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(4,164 words)

Author(s): Lampart, Fabian | Thimann, Michael | Lauer, Gerhard | Hühn, Lore | Rosenau, Hartmut
[German Version] I. As Epoch 1. Literature. The term “romantic” (from Old Fr. romanz, roman; cf. Ger. romantisch) appeared as early as the 17th century with the meaning “unbridled,” “fantastic,” “wild”; while Romanticism in Europe denotes a period in culture and art. As a movement in literary studies it runs from 1790 to 1825, with offshoots to c. 1850. ¶ Literary Romanticism in Germany is divided into early, high, and late Romanticism. Around 1798, the so-called Jena or early Romantic group (until c. 1806) formed around the journal Athenäum, represented by Friedrich v. Hardenberg …

Mesmer, Franz Anton

(360 words)

Author(s): Lauer, Gerhard
[German Version] (May 23, 1734, Iznang on Lake Constance – Mar 5, 1815, Meersburg), physician and natural scientist, and the founder of what is known as “animal magnetism” (Mesmerism). After studying theology in Dillingen and Ingolstadt, Mesmer began to study medicine in Vienna in 1759. In his dissertation of 1766, he outlined his theory of the magnetic fluid which permeates the entire created world. Illness, according to this theory, is a congestion of this cosmic energy, while healing is the res…

Sholem Aleichem

(195 words)

Author(s): Lauer, Gerhard
[German Version] (pseudonym of Salomon Naumo­vich Rabinovich; Mar 2, 1859, Pereyaslav, Ukraine – ¶ May 13, 1916, New York), Yiddish writer. After training as a rabbi, Aleichem worked initially as a private tutor, while publishing essays and features for Hebrew newspapers, increasingly in Yiddish, the vernacular of East European Jews. In 1883 he married Olga Loev and moved to Kiev to earn a living as an independent writer and journalist. In 1905 he left Russia and lived in various places until finally emigrating to New York. His plays, satires, and especially his prose – including Tevye de…