Wassermann, Jakob (yäˈkôp väsˈərmän) [key], 1873–1934, Austrian novelist, b. Bavaria. He won international fame with Christian Wahnschaffe (1919; tr. The World's Illusion, 1920), a novel whose moral intensity and characterization have suggested comparison to Dostoyevsky. Other works popular in his lifetime include the novels Casper Hauser (1908, tr. 1928) and Ulrike Woytich (1923; tr. Gold, 1924). He also wrote an autobiography, Mein Weg als Deutscher und Jude (1921; tr. My Life as German and Jew, 1933), plays, biographies, and essays.
See study by J. C. Blankenagel (1942).