The New International Encyclopædia/Brentano, Clemens
BRENTANO, brĕn-tä'nṓ, Clemens (1778-1842). A German novelist and poet. He was born in Ehrenbreitstein, studied in Jena, lived in Frankfort, Heidelberg, Vienna, and Berlin, and for a time at a cloister in Dillmen, near Münster (1818). Thence he went to Regensburg, Munich, and Frankfort. He died in Aschaffenburg, July 28, 1842. Brentano's early comedies, among them Die lustigen Musikanten (1803) and Ponce de Leon (1804), show lyric ability and a peculiar wit, while the drama Die Gründung Prags (1815) is a fantastic and bizarre production of undeniable power. His best work is in short stories, particularly in his fairy stories. The simplicity of his Geschichte vom braven Kasperl (1817) and of Gockel, Hinkel und Gackelein (1838) is in pleasant contrast to the mystic romanticism of some of his other work. His most enduring contribution to literature is the compilation, with Arnim, of German ballads in Des Knaben Wunderhorn. He was an erratic member of a whimsically brilliant family. His grandmother, Sophie La Roche, had been a close friend of Wieland; his mother, Maximiliane, figures in Goethe's life, as does his sister, Bettina von Arnim (q.v.).