Further Information on the person
(1874-1929) Austrian prodigy, a novelist, librettist, poet, dramatist, narrator, and essayist
Year of Birth: 1874
Hugo Laurenz August Hofmann von Hofmannsthal was born in Vienna on 1 February 1874, the eldest son of a prominent Austrian family. He was a prolific Austrian poet, dramatist, novelist, librettist, and translator, best known for his collaborations with composer Richard Strauss. Hofmannsthal was a leading figure in the modernist movement of the early twentieth century and a member of the avant-garde group of writers known as the Vienna Secession.
Hofmannsthal was educated first at the Theresianum, a school run by the Jesuits, and then at the University of Vienna, where he studied law and philosophy. Although his family was Jewish, he was baptized in the Roman Catholic faith at the age of thirteen. He wrote his first play, The Father of the House, at the age of fifteen, and it was produced in 1893. He went on to write numerous plays, including Der Turm (The Tower), Der Schwierige (The Difficult Man), Elektra, and Der Rosenkavalier, in collaboration with Richard Strauss.
Hofmannsthal's work was marked by a profound interest in myth and legend, and by a preoccupation with the metaphysical and psychological aspects of human experience. He was also a highly influential poet, writing the poem cycle Das Buch der Bilder (The Book of Images) and the play Jedermann (Everyman). His work was highly influential in the development of Expressionism in literature.
Hofmannsthal was also a prolific translator, translating works from English, French, Spanish, Italian, and Classical Greek into German. He was a member of the prestigious literary society, the Deutsches Literaturarchiv, and a founder of the literary journal Der Tag. In 1911, he was awarded the prestigious Gottfried Keller Prize for his poem cycle Der Tod des Tizian (The Death of Titian).
Hofmannsthal's life was cut tragically short at the age of forty-nine, when he died of a heart attack in Vienna on July 15th, 1929. He left behind a body of work that is widely considered to be among the finest in German literature. Hofmannsthal's plays, poetry, and prose have been translated into several languages and continue to be read and performed all over the world.
The legacy of Hugo Laurenz August Hofmann von Hofmannsthal is one of great creativity and artistic excellence. He was a visionary, a masterful wordsmith, and a tireless innovator. He stands as one of the most influential figures in the history of modern German literature, and his works continue to influence writers and readers today.
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