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Waldinger, Ernst


WALDINGER, ERNST (1896–1970), Austrian poet. Born in Vienna, Waldinger had both a secular and an Orthodox education. He volunteered for military service in 1915 and two years later was severely wounded on the Romanian front. After hospitalization he studied at the University of Vienna, where he received his Ph.D. in 1921. He then turned to poetry, choosing classical forms rather than the free verse of the dominant expressionists. Although he published individual poems from 1924, Waldinger's first verse collection, Die Kuppel, did not appear until 1934. It was followed by others, notably Der Gemmenschneider (1937), and in later years by Musik fuer diese Zeit (1946); Glueck und Geduld (1952); Zwischen Hudson und Donau (1958), a volume of selected poems; and Gesang vor dem Abgrund (1961). Forced to immigrate to the U.S. in 1938, Waldinger first lived in New York and worked in a library, in a department store, and for the U.S. government during World War ii. In 1947 he was appointed professor of German literature at Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, New York, where he taught until 1965. A master of the sonnet and the ode, he drew his inspiration chiefly from classical myths, musical compositions, war experiences, and the Austrian and American landscapes. His Jewish background inspired poems such as "Jehuda Halevis Tod," "Die Opferung Isaaks," and "Der Sabbat." Ich kann mit meinem Menschenbruder sprechen (1965) was his outstanding book of verse.


Schoenwiese, in: E. Waldinger, Gesang vor dem Abgrund (1961), 5–24; H. Zohn, Wiener Juden in der deutschen Literatur (1964), 95–100. add. bibliography: J. Holzner, "Das Verschwinden der Aurora. Die Lyrik Ernst Waldingers und ihre Rezeption in Oesterreich," in: H.F. Pfanner (ed.), Kulturelle Wechselbeziehungen im Exil (1986), 202–13; E.R. Robert, "Ernst Waldinger," in: J.M. Spalek (ed.), Deutschsprachige Exilliteratur seit 1933, vol. 2 (1989), 985–96; K.M. Gauß (ed.), E. Waldinger, Noch vor dem juengsten Tag. Ausgewählte Gedichte und Essays (1990); J. Holzner, "Friedensbilder in der oesterreichischen Exilliteratur. Ueber Stefan Zweig, Vicki Baum, Ernst Waldinger und Theodor Kramer," in: Zagreber germanistische Beiträge, 4 (1995), 35–60; H. Zohn, "The Austro-American Jewish Poet Ernst Waldinger," in: H. Zohn, Austriaca and Judaica (1995), 153–67; H.F. Pfanner, "Weinheber oder Waldinger. Oesterreichische Lyrik im Licht und Schatten des Nationalsozialismus," in: J. Thunecke (ed.), Deutschsprachige Exillyrik von 1933 bis zur Nachkriegszeit (1998), 67–82; S. Schlenstedt, "Heimat im Gedicht des Verbannten. Über Theodor Kramer mit einem Seitenblick auf Ernst Waldinger," in: H. Staud and J. Thunecke (eds.), Chronist seiner ZeitTheodor Kramer (2000), 187–98.

[Sol Liptzin]

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