Karl Gutzkow

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Karl Gutzkow Karl Gutzkow.jpg
Karl Gutzkow

Karl Ferdinand Gutzkow (17 March 1811 in Berlin 16 December 1878 in Sachsenhausen) was a German writer notable in the Young Germany movement of the mid-19th century.

Sachsenhausen (Frankfurt am Main) Stadtteil of Frankfurt am Main in Hesse, Germany

Sachsenhausen-Nord and Sachsenhausen-Süd are two city districts of Frankfurt am Main, Germany. The division into a northern and a southern part is mostly for administrative purposes as Sachsenhausen is generally considered an entity. Both city districts are part of the Ortsbezirk Süd.

Young Germany was a group of German writers which existed from about 1830 to 1850. It was essentially a youth ideology. Its main proponents were Karl Gutzkow, Heinrich Laube, Theodor Mundt and Ludolf Wienbarg; Heinrich Heine, Ludwig Börne and Georg Büchner were also considered part of the movement. The wider group included Willibald Alexis, Adolf Glassbrenner, Gustav Kühne, Max Waldau and Georg Herwegh.



Gutzkow was born of an extremely poor family, not proletarian, but of the lowest and most menial branch of state employees. [1] His father held a clerkship in the war office in Berlin, [2] and was pietistic and puritanical in his outlook and demands. Jacob Wittmer Hartmann speculates that Gutzkow's later agnosticism was probably a reaction against the excessive religiosity of his early surroundings. [1] After completing his basic studies, beginning in 1829 Gutzkow studied theology and philosophy at the University of Berlin, [2] where his teachers included Hegel and Schleiermacher. [3]

Humboldt University of Berlin university in Berlin, Germany

Humboldt University of Berlin is a university in the central borough of Mitte in Berlin, Germany. It was established by Frederick William III on the initiative of Wilhelm von Humboldt, Johann Gottlieb Fichte and Friedrich Ernst Daniel Schleiermacher as the University of Berlin in 1809, and opened in 1810, making it the oldest of Berlin's four universities. From 1810 until its closure in 1945, it was named Friedrich Wilhelm University. During the Cold War the university found itself in East Berlin and was de facto split in two when the Free University of Berlin opened in West Berlin. The university received its current name in honour of Alexander and Wilhelm von Humboldt in 1949.

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel German philosopher who influenced German idealism

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel was a German philosopher and an important figure of German idealism. He achieved wide recognition in his day and—while primarily influential within the continental tradition of philosophy—has become increasingly influential in the analytic tradition as well. Although Hegel remains a divisive figure, his canonical stature within Western philosophy is universally recognized.

While still a student, he began his literary career by the publication in 1831 of a periodical entitled Forum der Journalliteratur. This brought him to the notice of Wolfgang Menzel, who invited him to Stuttgart to assist in the editorship of the Literaturblatt. At the same time he continued his university studies at Jena, Heidelberg and Munich. In 1832 he published Briefe eines Narren an eine Närrin anonymously in Hamburg; and in 1833 his novel Maha-Guru, Geschichte eines Gottes, a fantastic and satirical romance set in Tibet, was issued in Stuttgart by the well known Cotta  [ de ] publishing house. In 1835 he went to Frankfurt, where he founded the Deutsche Revue. [2] While Gutzkow started out as a collaborator of Wolfgang Menzel, he ended up his adversary.[ citation needed ]

Wolfgang Menzel German poet

Wolfgang Menzel, German poet, critic and literary historian, was born at Waldenburg (Wałbrzych) in Silesia.

University of Jena university located in Jena, Thuringia, Germany

Friedrich Schiller University Jena is a public research university located in Jena, Thuringia, Germany.

Also in 1835, his novel Wally die Zweiflerin appeared. News of the 1830 July Revolution at Paris had moved him deeply, and the general atmosphere of radicalism pervading Europe at that time, and perhaps more specifically a reading of the Life of Jesus by David Friedrich Strauss, influenced Gutzkow in the composition of this first novel, which exalts the agnosticism and emancipated views of the heroine, Wally. [1] The work was directed specially against the institution of marriage and the belief in revelation. [2] The book incorporates many ideas that Gutzkow had recently absorbed from French writers, notably Henri de Saint-Simon, particularly the latter's theory of the emancipation of the flesh. [1]

July Revolution July 1830 revolution in kidzania

The French Revolution of 1830, also known as the July Revolution, Second French Revolution or Trois Glorieuses in French, led to the overthrow of King Charles X, the French Bourbon monarch, and the ascent of his cousin Louis Philippe, Duke of Orléans, who himself, after 18 precarious years on the throne, would be overthrown in 1848. It marked the shift from one constitutional monarchy, under the restored House of Bourbon, to another, the July Monarchy; the transition of power from the House of Bourbon to its cadet branch, the House of Orléans; and the replacement of the principle of hereditary right by popular sovereignty. Supporters of the Bourbon would be called Legitimists, and supporters of Louis Philippe Orléanists.

Immediately after its publication, the writings of Gutzkow, together with those of Heinrich Heine, Heinrich Laube, Ludolf Wienbarg and Theodor Mundt, were banned by the German Federal Assembly in December 1835.[ citation needed ] This is usually taken as the starting point of the school known as Young Germany, literary reformers heralding the democratic upheaval of 1848. [4] Whatever interest Gutzkow's novel might have attracted from its own merits was enhanced by the action of the German federal diet, which condemned Gutzkow to three months' imprisonment, decreed the suppression of all he had written or might yet write, and prohibited him from exercising the functions of editor within the German confederation. [2]

Heinrich Heine German poet, journalist, essayist, and literary critic

Christian Johann Heinrich Heine was a German-Jewish poet, journalist, essayist, and literary critic. He is best known outside of Germany for his early lyric poetry, which was set to music in the form of Lieder by composers such as Robert Schumann and Franz Schubert. Heine's later verse and prose are distinguished by their satirical wit and irony. He is considered part of the Young Germany movement. His radical political views led to many of his works being banned by German authorities—which, however, only added to his fame. He spent the last 25 years of his life as an expatriate in Paris.

Heinrich Laube German writer

Heinrich Laube, German dramatist, novelist and theatre-director, was born at Sprottau in Prussian Silesia.

Christian Ludolf Wienbarg was a German journalist and literary critic, one of the founders of the Young Germany movement during the Vormärz period.

During his term of imprisonment at Mannheim, Gutzkow wrote his treatise Zur Philosophie der Geschichte (1836). On obtaining his freedom he returned to Frankfurt, whence he went in 1837 to Hamburg. Here he inaugurated a new epoch of his literary activity by bringing out his tragedy Richard Savage (1839), which immediately made the round of all the German theatres. Of his numerous other plays, the majority by c. 1910 were neglected; but a few had obtained an established place in the repertory of the German theatre, especially the comedies Zopf und Schwert (1844), Das Urbild des Tartüffe (1847), Der Königsleutnant (1849) and the blank verse tragedy, Uriel Acosta (1847). In 1847, Gutzkow went to Dresden, where he succeeded Tieck as literary adviser to the court theatre. Meanwhile, he had not neglected the novel. Seraphine (1838) was followed by Blasedow und seine Söhne, a satire on the educational theories of the time. Between 1850 and 1852 appeared Die Ritter vom Geiste, which may be regarded as the starting point for the modern German social novel. Der Zauberer von Rom is a powerful study of Roman Catholic life in southern Germany. [2]

Mannheim Place in Baden-Württemberg, Germany

Mannheim is a city in the southwestern part of Germany, the third-largest in the German state of Baden-Württemberg after Stuttgart and Karlsruhe with a 2015 population of approximately 305,000 inhabitants. The city is at the centre of the larger densely populated Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region which has a population of 2,400,000 and is Germany's eighth-largest metropolitan region.

Dresden Place in Saxony, Germany

Dresden is the capital city and, after Leipzig, the second-largest city of the Free State of Saxony in Germany. It is situated in a valley on the River Elbe, near the border with the Czech Republic.

Tieck may refer to:

About 1860: "Carte de visite" of Gutzkow, No. "1170" probably made by an anonymous copyist Still unknown photographer famous people serial number 1170 Karl Gutzkow about 1860 Bildseite.jpg
About 1860: “Carte de visite” of Gutzkow, No. "1170" probably made by an anonymous copyist

After the success of Die Ritter vom Geiste, Gutzkow founded a journal on the model of Dickens' Household Words , entitled Unterhaltungen am häuslichen Herd, which first appeared in 1852 and continued till 1862. In 1864 he had an epileptic fit, and his theatrical powers began to diminish. To this period belong the historical novels Hohenschwangau (1868) and Fritz Ellrodt (1872), Lebensbilder (1870–1872), consisting of autobiographic sketches, and Die Söhne Pestalozzis (1870), with a plot founded on the story of Kaspar Hauser. After another epilieptic episode Gutzkow journeyed to Italy in 1873, taking up residence in the country near Heidelberg on his return before moving again to Frankfurt, where he died on 16 December 1878. [2]

With his play Uriel Acosta , and other works, Gutzkow stood up for the emancipation of the Jews; this play would later become the first classic play to be translated into Yiddish, and become a longtime standard of Yiddish theater. Gutzkow was never a revolutionary, and he became more conservative with age. He was one of the first Germans who tried to make a living by writing. [3] His strong controversial purpose obscured his artistic genius, but his work profoundly influenced the popular thought of c. 1910 Germany, and gives one of the best pictures we have of the intellectual life and the social struggle of his generation and nation. [4]


His comedy in 5 acts Zopf und Schwert (1844) received two adaptations; in 1926 Aafa-Film made the movie Sword and Shield , and Edmund Nick used it for his operetta Über alles siegt die Liebe (Love Conquers Everything, 1940), libretto by Bruno Hardt-Warden  [ de ].

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  1. 1 2 3 4 Wikisource-logo.svg Rines, George Edwin, ed. (1920). "Gutzkow, Karl". Encyclopedia Americana .
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Wikisource-logo.svg Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Gutzkow, Karl Ferdinand". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
  3. 1 2 Sagarra, Eda (2000). "Karl Gutzkow, 1811-1878." Encyclopedia of German Literature. Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn. p. 391-392.
  4. 1 2 Wikisource-logo.svg  Gilman, D. C.; Peck, H. T.; Colby, F. M., eds. (1905). "Gutzkow, Karl". New International Encyclopedia (1st ed.). New York: Dodd, Mead.