Johann Christoph Gottsched

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Johann Christoph Gottsched
BirthplaceJuditten, Brandenburg-Prussia

Gottsched, Johann Christoph


Born Feb. 2, 1700, in Königsberg; died Dec. 12. 1766, in Leipzig. German author and critic.

Gottsched was a representative of the early German Enlightenment. He edited some moralistic weeklies and collaborated with the theatrical company of Karoline Neuber. A convinced adherent of classicism, Gottsched argued against the extremes of baroque and for clarity and verisimilitude. His principal works were An Attempt at a Critical Poetics for the Germans (1730) and German Theater, by the Rules of Ancient Greece and Rome (vols. 1–6, 1741–45). German translations by Gottsched and his wife of the works of Corneille. Racine, and Molière played a definite role in shaping the German literary language and ideas of enlightenment. However, Gottsched’s servility to those in power and the abstract and lifeless nature of his classicism became a target of ridicule by G. E. Lessing and the writers of the Sturm und Drang school.


Gesammelte Schriften, vols. 1–5. Berlin, 1903–06. In Russian translation, in the book by N. V. Gerbel’. Nemetskie poety ν biogra-fiiakh i obraztsakh. St. Petersburg. 1877.


Reichel, E. Gottsched, vols. 1–2. Berlin-Schöneberg, 1912.


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