingly in his poem The Peasant to His Most Illustrious Tyrant (1773), in epigrams (The Nobleman and the Peasant, The Coat of Arms), and in the satirical episodes of a novel about Münchhausen (1786, a reworking of the book by R. E. Raspe). A supporter of the Great French Revolution, Bürger denounced the reactionary coalition of the European monarchs and called upon the German people to refuse to participate in the war.


Werke und Briefe. A selection published by W. Friedrich. Leipzig [1958].
In Russian translation:
[Stikhotvoreniia.] In Nemetskie poety v biografiiakh i obraztsakh. Edited by N. V. Gerbel’. St. Petersburg, 1877. Pages 112-25.
Udivitel’nye prikliucheniia barona Miunkhgauzena. Moscow, 1956.


Reiman, Reiman, P. Osnovnye techeniia v nemetskoi literature 1750-1848. Moscow, 1959. Pages 178-84, 196-97.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
In Gottfried August Burger's 'Lenore', for instance, the spectral horseman and his bride after encountering a burial party on their night-ride meet with a spiralling wheel of airy spirits dancing who are also invited to the bridal feast:
(11) 'Lenore', in Gottfried August Burger's Gedichte, ed.
Elise Hahn Burger (1769-1833) famously dedicated a poem to Storm and Stress author Gottfried August Burger in the journal Beobachter in 1789 (Kinder, preface).
Itself inspired by a traditional English ballad, "Sweet William's Ghost," Gottfried August Burger's "Lenora" (1774) inspired in its turn the genre's popularity in England.
He studied law at the University of Edinburgh and at the age of 25 began to dabble in translations of German ballads by Gottfried August Burger.
Gottfried August Burger, for example, was a mentor figure to Gatterer, while Baldinger in Gottingen came into contact with a wide circle of prominent male scholars, and the painful consciousness of her exclusion from that circle by virtue of being a woman is evident in her autobiography.
Two of his best plays, Der alte Freiherr (1825; "The Old Baron") and Lenore (1829), a dramatization of Gottfried August Burger's poem, achieved great popularity.