Biography of August Stramm (1874-1915)

German writer, born in Münster in 1874 and died in the swamps of Rokitno (Russia) in 1915.

Son of a professional soldier who subsequently left the army to serve as postal officer, Stramm joined this same body after completing their high school studies in 1893. In 1902 he married with the also writer Else Kraft. By labour matters they resided in Bremen for three years, but they later moved his residence to Berlin, where Stramm attended as a listener to courses in economics, history and philosophy. He concluded the studies and received his doctorate in 1909, which earned him a promotion to inspector's post. Parallel to his studies, Stramm had begun to write dramas of naturalistic character and historical content that failed to edit. However, in 1913 he met H. Walden and began collaborating with him in the circle that edited the magazine Sturm, which gave him its entry in the expressionist art, which became one of their major models, even after his death. He was called to the rows at the beginning of the first world war, where it fell in front of Russia.

His first drama, Die Bauern (farmers, 1904), takes up the plot of the famous Michael Kohlhass of Heinrich von Kleist. Purely naturalistic content is your "Einakter" (play in one Act), entitled Rudimentar (Rudimentario, 1914), but naturalistic elements transferred gradually in favour of a Symbolist, almost allegorical tone as you can see easily in another of their "Einakter", entitled Sancta Susanna (Santa Susana, 1914). The topics that develops more frequently are always that revolve around relations between the sexes, as well as the lack of individuality in a society that tends more and more to overcrowding. His poetry uses language as a means to find the true sense and meaning of words, which divested of all their coatings of grammar and syntax, with a final wish to find the limits of human communication. This is what emerges from the poems of DU (you, 1915) and Tropfblut (dripping blood, 1919), this last written during the war.

His work influenced decisively the literary production of Arno Schmidt, among others. The complete edition of his writings has been edited in 1990, thanks to the work of recovery carried out by J. Adler.

IHG