Wieland, Christoph Martin

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.
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Wieland, Christoph Martin

Christoph Martin Wieland (krĬs´tôf mär´tĬn vē´länt), 1733–1813, German poet and novelist. His style, typical of the German rococo, is elegant, satiric, and often playful. He borrowed subjects from classical antiquity as well as from fairy tales. A political novel, Der goldene Spiegel [the golden mirror] (1772), won him employment as a tutor to the princes of Saxe-Weimar. His Geschichte des Agathon (1766, tr. The History of Agathon, 1773) is an early psychological novel; Die Abderiten (1774, tr. The Republic of Fools, 1861) is his best-known political satire. Wieland's verse narratives include Musarion (1768) and a noted fairy-tale epic, Oberon (1780, tr. 1798; by John Quincy Adams, 1799). He edited the influential literary journal Teutsche Merkur (1773–1810) and, with his translations of Shakespeare, helped to pave the way for future literary developments in Germany.

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