FRIEDRICH GOTTLIEB KLOPSTOCK (German: ; July 2, 1724 – March 14, 1803) was a German poet . His best known work is his epic poem Der Messias (The Messiah). One of his major contributions to German literature was to open it up to exploration outside of French models.
* 1 Biography
* 1.1 Early life
* 1.2 Denmark and
* 2 Works
* 2.1 Der Messias * 2.2 Odes and dramas * 2.3 Prose * 2.4 Correspondence * 2.5 Editions
* 3 Goethe\'s description * 4 Legacy * 5 Notes * 6 References * 7 Further reading * 8 External links
Klopstock was born at
While still at school, he had already drafted the plan of Der Messias on which most of his fame rests. On 21 September 1745 he delivered, on quitting school, a remarkable "departing oration" on epic poetry —Abschiedsrede über die epische Poesie, kultur- und literargeschichtlich erläutert—and next proceeded to Jena as a student of theology , where he drew up in prose the first three cantos of the Messias. Finding life at that university not to his liking, he transferred in the spring of 1746 to Leipzig , where he joined a circle of young men of letters who contributed to the Bremer Beiträge . In this periodical the first three cantos of Der Messias were published anonymously in hexameter verse in 1748.
DENMARK AND GERMANY
Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock
A new era in
German literature had commenced, and the identity of the
author soon became known. In Leipzig he also wrote a number of odes,
the best known of which is An meine Freunde (1747), afterwards recast
as Wingolf (1767). He left the university in 1748 and became a private
tutor in the family of a relative at
At this juncture Klopstock received from
Frederick V of Denmark
On his way to the Danish capital, Klopstock met in
The poet subsequently published his wife's writings, Hinterlassene
Werke von Margareta Klopstock (1759), which give evidence of a tender,
sensitive and deeply religious spirit. See also Memoirs of Frederick
and Margaret Klopstock (English translation by Elizabeth Smith ,
London, 1808) and her correspondence with
DEPRESSION AND MESSIAS
Klopstock now relapsed into melancholy ; new ideas failed him, and
his poetry became more introspective. He continued to live and work in
Copenhagen, however, and next, following Heinrich Wilhelm von
Gerstenberg , turned his attention to northern mythology, which in his
view should replace classical subjects in a new school of German
poetry. In 1770, when King
In 1773 were published the last five cantos of the Messias. In the
following year he published a scheme for the regeneration of German
letters, Die Gelehrtenrepublik (1774). In 1775 he traveled south, and
making the acquaintance of Goethe on the way, spent a year at the
court of the
His latter years he passed, as had always been his inclination, in
retirement, only occasionally relieved by socializing with his most
intimate friends, occupied in philological studies and taking scant
interest in the new developments in German literature. However, he was
enthusiastic about the
American War of Independence
At the age of 67 he undertook a second marriage, to Johanna Elisabeth
von Winthem, a widow and a niece of his late wife, who for many years
had been one of his most intimate friends. He died in
Painting of Klopstock by M. E. Vogel
The Messias is the materialization of Klopstock's early years aspirations to become an epic poet. The leitmotif of the work is the Redemption , with an epic treatment. He resorted to Christian mythology, trying to circumscribing the matter to the dogmas of the Church.
ODES AND DRAMAS
In his odes Klopstock had more scope for his peculiar talent. Some have Nordic mythological inspiration, while other are of religious theme.
Among the most celebrated and translated are An Fanny; Der Zürchersee; Die tote Klarissa; An Cidli; Die beiden Musen; Der Rheinwein; Die frühen Gräber, Mein Vaterland. His religious odes mostly take the form of hymns , of which the most beautiful is Die Frühlingsfeier.
His dramas, in some of which, notably Hermanns Schlacht (1769) and
Hermann und die Fürsten (1784), he celebrated the deeds of the
ancient German hero
Arminius , and in others, Der Tod Adams (1757) and
Salomo (1764), took his materials from the
It has been said that Klopstock's hymn "Die Auferstehung" at the funeral of Hans von Bulow in 1894 gave Gustav Mahler the inspiration for the final movement of his second Symphony. Mahler incorporated the hymn with extra verses he wrote himself to bring a personal resolution to this work.
In addition to Die Gelehrtenrepublik, he was also the author of Fragmente über Sprache und Dichtkunst (1779) and Grammatische Gespräche (1794), works in which he made important contributions to philology and to the history of German poetry.
As it was common in his literary age, Klopstock kept an abundant correspondence with his contemporaries, friends and colleges, and this has been published in diverse collections. Some of them are listed below:
* K. Schmidt, Klopstock und seine Freunde (1810); this is the basis for Klopstock and his friends. A series of familiar letters, written between the years 1750 and 1803, translated and introduced by Elizabeth Benger (London, 1814) * C. A. H. Clodius, Klopstocks Nachlass (1821) * J. M. Lappenberg , Briefe von und an Klopstock (1867).
Klopstock's Werke first appeared in seven quarto volumes (1798–1809). At the same time a more complete edition in twelve octavo volumes was published (1798–1817), to which six additional volumes were added in 1830. Other nineteenth-century editions were published in 1844–1845, 1854–1855, 1879 (ed. by R. Boxberger), 1884 (ed. by R. Hamel) and 1893 (a selection edited by F. Muncker). A critical edition of the Odes was published by F. Muncker and J. Pawel in 1889; a commentary on these by H Düntzer (1860; 2nd ed., 1878).
Goethe in his autobiography recorded his personal impression of Klopstock: "He was of small stature, but well built. His manners were grave and decorous, but free from pedantry. His address was intelligent and pleasing. On the whole, one might have taken him for a diplomatist. He carried himself with the self-conscious dignity of a person who has a great moral mission to fulfil. He conversed with facility on various subjects, but rather avoided speaking of poetry and literary matters."
Klopstock's enrichment of poetic vocabulary and attention to prosody did great service to the poets who immediately followed him. In freeing German poetry from its exclusive interest in Alexandrine verse, he became the founder of a new era in German literature , so that Schiller and Goethe were artistically indebted to him.
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* ^ Rines, George Edwin, ed. (1920). "Klopstock, Friedrich
* This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain : Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Klopstock, Gottlieb Friedrich". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
* Carl Friedrich Cramer, Klopstock, Er und über ihn (1780–1792) * J.G. Gruber , Klopstocks Leben (1832) * R. Hamel, Klopstock-Studien (1879–1880) * F. Muncker, F. G. Klopstock, the most authoritative biography, (1888) * E. Bailly, Étude sur la vie et les œuvres de Klopstock (Paris, 1888)