1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Hauptmann, Gerhart

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HAUPTMANN, GERHART (1862- ), German dramatist, was born on the 15th of November 1862 at Obersalzbrunn in Silesia, the son of an hotel-keeper. From the village school of his native place he passed to the Realschule in Breslau, and was then sent to learn agriculture on his uncle's farm at Jauer. Having, however, no taste for country life, he soon returned to Breslau and entered the art school, intending to become a sculptor. He then studied at Jena, and spent the greater part of the years 1883 and 1884 in Italy. In May 1885 Hauptmann married and settled in Berlin, and, devoting himself henceforth entirely to literary work, soon attained a great reputation as one of the chief representatives of the modern drama. In 1891 he retired to Schreiberhau in Silesia. Hauptmann's first drama, Vor Sonnenaufgang (1889) inaugurated the realistic movement in modern German literature; it was followed by Das Friedensfest (1890), Einsame Menschen (1891) and Die Weber (1892), a powerful drama depicting the rising of the Silesian weavers in 1844. Of Hauptmann's subsequent work mention may be made of the comedies Kollege Crompton (1892), Der Biberpelz (1893) and Der rote Hahn (1901), a “dream poem,” Hannele (1893), and an historical drama Florian Geyer (1895). He also wrote two tragedies of Silesian peasant life, Fuhrmann Henschel (1898) and Rose Berndt (1903), and the “dramatic fairy-tales” Die versunkene Glocke (1897) and Und Pippa tanzt (1905). Several of his works have been translated into English.

Biographies of Hauptmann and critical studies of his dramas have been published by A. Bartels (1897); P. Schlenther (1898); and U. C. Woerner (2nd ed., 1900). See also L. Benoist-Hanappier, Le Drame naturaliste en Allemagne (1905).