BEER-HOFMANN, RICHARD


BEER-HOFMANN, RICHARD
BEER-HOFMANN, RICHARD (1866–1945), Austrian poet and playwright. The son of a Moravian lawyer, Beer-Hofmann was adopted by his uncle, the Viennese industrialist Alois Hofmann. After graduating in law at the University of Vienna, he was drawn into the "Young Vienna" literary group, which included many of his close friends, arthur schnitzler , peter altenberg , Hermann Bahr, theodor herzl , Hugo von hofmannsthal , and felix salten . He influenced the style of Viennese Décadence in his Novellen (1893) and in his earliest lyric poem, Schlaflied fuer Miriam (1898). His only novel, Der Tod Georgs (1900), depicts a main protagonist whose fascination with paganism and aestheticism is replaced in the end by a return to Jewish tradition. Self-sacrifice for the glory of God remains an enduring motif in Beer-Hofmann's oeuvre. His first drama, Der Graf von Charolais (1904), features a character – the "Rote Itzig" – who contrasts the Elizabethan   tragedy of the narration with the ongoing suffering of Jewry. Beer-Hoffmann's work reveals the special message Judaism seems to offer the world when Nietzschean philosophy considers it lost to man. If Beer-Hofmann's early works can be interpreted as seeing the rebirth of modernity out of the spirit of Judaism, his subsequent work may be viewed as seeing the rebirth of Judaism out of the spirit of modernity. Impressed and inspired by the Neo-Wagnerian theater concept of max reinhardt , who had already staged Der Graf von Charolais, Beer-Hofmann tried to open to Jewry a space from which religious imperatives had banned it: the theater. In pursuit of a "Jewish national drama," he continued work on his biblical cycle, Die Historie von Koenig David, for decades. The prologue Jaákobs Traum, premiering in 1918, focuses on Israel's election by blending Jacob's dream of the ladder and his wrestling with the angel. In contrast to the pagan rituals of sacrifice in which contemporary dramatic theory identified the roots of tragedy, the play makes the sacrifice of Isaac the primal scene of Jewish theater. The transition play Ruth und Boas remained a fragment. The third part of a planned pentalogy, Der junge David, was completed in 1933 but never staged. The drama shows David in conflict between his destiny as king and his wish to leave royal dignity to God. Again, the action is linked to the sacrifice of Isaac. Jewish theater, in Beer-Hoffmann's conception, is legitimate only if it eschews idols and has no symbols or icons at its disposal, just as Abraham stood at Mount Moriah with nothing to sacrifice but his own offspring. Further theoretical reflection is provided by the prelude to a nonexistent fourth part, the Vorspiel auf dem Theater zu Koenig David (1936), where the stage is likened to an altar on which theater itself must be sacrificed to avoid idolatry. The only one of Beer-Hofmanns dramatical works to achieve sustained international attention was Jaákobs Traum, which was staged in Palestine as early as the early 1920s. Beer-Hofmann emigrated from Austria to New York in 1939. Verse (1941) includes all the poems that he wished preserved. A posthumous fragment in tribute to his wife, Paula (1949), captures the autumnal mood of Austria as it influenced his own life and shaped his personality. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: S. Liptzin, Richard Beer-Hofmann (1936); E. Kahler, Verantwortung des Geistes (1952), 131–42. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: R. Hank, Mortifikation und Beschwoerung. Zur Veraenderung ästhetischer Wahrnehmung in der Moderne am Beispiel Richard Beer-Hofmanns (1984); S. Scherer, Richard Beer-Hofmann und die Wiener Moderne (1993); M. Bunzl, "The Poetics of Politics and Politics of Poetics: Richard Beer-Hofmann and Theodor Herzl Reconsidered," in: The German Quarterly 69 (1996), 277–304, P. Theisohn, Die Urbarkeit der Zeichen. Zionismus und Literatureine andere Poetik der Moderne (2005), 129–80. (Sol Liptzin / Philipp Theisohn (2nd ed.)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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  • Beer-Hofmann, Richard — (1866 1945)    Austrian poet and playwright. Born in Vienna, he emigrated to New York in 1939 after the Nazi occupation of Austria. Much of his work deals with Jewish themes. In a trilogy of biblical plays he sought to restate in modern terms the …   Dictionary of Jewish Biography

  • Beer-Hofmann — Richard Beer Hofmann (* 11. Juli 1866 in Wien; † 26. September 1945 in New York) war ein österreichischer Romancier, Dramatiker und Lyriker. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben 2 Werke 3 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • BEER-HOFMANN (R.) — BEER HOFMANN RICHARD (1866 1945) Né à Vienne, fils d’avocat, Richard Beer Hofmann fait des études de droit sans pourtant ressentir pour elles une attirance particulière. En 1938, il quittera l’Autriche parce que juif et mourra à New York, en exil …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Richard Beer-Hofmann — (* 11. Juli 1866 in Wien; † 26. September 1945 in New York) war ein österreichischer Romancier, Dramatiker und Lyriker. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben 2 Werke 3 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Richard Beer-Hofmann — (born 11 July 1866 in Vienna died 26 September 1945 in New York) was an Austrian dramatist and poet.After the early death of his mother, Beer Hofmann was raised by his aunt s family in Brno and Vienna. In the 1880s he studied law in Vienna,… …   Wikipedia

  • Beer-Hofmann — Beer Họfmann,   Richard, österreichischer Schriftsteller, * Wien 11. 7. 1866, ✝ New York 26. 9. 1945; studierte Jura, lebte als freier Schriftsteller in Wien, Freund von H. von Hofmannsthal und A. Schnitzler; emigrierte 1939 (Schweiz, USA);… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Beer (Familienname) — Beer ist ein Familienname. Bekannte Namensträger Inhaltsverzeichnis A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Beer (disambiguation) — Beer may refer to:* Beer, an alcoholic beverage * Beer, Devon, a coastal town in Devon, England * Beer, Somerset, a hamlet in the parish of Cannington * Beer, NWFP, a Union Council in NWFP, Pakistan. * Beer Lambert law (named for August Beer), an …   Wikipedia

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  • De Beer — Beer steht für: Beer (Architektenfamilie), eine Familie von Barockbaumeistern aus dem Bregenzer Wald Beer (Devon), einen Ort in England Beer (Mondkrater), ein kleiner Einschlagkrater im östlichen Teil des Mare Imbrium auf dem Mond Beer ist der… …   Deutsch Wikipedia


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