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The New International Encyclopædia/Eichendorff, Joseph, Baron von

EICHENDORFF, īKen-dṓrf, Joseph, Baron von (1788-1857). A distinguished German author, born at Lubowitz (Upper Silesia). He studied at Halle and at Heidelberg, and collaborated with Clemens Brentano (q.v.) and Achim von Arnim on the famous collection of folk-songs, Des Knaben Wunderhorn. His early original work included fugitive verse, and a prose tale, Ahnung und Gegewart (1811). From 1813 to 1815 he participated in the War of Liberation, and from 1831 until his resignation in 1845 served as Government councilor in the Prussian Ministry of Public Worship. His poems were the last and probably the most perfect lyric expression of German Romanticism. His later poetic work is generally cast in narrative form (Julian, 1853; Lucius, 1857), and is tinged with increasing clerical views. His admirable translations from the Spanish, Der Graf Lucanor (1845) and Die geistlichen Schauspiele Calderons (2 vols., 1846-53), were prompted by the same tendency. His most famous prose work is the familiar Aus dem Leben eines Taugenichts (1826), which retains its popularity throughout Germany, as do several of his songs. Mention should also be made of a series of literary critiques, beginning with Ueber die ethische und religiose Bedeutung der neuen romantischen Poesie in Deutschland (1847). A collective edition of his poems appeared in 1841-43 (3d ed. 1883), and a selection of his miscellaneous works in 1867 (5 vols.). Consult the study by Keiter (Cologne, 1887), and Krüger, Der junge Eichendorff (Oppelu, 1898).