Immermann, Karl Leberecht (kärl lāˈbərekht ĭmˈərmän) [key], 1796–1840, German novelist and dramatist. As a Prussian official in Düsseldorf he was active in the local theater, writing and directing many plays, mostly historical tragedies. Most are forgotten today, but his novels remain famous. The semiautobiographical novel Die Epigonen [men born too late] (3 vol., 1836), reminiscent of Goethe's Wilhelm Meister, describes the decay of the old social structure and the rise of industrial society, which Immermann deplored. Der Oberhof (separately pub. 1863), an episode of the satire Münchhausen (4 vol., 1838–39), is considered the best description of peasant life written before the period of realism.
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