Stefan George


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George, Stefan

 

Born July 12, 1868, in Büdesheim; died Dec. 4, 1933, in Locarno. German poet and one of the prominent representatives of German symbolism.

During the 1890’s, George was the head of a literary circle, and in 1899 he founded the journal Blätter für die Kunst. In his collections Hymns (1890), Pilgrimage (1891), The Books of the Shepherds (1895), and The Year of the Soul (1897), which embodied certain ideas of Nietzsche, George celebrated the secret forces of nature and exceptional heroes. Later George strove for a poetic affirmation of absolute moral values (the collections The Seventh Ring, 1907, and Southern Star, 1914). The collections War (1917) and Three Songs (1921) evince the influence of expressionism. George’s style was characterized by extremely complex syntax and abundant archaic images; even his orthography was original. His mystical moods and cult of self-sufficient heroism (for example, the collection The New Reich, 1928) enabled bourgeois reactionaries to use George’s poems for their own slogans. But George himself rejected fascism and emigrated; he even left orders that he not be buried in Germany.

WORKS

Gesammelte Werke, vols. 1-18. Berlin, 1927-34.
Werke, vols. 1-2. Munich-Düsseldorf, 1958.
In Russian translation:
Sovremennye nemetskie poety v perevodakh V. El’snera. Moscow, 1913.

REFERENCES

Iz novoi nemetskoi liriki: Perevody i kharakteristiki G. Zabezhinskogo. Berlin, 1921. Pages 73-77.
Brodersen, A. Stephan George. Berlin, 1935.
Bennett, E. K. Stefan George. Cambridge, 1954.
Schultz, H. S. Studien zur Dichtung Stefan Georges. Heidelberg [1967].
Zweig, A. Essays, vol. 1. Berlin, 1959.

L. Z. KOPELEV

References in periodicals archive ?
Norton's 2002 biography of George (Secret Germany: Stefan George and his Circle (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press)), this Camden House Companion is a welcome indication of a revival of interest in this unjustly neglected poet.
Ernst Bertram's book, first published in 1918, was one of the intellectual bestsellers that the circle around Stefan George (1868-1933) produced (alongside, e.g., Gundolf's Goethe and Kantorowicz's Friedrich II).
In his early poetry Rilke is said to be attempting to find an alternative to Stefan George's 'autonomous, privileged language' (p.
Stefan Breuers Analyse der Konservativrevolutionaren entsprechend gehort sie jener Generation an, die, wie Stefan George, Moeller van den Bruck und Oswald Spengler "noch im Horizont der Reichsgrundung aufwuchs [...] und ihre pragenden Eindrucke nach dem Regierungsantritt Wilhelms II.
The long essay on Stefan George, another spiritual guru for Nebel and many of his generation, stands somewhat apart, in that it offers less of Nebel's trademark 'practical' philosophizing and Zeitkritik, characteristic of most of the other essays, and more of a slightly tedious exegetic exercise on poetry submerged in an almost ritual pessimism in the face of God's abandonment of the world.
The article is the first study of its kind to analyze the mythical strata in the early verse of Stefan George (1868-1933) in the context of French and international Symbolism.
(Actually, the problem may be that they were written to be too easily readable, and are inadequate to capture the elusive density of Shakespeare's poetry.) The extremes of potential strategies are again brought out by a telling detailed comparison, in this case between the versions of Sonnets 74 and 29 by Dorothea Tieck and Stefan George, the former permitting herself 'liberties for the sake of a harmonious whole, much less tensely structured' than many of the originals (p.
Begonnen hatte Stefan George als Lyriker im Stil des franzosischen Symbolismus.
Norton has written a massive book, which can rightly claim to be the longest biography of Stefan George; and, if not the first full biography to appear in any language, as the dust jacket claims, then the first biography by someone who is outside the George-Kreis.
The poetry and its underlying mythology, in part borrowed from the Stefan George circle, in part Germanic myth and in part an intensified return to Judaic lore are lucidly explicated.
Stefan George: Werk und Wirkung seit dem 'Siebenten Ring'.
Christophe Fricker also adds to the riches of the volume by elaborating the influence of the "twin concepts" of grace and dignity on Stefan George.