Biography of Christian Dietrich Grabbe (1801-1836)

German writer, born and died in Detmold (1801-1836). He/She studied law in Leipzig and Berlin, period during which was a member of a literary circle in which had the opportunity to meet H. Heine. Most of their knowledge about history acquired it as an autodidact. His life was always filled with misunderstandings and criticisms, and never knew how to seize the opportunities that both L. Tieck and K. Immermannwas offered. In 1830 he/she began drinking regularly, prompting that his fiancee left him; his subsequent marriage to Louise Clostermeier in 1833 failed just like all their relationships and friendships. In 1834 he/she lost his job as a military auditor into Detmold, and the joint work performed in the theatre of Düsseldorf with Immermann ended after a fight between the two in 1835. The autobiographical drama he/she wrote H. Johst in 1917, Der Einsame. Ein Menschenuntergang (Solitaire. The twilight of a man) served as a model to B. Brecht for his first play Baal.

You can not please doubt that along with G. Büchner and F. Hebbel, Grabbe was one of the most prolific playwrights of his time. His work, influenced by Shakespearean tradition, the romantic drama and the Sturm und Drang, shows a constant desire for liberation of the Classicist traditions, a desire which is reflected in his essay über die Shakespearomanie (about the mania Shakespearean, 1827), a critique of excessive imitation which was made in Germany of the great English writer.

His first drama, Herzog Theodor von Gothland (the count Theodor of Gothland, 1819-1822), is a declaration of war to the sentimental comedies, which enjoyed much success by that time; his most famous work, Scherz, Satire, Ironie und tiefere Bedeutung (joke, satire, irony and profound importance, 1822) presents the world upside down, life as something bitter and unpleasant, and despair as the necessary end of all human effort; and it is not another thing, ultimately as a parody of the literary trade at the time. The only drama that Grabbe was represented in life was Don Juan und Faust (Don Juan and Faust), represented in Detmold in 1829. The rest of his production is deeply marked by their historical knowledge: Kaiser Friedrich Barbarossa (the Emperor Federico Barbarossa) and Kaiser Heinrich VI (the Emperor Henry VI) make up the cycle Die Hohenstaufen (the Staufen, 1875); Napoelon oder die hundert Tage (Napoleon or the hundred days, 1895), Hannibal (Hannibal, 1835) and Die Hermannschlacht (the battle of Hermann, appeared posthumously in 1838). All them is common a protagonist who ends up always being victim of the social circumstances. As an expressive resource Grabbe uses the ironic distance of his characters, the mixture of narrative text and dramatic dialogue, as well as a few scenarios that jump the small theatrical space limits. Both as formal thematic innovations make Grabbe, without a doubt, a predecessor of the modern drama.