Johann Peter Hebel

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Hebel, Johann Peter


Born May 10, 1760, in Basel; died Sept. 22, 1826, in Schwetzingen, Baden. German writer.

Hebel graduated from the faculty of theology of the University of Erlangen in 1780. In the collection Alemannic Poems (1803) he depicted the hard life of peasants and soldiers and the idyllic aspects of everyday rural life. Between 1808 and 1815, Hebel published popular calendars, which contained the short stories and anecdotes that are collected in The Treasury of a Rhineland Family Friend.

Hebel reworked folktales and ordinary events from contemporary life to create the genre of the brief humorous story. This form was further developed by such writers as B. Brecht and E. Stritmatter. In Russia, V. A. Zhukovskii translated some of Hebel’s works, and L. N. Tolstoy took an interest in the writer.


Gesammelte Werke, vols. 1–2. Edited by E. Meckel. Berlin, 1958.
In Russian Translation:
In Nemetskie poety v biografiiakh i obraztsakh. Edited by N. V. Gerbel’. St. Petersburg, 1877.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Johann Peter Hebel's work is the significant precursor in this context.
Yet Middleton traces a long genealogy for the form, from Apuleius and Attar, through Thomas Traherne, Pascal, and Johann Peter Hebel, to Nietzsche, Kafka, and Benjamin, Shuntaro Tanikawa, Slawomir Mrozek, and Rosmarie Waldrop.
But it is a real pleasure to watch this powerful new advocate skilfully pleading the strange case of Johann Peter Hebel.
Johann Peter Hebel (1760-1826) was a man who rose to considerable eminence in the Church and public life of his native Baden, but remained essentially a man of the common people from whom he sprang, and gave literate expression to their common sense, their realistic fatalism and their down-to-earth wit and humour.
Inspired by the Scots dialect poems of Robert Burns and the Swabian-Swiss writings of Johann Peter Hebel, Groth explored the potentials of his native Dithmarschen dialect as a vehicle of lyrical expression.
The Swiss author Peter Bichsel, born in Luzern in 1935, has received a number of major literary awards for his offbeat, often experimental style and stories, including the Preis der Gruppe 47 (1965) and the Johann Peter Hebel Prize (1986).