Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué
|Born||12 February 1777|
Brandenburg an der Havel, Brandenburg, Kingdom of Prussia, Holy Roman Empire
|Died||23 January 1843 65) (aged|
Berlin, Prussia, Germany
|Literary movement||German romanticism|
Friedrich Heinrich Karl de la Motte, Baron Fouqué (12 February 1777 – 23 January 1843) was a German writer of the Romantic style.
He was born at Brandenburg an der Havel, of a family of French Huguenot origin, as evidenced in his family name. His grandfather, Heinrich August de la Motte Fouqué, had been one of Frederick the Great's generals and his father was a Prussian officer. Although not originally intended for a military career, Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué ultimately gave up his university studies at Halle to join the army, and he took part in the Rhine campaign of 1794. The rest of his life was devoted mainly to literary pursuits. He was introduced to August Wilhelm Schlegel, who deeply influenced him as a poet ("mich gelehret Maß und Regel | Meister August Wilhelm Schlegel") and who published Fouqué's first book, Dramatische Spiele von Pellegrin, in 1804.
Fouqué's first marriage was unhappy and soon ended in divorce. His second wife, Caroline Philippine von Briest (1773–1831), enjoyed some reputation as a novelist in her day. After her death Fouqué married a third time. Some consolation for the ebbing tide of popular favour was afforded him by the munificence of Frederick William IV of Prussia, who granted him a pension which allowed him to spend his later years in comfort. He died in Berlin in 1843.
For Fouqué's life see Lebensgeschichte des Baron Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué (only to the year 1813), Aufgezeichnet durch ihn selbst (Halle, 1840), and also the introduction to Koch's selections in the Deutsche Nationalliteratur.
After Dramatische Spiele von Pellegrin, his second work, Romanzen vom Tal Ronceval (1805), showed more plainly his allegiance to the romantic leaders, and in the Historie vom edlen Ritter Galmy (1806) he versified a 16th-century romance of medieval chivalry.
Sigurd der Schlangentödter, ein Heldenspiel in sechs Abentheuren (1808), was the first modern German dramatization of the Nibelung legend combining Icelandic sources such as the Volsunga Saga and the Middle High German Nibelungenlied. The play and its two sequels Sigurds Rache (1809) and Aslaugas Ritter (1810) were published together under the title Der Held des Nordens in 1810 ["The Hero of the North"]. The trilogy brought Fouqué to the attention of the public, and had a considerable influence on subsequent versions of the story, such as Friedrich Hebbel's Nibelungen and Richard Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen .
These early writings indicate the lines which Fouqué's subsequent literary activity followed; his interests were divided between medieval chivalry on the one hand and northern mythology on the other. In 1813, the year of the rising against Napoleon, he again fought with the Prussian army, and the new patriotism awakened in the German people left its mark upon his writings.
|“||Were I asked, what is a fairytale? I should reply, Read Undine: that is a fairytale ... of all fairytales I know, I think Undine the most beautiful. (George MacDonald, The Fantastic Imagination)||”|
Between 1810 and 1815, Fouqué's popularity was at its height; the many romances and novels, plays and epics which he produced with extraordinary rapidity, appealed greatly to the mood of the hour. Undine appeared around 1811, the only work by which Fouqué's memory still lives today. A more comprehensive idea of his talent may, however, be obtained from the two romances Der Zauberring (1813) and Die Fahrten Thiodolfs des Isländers (1815).
From 1820 onwards the quality of Fouqué's work deteriorated, partly owing to the fatal formal ease with which he wrote, and he failed to keep pace with the changes in German taste by clinging to the paraphernalia of romanticism. His rivals applied a sobriquet of "Don Quixote of Romanticism" to him.
Most of Fouqué's works have been translated. Menella Bute Smedley, for instance, translated his ballad, "The Shepherd of the Giant Mountains." The English versions of Aslauga's Knight (by Thomas Carlyle), Sintram and his Companions and Undine have been frequently republished.
Fouqué's play Der Sängerkrieg auf der Wartburg (The Song Contest on the Wartburg) is likely one of the sources for Wagner's Tannhäuser .Goethe was not impressed by it, remarking to Eckermann: "We both agreed that all his life this poet had engaged in old Germanic studies, however without being able to develop this into a culture of his own making." Robert Louis Stevenson admired Fouqué's story "The Bottle Imp" and wrote his own version ( The Bottle Imp ) with a Hawaiian setting. John Henry Newman and Charlotte Mary Yonge both praised Sintram and his Companions. William Morris also became an admirer of Sintram and his Companions, and it influenced Morris' own fiction. Sintram and his Companions and Undine are referred to in Little Women by Louisa May Alcott; the character Jo mentions wanting them for Christmas in the first chapter of the book and finally receives them in chapter 22. Aslauga's Knight as well as Sintram and his Companions and Undine are referred to in Jo's Boys, the final book in Alcott's Little Women series, where the story of Aslauga's Knight mirrors the character Dan and his affection for gentle Bess. Undine is the basis, along with Hans Anderson's Little Mermaid for Dvořák's opera Rusalka .
The Wartburg is a castle originally built in the Middle Ages. It is situated on a precipice of 410 meters (1,350 ft) to the southwest of and overlooking the town of Eisenach, in the state of Thuringia, Germany. In 1999, UNESCO added Wartburg Castle to the World Heritage List. It was the home of St. Elisabeth of Hungary, the place where Martin Luther translated the New Testament of the Bible into German, the site of the Wartburg festival of 1817 and the supposed setting for the possibly legendary Sängerkrieg. It was an important inspiration for Ludwig II when he decided to build Neuschwanstein Castle. Wartburg is the most-visited tourist attraction in Thuringia after Weimar. Although the castle today still contains substantial original structures from the 12th through 15th centuries, much of the interior dates back only to the 19th century.
This article presents lists of the literary events and publications in 1811.
Undine is a category of elemental beings associated with water.
Undine is a fairy-tale novella (Erzählung) by Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué in which Undine, a water spirit, marries a knight named Huldebrand in order to gain a soul. It is an early German romance, which has been translated into English and other languages.
Gustav Benjamin Schwab was a German writer, pastor and publisher.
Carl Joachim Friedrich Ludwig von Arnim, better known as Achim von Arnim, was a German poet, novelist, and together with Clemens Brentano and Joseph von Eichendorff, a leading figure of German Romanticism.
Aslaug, also called Aslög, Kráka or Kraba, is a figure in Norse mythology who appears in Snorri's Edda, the Völsunga saga and in the saga of Ragnar Lodbrok as his third wife.
The first Wartburg Festival was a convention of about 500 Protestant German students, held on 18 October 1817 at the Wartburg castle near Eisenach in Thuringia. The former refuge of reformator Martin Luther was considered a national symbol and the assembly a protest against reactionary politics and Kleinstaaterei.
Tannhäuser is an 1845 opera in three acts, music and text by Richard Wagner, based on two German legends: Tannhäuser, the mythologized medieval German Minnesänger and poet, and the tale of the Wartburg Song Contest. The story centers on the struggle between sacred and profane love, and redemption through love, a theme running through much of Wagner's mature work.
Undines are a category of imaginary elemental beings associated with water, first named in the alchemical writings of Paracelsus. Similar creatures are found in classical literature, particularly Ovid's Metamorphoses. Later writers developed the undine into a water nymph in its own right, and it continues to live in modern literature and art through such adaptations as Hans Christian Andersen's "The Little Mermaid".
Heinrich von Ofterdingen is a fabled, quasi-fictional Middle High German lyric poet and Minnesinger mentioned in the 13th century epic of the Sängerkrieg on the Wartburg. The legend was perpetuated by Novalis in his eponymous fragment novel written in 1800 and by E. T. A. Hoffmann in his 1818 novella Der Kampf der Sänger.
The Sängerkrieg, also known as the Wartburgkrieg, was a contest among minstrels (Minnesänger) at the Wartburg, a castle in Thuringia, Germany, in 1207.
Ernst Heinrich August de la Motte Fouqué was a Prussian Lieutenant general and General der Infanterie and a confidante of King Frederick the Great. Fouqué held the title of Freiherr (baron).
Undine is an opera in four acts by Albert Lortzing. The German libretto was by the composer after Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué's story of the same name.
Freiherr von Blomberg refers to a German family.
Undine is an opera, with spoken dialogue, in three acts by the German composer and author E.T.A. Hoffmann. The libretto, by Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué, is based on his own story Undine. It received its premiere at the Königliches Schauspielhaus, Berlin on 3 August, 1816. Undine was Hoffmann's greatest operatic success and a major influence on the development of German Romantic opera.
Princess Maria Anna of Hesse-Homburg was a German noblewoman. She was the most senior woman at the Prussian court from 1810–40. She was styled as "Princess Wilhelm of Prussia".
Caroline Philippine von Briest was one of the most prolific women writers of the Romantic period. She wrote novels, short stories, fairy tales, as well as essays, on Greek mythology, on the history of fashion, and travelogues. Considered to be one of the most accomplished women of Germany of her time, her numerous works gained her a high degree of celebrity.
Rose M. M. Pitman (1868–1947) was an English illustrator. She is best known for her illustrations for the 1897 edition of Undine by Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué.
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