1964 Austria DRAMA Writer Franz Grillparzer 25 Schilling AUSTRIAN Coin i53778
1964 Austria DRAMA Writer Franz Grillparzer 25 Schilling AUSTRIAN Coin i53778
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1964 Austria DRAMA Writer Franz Grillparzer 25 Schilling AUSTRIAN Coin i53778

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Item: i53778
Authentic Coin of:

1964 25 Schilling 30mm (12.93 grams) 0.800 Silver (0.3322  oz. ASW)
Reference: KM# 2895.1 Reverse Designer: Grienaeur Edge: Plain with engraved  lettering
ÖSTERREICH ◦ REPUBLIK  around 25 SCHILLING at center surrounded by shields.
FRANZ GRILLPARZER 1964, Head of Franz Grillparzer; GRIENAEUR behind.

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Grillparzer.jpgFranz  Seraphicus Grillparzer (15 January 1791 – 21 January 1872) was an Austrian  writer who is chiefly known for his dramas. He also wrote the oration for Ludwig van Beethoven's funeral.


Franz Grillparzer was born in Vienna, Austria. His father, E.J. Grillparzer,  was a severe pedant and a staunch upholder of the liberal traditions of the  reign of Joseph II, and was an advocate of some standing. His mother, Anna  Franziska, was a nervous, highly-strung woman who belonged to the well-known  musical family of Sonnleithner.

His father destined Grillparzer for the legal profession, and, after a  desultory education, Grillparzer entered the University of Vienna in 1807 as a student of jurisprudence. Two years later his father died,  leaving the family in difficult circumstances. After obtaining his degree from  the university in 1811, Franz first became a private tutor for a noble family;  then in 1813, he entered the civil service as a clerk at the Imperial and Royal Hofkammer (Exchequer)  in Austria. In 1821, he unsuccessfully applied to the position of scribe at the Imperial Library, and later that  same year, he was relocated to the Ministry of Finance. In 1832, he became director of the archives at the Imperial and  Royal Hofkammer, a position he held until his retirement in 1856.  Grillparzer had little capacity for an official career and regarded his position  merely as a means of independence.

From early youth, Grillparzer displayed a strong literary impulse. He devoted  especial attention to the Spanish drama, and nearly all his writings bear  marks of the influence of Calderón. His autobiography, which was written  in 1853 and brings down the narrative of his life to 1836, is a model of clear,  simple, and elegant prose, and it throws much interesting light both on his  personal character and on the tendencies of his time. Among his posthumous  writings are many fragments of literary, philosophic, and political criticism,  all of them indicating a strong and independent spirit, not invariably just, but  distinct, penetrating, and suggestive.

It is characteristic of him that he expresses extreme dislike of Hegel's philosophy on the ground that its terms  are unintelligible. On the other hand, he gives evidence of careful and  sympathetic study of Kant. Of modern literary critics, Gervinus was most repugnant to him, mainly  because of the tendency of this writer to attribute moral aims to authors who  created solely for art's sake. He rather maliciously says that Gervinus had one  advantage and one disadvantage in writing his history of German literature, — the advantage of common  sense, the disadvantage of knowing nothing of his subject.

Of a quiet contemplative nature, Grillparzer shunned general society. He  never married. To a stranger he seemed cold and distant, but in conversation  with any one he liked his real disposition revealed itself; his manner became  animated, his eyes brightened, and a sarcastic but not ill-natured smile would  play upon his lips. It was one of his sayings that the art of writing poetry can  neither be taught nor learned, but he also held that inspiration will not visit  a poet who neglects to make himself master of his subject. Hence before writing  a play he worked hard, striving to comprehend the spirit of the age he wished to  represent. He was exceedingly fond of travel, and at different times visited all  the leading European countries.

After 1840, when his solitary comedy was rejected by the public, he almost  passed from the memory of his contemporaries. Fortunately for him, his admirer Heinrich Laube settled in Vienna in 1849 as  artistic director of the court theatre. By and by Laube reintroduced on the  stage some of Grillparzer's forgotten works, and their success was immediate and  profound. To his own surprise, Grillparzer became the most popular author of the  day; he was ranked with Goethe and Schiller, and lauded as the national poet of  Austria. On the eightieth anniversary of his birthday all classes from the court  downwards united to do him honour; never, probably, did Vienna exert herself so  much to prove her respect for a private citizen.

He was buried with an amount of ceremony that surpassed even the pomp  displayed at Klopstock's funeral. He was originally buried  in the Währinger Cemetery in Vienna, now known as Schubertpark. He now lies in  Hietzinger Friedhof.

Early  works up to Das goldene Vlies

In 1807–1809, Grillparzer wrote a long tragedy in iambics, Blanca von Castilien, modeled  on Friedrich von Schiller's Don Carlos. He also produced the dramatic  fragments Spartacus and Alfred der Grosse (1809).

When Grillparzer began to write, the German stage was dominated by the wild  plays of Werner, Müllner, and other authors of the  so-called "fate-tragedies." Grillparzer's play The Ancestress (German: Die Ahnfrau), published in 1816, was  penetrated by their spirit. It is a gruesome fate-tragedy in the trochaic measure of the Spanish drama, already  made popular by Adolf Müllner in his Schuld. A lady, who  has been slain by her husband for infidelity, is doomed to visit "the glimpses  of the moon" until her house is extinguished, and this end is reached in the tragedy amid scenes of violence and horror. Its  general character is similar to that of Werner's dramas; it only differs from  them in containing individual passages of much force and beauty. It reveals an  instinct for dramatic as opposed to merely theatrical effect, which distinguishes it from  other fate-dramas of the day. Its success led to the poet being classed for the  best part of his life with playwrights like Müllner and Houwald. In 1817, the first performances of The Ancestress made Grillparzer famous.

The Ancestress was followed by Sappho (1818), a drama of a very  different type; in the classic spirit of Goethe's Torquato Tasso, Grillparzer unrolled the  tragedy of poetic genius, the renunciation of earthly happiness imposed upon the  poet by his higher mission. An Italian rendering of this play fell into the  hands of Lord Byron, who, although the translation was  very bad, expressed his conviction that the author's name would be held in  reverence by posterity. It is full of the aspiration of the Romantic school, but  its form is classic, and its chastened style presents a striking contrast to the  noise and fury of The Ancestress.

The problem of the play has some resemblance to that of Goethe's Torquato  Tasso, for in both we find the struggles of a poetic nature which is unable  to reconcile itself to the conditions of the actual world. Grillparzer's  conceptions are not so clearly defined as Goethe's, nor is his diction so varied  and harmonious; but the play has the stamp of genius, and ranks as one of the  best of those works in which an attempt has been made to combine the passion and  sentiment of modern life with the simplicity and grace of ancient masterpieces.

In 1821, Grillparzer completed his The Golden Fleece (Das  goldene Vlies) trilogy, a project that had been interrupted in  1819 when his depressed mother committed suicide, and by Grillparzer's  subsequent visit to Italy. The trilogy opens with a one-act prelude, Der  Gastfreund, then depicts, in The Argonauts (Die Argonauten) Jason's adventures in his quest for the Fleece. Medea, a tragedy of classic proportions,  contains the culminating events of the story of Medea, which had been so often dramatized  before.

The theme is similar to that of Sappho, but on a larger scale. It is  again the tragedy of the heart's desire, the conflict of the simple happy life  with that sinister power, be it genius or ambition, which upsets the equilibrium  of life. There is delicate art in the delineation of the mingled fascination and  repulsion which Medea and Jason feel for each other, and when at last repulsion  becomes the dominant force, the dramatist gives splendid utterance to the rage  of the disappointed wife and mother. Medea, her revenge stilled, her children  dead, bears the fatal Fleece back to Delphi, while Jason is left to realize the  nothingness of human striving and earthly happiness. The end is bitter  disillusionment; the only consolation renunciation. Some critics consider Medea Grillparzer's highest achievement.

Historical tragedies

For his historical tragedy King Ottokar's Fortune and End (German: König Ottokars Glück und Ende, 1823,  but owing to difficulties with the censor, not performed until February 19, 1825),  Grillparzer chose the conflict of Otakar II of Bohemia with Rudolph I of Germany. It appealed strongly to  the patriotic sympathies of Vienna, dealing as it does with one of the proudest  periods of Austrian history, the founding of the House of Habsburg. With an almost modern  realism he reproduced the medieval setting of the play, at the same time not  losing sight of the needs of the theatre. It cannot be said that the materials  of the play are welded into a compact whole, but the characters are vigorously  conceived, and there is a fine dramatic contrast between the brilliant,  restless, and unscrupulous Ottokar and the calm, upright, and ultimately  triumphant Rudolf. Through Ottokar's fall, it is controversially argued that  Grillparzer again preached the futility of endeavour and the vanity of worldly  greatness.

A second historical tragedy, A faithful Servant of his Lord (German: Ein treuer Diener seines Herrn,  1826, performed 1828), attempted to embody a more heroic gospel; but the subject  of the superhuman self-effacement of Bankbanus before Duke Otto of Meran proved too uncompromising an  illustration of Kant's categorical imperative of duty to be palatable  in the theatre. It brought down upon the author a storm of abuse from the  liberals, who accused him of servility. On the other hand, the play displeased  the court, and its presentation was stopped. It hardly deserved to be made the  subject of so much contention, for it is one of the least powerful of  Grillparzer's later dramas.

With these historical tragedies began the darkest ten years in the poet's  life. They brought him into conflict with the Austrian censor - a conflict which  grated on Grillparzer's sensitive soul, and was aggravated by his own position  as a servant of the state. In 1826, he paid a visit to Goethe in Weimar, and was able to compare the enlightened  conditions which prevailed in the little Saxon duchy with the intellectual thraldom of  Vienna.

To these troubles were added personal worries. In the winter of 1820-1821, he  had met and fallen in love with Katharina Fröhlich (1801–1879), but whether  owing to a presentiment of mutual incompatibility, or merely owing to  Grillparzer's conviction that life had no happiness in store for him, he shrank  from marriage. Whatever the cause may have been, the poet was plunged into an  abyss of misery and despair to which his diary bears heart-rending witness; his  sufferings found poetic expression in the cycle of poems bearing the significant  title Tristia ex Ponto (1835).

More  masterpieces and a setback

Still, during this time, Grillparzer completed two of his greatest dramas, Waves of the Sea and of Love (German: Des Meeres und der Liebe Wellen,  1831) and The Dream, a Life (German: Der Traum, ein Leben, 1834). The  earlier play dramatizes the story of Hero and Leander, as a love-tragedy full of  poetic expression and with an insight into character motivation that predated  the psychological dramas of Ibsen. The work again is formed on classic  models, but in this instance his feeling is so distinctly modern that it does  not find adequate expression in Grillparzer's carefully measured verse. The  subject has never been more happily treated than in some passages, which,  however, are marked rather by lyrical than dramatic qualities. The poetic  influence of Lope de Vega and Pedro Calderón de la Barca is felt.

The Dream, a Life, Grillparzer's technical masterpiece, is in form  perhaps even more Spanish; it is also more of what Goethe called a confession.  The aspirations of Rustan, an ambitious young peasant, are shadowed forth in the  hero's dream, which takes up nearly three acts of the play; ultimately Rustan  awakens from his nightmare to realize the truth of Grillparzer's own pessimistic  doctrine that all earthly ambitions and aspirations are vanity; the only true  happiness is contentment with one's lot and inner peace. It was the first of  Grillparzer's dramas which did not end tragically.

In 1838 Grillparzer produced his only comedy, Woe to him who lies (German: Weh dem, der lügt). But Woe to  him who lies, in spite of its humour of situation, its sparkling dialogue  and the originality of its idea - namely, that the hero wins by invariably  telling the truth, where his enemies invariably expect him to lie - was too  strange to meet with approval in its day. Its première on March 6, 1838 was a  failure. This was a severe blow to the poet, who turned his back forever on the  German theatre.

Later life  and final masterpieces

Franz Grillparzer's tomb

In 1836, Grillparzer paid a visit to Paris and London, in 1843 to Athens and Constantinople. Then came the Revolution which  struck off the intellectual fetters under which Grillparzer and his  contemporaries had groaned in Austria, but the liberation came too late for him.  Honours were heaped upon him; he was made a member of the Academy of Sciences; Heinrich Laube, as director of the Burgtheater, reinstated his plays into the  repertory; in 1861, he was elected to the Austrian Herrenhaus; his eightieth birthday was a  national festival, and when he died in Vienna, on the January 21, 1872, the  mourning of the Austrian people was universal.

With the exception of a beautiful fragment, Esther (1861), Grillparzer  published no more dramatic poetry after the fiasco of Weh dem, der lügt,  but at his death three completed tragedies were found among his papers. Of  these, The Jewess of Toledo (Die Jüdin von  Toledo, written in 1851), an admirable adaptation from the Spanish, has won  a permanent place in the German classical repertory; Ein Bruderzwist in  Habsburg is a powerful historical tragedy and Libussa is perhaps the most mature, as it  is certainly the deepest, of all Grillparzer's dramas; the latter two plays  prove how much was lost by the poet's divorce from the theatre.


Although Grillparzer was essentially a dramatist, his lyric poetry is in the  intensity of its personal note hardly inferior to Lenau's; and the bitterness of his later years  found vent in biting and stinging epigrams that spared few of his greater  contemporaries. As a prose writer, he has left one powerful short story, Der arme Spielmann (1848),  and a volume of critical studies on the Spanish drama, which shows how  completely he had succeeded in identifying himself with the Spanish point of  view.

Grillparzer's brooding, unbalanced temperament, his lack of will-power, his  pessimistic renunciation and the bitterness which his self-imposed martyrdom  produced in him, made him peculiarly adapted to express the mood of Austria in  the epoch of intellectual thraldom that lay between the Napoleonic Wars and the Revolution of 1848; his poetry reflects exactly  the spirit of his people under the Metternich regime, and there is a deep truth  behind the description of Der Traum, ein Leben as the Austrian Faust. His fame was in accordance with the  general tenor of his life; even in Austria a true understanding for his genius  was late in coming, and not until the centenary of 1891 did the German-speaking  world realize that it possessed in him a dramatic poet of the first rank; in  other words, that Grillparzer was no mere Epigone of the classic period, but a  poet who, by a rare assimilation of the strength of the Greeks, the imaginative depth of German classicism and the delicacy and grace of the  Spaniards, had opened up new paths for the higher dramatic poetry of Europe.

Cultural references

  • He is honoured in Austria with a pastry, the Grillparzertorte.
  • Outside Austria, the modern American reader is perhaps most familiar  with Grillparzer via disparaging references to him in the popular John Irving novel The World According to Garp. The book  features a story within a story entitled The Pension Grillparzer.
  • He is mentioned in the W. G. Sebald novel Vertigo.



  • Blanche of Castile|Blanka von Kastilien (1807–09)
  • Spartacus|Spartakus (1809)
  • Alfred the Great|Alfred der Große (1809)
  • Die Ahnfrau (1817)
  • Sappho (1818)
  • Das goldene Vlies (1821), trilogy  consisting of
    • Der Gastfreund
    • Die Argonauten
    • Medea
  • Melusina (1822–23)
  • König Ottokars Glück und Ende (The  Fortune and Fall of King Ottokar, 1823)
  • Ein treuer Diener seines Herrn (1826)
  • Des Meeres und der Liebe Wellen (1831)
  • Der Traum, ein Leben (1834)
  • Tristia ex Ponto (1835)
  • Weh dem, der lügt (1838)
  • Libussa (1848)
  • Ein Bruderzwist im Hause Habsburg  (1848)
  • Die Jüdin von Toledo (The  Jewess of Toledo, 1851)
  • Esther (a fragment, 1861)


  • Das Kloster bei Sendomir (1827)
  • Der arme Spielmann (1848)

See also

Portal icon Poetry portal
  • List of Austrian writers
  • List of Austrians
  • Jenny Weleminsky

Location of  Austria  (dark green)– in Europe  (green & dark grey)– in the European Union  (green)  –  [Legend]Austria,  officially the Republic of Austria (German: Republik  Österreich), is a federal republic and a landlocked country of over 8.5 million people  in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Hungary and Slovakia to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the west. The territory of  Austria covers 83,879 square kilometres (32,386 sq mi). Austria's terrain is  highly mountainous, lying within the Alps; only 32% of the country is below 500 metres (1,640 ft), and its  highest point is 3,798 metres (12,461 ft). The majority of the population speak  local Bavarian dialects of German as their native language, and Austrian German in its standard form is the  country's official language. Other local official  languages are Hungarian, Burgenland Croatian, and Slovene.

The origins of modern-day Austria date back to the time of the Habsburg dynasty when the vast majority of the  country was a part of the Holy Roman Empire. From the time of the Reformation, many Northern German princes,  resenting the authority of the Emperor, used Protestantism as a flag of rebellion. The Thirty Years War, the influence of the Kingdom of Sweden and Kingdom of France, the rise of the Kingdom of Prussia, and the Napoleonic  invasions all weakened the power of the Emperor in the North of Germany, but in  the South, and in non-German areas of the Empire, the Emperor and Catholicism  maintained control. During the 17th and 18th centuries, Austria was able to  retain its position as one of the great powers of Europe and, in response to the  coronation of Napoleon as the Emperor of the French, the Austrian Empire was officially proclaimed in  1804. Following Napoleon's defeat, Prussia emerged as Austria's chief competitor  for rule of a larger Germany. Austria's defeat by Prussia at the Battle of Königgrätz, during the Austro-Prussian War of 1866 cleared the way for  Prussia to assert control over the rest of Germany. In 1867, the empire was reformed into Austria-Hungary. After the defeat of France in  the 1870 Franco-Prussian War, Austria was left out of  the formation of a new German Empire, although in the following  decades its politics, and its foreign policy, increasingly converged with those  of the Prussian-led Empire. During the 1914 July Crisis that followed the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, Germany  guided Austria in issuing the ultimatum to Serbia that led to the declaration of World War I.

After the collapse of the Habsburg (Austro-Hungarian) Empire in 1918 at the  end of World War I, Austria adopted and used the name the Republic of German-Austria (Deutschösterreich,  later Österreich) in an attempt for union with Germany, but was forbidden due to the Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye (1919). The First Austrian Republic was established in  1919. In the 1938 Anschluss, Austria was occupied and annexed by Nazi Germany.[14]  This lasted until the end of World War II in 1945, after which Germany was occupied by the Allies and Austria's former  democratic constitution was restored. In 1955, the Austrian State Treaty re-established Austria as  a sovereign state, ending the occupation. In the same year, the Austrian Parliament created the Declaration of Neutrality which declared that  the Second Austrian Republic would become permanently neutral.

Today, Austria is a parliamentary representative democracy comprising nine federal states. The capital and largest city,  with a population exceeding 1.7 million, is Vienna. Austria is one of the richest countries in the world, with a nominal  per capita GDP of $52,216 (2014 est.). The country has developed a high standard of living and in 2014 was ranked  21st in the world for its Human Development Index. Austria has been a  member of the United Nations since 1955, joined the European Union in 1995, and is a  founder of the OECD. Austria also signed the Schengen Agreement in 1995, and adopted the euro in 1999.


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Listing Information

Listing TypeGallery Listing
Listing ID#155222907
Start TimeWed 01 Mar 2017 17:15:15 (EDT)
Close TimeThu 12 Oct 2017 12:37:50 (EDT)
Starting BidFixed Price (no bidding)
Item ConditionSee Descr.
Dispatch TimeNext Day
LocationUnited States
Auto ExtendNo

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