Johann Ludwig Tieck (May 31, 1773 – April 28, 1853) was a German poet, translator, editor, novelist, and critic, who was part of the Romantic movement of the late 18th and early 19th centuries.
Tieck was born in Berlin
, the son of a rope-maker. He was educated at the Friedrich-Werdersche Gymnasium
, and at the universities of Halle
. At Göttingen, he studied Shakespeare
and the Elizabethan
In 1794 he returned to Berlin, and attempted to make a living by writing. He contributed a number of short stories (1795-1798) to the series of Straussfedern, published by the bookseller C.F. Nicolai and originally edited by J.K.A. Musäus, and wrote Abdallah (1796) and a novel in letters, William Lovell (3 vols. 1795-1796).
Adoption of Romanticism
Tieck's transition to Romanticism
is seen in the series of plays and stories published under the title Volksmärchen von Peter Lebrecht
(3 vols., 1797), a collection which contains the admirable fairy-tale Der blonde Eckbert
, and the witty dramatic satire on Berlin literary taste, Der gestiefelte Kater
. With his school and college friend Wilhelm Heinrich Wackenroder
(1773-1798), he planned the novel Franz Sternbalds Wanderungen
(vols. i-ii. 1798), which, with Wackenroder's Herzensergiessungen
(1798), was the first expression of the romantic enthusiasm for old German art.
In 1798 Tieck married and in the following year settled in Jena, where he, the two brothers August and Friedrich Schlegel and Novalis were the leaders of the new Romantic school. His writings between 1798 and 1804 include the satirical drama, Prinz Zerbino (1799), and Romantische Dichtungen (2 vols., 1799-1800). The latter contains Tieck's most ambitious dramatic poems, Leben und Tod der heiligen Genoveva, Leben und Tod des kleinen Rotkäppchens, which were followed in 1804 by the remarkable "comedy" in two parts, Kaiser Oktavianus. These dramas, in which Tieck's poetic powers are to be seen at their best, are typical plays of the first Romantic school; although formless, and destitute of dramatic qualities, they show the influence of both Calderón and Shakespeare. Kaiser Oktavianus is a poetic glorification of the Middle Ages.
In 1801 Tieck went to Dresden, then lived for a time near Frankfurt (Oder), and spent many months in Italy. In 1803 he published a translation of Minnelieder aus der schwäbischen Vorzeit, between 1799 and 1804 an excellent version of Don Quixote, and in 1811 two volumes of Elizabethan dramas, Altenglisches Theater. From 1812 to 1817 he collected in three volumes a number of his earlier stories and dramas, under the title Phantasus. In this collection appeared the stories Der Runenberg, Die Elfen, Der Pokal, and the dramatic fairy tale, Fortunat.
In 1817 Tieck visited England in order to collect materials for a work on Shakespeare (unfortunately never finished) and in 1819 he settled permanently in Dresden; from 1825 on he was literary adviser to the Court Theatre, and his semi-public readings from the dramatic poets gave him a reputation which extended far beyond the Saxon capital. The new series of short stories which he began to publish in 1822 also won him a wide popularity. Notable among these are Die Gemälde, Die Reisenden, Die Verlobung, and Des Lebens Überfluss.
More ambitious and on a wider canvas are the historical or semi-historical novels, Dichterleben (1826), Der Aufruhr in den Cevennen (1826, unfinished), Der Tod des Dichters (1834); Der junge Tischlermeister (1836; but begun in 1811) is an excellent story written under the influence of Goethe's Wilhelm Meister; Vittoria Accorombona (1840), the story of Vittoria Accoramboni written in the style of the French Romanticists, shows a falling-off.
In later years Tieck carried on a varied literary activity as critic (Dramaturgische Blätter
, 2 vols., 1825-1826; Kritische Schriften
, 2 vols., 1848); he also edited the translation of Shakespeare by August Wilhelm Schlegel
, who was assisted by Tieck's daughter Dorothea
(1790-1841) and by Wolf Heinrich, Graf von Baudissin
(1789-1878); Shakespeares Vorschule
(2 vols., 1823-1829); the works of Heinrich von Kleist
(1826) and of Jakob Michael Reinhold Lenz
(1828). In 1841 Friedrich Wilhelm IV of Prussia
invited him to Berlin where he enjoyed a pension for his remaining years. He died on 28 April 1853.
Tieck's importance lay in the readiness with which he adapted himself to the new ideas which arose at the close of the 18th century, rather than in any conspicuous originality. His importance in German poetry
is restricted to his early period. In later years it was as the helpful friend and adviser of others, or as the well-read critic of wide sympathies, that Tieck distinguished himself.
Tieck also influenced Richard Wagner's Tannhäuser. It was from Phantasus that Wagner based the idea of Tannhäuser going to see the pope and Elisabeth dying in the song battle.
appeared in twenty vols. (1828-1846), and his Gesammelte Novellen
in twelve (1852-1854). Nachgelassene Schriften
were published in two vols. in 1855. There are several editions of Ausgewählte Werke
by H. Welti (8 vols., 1886-1888); by J. Minor (in Kirschner's Deutsche Nationalliteratur
, 144, 2 vols., 1885); by G. Klee (with an excellent biography, 3 vols., 1892), and G. Witkowski (4 vols., 1903) and Marianne Thalmann (4 vols., 1963-66).
The Elves and The Goblet
was translated by Carlyle in German Romance
(1827), The Pictures and The Betrothal
by Bishop Thirlwall (1825). A translation of Vittoria Accorombona
was published in 1845. A translation of Des Lebens Überfluss
, by E. N. Bennett) appeared in German Short Stories
in the Oxford University Press World's Classics
series in 1934, but the wit of the original comes over more strongly in The Superfluities of Life. A Tale Abridged from Tieck,
which appeared anonymously in Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine
in February 1845.The journey into the blue distance (Shirley)
Tieck's Letters have been published at various locations:
- Ludwig Tieck und die Brüder Schlegel. Briefe ed. by Edgar Lohner (München 1972)
- Briefe an Tieck were published in 4 vols. by K. von Holtei in 1864.
See for Tieck's earlier life R. Köpke, Ludwig Tieck
(2 vols., 1855); for the Dresden period, H. von Friesen, Ludwig Tieck: Erinnerungen
(2 vols., 1871); also A. Stern, Ludwig Tieck in Dresden
(Zur Literatur der Gegenwart
, 1879); J. Minor, Tieck als Novellendichter
(1884); B. Steiner, L. Tieck und die Volksbücher
(1893); H. Bischof, Tieck als Dramaturg
(1897); W. Miessner, Tiecks Lyrik
- Roger Paulin: Ludwig Tieck, 1985 (German translation 1988)
- Roger Paulin: Ludwig Tieck, 1987 (Slg. Metzler M 185) (in German)
- Kertz-Welzel, Alexandra. Die Transzendenz der Gefühle. Beziehungen zwischen Musik und Gefühl bei Wackenroder/Tieck und die Musikästhetik der Romantik. Saarbrücker Beiträge zur Literaturwissenschaft, no. 71. Ph.D. Dissertation (Saarbrücken, Germany: Universität des Saarlandes, 2000). St. Ingbert, Germany: Röhrig Universitätsverlag, 2001. ISBN 3-86110-278-1.
- http://gutenberg.spiegel.de/autoren/tieck.htm -- E-Texts of Projekt Gutenberg-DE
- http://www.gnu.franken.de/Tieck/ -- Tieck-Repositorium (under construction)
- http://www.fleetingforever.com (under construction)
- http://www.davidtieck.com (under construction)