German literature

German authors
  • Angelus Silesius
  • Heinrich Böll
  • Bertolt Brecht
  • Karl Georg Büchner
  • Hans Magnus Enzensberger
  • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  • Günter Grass
  • Brothers Grimm
  • Hans von Grimmelshausen
  • Peter Handke
  • Gerhart Hauptmann
  • Heinrich Heine
  • Heinrich der Glïchezäre
  • Johann Gottfried von Herder
  • Hermann Hesse
  • Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann
  • Friedrich Hölderlin
  • Uwe Johnson
  • Siegfried Lenz
  • Gotthold Ephraim Lessing
  • Thomas Mann
  • Robert Musil
  • Novalis
  • Jean Paul Richter
  • Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph von Schelling
  • Friedrich von Schiller
  • Arthur Schnitzler
  • Georg Trakl
  • Frank Wedekind
  • Christa Wolf

Georg Trakl, 1887 - 1914

The Austrian poet Georg Trakl was born in Salzburg, where he also lived the first 18 years of his life. At the young age of 13, he began to write poetry. A few years later he began experimenting with alcohol, opium, and other drugs and was eventually forced to drop out of school in 1905. Today, many critics are convinced that Trakl suffered from undiagnosed schizophrenia.

While working for a pharmacist, Trakl wrote his first short plays. In 1908, Trakl moved to Vienna to study pharmacy, and published some of his poems. After finishing his studies, Trakl served as a pharmacist in the army and was sent as a medical official to attend to soldiers during World War I. One incident that deeply influenced him was assisting at the Gródek battle. He was so horrified by the experience of caring for severely wounded soldiers that he started suffering serious depression and took his own life on November 4, 1914.

During his time in Salzburg and later in Innsbruck, Trakl had frquent contact to the local artistic communities, and was able to publish his works, such as "Gedichte", a collection of poems. His style is abrupt and violent and his poetic writings are brief with a strange density; in it he manages to combine the nostalgia of tenderness with the sense of foreboding of the end of the Western world. Today, Trakl is considered one of the most important Austrian Expressionists.