Theodor Storm

Storm, Theodor (tāˈōdôr shtôrm) [key], 1817–88, German poet and novelist, b. Schleswig-Holstein. From 1843 to 1853 he practiced law in his native Husum, but he was exiled (1853–64) by Denmark for pro-Prussian sentiments. After Schleswig-Holstein became Prussian he served the government as a judge, retiring in 1880 to Hademarschen, where his country place became a literary mecca. His view that literature should stem from true emotion is reflected in his lyric poetry. Many of his earlier poems, stories, and novellas relate the rustic joys of his native province; the popular story Immensee (1852) is marked by nostalgic lyricism. Later works, melancholy and realistic, show a marked change in tone, and Der Schimmelreiter (1888; tr. The Rider of the White Horse, 1915) exemplifies the full development of a stern yet noble sense of tragedy. Among his many other works is Aquis Submersus (1877, tr. 1910), a historical novella.

See biography by A. T. Alt (1973); studies by C. A. Bernd (rev. ed. 1966) and D. Artiss (1978).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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