Tuesday, 15 March 2011

The Philanderer...














On this day...German writer Paul Johann Ludwig von Heyse was born in 1830. The son of Felix Mendelssohn's tutor, and a Prussian court jeweller descendant, Heyse was born into a family already heavily connected with the artistic world. Thus he soon befriended names such as Theodor Fontane and Emanuel Geibel, joining the literary group Tunnel ├╝ber der Spree, before publishing his first poem, 'Fr├╝hlingsanfang', in 1848. Although settled on becoming a writer, Heyse's hopes were initially short-lived, as he was discovered to have been conducting an affair with the wife of a university professor and was sent back to Berlin in disgrace.

Yet it was in Munich that his literary revival was secured. Granted an audience with the King of Bavaria, Heyse presented his verse tales, 'Hemen', and preceeded to become known as one of the Nordlichten, establishing his own literary society, Die Krokodile. He continued to write prolifically and his work was recognised in 1910, when he received the Nobel Prize for Literature as 'a tribute to the consummate artistry, permeated with idealism, which he has demonstrated during his long productive career as a lyric poet, dramatist, novelist and writer of world-renowned short stories'. Hysee died in 1914, at the age of 84.

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