Lipiner, Siegfried

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LIPINER, SIEGFRIED (1856–1911), Austrian poet and playwright. Born in Jaroslaw, Galicia, and raised in Tarnow, he moved to Vienna in 1871, devoting himself to literature and philosophy. Lipiner's first epic poem Der entfesselte Prometheus (1876) aroused much favorable comment. It was followed by the epic Renatus (1878), by a volume of lyrics entitled Buch der Freude (1880), and by a libretto, Merlin (1886), for which Karl *Goldmark wrote the music. The last work was staged by the Viennese Royal Opera in 1886. From 1881 until his death, Lipiner was librarian and archivist of the Austrian Reichsrat. Although he converted to Christianity in 1891 and avoided all reference to his Jewish descent, Lipiner was described by his admirer, Nietzsche, as a Polish Jew capable of imitating the various forms of European lyric fastidiously and "almost genuinely." His original poetry was much influenced by Schopenhauer, Wagner, and Nietzsche. He also published a German translation of Adam *Mickiewicz's Pan Tadeusz. Three of his plays were Der neue Don Juan (written in 1880, published in 1914), Adam (1913), and Hippolytos (1913). Lipiner's fame reached its peak while he was in his early twenties, but his verse later lost its popularity, though it often received mention in literary histories. He was a close friend of the composer Gustav *Mahler.


H. von Hartungen, Der Dichter Siegfried Lipiner, dissert., Munich 1935 (1937). add. bibliography: H. Lengauer, "Siegfried Lipiner: Biographie im Zeichen des Prometheus," in: H. Zeman (ed.), Die oesterreichische Literatur (1989), 1227–1246; Q. Principe, "Il caso Lipiner e il caso Meyrink. La quadruplice radice dell'insufficienza," in: Q. Principe (ed.), Ebrei e Mitteleuropa (1994), 89–102; R. Mueller-Buck, "La salute del giovane Nietzsche," in: Belfagor, 59:4 (2004), 460–466.

[Sol Liptzin]