Christian Morgenstern

Christian Morgenstern

German poet, writer and translator, classic of German literature of the late 19th - early 20th centuries
Date of Birth: 06.05.1871
Country: Germany

Biography of Christian Morgenstern

Christian Morgenstern was a German poet, writer, and translator, considered a classic of German literature in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He was born into a family of artists, with his grandfather and father being well-known German painters. His mother, Charlotte Morgenstern, passed away from tuberculosis in 1881. Shortly after, Christian was sent to Hamburg to live with his godfather, Arnold Otto Meyer, an art dealer.

Reluctantly, Christian returned to Munich a year later and was enrolled in a boarding school in Landshut. However, the discipline at the school involved physical punishments. In 1883, Christian's father, Karl Ernst Morgenstern, remarried and the family moved to Breslau (now Wroclaw), where his father obtained a position at the Royal Academy of Arts. Christian attended the Maria Magdalene Gymnasium in Breslau.

At the age of 16, Christian wrote his first works, a tragedy called "Alexander Bolgarski" and a description of minerals titled "Mineralogia popularis." Both of these works have been lost. Christian developed an interest in the philosophy of Arthur Schopenhauer and became friends with Friedrich Kessler and Arthur Beblo during his time at the gymnasium in Breslau.

In the autumn of 1889, Christian enrolled in a military academy at the request of his father, who wanted him to pursue a career as an officer. However, he left the academy after six months and continued his education at a gymnasium in Sora (now Zory). Together with his friends, he published a journal called "Deutscher Geist" (German Spirit), with its motto being Oliver Cromwell's words, "He who knows not where he goes, furthest gets."

In 1893, Morgenstern founded the humorous society "Sansara." He then enrolled in the University of Breslau, studying economics and business management. However, due to a worsening of his inherited tuberculosis, he had to leave Munich and seek treatment in Bad Reinerz (now Duszniki-Zdroj). After returning to Breslau, Christian learned about his father's divorce and went back to Sora for further treatment.

As continuing his university education became impossible, Christian's friends offered financial assistance for his treatment in Davos, and Professor Dan offered to cover his education expenses until he obtained his diploma. However, his father rejected both offers, leading Christian to make the decision to become a professional writer. After his father's third marriage, their relationship was severed for a long period of time.