Storm, Theodor

Storm, Theodor

(tā`ōdôr shtôrm), 1817–88, German poet and novelist, b. Schleswig-Holstein. From 1843 to 1853 he practiced law in his native Husum, but he was exiled (1853–64) by Denmark for pro-Prussian sentiments. After Schleswig-Holstein became Prussian he served the government as a judge, retiring in 1880 to Hademarschen, where his country place became a literary mecca. His view that literature should stem from true emotion is reflected in his lyric poetry. Many of his earlier poems, stories, and novellas relate the rustic joys of his native province; the popular story Immensee (1852) is marked by nostalgic lyricism. Later works, melancholy and realistic, show a marked change in tone, and Der Schimmelreiter (1888; tr. The Rider of the White Horse, 1915) exemplifies the full development of a stern yet noble sense of tragedy. Among his many other works is Aquis Submersus (1877, tr. 1910), a historical novella.


See biography by A. T. Alt (1973); studies by C. A. Bernd (rev. ed. 1966) and D. Artiss (1978).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Storm, Theodor


Born Sept. 14, 1817, in Husum; died July 4, 1888, in Hademarschen. German writer.

The son of a lawyer, Storm studied law in Kiel in 1837 and 1838 and in Berlin in 1838 and 1839. He began his career as a lawyer in 1843 and practiced law in Husum, Potsdam, and other cities.

In many ways, Storm’s lyric poetry continued the romantic tradition. His verse was characterized by immediacy and sincerity of feeling and by musicality; it had roots in folklore. Storm’s main themes were love, art, and the natural beauty of Schleswig-Holstein; many of his poems are about the history of his native region. Storm’s novellas are also deeply lyrical. He evolved from his early novellas of mood, such as Immensee (1849, published 1852) and Angelica (1855), to his novellas of action written in the 1870’sandl880’s.

The social content of Storm’s later and artistically most perfect novellas, such as Hans and Heinz Kirch (1882), attest to the increasingly realistic and antibourgeois tendencies of his work. The theme of art, as seen in Paul Puppetmaster (1874), and that of the historical past, as seen in Renate (1878), are linked to Storm’s basic theme of the disappearance of the patriarchal order. Storm’s greatest literary achievement is the novella. The Rider of the White Horse (1888).


Sämtliche Werke, 3rd ed., vols. 1–4. Edited by P. Goldhammer. Berlin-Weimar, 1972.
In Russian translation:
Novelly, vols. 1–2. Moscow, 1965.


lstoriia nemetskoi literatury, vol. 4. Moscow, 1968.
Kalnina, D. “Über Theodor Storms Stellung in der deutschen Literatur.” Uch. zap. Rizhskogoped. in-ta., 1957, vol. 5.
Böttger, F. Th. Storm in seiner Zeit. Berlin [1958].
Goldhammer, P. Th. Storm. Leipzig, 1968.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Briefer consideration is given to Gottfried Keller, Theodor Storm, Theodor Fontane, Gustav Freytag, and Carl Bleibtreu (whose Grossenwahnsinn fails to live up to the promise of its title), then to the conservative retention of the heroic in popular drama and .ction.
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