Braun, Felix

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BRAUN, FELIX (1885–1973), Austrian poet, playwright, and novelist. Braun was born in Vienna, where he studied history and literature. From 1928 he taught at the universities of Padua and Palermo, but in 1939, because of his Jewish origin, he had to flee to London. He returned to Austria after the end of World War ii. Braun was an impressionist poet, deeply influenced by his friend Hugo von *Hofmannsthal. His first collection of verse was Das neue Leben (1913); Viola d'amore (1953) contained a selection of his poems spanning the years 1903–53. As a playwright Braun at one time showed a fondness for themes drawn from classical mythology, such as Tantalos (1917) and Aktaion (1921), and he also dramatized the biblical story of Esther (1925). Later, however, he turned to historical subjects, as in the tragedy Kaiser Karl der Fuenfte (1936) and Rudolf der Stifter (1956). His Agnes Altkirchner (1927) is a seven-volume novel depicting Austria's decay and eventual collapse after World War i. Braun's autobiography, Das Licht der Welt (1949), and his book of reminiscences, Zeitgefaehrten (1963), both provide an insight into Viennese culture in the early years of the 20th century.


F. Lennartz, Deutsche Dichter und Schriftsteller unserer Zeit (1959), 98–100. add. bibliography: D.G. Daviau, Bruecken ueber dem Abgrund (1994), 317–36.

[Sol Liptzin]