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Wickram, Jorg

WICKRAM, JORG, or GEORG (d. c. 1560), German poet and novelist, was a native of Colmar in Alsace; the date of his birth is unknown. He passed the latter part of his life as town clerk of Burgheim on the Rhine, and died before 1562. Wickram was a many-sided writer. He founded a Meistersinger school in Colmar in 1549, and has left a number of Mcislersingerliedcr. He edited Albrecht von Halberstadt's Middle High German version of Ovid's Metamorphoses (1545), and in 1555 he published Das Rollwagenbucltlfin, one of the best of the many German collections of tales and anecdotes which appeared in the 16th century. The title of the book implies its object, namely, to supply reading for the traveller in the " Rollwagen " or diligences. As a dramatist, Wickram wrote Fastnachtsspiek (Das Narrengiessen, 1537; Der treue Eckart, 1538; and two dramas on biblical subjects, Der verlorene Sohn (1540) and Tobias (1551). A moralizing poem, Der irrereitende Pilger (1556), is half -satiric, half-didactic. It is, however, as a novelist that Wickram has left the deepest mark on his time, his chief romances being Ritler Galmy aus SchoMand (1539), Gabriotto una Reinhard (1554), Der Knabenspiegel (1554), Von guten und bosen Nachbarn (1556) and Der Goldfaden (1557). These may be regarded as the earliest attempts in German literature to create that modern type of middle-class fiction which ultimately took the place of the decadent medieval romance of chivalry.

Wickram's works have been edited by J. Bolte and W. Scheel for the Stuttgart Litsrarischer Verein (vols., 222, 223, 229, 230, 1900- 1903) ; Der Ritler Galmy was republished by F. de la Motte Fouque' in 1806; Der Goldfaden by K. Brentano in 1809; the Rollwagenbuchlein was edited by H. Kurz in 1865, and there is also a reprint of it in Reclam's Universalbibliothek. See A. Stober, /. Wickram (1866); W. Scherer, Die Anfdnge des deutschen Prosaromans (1877).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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