The New International Encyclopædia/Reuter, Fritz

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REUTER, Fritz (1810-74). A German humorist, who wrote in Low German (Plattdeutsch). He was born at Stavenhagen, in Mecklenburg-Schwerin, and was educated there and at Rostock and Jena, where he was arrested for political agitation (1833), and condemned to death, a sentence commuted to thirty years' imprisonment. He was confined in various fortresses till 1840, when he resumed legal studies at Heidelberg, afterwards managing his father's estate till 1850, when he became a private tutor at Treptow in Pomerania. Here he first began to write Low German sketches in prose and verse, the first volumes of which, Läuschen un Rimels (1853), showed such charming blending of humor and pathos in anecdotes and genre pictures as to achieve an immediate success, which was confirmed by the reception of Polterabendgedichte (1855) and De Reis' nah Belligen (1855), In 1856 Reuter moved to Neubrandenburg and gave himself wholly to writing. The best of his many volumes are Schurr-Murr (1861) and Olle Kamellen (1860-66). This latter contains the partly autobiographical Ut mine Festungstid and Ut mine Stromtid (his greatest work), and the vigorous picture of Germany in 1813, Ut de Franzosentid, with other work of less value. In 1863 Reuter moved to Eisenach, where he died, July 12, 1874. Reuter is one of the most realistic of the greater German writers. It is the realism of the Dutch genre painters, minute, good-humored, bourgeois, as artistic in pathetic as in comic scenes. Reuter's works are in 13 volumes (Weimar, 1863-68), with two volumes of Remains and Biography (ib., 1875), and a comedy, Die Drei Langhänse (1878). Consult: Glagau, Fritz Reuter und seine Dichtungen (2d ed., Berlin, 1875); Ebert, Fritz Reuter, sein Leben und seine Werke (Güstrow, 1874); Romer, Fritz Reuter in seinem Leben und Schaffen (Berlin, 1895).