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Walden, Herwarth


WALDEN, HERWARTH (originally Georg Lewin ; 1878– 1941), German author and editor. Born in Berlin, Walden studied music in Italy and Berlin. In 1907 he founded a society for the cultivation of the arts (Verein fuer Kunst) – a forum for progressive poets, artists, architects, and scientists – and edited the literary and theatrical sections of several German periodicals. But it was as the founder and editor of Der Sturm (1910–32) that he was most influential in propagating his theories of expressionism in art, music, and literature. Walden's first novel, Das Buch der Menschenliebe (1916), and his first drama, Weib (1917), were followed by two more novels and eight plays. These, however, were less significant for his generation than was his theory of abstract art or his aid to early expressionists, futurists, and cubists, who had been rejected by the official artists' associations and important galleries alike. Der Sturm reproduced drawings and woodcuts by members of the Bruecke, and in particular works by the fiery young Austrian, Oskar Kokoschka, Walden's special protegé. In 1912 he opened a gallery dedicated to everything new and provocative from a number of countries. The names of the artists sponsored by the Sturm Gallery in its first decade included Albert Bloch, Ludwig *Meidner, Jakob *Steinhardt, and, above all, Marc *Chagall. His last work was a collection of lyrics, Im Geschweig der Liebe (1925). Walden was associated with the German left-wing intelligentsia and was himself pro-Communist. In 1932 he emigrated to the U.S.S.R., where he worked as a teacher of German. He published articles in the German exíle press in publications such as The Word (Das Wort) and International Literature (Internationale Literatur) until 1938. He became a victim of Stalinist police persecution, dying after seven months in jail. His wife (from 1901 until 1911) was the poet Else *Lasker-Schueler. In 2002 the correspondence between Herwarth Walden and Karl Kraus was published, entitled Feinde in Scharen: ein wahres Vergnügen dazusein; Karl KrausHerwarth Walden; Briefwechsel 19091912, by G.C. Avery.


N. Walden and L. Schreyer (eds.), Der Sturm: Ein Erinnerungsbuch (1954); Nationalgalerie, Berlin, Der Sturm: Herwarth Walden und die europaeische Avantgarde, Berlin 19121932 (1961); N. Walden, Herwarth Walden (1965). add. bibliography: G. Bruehl, Herwarth Walden und "Der Sturm" (1983); M. Jones, "Der Sturm": A Focus of Expressionism (1984); H. Boorman, "Herwarth Walden and William Wauer: Expressionism and "Sturm" Politics in the Post-War Context," in: R. Sheppard (ed.), Expressionism in Focus (1987); M. Godé, Der Sturm de Herwarth Walden; l'utopie d'un art autonome (1990); idem, Herwarth Waldens Werdegang von der "autono men Kunst" zum Kommunismus, in: Etudes germaniques, 46:3 (1991), 335–47; F. Muelhaupt, Herwarth Walden. 18781941. Wegbereiter der Moderne (1991); P. Sprengel, "Institutionalisierung der Moderne: Herwarth Walden und 'Der Sturm'," in: Zeitschrift fuer deutsche Philologie, 110 (1991), 247–81; idem, "Nachtraegliches zu Herwarth Waldens Cabaret fuer Hoehenkunst 'Teloplasma'. Eine Miszelle in eigener Sache," in: Zeitschrift fuer deutsche Philologie, 111 (1992), 256–61; G. Heinersdorff, Bruno Taut und Herwarth Walden (1996); M. Godé, "De la Spree à la Volga. L'itinéraire d'Herwarth Walden (1878–1941)," in: Crises allemandes de l'identité, ed. under the direction of M. Vanoosthuyse (1998); S. Bauschinger, "'Ich bin Krieger mit dem Herzen, er mit dem Kopf." Else Lasker-Schueler und Herwarth Walden," in: G. Seybert (ed.), Das literarische Paar (2003), 245–56.

[Sol Liptzin /

Konrad Feilchenfeldt (2nd ed.)]

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