Felix Braun

(4 November 1885 – 29 November 1973 / Vienna)

Biography of Felix Braun

Felix Braun poet

Felix Braun (November 4, 1885, Vienna – November 29, 1973, Klosterneuburg, Lower Austria) was an Austrian writer.

Braun was born in Vienna to a Jewish family. His mother died in 1888 during the birth of his sister, Käthe, who would also become a famous writer. In 1904, he enrolled in German studies, as well as art history, at the University of Vienna, and took his doctorate four years later. His literary publications began to appear in 1905 in the Neue Freie Presse, the Österreichische Rundschau, and the Neue Rundschau. He was appointed arts editor of the Berliner National-Zeitung in 1910. In 1912, Braun married Hedwig Freund, but the couple would divorce in 1915. While working as an editor at Verlag Georg Müller in Munich, he made the acquaintance of a number of important writers, among whom were Hans Carossa, Thomas Mann, and Rainer Maria Rilke. From 1928 to 1938, he was a Privatdozent in German literature at Palermo and Padua. He converted from Judaism to Catholicism in 1935. To escape persecution by the Nazis, who banned his work, he immigrated in 1939 to the United Kingdom and remained there until 1951, teaching literature and art history. After returning to Austria, Braun lectured at the Max Reinhardt Seminar and the University of Applied Arts Vienna. Braun died in 1973 and was honored with a burial in the Zentralfriedhof of Vienna. In 1977, a lane in Vienna was named after him.

At the beginning of the 20th century, Braun belonged to the movement known as Young Vienna, where he found the company of such innovative writers as Stefan Zweig,Anton Wildgans, and Max Brod. Braun was a Neo-Romantic, who wrote refined, cultivated poetry in multiple forms. His work centered around the themes of religion, classical antiquity, and his Austrian homeland. Braun also served as secretary to the great Austrian writer Hogo von Hofmannsthal and formed a close friendship with his employer. Braun edited and published a highly respected anthology of German lyric poetry, called Der Tausendjährige Rosenstrauch (The Thousand-Year Rose Bush), in 1937. It has been reissued in numerous editions and remains one of the most popular collections of its kind. He also translated the work of Thomas à Kempis and John of the Cross.

Awards and honors
1947 Literaturpreis der Stadt Wien
1951 Großer Österreichischer Staatspreis für Literatur
1955 Ehrenring der Stadt Wien
1955 Stiftermedaille des Bundesministeriums für Unterricht
1965 Grillparzer-Preis
1966 Großes Ehrenzeichen für Kunst und Wissenschaft

Felix Braun's Works:

Gedichte, poems, 1909
Novellen und Legenden, 1910
Der Schatten des Todes, novel, 1910
Till Eulenspiegels Kaisertum, comedy, 1911
Neues Leben, poems, 1912
Verklärungen, 1916
Tantalos, tragedy, 1917
Die Träume des Vineta, legends, 1919
Hyazinth und Ismene, dramatic lyrics, 1919
Das Haar der Berenike, poems, 1919
Attila, legend, 1920
Aktaion, tragedy, 1921
Die Taten des Herakles, novel, 1921
Wunderstunden, short stories 1923
Der unsichtbare Gast, novel, 1924, rev. 1928
Der Schneeregenbogen, 1925
Das innere Leben, poems, 1926
Deutsche Geister, essay, 1925
Die vergessene Mutter, short stories, 1925
Esther, play, 1926
Der Sohn des Himmels, mystery play, 1926
Agnes Altkirchner, novel, 1927, rev. 1965
Zwei Erzählungen von Kindern, 1928
Die Heilung der Kinder, short stories, 1929
Laterna magica, short stories and legends, 1932
Ein indisches Märchenspiel, 1935
Ausgewählte Gedichte, 1936
Kaiser Karl V., tragedy, 1936
Der Stachel in der Seele, novel, 1948
Das Licht der Welt, autobiography, 1949, rev. 1962
Die Tochter des Jairus, drama, 1950
Briefe in das Jenseits, short stories, 1952
Aischylos, dialogue, 1953
Viola d`Amore, selected poems from 1903-1953, 1953
Das musische Land, essays, 1952, rev. 1970
Die Eisblume, essays, 1955
Rudolf der Stifter, drama, 1955
Joseph und Maria, drama, 1956
Irina und der Zar, drama, 1956
Orpheus, tragedy, 1956
Unerbittbar bleibt Vergangenheit, selected works, 1957
Gespräch über Stifters Mappe meines Urgroßvaters, 1958
Der Liebeshimmel, 1959
Palermo und Monreale, 1960
Imaginäre Gespräche, 1960
Rede auf Max Mell, 1960
Zeitgefährten, Begegnungen, 1963
Die vier Winde, Christmas stories, 1964
Schönes in Süditalien - Palermo, essays, 1965
Anrufe des Geistes, essays, 1965
Aufruf zur Tafel, mystery, 1965
Das weltliche Kloster, short stories, 1965
Das Nelkenbeet, poems from 1914-1965, 1965
Frühe und späte Dramen 1909-1967, 1971

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