Wilhelm Raabe

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Raabe, Wilhelm


Born Sept. 8, 1831, in Escherhausen; died Nov. 15, 1910, in Braunschweig. German writer.

Raabe’s novella The Chronicle of Sparrow Lane (1856) dealt with the poor residents of the Berlin outskirts, who, despite conditions, still retained their sense of humor. His chief work is the trilogy consisting of the novels The Hungry Parson (1864), Abu Telfan (1867), and The Plague Cart (1870). The trilogy’s growing pessimism results from the eternal dissatisfaction that motivates people and from hunger, poverty, and the obtuseness and cynicism of the capitalist order. The tragically lonely hero of the novel The Chronicle of the Birds’ Song (1895) cannot resolve the conflict between lofty but illusory dreams and philistine reality. Raabe’s historical novellas lack originality. Despising capitalism, Raabe dreamed of a utopia of free cities in a patriarchal Germany.


Ausgewählte Werke, vols. 1–6. Berlin-Weimar, 1964–65.
In Russian translation:
Povesti i novelly. Moscow, 1959.


Istoriia nemetskoi literatury, vol. 4. Moscow, 1968.
Hagemann, L. W. Raabe Katalog, 2nd ed. Berlin, 1927.
Fehse, W. W. Raabe. Berlin, 1937.


References in periodicals archive ?
Similarly, through an examination either of characters who are photographers or of photography as a theme in Wilhelm Raabe's Der Lar and Die Akten des Vogelsangs, she shows that the idea of a perfect depiction of reality in a photograph is an illusion, since a photograph represents a narrative construction, as does a realist text.
The motifs of abduction, corruption, and exploitation of childhood and youth in the context of war are central to some of the literary adaptations in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, especially in Wilhelm Raabe's novella Die Hamelschen Kinder [The Children of Hamelin], Bertold Brecht's poem "Die wahre Geschichte vom Rattenfanger von Hameln" [The True Story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin], Gunter Grass's novels Die Blechtrommel [The Tin Drum] and Die Rattin [The Rat], and--outside of Germany--Michel Tournier's novel Le Roi des aulnes [The Ogre].
Wilhelm Raabe; global themes--international perspectives.
Wilhelm Raabe, Pfisters Muhle (1884; Pfister's mill)
One of the characteristic features of Wilhelm Raabe's literary development from the typical tensions of Nachmarz liberalism to the highly complex and self-reflexive realism of his late nineteenth-century narratives is his engagement with the pessimistic undercurrent of nineteenth-century German thought, a tradition marking the early discontents of modernity.
This study addresses the problems raised by the ambivalent comments about or portrayals of the Jews to be found in the writings of Gustav Freytag, Wilhelm Raabe, Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, Theodor Fontane, and the early Thomas Mann.
In his novel Der Hungerpastor, written in 1862, Wilhelm Raabe portrays in a positive manner a young pastor and provides a representative portrait of many clerics of the midnineteenth century.
Two novels of enduring popularity, Gustav Freytag's Soil und Haben (1855) and Wilhelm Raabe's Der Hungerpastor (1864), include demonic Jewish villains, yet the authors denied imputations of anti-Semitism.
Arnds illustrates how Wilhelm Raabe uses gothic motifs to characterize the Pied Piper Kiza as demonic in Die Hamelschen Kinder.
Clemens Brentano's Gypsies are cosmopolitan heroes triumphing over cultural difference in a Romantic utopia, while Gottfried Keller and Wilhelm Raabe display a critical awareness of the harsh reality that confronted Roma and Sinti in their daily lives as targets of persecution in a police state.
He quotes the well-known examples, like Clemens Brentano (Gockel und Hinkel), Wilhelm Hauff (JudSuss), Wilhelm Raabe (Hungerpastor), Karl Immermann (Die Epigonen) Wilhelm Busch (Die fromme Helene, Plisch und Plum), Felix Dahn (Kampf um Rom), and Freytag of course, but again the book leaves the reader with the impression that German literature from Romanticism to Realism was entirely antisemitic.
Despite repeated attempts (inspired particularly by Professor Sammons's advocacy in his 1987 book, Wilhelm Raabe: The Fiction of the Alternative Community) I am not yet convinced that Raabe's artistry quite lives up to his devotees' claims; but he has masterly moments - for example, the portrayal of the tormented clergyman, Prudens Hahnemeyer, in Unruhige Gaste - and his work certainly belongs to the solid tradition of German realism.