Ludwig, Otto(ô`tō lo͞ot`vĭkh), 1813–65, German writer. He was one of Germany's first modern realists; although his plots were melodramatic, he sketched accurate and detailed backgrounds. After Hebbel, he was the most notable national dramatist of the period. Among his plays is the tragedy Die Erbförster (1850, tr., The Forest Warden, 1912). Ludwig's best-remembered works, however, are two tales, Die Heiterthei (1853) and, especially, Zwischen Himmel und Erde (1856, tr. Between Heaven and Earth, 1911).
Born Feb. 12, 1813, in Eisfeld; died Feb. 25, 1865, in Dresden. German writer.
In Ludwig’s drama The Hereditary Forester (1850, published 1853) the realistic portrayal of characters and the social milieu is combined with elements of the “tragedy of fate.” His attempts (such as the tragedy The Maccabees, 1854) to create a historical monumental dramaturgy were not very successful. The realist tendencies maniest themselves most clearly in the novella Between Heaven and Earth (1856) and in Ludwig’s short stories, which depict the life of the petite bourgeoisie and artisans of Thuringia. Ludwig’s Shakespeare Studies (published in 1871) is a contribution to the theory of drama.
WORKSGesammelte Schriften, vols. 1-6. Leipzig, 1891.
Sämtliche Werke, vols. 1-6. Edited by P. Merker. Munich-Leipzig, 1912-22.
REFERENCESMering, F. “Otto Liudvig.” In his Literaturno-kriticheskie stat’i, vol. 2.
Meyer, A. Die asthetischen Anschauungen Otto Ludwigs. Winterthur, 1957.