Ludwig Tieck

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Ludwig Tieck
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Ludwig Tieck

Johann Ludwig Tieck (May 31, 1773April 28, 1853) was a German poet, translator, editor, novelist and critic, who was part of the Romantic movement of the late 18th and early 19th centuries.


Johann Ludwig Tieck was born in Berlin, the son of a rope-maker. He was educated at the Friedrich-Werdersche Gymnasium, and at the universities of Halle, Gttingen and Erlangen. At Gttingen, he studied Shakespeare and the Elizabethan drama. In 1794 he returned to Berlin, and attempted to make a living by writing. He contributed a number of short stories (1795-1798) to the series of Straussfedern, published by the bookseller C.F. Nicolai and originally edited by J.K.A. Musus, and wrote Abdallah (1796) and a novel in letters, William Lovell (3 vols. 1795-1796). These works are immature and sensational in tone.

Adoption of Romanticism

Tieck's transition to Romanticism is seen in the series of plays and stories published under the title Volksmrchen von Peter Lebrecht (3 vols., 1797), a collection which contains the admirable fairy-tale Der blonde Eckbert, and the witty dramatic satire on Berlin literary taste, Der gestiefelte Kater. With his school and college friend W.H. Wackenroder (1773-1798), he planned the novel Franz Sternbalds Wanderungen (vols. i-ii. 1798), which, with Wackenroder's Herzensergiessungen (1798), was the first expression of the romantic enthusiasm for old German art.

In 1798 Tieck married and in the following year settled in Jena, where he, the two brothers August and Friedrich Schlegel and Novalis were the leaders of the new Romantic school. His writings between 1798 and 1804 include the satirical drama, Prinz Zerbino (1799), and Romantische Dichtungen (2 vols., 1799-1800). The latter contains Tieck's most ambitious dramatic poems, Leben und Tod der heiligen Genoveva, Leben und Tod des kleinen Rotkppchens, which were followed in 1804 by the remarkable "comedy" in two parts, Kaiser Oktavianus. These dramas, in which Tieck's poetic powers are to be seen at their best, are typical plays of the first Romantic school; although formless, and destitute of dramatic qualities, they show the influence of both Calderon and Shakespeare. Kaiser Oktavianus is a poetic glorification of the middle ages.

In 1801 Tieck went to Dresden, then lived for a time near Frankfurt an der Oder, and spent many months in Italy. In 1803 he published a translation of Minnelieder aus der schwbischen Vorzelt, between 1799 and 1804 an excellent version of Don Quixote, and in 1811 two volumes of Elizabethan dramas, Altenglisches Theater. In 1812-1817 he collected in three volumes a number of his earlier stories and dramas, under the title Phantasus. In this collection appeared the stories Der Runenberg, Die Elfen, Der Pokal, and the dramatic fairy tale, Fortunat.

In 1817 Tieck visited England in order to collect materials for a work on Shakespeare (unfortunately never finished) and in 1819 he settled permanently in Dresden; from 1825 on he was literary adviser to the Court Theatre, and his semi-public readings from the dramatic poets gave him a reputation which extended far beyond the Saxon capital. The new series of short stories which he began to publish in 1822 also won him a wide popularity. Notable among these are Die Gemlde, Die Reisenden, Die Verlobung, Des Lebens berfluss.

More ambitious and on a wider canvas are the historical or semi-historical novels, Dichterleben (1826), Der Aufruhr in den Cevennen (1826, unfinished), Der Tod des Dichters (1834); Der junge Tischlermeister (1836; but begun in 1811) is an excellent story written under the influence of Goethe's Wilhelm Meister; Vittoria Accorombona (1840), the story of Vittoria Accoramboni written in the style of the French Romanticists, shows a falling-off.

Later Years

In later years Tieck carried on a varied literary activity as critic (Dramaturgische Bltter, 2 vols., 1825-1826; Kritische Schriften, 2 vols., 1848); he also edited the translation of Shakespeare by A.W. Schlegel, who was assisted by Tieck's daughter Dorothea (1790-1841) and by Graf Wolf Heinrich Baudissin (1789-1878); Shakespeares Vorschule (2 vols., 1823-1829); the works of H. von Kleist (1826) and of J.M.R. Lenz (1828). In 1841 Friedrich Wilhelm IV of Prussia invited him to Berlin where he enjoyed a pension for his remaining years. He died on the 28th of April 1853.

Literary Significance

Tieck's importance lay in the readiness with which he adapted himself to the new ideas which arose at the close of the 18th century, rather than in any conspicuous originality. His importance in German poetry is restricted to his early period. In later years it was as the helpful friend and adviser of others, or as the well-read critic of wide sympathies, that Tieck distinguished himself.

Works

Tieck's Schriften appeared in 20 vols. (1828-1846), and his Gesammalte Novellen in 12 (1852-1854). Nachgelassene Schriften were published in 2 vols. in 1855. There are several editions of Ausgewhlte Werke by H. Welti (8 vols., 1886-1888); by J. Minor (in Kirschner's Deutsche Nationalliteratur, 144, 2 vols., 1885); by G. Klee (with an excellent biography, 3 vols., 1892), and G. Witkowski (4 vols., 1903). Marianne Thalmann (4 vols., 1963-66).

Translations

The Elves and The Goblet were translated by Carlyle in German Romance (1827), The Pictures and The Betrothal by Bishop Thirlwall (1825). A translation of Vittoria Accorombona was published in 1845.

Letters

Tieck's Letters have been published at various locations: Ludwig Tieck und die Brder Schlegel. Briefe ed. by Edgar Lohner (Mnchen 1972)

Briefe an Tieck were published in 4 vols. by K. von Holtei in 1864.

Literature

See for Tieck's earlier life R. Kpke, Ludwig Tieck (2 vols., 1855); for the Dresden period, H. von Friesen, Ludwig Tieck: Erinnerungen (2 vols., 1871); also A. Stern, Ludwig Tieck in Dresden (Zur Literatur der Gegenwart, 1879); J. Minor, Tieck als Novellendichter (1884); B. Steiner, L. Tieck und die Volksbcher (1893); H. Bischof, Tieck als Dramaturg (1897); W. Miessner, Tiecks Lyrik (1902).

  • Roger Paulin: Ludwig Tieck, 1985 (German translation 1988)
  • Roger Paulin: Ludwig Tieck, 1987 (Slg. Metzler M 185) (in German)

External links

eo:Ludwig TIECK ja:ルートヴィヒ・ティーク ru:, sv:Ludwig Tieck

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