Biography of Carl Sternheim (1878-1942)

German playwright born in Leipzig in 1878 and died in Brussels in 1942.

Born in a family of bankers, he/she studied humanities at the time that began to write his first dramatic projects. Soon he/she became editor of the literary journal Hyperion, and already in 1908 began to be known as a dramatist. Between 1911 and 1915 he/she published most of his works of expressionist character, thanks to which became one of the most trenchant critics of the Wilhelmine era. A tremendous success of public and critics Der Snob (the snob, 1914), Die Kassette (the case, 1912) and B├╝rger Schippel (citizens Schippel, 1913), enjoyed, for example, Die Hose (Los calzones, 1911), works in which criticizes the seedier defects of the bourgeois class which aims to climb without using the appropriate means.

In 1912 he/she moved to Brussels, where he/she remained until his death. During the Decade of the 1920s, Sternheim was oriented towards a subject of historical character in works such as Die Marquise von Arcis (the Marchioness of Arcis, 1918) and Manon Lescaut (Manon Lescaut, 1921). It was then when also began his first nervous breakdowns, which made him spend long periods in various sanatoria. Although his works were banned by the nazis, published in Brussels in 1936 his autobiography, entitled Vorkriegseuropa im Gleichnis meines Lebens (Europe before the war compared with my life).

Sternheim wrote numerous articles and essays, as the entitled Der Kampf der Metapher (struggle of metaphors, 1917), undoubtedly one of the best known, as it justifies the use of a language increasingly minimalist, based on the deletion of elements considered fundamental, such as articles, or tropes such as metaphor, because I thought that this was the best way to reflect the different aspects of bourgeois society of his time. The edition of his complete works was published in ten volumes between 1963 and 1976.

IHG