Warburg, Karl Johan

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WARBURG, KARL JOHAN (1852–1918), Swedish literary historian. Warburg was born in Göteborg, where his father was the Danish consul. Warburg became professor of literature and art history at the Göteborg Academy in 1890. He moved to Stockholm ten years later and from 1901 organized and administered the Swedish Academy's Nobel Library. In 1906 he was elected to the chair of literature at the University of Stockholm, succeeding Oskar Ivar *Levertin. As a literary critic and contributor to the liberal press, Warburg had a considerable influence on Swedish cultural life. His outstanding achievement was the monumental Illustrerad svensk litteraturhistoria (1896–97; 6 vols., 1926–303), an authoritative history of Swedish literature written in collaboration with Johan Henrik *Schück. This was the first serious attempt to investigate the subject from its 17th-century beginnings, and was characterized by keen psychological insight. Warburg also played an active part in Jewish communal affairs and, from 1905 until 1908, was a member of the Swedish parliament.


Svenska män och kvinnor, 8 (1955); M. Lamm, Karl Warburg, ord och bild (1919).

[Hugo Mauritz Valentin]