Nikolaus Lenau

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Lenau, Nikolaus


(pseudonym of Franz Niembsch von Strehlenau). Born Aug. 13, 1802, in Csatád, Hungary; died Aug. 22, 1850, in Oberdöbling, near Vienna. Austrian poet. Came from a family of impoverished nobility. Studied medicine, agronomy, and law.

Characteristic of Lenau’s lyrics—Poems (1832), New Poems (1838), and Poems (1844)—are philosophical generalization, metaphorical and rhythmic richness, and closeness of the form to German and Hungarian folk poetry. By its social-philosophical orientation, Lenau’s civic and genre poetry approaches the romanticism of Byron and H. Heine; motifs idolizing nature are strong. In the narrative poem Faust (1836), Lenau showed the drama of the thinker incapable of creative activity. Religious skepticism resounds in the narrative poem Savonarola (1837). The moods of Austrian revolutionary democracy of the 1830’s and 1840’s are expressed in the narrative poems Jan Žižka (1837–42) and The Albigensians (1842). In Russia, Lenau’s poems were translated by F. I. Tiutchev, A. A. Fet, M. L. Mikhailov, A. N. Pleshcheev, K. D. Bal’mont, and A. V. Lunacharskii.


Sämtliche Werke und Briefe. Edited by H. Engelhardt. Stuttgart, 1959.
Rebell in dunkler Nacht. Berlin [1952].
Briefwechsel: Unveröffentliches und Unbekanntes. Vienna, 1969.
In Russian translation:
Faust. St. Petersburg, 1904.
Stikhotvoreniia, Ian Zhizhka: Poema. Translated from German by V. Levik. Moscow, 1956.


Mehring, F. Literaturno-kriticheskie stat’i, vol. 2. Moscow-Leningrad, 1934.
Lunacharskii, A. V. “N. Lenau i ego filosofskie poemy.” Sobr. soch., vol. 5. Moscow, 1965.
Vil’iam-Vil’mont, N. “Nikolaus Lenau.” Internatsional’naia literatura, 1939, no. 11.
Turóczi-Trostler, J. Lenau. Berlin, 1961.
Statkov, D. N. Lenaus poetische Welt. Bonn, 1971. (With bibliography.)


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By juxtaposing an analysis of Danubian fairytales to the non-Viennese and ex-centric poetry of Nikolaus Lenau, Karl Beck, and Sandor Petofi, Qian specifies this question byway of another, namely, "Ob die Donau, die Waren und Menschen bewegt, auch ein verbindendes Element Osterreichs am [.
It should be noted that the term "Byron" of the title refers not only to the "sublime Lord" himself, but extends first to all things Byronic, heroes included, and second, to the Byrons of other countries--most notably to the "Spanish Byron," Jose de Espronceda, and to the "German Byron," Nikolaus Lenau.
In Germanic culture, one of the most outspoken 'anti-Americanists' was the Austrian poet Nikolaus Lenau (1802-50).
He was the recipient of numerous awards, among them two from Austria, the Nikolaus Lenau Prize (1965) and the Gottfried Herder Prize (1973).
Faust is a common property of mankind, not a monopoly of Goethe', Nikolaus Lenau wrote to Georg Reinbeck in November 1833.
The two-volume collection of lieder for piano and voice, edited by Annette Maurer, constitutes a selection of thirty-two songs, all set to German texts (poets include such significant literary figures as Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Nikolaus Lenau, Joseph Eichendorff, Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller, and Heinrich Heine).