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Friedrich Hölderlin

Johann Christian Friedrich Hölderlin (March 20, 1770June 6, 1843) was a major German lyric poet. His work bridges the Classical and Romantic schools. March 20 is the 79th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (80th in Leap years). ... Events March 5 - Boston Massacre: 5 Americans killed by British troops in an event that would help start the American Revolutionary War 5 years later. ... June 6 is the 157th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (158th in leap years), with 208 days remaining. ... 1843 was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... Poetry (ancient Greek: poieo = create) is an art form in which human language is used for its aesthetic qualities in addition to, or instead of, its notional and semantic content. ... Neoclassicism (sometimes rendered as Neo-Classicism or Neo-classicism) is the name given to quite distinct movements in the visual arts, literature, theatre, music, and architecture. ... Romanticism was an artistic and intellectual movement that originated in late 18th century Western Europe. ...


Life

Hölderlin was born in Lauffen am Neckar in the kingdom of Württemberg. He studied Theology at the Tübinger Stift (seminary of the Protestant Church in Württemberg), where he was friends with the future philosophers Georg Hegel and Friedrich Schelling. They mutually influenced one another, and it has been pointed by some that it was probably Hölderlin who brought to Hegel's attention the ideas of Heraclitus about the union of opposites, which the philosopher would develop into his concept of dialectics. In politics, a country (or in some cases, a group of countries) over which a king or queen reigns, is a kingdom, see: monarchy. ... Württemberg (often spelled Wurttemberg in English) refers to an area and a former state in Swabia, a region in south-western Germany. ... Theology is literally rational discourse concerning God (Greek θεος, theos, God, + λογος, logos, rational discourse). By extension, it also refers to the study of other religious topics. ... Protestantism is a general grouping of denominations within Christianity. ... Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (August 27, 1770 - November 14, 1831) was a German philosopher born in Stuttgart, Württemberg, in present-day southwest Germany. ... Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph von Schelling (January 27, 1775 - August 20, 1854) was a German philosopher. ... Heraclitus of Ephesus (Greek Ηρακλειτος Herakleitos) (about 535 - 475 BC), known as The Obscure, was a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher. ... Broadly speaking, a dialectic (Greek: διαλεκτική) is an exchange of propositions (theses) and counter-propositions (antitheses) resulting in a disagreement. ...


Being from a family of limited means (his mother was twice a widow), and having little inclination for an ecclesiastical career, Hölderlin had to earn his living as a tutor of children of well-to-do families. While working as the tutor of the sons of Jakob Gontard, a Frankfurt banker, he fell in love with his wife Susette, who would become his great love. Susette Gontard is the model for the Diotima of his epistolary novel Hyperion. Frankfurt am Main [ˈfraŋkfʊrt] is the largest city in the German state of Hesse and the fifth largest city of Germany. ... An epistolary novel is a literary technique in which a novel is composed as a series of letters, though diary entries, newspaper clippings and other documents are sometimes used. ...


Having been publicly insulted by Gontard, Hölderlin felt forced to quit his job in the banker's household and found himself again in a difficult financial situation (even as some of his poems were already being published through the influence of his occasional protector, the poet Friedrich Schiller), having to accept a small allowance from his mother. Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller (November 10, 1759 - May 9, 1805), usually known as Friedrich Schiller, was a German poet, philosopher, historian, and dramatist. ...


Already at this time he was diagnosed as suffering from a severe "hypochondria", a condition that would worsen after his last meeting with Susette Gontard in 1800. In early 1802 he found a job as tutor of the children of the Hamburg consul in Bordeaux, France, and traveled by foot to that city. His travel and stay there are celebrated in Andenken (Remembrance), one of his greatest poems. In a few months, however, he would be back in Germany showing signs of mental disorder, which was aggravated by the news of Susette's death. Hypochondria (sometimes hypochondriasis) is the unfounded belief that one is suffering from a serious illness. ... 1800 was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... Events March 16 - West Point is established. ... This article is about the city in Germany. ... City motto: Lilia sola regunt lunam undas castra leonem. ...


In 1807, having become largely insane, he was brought into the home of Ernst Zimmer, a Tübingen carpenter with literary leanings, who was an admirer of his Hyperion. For the next 36 years, Hölderlin would live in Zimmer's house, in a tower room overlooking the beautiful Neckar valley, being cared for by the Zimmer family until his death in 1843. Wilhelm Waiblinger, a young poet and admirer, has left a poignant account of Hölderlin's day-to-day life during these long, empty years. 1807 was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... Tübingen, Neckar front Tübingen, an old university city of Baden-Württemberg, Germany, is situated 20 miles southwest of Stuttgart, on a ridge between the River Neckar and the Ammer. ... The Neckar is a river in Germany, a major tributary of the River Rhine, which it joins at Mannheim. ... 1843 was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... Wilhelm Waiblinger (November 21, 1804 - January 17 or 30, 1830) was a German romantic poet, mostly remembered today in connection with Friedrich Hölderlin. ...


Work

The poetry of Hölderlin, widely recognized today as one of the highest points of German and Western literature, was quite forgotten very soon -- his illness and reclusion made him fade from his contemporaries' consciousness -- and, even though selections of his work were being published by his friends already during his lifetime, it was largely ignored for the rest of the 19th century, Hölderlin being classified as a mere imitator of Schiller, a romantic and melancholy youth. (He would be rediscovered, by Norbert von Hellingrath, only in the 20th century). Literature is literally an acquaintance with letters as in the first sense given in the Oxford English Dictionary (from the Latin littera meaning an individual written character (letter)). The term has, however, generally come to identify a collection of texts. ... Alternative meaning: Nineteenth Century (periodical) (18th century — 19th century — 20th century — more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 19th century was that century which lasted from 1801-1900 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar. ... (19th century - 20th century - 21st century - more centuries) Decades: 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s As a means of recording the passage of time, the 20th century was that century which lasted from 1901–2000 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar (1900–1999 in the...


In fact, Hölderlin was a man of his time, an early supporter of the French Revolution -- in his youth at the Seminary of Tübingen, he and some colleagues from a "republican club" planted a "Tree of Freedom" in the market square, prompting the Grand-Duke himself to admonish the students at the seminary. He was at first carried away by Napoleon, whom he honors in one of his couplets (it should be noted that his exact contemporary Beethoven also initially dedicated his Eroica to the Corsican general). The period of the French Revolution in the history of France covers the years between 1789 and 1799, in which democrats and republicans overthrew the absolute monarchy and the Roman Catholic Church was forced to undergo radical restructuring. ... For other uses, see Napoleon (disambiguation). ... Ludwig van Beethoven Ludwig van Beethoven (baptized December 17, 1770 – March 26, 1827) was a German composer of Classical music, the predominant musical figure in the transitional period between the Classical and Romantic eras. ... The name Eroica could apply to several pieces of art: 3rd Symphony by Ludwig van Beethoven Eroica - a 1957 film by Andrzej Munk This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ...


Like Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Schiller, his older contemporaries, Hölderlin was a fervent admirer of ancient Greek culture, but had a very personal understanding of it. Much later, Friedrich Nietzsche and his followers would recognize in him the poet who first acknowledged the orphic and dionysiac Greece of the mysteries, which he would fuse with the Pietism of his native Swabia in a highly original religious experience. For Hölderlin, the Greek gods were not the plaster figures of conventional classicism, but living, actual presences, wonderfully life-giving and, at the same time, terrifying. He understood and sympathized with the Greek idea of the tragic fall, which he expressed movingly in the last stanza of his Hyperions Schicksalslied ("Hyperion's Song of Destiny"). Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (pronounced [gø tə]) (August 26, 1749–March 22, 1832) was a German writer, politician, humanist, scientist, and philosopher. ... Friedrich Nietzsche, 1882 Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (October 15, 1844 - August 25, 1900) was a highly influential German philosopher. ... For other senses of the word Orpheus, see Orpheus (disambiguation). ... Bacchus by Caravaggio The god Dionysus is occasionally confused with one of several historical figures named Dionysius, a theophoric name that simply means [servant] of Dionysus. ... A mystery religion is any religion with an arcanum, or body of secret wisdom. ... Pietism was a movement, in the Lutheran Church, lasting from the late-17th century to the mid-18th Century. ... Swabia (German Schwaben) is a historic region in Germany and a language area. ... Greek mythology comprises the collected legends of Greek gods and goddesses and ancient heroes and heroines, originally created and spread within an oral-poetic tradition. ... Tragedy is one of the oldest forms of drama. ...


In the great poems of his maturity, Hölderlin would generally adopt a large-scale, expansive and unrhymed style. Together with these long hymns and elegies -- which included Der Archipelagus ("The Archipelago"), Brot und Wein ("Bread and Wine") and Patmos -- he also cultivated a crisper, more concise manner in epigrams and couplets, and in short poems like the famous Hälfte des Lebens ("The Middle of life"). In his years of madness, he would occasionally pen ingenuous rhymed quatrains, sometimes of a childlike beauty, which he would sign with fantastic names.


Influence

Though Hölderlin's hymnic style -- dependent as it is on a genuine belief in the divinity -- can hardly be transposed without sounding parodistic, his shorter and more fragmentary lyric has exerted its influence in German poetry, from Georg Trakl onwards, and his elegiac mode has found an apt successor in Rainer Maria Rilke. See also hymn - a program to decrypt iTunes music files. ... In contemporary usage, parody is a form of satire that imitates another work of art in order to ridicule it. ... Georg Trakl (February 3, 1887 - November 3, 1914) was an Austrian poet, whose deeply disturbing work assaults the emotions with its powerful metaphors of destruction, death, the search for meaning, and a tenuous relationship with God. ... Originally used for a type of poetic metre (Elegiac metre), the term elegy is also used for a poem of mourning, from the Greek elegos, a reflection on the death of someone or on a sorrow generally. ... Rainer Maria Rilke (born 4 December 1875 in Prague; died 29 December 1926 in Val-Mont (Switzerland)) was an important poet in the German language. ...


Hölderlin earned some negative notoriety during his lifetime by his translations of Sophocles, which were considered awkward and contrived. In the 20th century, theorists of translation like Walter Benjamin have vindicated them, showing their importance as a new - and greatly influential - model of poetic translation. A Roman bust of Sophocles. ... (19th century - 20th century - 21st century - more centuries) Decades: 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s As a means of recording the passage of time, the 20th century was that century which lasted from 1901–2000 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar (1900–1999 in the... Translation is an activity comprising the interpretation of the meaning of a text in one language—the source text—and the production of a new, equivalent text in another language—the target text, also called the translation. ... Walter Benjamin (July 15, 1892-September 27, 1940) was a German Jewish Marxist literary critic and philosopher. ...


Hölderlin was a poet-thinker who wrote, fragmentarily, on poetic theory and philosophical matters. His theoretical works, such as the essays Das Werden im Vergehen ("Becoming in Dissolution") and Urteil und Sein ("Judgement and Being") are insightful and important if somewhat tortuous and difficult to parse. They raise many of the key problems also addressed by his Tübingen roommates Hegel and Schelling. And, though his poetry was never "theory-driven", the interpretation and exegesis of some of his more difficult poems has given rise to profound philosophical speculation by such divergent thinkers as Martin Heidegger and Theodor Adorno. Tübingen, Neckar front Tübingen, an old university city of Baden-Württemberg, Germany, is situated 20 miles southwest of Stuttgart, on a ridge between the River Neckar and the Ammer. ... Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (August 27, 1770 - November 14, 1831) was a German philosopher born in Stuttgart, Württemberg, in present-day southwest Germany. ... Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph von Schelling (January 27, 1775 - August 20, 1854) was a German philosopher. ... Martin Heidegger Martin Heidegger (September 26, 1889 – May 26, 1976) was a German philosopher. ... Missing image Theodor, writing in 1967 Theodor Ludwig Wiesengrund Adorno (September 11, 1903 – August 6, 1969) was a German sociologist, philosopher, musicologist and composer. ...


 
 

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