Biography of Hermann Bahr (1863-1934)

Austrian writer born in Linz in 1863 and died in Munich in 1934. He studied economics, law and classical languages in Vienna, Czernowitz and Berlin, but he interrupted his studies in 1887. During his student days he supported various political tendencies, from nationalism to socialism. He abandoned politics to devote himself to literature in 1888, driven to some extent by the influence of the French literature of the time. In Berlin he maintained contacts with the circle of playwrights of Otto Brahm and was co-editor of the magazine "Die Bühne frei". In 1891 he returned to Vienna and soon became the soul of the writers of the "Jung-Wien", while some of them (Arthur Schnitzler and Hugo von Hofmannsthal among others) did not recognize him as such. Until 1912 he lived in Vienna, where he stood mainly as a theatrical critic; Subsequently he moved to Salzburg and in 1922 to Munich.

His career as a writer began with plays such as Die neuen Menschen (the new men, 1887) and Die grosse Sünde (the great sin, 1889), both under the direct influence of the work of Henrik Ibsen. He wrote some novels now forgotten and forty plays, mainly comedies as Das Konzert (concert, 1909), his best-known work.

Bahr was always open to new literary trends, which earned him the epithet by his contemporaries of "Verwandlungskunstler" ("artist of the transformation"). Important was also in the same way his constant effort to publicize the work of young writers.