The New International Encyclopædia/Rückert, Friedrich

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RÜCKERT, rụk'ẽrt, Friedrich (1788-1866). A German poet, first known by his pseudonym “Freimund Raimar,” born at Schweinfurt. He was educated at Würzburg and Heidelberg, and, after being a docent at Jena, taught in various places and in 1816-17 edited the Morgenblatt in Stuttgart. In 1826 he became professor of Oriental languages at Erlangen, went to Berlin in 1841 as Privy Councilor and professor, and in 1849 retired to his estate at Neusesz near Coburg. where he died. Rückert's first popularity was achieved by political poems, Geharnischte Sonette (1814), against Napoleon, but his lyrics are in the main philosophical and contemplative. The most popular collections are Liebesfrühling (1844) and Die Weisheit des Brahmanen (1836-39). He turned much Oriental literature into admirable verse, notably Hariri's Abu Seid (1826); Firdausi's Rostem und Suhrab (1838); Amrilkais (1843); Hamasa (1846); and a portion of the Indian Mahabharata, Nal und Damajanti (1828). He also adapted Theocritus, Aristophanes, Sadi's Bustan, and the Indian drama Sakuntala to German taste. These were published posthumously. Rückert, who had mastered many languages, is unsurpassed as a translator. His poems reflect with wonderful fidelity the Oriental spirit and the verbal felicities of the Oriental style. He wrote dramas, too, but they are inferior to his lyrics. Rückert's Werke were collected in 12 vols. (Frankfort, 1868-69), and have also been edited by Laistner (Stuttgart, 1895-96), Beyer (Leipzig, 1900), Stein (ib., 1897), Ellinger (ib., 1897), and Linke (Halle, 1897). For his biography, consult Fortlage (Frankfort, 1867), Beyer (ib., 1868), Suphan (Weimar, 1888), and Muncker (Bamberg, 1890).