Saturday, March 18, 2017

Born Today March 18: Friedrich Hebbel


Christian Friedrich Hebbel, German dramatist and poet, was born on this date in Wesselburen.  He was the son of a bricklayer.  He showed a very early talent for composing poetry, and even managed to get some of them published in local newspapers.  This emboldened him to send a small volume of his work to then famed journalist Amalie Schoppe, who found them impressive enough to become his patron, which, in turn, allowed him to attend the University of Hamburg.  After one year there, he went to Heidelberg to study law, but soon abandoned that to attend the University of Munich, where is specialized in literature, philosophy and history.  In 1840, he finished his first play, a tragedy entitled Judith, it was published the following year.  He would produce several more plays in the years to come.  During this time, he had been given a travelling studentship by King Christian VIII, and he spent time in both Italy and Paris, France.  On his way back to his native Germany, he stopped in the Austrian capital of Vienna, where he was persuaded to remain.  He married a wealthy actress there for money only.  This firmly established both his place in the arts and in society.  He became one of the most respected playwrights of his time both in Austria and back in Germany.  In regards to film, the first film to use one of his plays for a story came in 1914:  Maria Magdalena was produced in his home country.  It as remade again in 1920 under the title Maria Magdalene in 1920.  The last film in the silent era to use his work as source material came in 1924 with Mother and Child.  The first full sound film that used his work for a screenplay was a remake of Mother and Child in 1934.  The most recent use of his writings for source material for a film came was in 2011 with Gioia Osthoff Demovideo, which was produced in his adopted country of Austria.  Hebbel died at the tragically young age of 50 in Vienna on the 13th of December.  He is buried there in the Matzliensdorf Protestant Cemetery.

For More:

German Wikipedia (can be translated)

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