(pen name, Felix Tandem). Born Apr. 24, 1845, in Liestal; died Dec. 29, 1924, in Luzern. Swiss writer. Wrote in German.
Spitteler studied law and theology at the universities of Basel, Zürich, and Heidelberg. From 1871 to 1879 he lived in Russia. In Prometheus and Epimetheus (1880–81; verse version Prometheus the Sufferer, 1924), an epic written in rhythmic prose, Spitteler used metaphors that paralleled the conflicts and contradictions of his epoch. His chief work, the epic poem Olympic Spring (1900–05; revised ed., 1910), is also characterized by an allegorical modernization of classical myth. His novel Imago (1906) has as its central concern the intensification in bourgeois society of the conflict between the artist and the burgher. Spitteler received a Nobel Prize in 1919.
WORKSGesammelte Werke, vols. 1–10. Zürich-Stuttgart, 1945–58.
REFERENCESIur’eva, L. M. “Karl Shpitteler.” In Literatura Shveitsarii: Ocherki. Moscow, 1969.
Hoffler, T. Carl Spitteler. Jena, 1926.
Rolland, R. Compagnons de route. Paris, 1961.