Hugo von Hofmannsthal


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Related to Hugo von Hofmannsthal: Stefan Zweig

Hofmannsthal, Hugo von

 

Born Feb. 1, 1874, in Vienna; died July 15, 1929, in Rodaun. Austrian writer and essayist. Descended from an aristocratic family.

Hofmannsthal studied law and philology in Vienna and began publishing in the 1890’s. He devoted his talent to impressionism, symbolism, and neoromanticism. Repulsion for bourgeois reality and the uninspired naturalism in literature led Hofmannsthal to the cult of beauty and pleasures (his one-act drama The Death of Titian, 1892). His collection Poems and Short Plays (1907), along with damaging attitudes, expressed the dream of a life full of value, which aestheticism or hedonism cannot provide (the play Death and the Fool, 1894; published 1899). However, in Hofmann-sthal’s free adaptations of tragedies by Sophocles and Euripides (Electra, 1904–06, and Oedipus and the Sphinx, 1906) the heroes embody cruelty and pathological sensitivity, or they are the involuntary victims of fate. In the stylized medieval-type mystery plays (Everyman, 1911, and The Great Salzburg Theater of the World, 1922) there is a deepening of the decadent ideas of pessimism and mysticism. Hofmannsthal had a hostile attitude toward the October Revolution in Russia, and he aristocratically repudiated the power of the people (the drama The Tower, 1925).

WORKS

Gesammelte Werke, vols. 1–12. Frankfurt am Main, 1947–56.
Die Gedichte und kleinen Dramen. Leipzig, 1958.
In Russian translation:
Dramy. Moscow, 1906.

REFERENCES

Aksel’rod, I. Literaturno-kriticheskie ocherki. Minsk, 1923.
Istoriia nemetskoi literatury, vol. 4. Moscow, 1968.
Hammelmann, H. A. Hugo von Hofmannsthal. New Haven, Conn., 1957.
Hamburger, M. H. von Hofmannsthal. Göttingen [1964].
Weber, H. H. von Hofmannsthal: Bibliographie .... Berlin, 1966.

G. S. SLOBODKIN

References in periodicals archive ?
An even better known spokesman for interwar European unity than Rohan, who showed equally strong Habsburg sympathy, was Hugo von Hofmannsthal (1874-1929).
One of the Paterian ideas that certainly influenced Hugo von Hofmannsthal is the concept of the diaphanous character.
Here, as in the early works of Hugo von Hofmannsthal and Rilke, the poet registers the sublime found in quotidian experience.
Even while putting the final touches on Die agyptische Helena, he was pestering his librettist, Hugo von Hofmannsthal, for new ideas.
A veces, cuando a Bloom le da por reganarnos, uno querria decirle que, si sus alumnos creen que Hugo von Hofmannsthal es solamente el libretista de Richard Strauss y no el autor de La carta de Lord Chandos, pues peor para ellos: ese no es problema que deba preocupar al resto de la humanidad.
Certainly ``Rosenkavalier,'' with music by Strauss and a libretto by Hugo von Hofmannsthal, is an opera with many facets.
Originally planned by Strauss as a half hour opera it was later expanded into a rather larger affair, although Strauss, when he first read the text by Hugo von Hofmannsthal, admitted that he did not know what it was all about.
And the fascination with Arabia Felix continued into the twentieth century, occupying such minds as Hugo von Hofmannsthal, Rainer Maria Rilke, Hermann Hesse, and Thomas Mann.
German-language poetry from the late nineteenth century through the early twentieth century, produced three superstars: Rainer Maria Rilke, Hugo von Hofmannsthal, and Stefan George.
Hugo von Hofmannsthal began his literary career in 1891 in Vienna at the age of 17.
The Poetry of Hugo von Hofmannsthal and French Symbolism.