In the history of German literature, Martin Opitz holds a special, although somewhat controversial place. Was he the “Vater der deutschen Dichtkunst” (father of German poetry, Johann Christoph Gottsched, 1739), or did he open the floodgates to pedantic imitations of foreign models that hampered the rise of original poetry in Germany until the “Geniezeit” (period of geniuses) of the Sturm und Drang? Even Goethe claimed that all those “praiseworthy efforts” to clean up the chaotic state of German literature in the early seventeenth century only fostered “patriotic dullness” (Dichtung und Wahrheit [Poetry and Truth], 1815, II, 7). …

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Citation:
Hoffmeister, Gerhart. "Martin Opitz". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 31 May 2007
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=5657, accessed 02 September 2014.]