Critics agree that Conrad Ferdinand Meyer was the most ambivalent, complex, and yet one of the most fascinating realists in late nineteenth-century literature. His major breakthrough as a writer of poetry, ballads and historical narratives came late in life with Huttens letzte Tage [Hutten's Last Days], an epic of 71 poems in iambic verse, and coincided with the founding of the second German Reich in 1871. Whereas Meyer was almost exclusively schooled in French and in French literature until 1870, for which he was ever grateful, soon after Hutten he stated: “Jetzt bin ich sehr deutsch, pur ne plus changer” [“Now I am very German, forever more”]. From the 1870s to the early 1890s Meyer “s…
Hertling, Gunter H.. "Conrad Ferdinand Meyer". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 10 November 2004; last revised 30 November -1.
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