Adler, Paul

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ADLER, PAUL (1878–1946), German author. Adler studied law in his native Prague and served for a short time as a judge. He moved to France and Italy and finally settled in Hellerau, an artists' community near Dresden. He joined the "Hellerau Circle," inspired by the publisher Jacob Hegner, who gathered about him neoromantic and expressionist authors, the exponents of an esoteric, religious mysticism. Adler was coeditor of Neue Blaetter, the circle's periodical. In 1933, he returned to Czechoslovakia and survived the Nazi occupation in hiding. Adler's best known legendary tales, collected in Elohim (1914), teem with fantastic characters, and anticipate those of Franz *Kafka. Elohim's giants, angels, and titans combine the symbolism of the Talmud, of Christianity, and of paganism. Adler's two major novels were Naemlich (1915) and Die Zauberfloete (1916); here he interpreted creation as a work of destruction. In later years he became interested in Japanese literature and collaborated in a monograph, Japanische Literatur (1925).

add. bibliography:

A. Herzog, in: Aschkenas, 9 (1999), 483–502; D. Hoffmann, in: A. Kilcher (ed.), Metzler Lexikon der deutsch-juedischen Literatur (2000), 6f.; D. Hoffmann, in: Trumah, 13 (2003), 209–26.

[Rudolf Kayser]