The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Holz, Arno
|←Holyrood, Palace and Abbey of|| The Encyclopedia Americana
|Edition of 1920. See also Arno Holz on Wikipedia, and the disclaimer.|
HOLZ, hōlts, Arno, German poet: b. Rastenburg, East Prussia, 26 April 1863. He came to Berlin early in life, attended the schools and university there, and made it his permanent home. To write verses seems to have been an early passion with him. Geibel, Heine and Eichendorff were his first models. In honor of the 70th birthday of Geibel, he published his first book of poems, ‘Gedenkbuch’ (1884). Soon after he became interested in some of the more modern lyric poets. But he did not find much satisfaction in them, as he wished to fathom scientifically the basis of art and turned to an extreme form of naturalism under the influence of Zola and other moderns. ‘Das Buch der Zeit’ (Lieder eines Modernen, 1885), showed this tendency, which he developed into a positive theory in association with Johannes Schlaf. During the years 1887-88 these two men worked together assiduously and produced jointly ‘Papa Hamlet’ (1889), a collection of novelistic sketches, supposed to have been translated from the Norweigan of Björne Holmsen. In these stories the action — in so far as one can speak of action — moves forward with the hands of the clock. In their drama, ‘Familie Selicke’ (1890) they sacrificed all to their one paramount principle of naturalism.
Holz continued working alone, with much self-confidence, on his theories of art and then tried to put them into practice as a poet, which resulted in the following publications: ‘Die Kunst, ihr Wesen und ihre Gesetze’ (1891); ‘Die Socialaristokraten’ (comedy, 1896); ‘Phantasus’ (poems, 1899); ‘Die Revolution der Lyrik’ (1899); ‘Dafnis, Lieder auf einer alten Laute’ (1903-04); ‘Traumulus’ (Schauspiel, 1904); and ‘Ignorabimus’ (Tragödie, 1913). Holz must be given an important position among the writers who influenced the trend of literary events in Germany in the last decades of the 19th century. It is only necessary to mention his influence on Hauptmann and Sudermann. No permanent works of art were produced by him and he has been much overrated in this respect by his admirers, but as a stimulating force, as a producer of new ideas on art, he has a secure place in literary history. Consult Strobl, Dr. Karl, ‘Arno Holz und die Jungstdeutsche Bewegung’ (1902); Resz, Robert, ‘Arno Holz und seine Künstlerische Bedeutung’ (Dresden 1913); Lessing. O. E., 'Masters in Modern German Literature' (Dresden 1912).