Hugo von Hofmannsthal

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Hugo von Hofmannsthal, Gesammelte Werke (Frankfurt, 1980), Reden und Aufsatze 1925-1929, vol.
Information about the seldom-performed song cycle 6 Monologes aus Jedermann by Frank Martin is offered in the entry under dramatist Hugo von Hofmannsthal, who wrote the text.
Hugo von Hofmannsthal was--besides poet, playwright, essayist, librettist, and fiction writer--a universally admired sensitive soul, the kind imperial Austria seemed to specialize in.
David Bathrick's discussion of songwriter and poet Wolf Biermann rightly focuses on issues of censorship and East German party politics (Biermann's poetry is not formally interesting), but the lack of any sustained discussion of Else Lasker-Schuler, Hugo von Hofmannsthal, Bertolt Brecht, Ingeborg Bachmann, Johannes Bobrowski, Gunter Eich, or Ernst Jandl as poets makes it impossible to follow the internal, formal development of a genre that was vitally important to German readers throughout much of the century.
Kessler suggested to Hugo von Hofmannsthal the central idea, and wrote the scenario that later became Der Rosenkavalier, and he later collaborated with Serge Diaghilev and Hofmannsthal on a ballet based on the biblical story of Joseph.
Among his contemporaries, it was Hugo von Hofmannsthal and Peter Altenberg to whom he felt initially particularly close.
A Companion to the Works of Hugo von Hofmannsthal. Edited by Thomas A.
(1) Speaking of this work, which was written in 1810, the noted writer, Hugo von Hofmannsthal, boasted that "no one ...
In 1908, he treated Maillol and the Austrian poet Hugo von Hofmannsthal (with whom Kessler had collaborated on a ballet for Diaghilev, The Legend of Joseph) to a trip to Greece, to experience the classical Holy Land.
Hugo von Hofmannsthal, who had read nearly all of Pater's work, refers in his writings to several of Pater's ideas.