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Home / Authors, Composers and Clinicians / EICHENDORFF, Joseph Freiherr von(1788-1857)
EICHENDORFF, Joseph Freiherr von(1788-1857)
Picture About EICHENDORFF, Joseph Freiherr von(1788-1857)

Joseph Freiherr von Eichendorff (10 March 1788 – 26 November 1857) was a German poet and novelist of the later German romantic school.

Eichendorff is regarded as one of the most important German Romantics and his works have sustained high popularity in Germany from production to the present day.

Eichendorff's guiding poetic theme was that Man should find happiness in full absorption of the beauties and changing moods of Nature. In later life he also wrote several works of history and criticism of German literature. The lyricism of Eichendorff's poetry is much praised, and his poems have been set to music by many composers, including Schubert, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Hugo Wolf, Richard Strauss, Friedrich Nietzsche, Hans Pfitzner, and Alexander Zemlinsky.

His later poetic work is generally cast in narrative form (Julian, 1853; Lucius, 1857), and is tinged with his increasingly clerical views. His translations from the Spanish, Der Graf Lucanor (1845) and Die geistlichen Schauspiele Calderons (2 vols., 1846–53), were prompted by the same tendency.

Eichendorff's best known work, Aus dem Leben eines Taugenichts (English: Of the Life of a Good-For-Nothing) is typical romantic novella, whose main themes are voyage and love. The protagonist leaves his father's mill and becomes a gardener at a Viennese castle where he falls in love with the daughter of the duke. Because she is unattainable he travels to Italy but then returns and learns that she had been adopted by the duke, so nothing stands in the way of a marriage between them.