Peter Altenberg

(1022 words)

Peter Altenberg is the pseudonym under which the Viennese impressionist Richard Engländer wrote his twelve volumes of sensitive musings, aphorisms, prose poems, and short sketches. Altenberg, the consummate eccentric bohemian, and leader of an aesthetic life style, rejected his “bourgeois name” along with his parents' conventional attitudes. A lifelong bachelor and hotel-dweller, he owned little and had few ties or constraints, collecting post-cards rather than paintings, writing miniature pieces or “extracts” rather than novels. Although he resembles Oscar Wilde and other aesthetes in his devotion to beauty and the art of living, his social concerns and belief that art must reflect reality made him reject “art for art's …

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Citation:
Saur, Pamela S.. "Peter Altenberg". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 21 July 2004
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=5806, accessed 23 October 2014.]