Hauptmann, Gerhart

(1862-1946)
   writer; among Wilhelmine Ger-many's premier playwrights. Born in the Lower Silesian town of Obersalzbrunn, he did poorly in Gymnasium and seriously considered a career in farming. How-ever, abandoning agriculture in 1880, he spent several years dabbling in sculpt-ing, graphic art, history, and acting. A watershed came in 1885 with marriage to Adele Thienemann, an heiress whose wealth allowed him an independent existence. Settling near Berlin,* he began writing. He was soon in contact with the Naturalists, and his 1887 work Fasching already shows their influence.
   Hauptmann's first play, Vor Sonnenaufgang (Before sunrise), appeared in 1889 with Theodor Fontane's support; it achieved instant success. Thereafter he established residences in both Charlottenburg and Silesia. Numerous plays fol-lowed—twenty-five by 1914—the most significant being his 1892 account of the 1844 Silesian weavers' uprising, Die Weber (The weavers). Although an extended marital crisis brought divorce in 1904, his creativity was not impaired. Since his excursions outside of Naturalism were rarely successful, he maintained his style well into the twentieth century. Adaptations of older literature, includ-ing his 1900 Shakespearean-like Schluck und Jau, were also common after 1900.
   Although Hauptmann was prolific until the end of his life—he published forty plays, five novels, and countless stories—his powers were waning by 1910. Awarded the Nobel Prize in 1912 and the Pour le Mérite (Peace Class) in 1922, he had a regular lecture circuit during the Weimar era and was even mentioned as a possible presidential candidate. But his writing increasingly repeated earlier themes, while his Naturalism had grown anachronistic. While he was a gifted dramatist, his vision was insufficient to make full use of his gifts; not surpris-ingly, he could not escape the intellectual milieu of the nineteenth century. He was convinced of life's irrationality, and his plays leave viewers depressed at the senseless suffering of human events; his characters never act but are, rather, acted upon.
   Hauptmann opposed militarism and publicly endorsed the democratic spirit of the Republic. Yet while he claimed that my epoch began in 1870 and ended with the Reichstag fire," he failed to adequately repudiate Nazism, a factor for which critics reproached him. It is generally accepted that Thomas Mann* rep-resented Hauptmann through The Magic Mountain's tragicomic yet mysterious character, Mynheer Peeperkorn.
   REFERENCES:Benz and Graml, Biographisches Lexikon; Garland and Garland, Oxford Companion to German Literature; Knight and Norman, Hauptmann Lectures; NDB, vol. 8.

A Historical dictionary of Germany's Weimar Republic, 1918-1933. .

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  • Hauptmann, Gerhart — ▪ German writer in full  Gerhart Johann Robert Hauptmann  born Nov. 15, 1862, Bad Salzbrunn, Silesia, Prussia [Germany] died June 6, 1946, Agnetendorf, Ger. [now Jagniątków, Pol.]  German playwright, poet, and novelist who was a recipient of the… …   Universalium

  • Hauptmann, Gerhart — (1862 1946)    Playwright. Hauptmann studied painting and sculpture, but acting lessons in Berlin along with marriage in 1885 to a wealthy young woman convinced him to try playwriting. His first successful play was Vor Sonnenaufgang (Before… …   Historical dictionary of German Theatre

  • Hauptmann,Gerhart — Haupt·mann (houptʹmän , houpʹ ), Gerhart. 1862 1946. German writer. Known primarily for his naturalistic plays, such as The Weavers (1892), he also wrote novels and poetry. He won the 1912 Nobel Prize for literature. * * * …   Universalium

  • Hauptmann, Gerhart — ► (1862 1946) Literato alemán. Fue premio Nobel de Literatura en 1912. Obras: Antes que salga el sol (1899) y Los tejedores (1892), entre otras …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Hauptmann, Gerhart (Johann Robert) — born Nov. 15, 1862, Bad Salzbrunn, Silesia, Prussia died June 6, 1946, Agnetendorf, Ger. German playwright and poet. He studied sculpture before turning to literature in his early 20s. His first play, the starkly realistic social drama Before… …   Universalium

  • Hauptmann, Gerhart (Johann Robert) — (15 nov. 1862, Bad Salzbrunn, Silesia, Prusia–6 jun. 1946, Agnetendorf, Alemania). Dramaturgo y poeta alemán. Estudió escultura antes de dedicarse a la literatura cuando ya tenía un poco más de 20 años de edad. Su primera obra, el severo drama… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Hauptmann — Hauptmann, Gerhart …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Gerhart Hauptmann — Gerhart Johann Robert Hauptmann (* 15. November 1862 in Ober Salzbrunn in Schlesien; † 6. Juni 1946 in Agnetendorf/Agnieszków in Schlesien) war ein deutscher Dramatiker und Schriftsteller. Er gilt als der bedeutendste deutsche Vertreter des… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Gerhart-Hauptmann-Schule — in Heilbronn Die Gerhart Hauptmann Schule ist eine Hauptschule mit Werkrealschule an der Karlstraße 104 in Heilbronn. Die Schule ist sowohl in der Schulsozialarbeit als auch in der Architektur bemerkenswert. Das Gebäude ist der erste sogenannte… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Gerhart-Hauptmann-Schule (Heilbronn) — Gerhart Hauptmann Schule in Heilbronn Die Gerhart Hauptmann Schule ist eine Hauptschule mit Werkrealschule an der Karlstraße 104 in Heilbronn. Die Schule ist sowohl in der Schulsozialarbeit als auch in der Architektur bemerkenswert. Das Gebäude… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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