Johannes Schlaf

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Schlaf, Johannes


Born June 21, 1862, in Querfurt; died there Feb. 2,1941. German writer.

Schlaf’studied at the universities of Halle and Berlin (1884–85). Together with A. Holz he wrote the short-story collection Papa Hamlet (1889) and the drama The Selicke Family (1890). These, along with Schlaf’s drama Master Oelze (1892), were fundamental works for the school of logical naturalism, which led to a deterioration of artistic form and an extremely narrow view of life.


In Naturalismus, Dramen, Lyrik, Prosa, vols. 1–2. Edited by U. Münchow. Berlin-Weimar, 1970.
In Russian translation:
Vragi meshchanstva. [Moscow] 1906.
Veigand. St. Petersburg, 1907.


Jegensdorf, L. Die spekulative Deutung und poetische Darstellung der Natur im Werk von J. Schlaf. (Dissertation.) [Bochum, 1969.] (Contains bibliography.)
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Strohmann investigates the relationships of Hesse, Hofmannsthal, the brothers Mann, Musil, Rilke, and Johannes Schlaf to the Belgian writer, beginning systematically with the collation of their published or private utterances on Maeterlinck, but then more flexibly juxtaposing their theoretical or aesthetic positions, comparing individual works or assessing more generally the importance of Maeterlinck as a stimulus or model in each case.
But during 1888 - 90, when he became a friend of Johannes Schlaf, he turned strongly toward what he called consistent realism, and attempted to reproduce everyday reality in his writing.
Bunzel discusses the relationship between the prose poem and the early modern Feuilleton as well as the significance of the general return to established genres just after 1900, which sought to reestablish the difference between poetry and prose on the basis of the concept of 'inner form' (Johannes Schlaf, ArnoHolz, Rilke).The final chapter explores the first resurgence of the prose poem in Expressionism as a renewed challenge to preceding forms of modernism, now finally based on the reading of Baudelaire and his French successors.
However, naturalism and impressionism had enough in common, particularly the wish to make words more precise and the tendency to concentrate on specific human situations, that several major writers, including Hauptmann, Holz, and Johannes Schlaf (1862 - 1941), were active in both movements.