Wilhelm Raabe - Encyclopedia


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WILHELM RAABE (1831-1910), German novelist, whose early works were published under the pseudonym of Jakob Corvinus, was born at Eschershausen in the duchy of Brunswick on the 8th of September 1831. He served apprenticeship at a bookseller's in Magdeburg for four years (1849-1854); but tiring of the routine of business, studied philosophy at Berlin (1855-1857). While a student at that university he published his first work, Die Chronik der Sperlingsgasse (1857), which at once attained to great popularity. Raabe next returned to WolfenbUttel, and then lived (1862-1870) at Stuttgart, where he devoted himself entirely to authorship and wrote a number of novels and short stories; notably Unseres Herrgotts Kanzlei (1862); Der Hungerpastor (1864); Abu Telfan (1867) and Der Schildderump (1870). In 1870 Raabe removed to Brunswick and published the narratives Horacker (1876) - perhaps his. masterpiece; Das Odfeld (1889); Kloster Lugau (1894) and Hastenbeck (1899), and numerous other stories. The distinguishing characteristic of Raabe's work is a genial humour which reminds us occasionally of Dickens; but this humour is often combined with a pessimism that is foreign to the English novelist.

Raabe's Gesammelte Erzeihlungen appeared in 4 vols. (1896-1900);: there is no uniform edition of his larger novels. See P. Gerber, Wilhelm Raabe (1897); A. Otto, Wilhelm Raabe (1899); A. Bartels,. Wilhelm Raabe: Vortrag (1901).

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