Horvath, Ödön (Edmund) von

(1901–1938)
   Dramatist, novelist, and essayist, Horvath was born in Fiume (Rijeka), then the seaport for the Hungarian half of the Habsburg Empire. His father was in the Habsburg diplomatic service. Moving with his parents from Belgrade to Budapest, he then went to Munich in 1913. By his own testimony, he wrote his first sentence in German at the age of 14. During most of World War I, he was in school in Pozsony (Bratislava). Shortly before the end of the conflict, he returned with his family to Budapest.
   During the interwar years, Horvath lived in Germany, Hungary, and Austria, writing 17 plays between 1926 and 1936. An outspoken opponent of Nazism, he left Austria for Paris in 1938. Felled by a branch from a tree that had been struck by lightning, he died the same year.
   Horvath has exercised considerable influence on modern Austrian writing, particularly that of the experimental Graz Group. Like them, he laid bare the artificiality of language and its communicative deficiencies in works such as Don Juan Kommt aus dem Krieg (Don Juan Comes Home from the War, 1937). He was a harsh critic of the values prevalent among the German and Austrian petty bourgeoisie, whom he saw driven by cynical egoism and insecurity, and as lacking common decency. This is especially true of his male figures, as seen in his best-known play, Geschichten aus dem Wiener Wald (Tales from the Vienna Woods). Completed in 1931, it was first performed in Vienna before unreceptive audiences in 1948. His women either know too much about men to have a comfortable relationship with them, or are victims of male psychological, often physical, brutality. Because so many of his best works deal with the lesser people of the central European world, he is sometimes said to have put the 19thcentury Viennese popular comedy of Johann Nestroy on a modern footing. However, although Nestroy’s work took on an increasingly bitter tone, it never achieved quite the acerbic pitch that Horvath often reached. Horvath also wrote several works that picked apart Nazism and its followers. Among them were Godless Youth (Jugend ohne Gott, 1937) and A Child of Our Times (Ein Kind unserer Zeit, 1938).
   See also Literature; Theater.

Historical dictionary of Austria. . 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Horváth, Ödön Edmund Josef von — ▪ Hungarian writer born December 9, 1901, Fiume, Hungary [now Rijeka, Croatia] died June 1, 1938, Paris, France       Hungarian novelist and playwright who was one of the most promising German language dramatists of the 1930s and one of the… …   Universalium

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  • Ödön von Horváth — in 1919 Edmund Josef von Horváth (December 9, 1901 Sušak, Rijeka, then in Austria–Hungary, now in Croatia June 1, 1938 Paris) was a German writing Austro Hungarian born playwright and novelist. He preferred the Hungarian version of his first name …   Wikipedia

  • Ödön von Horváth — Ödön von Horváth, 1919 Edmund Josef von Horváth (Sušak, Rijeka, 9 de diciembre de 1901 París, 1 de junio de 1938) era un dramaturgo y novelista austrohúngaro. Prefería en sus publicaciones la versión húngara de su nombre Ödön von Horváth. Ho …   Wikipedia Español

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  • Ödön — ist ein ungarischer männlicher Vorname.[1] Herkunft und Bedeutung Ödön ist die ungarische Form von Edmund.[2] Bekannte Namensträger Ödön Bodor (1882–1927), ungarischer Leichtathlet und Fußballspieler Ödön Földessy (* 1929), ungarischer… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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