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).


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


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.


References in periodicals archive ?
Hugo von Hofmannsthal, Gesammelte Werke (Frankfurt, 1980), Reden und Aufsatze 1925-1929, vol.
One of the Paterian ideas that certainly influenced Hugo von Hofmannsthal is the concept of the diaphanous character.
Such artistry is essential in this ultimate collaboration between Hugo von Hofmannsthal and Strauss, where the text is as important as the music.
And so it is with ``Die Frau Ohne Schatten'' (``The Woman Without a Shadow''), the most wildly fable-like of Richard Strauss' collaborations with Hugo von Hofmannsthal.
One of Hugo's most astute early commentators, the great Austrian poet and dramatist Hugo von Hofmannsthal, suggested that this plastic ability of identification developed early in Victor Hugo's childhood when he haunted the public gardens of Paris.
While we wait, we are afflicted with the "immense malady of reading," as Hugo von Hofmannsthal described it.
1640) which inspired both Walter Benjamin and Hugo von Hofmannsthal.
Die agyptische Helene is a real problem piece, another collaboration with Hugo von Hofmannsthal but one that somehow didn't seem to come off too well.
When Musil writes "From everywhere it is just a single step into the metaphysical," he seems to be giving a slight, almost technical twist to the saying by Hugo von Hofmannsthal (one of the few Austrian writers he admired), "Each subject-matter at each point leads to the Infinite.
The chapter on the multiple versions of Ariadne auf Naxos is particularly good in this regard, with liberal quotations from both sides of Strauss's correspondence with Hugo von Hofmannsthal illuminating the history of this complex work.
Strauss's librettist, Hugo von Hofmannsthal, first suggested that Helen of Troy might provide subject matter for an opera--a comedy perhaps, something light-hearted, more buoyant and akin to operetta with spoken dialogue.
In 1924, a motion-picture company approached Richard Strauss and his librettist, Hugo von Hofmannsthal, for permission to produce a silent film--to be accompanied by a live orchestra--of their hit opera, Der Rosenkavalier.