Gottfried Keller

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Keller, Gottfried


Born July 19, 1819, in Zürich; died there July 15, 1890. Swiss author, writing in German.

Keller studied in Munich at the Academy of Arts from 1840 to 1842. He began his literary career in 1846 as a writer of political verse. During a stay in Germany between 1848 and 1855, he became acquainted with L. Feuerbach’s materialist philosophy, which influenced his outlook. In 1855 he published the novel Green Henry, written in the tradition of the 18th-century Bildungsroman, whose protagonist is an artist who seeks to find his way in the midst of a cruel struggle for existence. A realistic portrayal of bourgeois relations merges with illusions of an idyllic unity of nations. In Zürich he published the collections of novellas The People of Seldwyla (vols. 1–2, 1856–74), Seven Legends (1872), Zürich Novellas (1878), and Epigram (1881).

A true educator, Keller seeks to influence the reader by fostering civic consciousness and a humanistic outlook. In the novellas of his first collection he attacks philistinism. Romantic ardor, vivid imagery, and gentle humor mark his artistic style. The collection Seven Legends, a passionate hymn to life, shows his hatred of religious mysticism. The stories in Zürich Novellas, based on historical material, evoke Swiss customs and society, affirming petit bourgeois democratic ideals. The works of the 1880’s, written during the crisis of Swiss democracy, reveal a narrowing of Keller’s social outlook, for example, Epigram and the novel Martin Salander (1886), depicting life in Switzerland.


Sämtliche Werke, vols. 1–8. Berlin, 1958.
In Russian translation:
Novelly. Moscow-Leningrad, 1952.
Zelenyi Genrikh. Moscow, 1958.


Bannikova, N. P. “Tvorchestvo Gotfrida Kellera i stanovlenie metoda kriticheskogo realizma vo vtoroi polovine XIX veka.” In Literatura Shveitsarii. Moscow, 1969.
Gotfrid Keller: Biobibliograficheskii ukazatel’. Moscow, 1965.
Lukács, G. Gottfried Keller. Berlin, 1947.
Drews, R. G. Keller: Dichter, Politiker und Patriot. Berlin, 1953.
Wiesmann, L. G. Keller. Frauenfeld-Stuttgart, 1967.


References in periodicals archive ?
Otro documento similar es el epistolario de Friedrich Nietzsche (1919) que agrupa las cartas del filosofo con su madre y hermana, con Ricardo Wagner, el Baron de Gersdorff Erwin Rohde, Peter Gast, Federico Ritschl, Paul Deussen, Hugo von Senger, Maria Baumgartner, Carlos Hillebrand, Gottfried Keller, Jacobo Burckhardt, etc.
Clemens Brentano's Gypsies are cosmopolitan heroes triumphing over cultural difference in a Romantic utopia, while Gottfried Keller and Wilhelm Raabe display a critical awareness of the harsh reality that confronted Roma and Sinti in their daily lives as targets of persecution in a police state.
As Gottfried Keller pointed out, literature consists of a number of plots that are reworked again and again (p.
Though Johanna Spyri joined a literary society, met Richard Wagner and writer Gottfried Keller, she cared little for city life and fought depression.
Knowles's provocative "Opus Posthumous: James Joyce, Gottfried Keller, Othmar Scho eck, and Samuel Barber" shows how Keller's collection of poems Lebendig Begraben served as a locus of creative energy for Joyce, the Swiss composer Schoeck, and Barber: all these artists participated in the romantic cult of live burial and of the living dead.
He seeks to expose its roots through a detailed account of nineteenth-century social controversies involving the republican founding father Alfred Escher, the radical political pamphleteer Friedrich Locher, and the writer Gottfried Keller, in whose novels Muschg traces the literary response to, and analysis of, the social malaise of his day.
The index of names and subjects, while admirably detailed, has its eccentricities: for example German nationality is wrongly ascribed to Gottfried Keller, Eduard Hanslick and Oskar Kokoschka.
The People of Seldwyla; vol 1, 1856; vol 2, 1874) A collection of humorous novellas by Gottfried Keller, all set in the fictional Swiss town of Seldwyla.
After a quick review of the rapid changes and ruptures brought about by swift industrialization and urban growth, particularly in Berlin, Lyon looks closely at the function of place in four selected texts by Wilhelm Raabe (Chronik der Sperlingsgasse and Die Akten des Vogelsangs), Theodor Fontane (Irrungen, Wirrungen) and Gottfried Keller (Martin Salander).
Although justly prized as a Swiss classic, Gottfried Keller is an author of European stature, the nearest counterpart in German to the great Victorian novelists.
Gottfried Keller later characterized him as " this son of Horace and a fine Swabian lady, " by which he meant that Morike's poetry combines classical balance and monumentality (Horatian qualities), sophisticated charm and wit (the lady), and deep feeling for his Swabian homeland.