Lichtenberg, Georg Christoph

Lichtenberg, Georg Christoph

(gā`ôrkh krĭs`tôf lĭkh`tənbĕrk), 1742–99, German physicist and satirist. He taught at the Univ. of Göttingen, where his special field was electricity. Lichtenberg made several visits to England and was influenced by the satire of Swift and by the English theater. He satirized the pseudoscience of LavaterLavater, Johann Kaspar
, 1741–1801, Swiss theologian and mystic. He wrote several books on metaphysics, but he is chiefly remembered for his work on physiognomy, the art of determining character from facial characteristics.
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 and attacked the Sturm und DrangSturm und Drang
or Storm and Stress,
movement in German literature that flourished from c.1770 to c.1784. It takes its name from a play by F. M. von Klinger, Wirrwarr; oder, Sturm und Drang (1776).
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 writers. He also wrote witty commentaries on Hogarth's engravings.

Lichtenberg, Georg Christoph

 

Born July 1, 1742, in Ober-Ramstadt; died Feb. 24, 1799, in Göttingen. German writer, publicist, and scientist.

Lichtenberg graduated from the University of Göttingen, where he became a professor of physics in 1769. He researched the spark discharge at the interface between the solid dielectric and gas. In 1795 he was made an honorary member of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences. Lichtenberg wrote pamphlets opposing the physiological fabrications of Lavater and the excessive sentimentality of Sturm und Drang writers. The height of his Enlightenment satire was reached with Ample Commentary on the Engravings of Hogarth (1794–99) and Commentary on the Copper Engravings of Daniel Chodowiecki. In Aphorisms (1762–99; published 1902–08) he spoke out against serfdom and political fragmentation, hailed the French Revolution, and defended realist art.

WORKS

Aphorismen, Essays, Briefe. Leipzig, 1963.
In Russian translation:
Aforizmy, 2nd ed. Foreword and concluding remarks by G. S. Slobodkin. Moscow, 1965.

REFERENCES

Tronskaia, M. L. Nemetskaia satira epokhi Prosveshcheniia, ch. 5. Leningrad, 1962.
Promies, W. Georg Christoph Lichtenberg in Selbstzeugnissen und Bilddokumenten. Reinbek bei Hamburg, 1964.
References in periodicals archive ?
Alli estaba la estatuilla de Lichtenberg, Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, que la ciudad habia hecho erigir poco antes, recuerdo tardisimo de una herencia cultural heterodoxa.