Stefan Anton George (July 12, 1868 ? December 4, 1933) was a German poet, editor and translator. George was born in Bingen in Germany. He spent time in Paris, where he was among the writers and artists who attended the Tuesday soire?s held by the poet St?phane Mallarm?. He began to publish poetry in the 1890s. George founded and edited an important literary magazine called "Bl?tter f?r die Kunst".
George was born in Bingen in Germany. He spent time in Paris, where he was among the writers and artists who attended the Tuesday soire?s held by the poet St?phane Mallarm?. He began to publish poetry in the 1890s. George founded and edited an important literary magazine called "Bl?tter f?r die Kunst". He was also at the center of an influential literary and academic circle known as the "Georgekreis", which included many of the leading young writers of the day, (e.g., Friedrich Gundolf and Ludwig Klages). In addition to sharing cultural interests, the circle reflected mystical and political themes.
Stefan George died near Locarno in Switzerland. Although identified with an extreme conservatism in politics, George refused honors from the National Socialist regime, and following his death was interred before a delegation from the National Socialist government could attend the ceremony.
George's poetry is characterized by an aristocratic and remote ethos; his verse is formal in style, lyrical in tone, and often arcane in language, being influenced by Greek classical forms, in revolt against the realist trend in German literature at the time. Believing that the purpose of poetry was distance from the world - he was a strong advocate of art for art's sake, and was influenced by Nietzsche - George's writing had many ties with the French Symbolist movement. He was in contact with many of its representatives, including St?phane Mallarm? and Paul Verlaine.
George was an important bridge between the 19th century and German modernism, even though he was a harsh critic of the then modern era. He experimented with various poetic metres, punctuation, obscure allusions and typography. George's "evident homosexuality" is reflected in works such as "Algabal" and the love poetry he devoted to a gifted adolescent of his acquaintance named Maximilian Kronberger, whom he called "Maximin", and whom he identified as a manifestation of the divine. The relevance of George's sexuality to his poetic work has been discussed by contemporary critics, such as Thomas Karlauf and Marita Keilson-Lauritz.
"Algabal" is one of George's best remembered collections of poetry, if also one of his strangest; the title is a reference to the effete Roman emperor "Elagabalus". George was also an important translator; he translated Dante, Shakespeare and Baudelaire into German.
George's late and seminal work "Das neue Reich" ("The New Empire") was published in 1928. He dedicated the work, including the "Geheimes Deutschland" ("Secret Germany") written in 1922, to Berthold Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg. It outlines a new form of society ruled by hierarchical spiritual aristocracy. George rejected any attempts to use it for mundane political purposes, especially National Socialism.