Grillparzer, Franz

(1791–1872)
   One of German literature’s greatest poetic dramatists, Grillparzer was born in Vienna, where he also died. His family was close to influential theatrical and government circles in the Habsburg capital. In 1813, following philological and legal studies at the University of Vienna and a brief turn as a private tutor in a noble household, Grillparzer began training to draft documents for the imperial court library. After 1823, he did this on a full-time salaried basis for the court treasury. From 1832 until his retirement in 1856, he served as director of the treasury archives. He was among the founding members of the Austrian Academy of Arts and Science in 1847, and from 1861 until his death a member of the upper house of various legislative bodies established in Franz Joseph’s experiments with constitutionalism. His career as an author and dramatist developed even as he toiled somewhat resentfully as a bureaucrat. In 1816, the young man’s translation of Life Is a Dream by the 17th-century Spanish playwright Calderone de la Barca favorably impressed the dramaturg of the imperial court theater, Joseph Schreyvogel (1768–1832). With the latter’s encouragement, Grillparzer turned his hand to writing for the stage. His first success came with Sappho in 1819; it won him a five-year contract as court theater poet.
   Grillparzer quickly abandoned this post, choosing to travel throughout a good part of Europe between 1821 and 1826, years in which he produced much of the dramatic writing that made his reputation. Inspired by classical and historical themes, these plays are intense probes of the inner lives of people torn apart by the conflict between duty and personal, often erotic, inclination. The great trilogy The Golden Fleece (Das Goldene Vließ) was finished in 1822; the tragedy King Ottokar’s Fortune and End (König Ottakars Glück und Ende), based on the 13th-century conflict between the ruler of Bohemia and Rudolf I of Habsburg over control of the Austrian lands, was completed in 1825.
   Other successes followed, but there were failures as well. A crucial disappointment was Woe unto the Liar (Weh dem der Lügt, 1838), a comedy in which Grillparzer had invested much hope. The negative public reaction persuaded the hypersensitive dramatist to stop writing for the stage altogether. Unpleasant experiences with government censorship and a general ambivalence toward authority also shaped his decision. He was bitingly critical of the Metternich regime between 1815 and the Revolutions of 1848. Nevertheless, he celebrated the Habsburg suppression of these upheavals in one of his most famous poems “To Radetzky,” a paean to the field marshal who put down national upheavals in the dynasty’s Italian lands. Three plays that Grillparzer wrote between 1847 and 1851, including the political drama A Conflict among Brothers in the House of Habsburg (Ein Bruderzwist in Habsburg), one of his most complex and important works, were performed only after his death. Indeed, he ordered in his will that they never be produced.

Historical dictionary of Austria. . 2014.

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  • Grillparzer, Franz — Grillparzer, Franz, Franz, hat zuerst 1816 mit der »Ahnfrau« auf, einem Trauerspiel, das große Erwartungen von ihm erregte. Das Stück wurde auf allen deutschen Bühnen gegeben und in mehrern Auflagen gelesen. 1818 folgte das zweite Werk »Sappho.«… …   Damen Conversations Lexikon

  • Grillparzer, Franz — • An Austrian poet, b. at Vienna, 15 January, 1791, d. 21 January, 1872 Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006 …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Grillparzer, Franz — born Jan. 15, 1791, Vienna died Jan. 21, 1872, Vienna Austrian dramatist. He spent much of his life in government service. His early tragedies include The Ancestress (1817), Sappho (1818), and the pessimistic The Golden Fleece (1821). The Waves… …   Universalium

  • Grillparzer, Franz — (1791 1872)    Playwright. Grillparzer was perhaps the most accomplished playwright of 19th century Austria; scholars sometimes compare his work to Heinrich von Kleist s as an example of late Romanticism, because his characters (like Kleist s)… …   Historical dictionary of German Theatre

  • Grillparzer, Franz — ► (1791 1872) Autor dramático austríaco. Obras: Safo (1818), El rey Ottokar (1825), Las olas del mar y del amor (1840), entre otras. * * * (15 ene. 1791, Viena, Austria–21 ene. 1872, Viena). Dramaturgo austríaco. Laboró gran parte de su vida como …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • GRILLPARZER, FRANZ —    popular Austrian dramatist, born at Vienna; studied law and then entered the Civil Service, in which he remained from 1813 to 1856; his first notable drama was the tragedy Die Ahnfrau, the motif of which is an extreme fatalism; Sappho, Das… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Grillparzer — Grillparzer, Franz …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Franz Grillparzer — Franz Grillparzer, Lithographie von Joseph Kriehuber 1841 Franz Grillparzer (* 15. Jänner 1791 in Wien; † 21. Jänner 1872 ebenda) war ein österreichischer Schriftsteller, der vor allem als Dramatiker hervorgetreten ist. Aufgrund der… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Grillparzer — Franz Grillparzer, Lithographie von Joseph Kriehuber 1841 Franz Grillparzer (* 15. Januar 1791 in Wien; † 21. Januar 1872 in Wien) war ein österreichischer Schriftsteller, der vor allem als Dramatiker hervorgetreten ist …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Franz Grillparzer — Lithograph by Josef Kriehuber, 1841 Born 15 January 1791 Vienna, Austria Died 21 January 1872 Vienna Occupation …   Wikipedia

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