E. T. A. Hoffmann

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E. T. A. Hoffmann

Ernst Theodor Wilhelm Hoffmann (24 January 1776 – 25 June 1822), better known by his pen name E. T. A. Hoffmann, was a German Romantic author of fantasy and horror, a jurist, composer, music critic, draftsman and caricaturist. He is the subject and hero of Jacques Offenbach's opera The Tales of Hoffmann, a fictionalized account.

Hoffmann's stories were tremendously influential in the 19th century, and he is one of the key authors of the Romantic movement.


  • The magic of music is so strong, getting stronger, it should break any shackle of another art.
    • Beethovens Instrumentalmusik

Quotes about E. T. A. Hoffmann[edit]

  • The romantics of the 19th century thought that the artist is at war with society, and must be destroyed by it eventually; this is the theme of all of Hoffmann's stories. I suggested -- in The Outsider and the subsequent five books of the 'cycle' -- that the fault lies partly with the artist, for preferring pessimism and self-pity to serious thought, and that the 'outsider' must eventually learn to accept his position as a spiritual leader of society. The church once provided the link between 'outsiders' and society, standing for the world of values, of 'meanings; beyond the present. The artists of the 19th century found themselves without this visible symbol of non-material values, and were, as Hoffmann says, frequently destroyed by society, or by their own destiny of standing outside it. I concluded that they must learn to stand alone, to be twice as strong, for half the problems of our civilization are due to 'the treason of the intellectual', their tendency to opt out and collapse in self-pity

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