German literature includes literary texts written in German. It is not limited to literature created in Germany, but also includes literature created in Austria and most of Switzerland.
It was born in the Middle Ages and had periods of great achievements, such as the Sturm und Drang (c. 1765-1785) with Johan Göthe and Friedrich Schiller. The period of Romanticism (c. 1796-1835) was marked by the Brothers Grimm and the poets Friedrich Hölderlin, Jean Paul, Novalis and Joseph Freiherr von Eichendorff.
Somewhat later, Heinrich Heine emerged as the forerunner of the so-called "classical modern" (c. 1900-1920) when Hermann Hesse, Thomas Mann, and the great Austrian poets and prose writers dominated. Together with Franz Kafka from Prague, they paved the way for modern literature.
Below you'll find a list of book summaries from authors that influenced German literature and left their mark in the writing world.
Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm collected children's stories around the world. Their collection contains over 200 stories and fairy tales.
- Hansel and Gretel
- Snow White
- The Brave Little Tailor
- The Fisherman and His Wife
- The Frog Prince
- The Golden Goose
- The Sleeping Beauty
- The Twelve Dancing Princesses
- The Wolf and the Seven Young Goats
- Town Musicians of Bremen
She was Austrian author and one of the best children's writers in the German language. She received an award for her work and also the Hans Christian Andersen award.
He had the title of one of the best children's authors. He became famous with his first book Emil and the Detectives.
He was a German poet and playwright. As a military doctor, he was forbidden to pursue his literary career, so he ran to Stuttgart where he was free to keep on writing.
Gottfried August Bürger
He was a German poet. Despite his poems being considered the best ones written in German, he is internationally known for his translations of Baron Munchausen.
He was a German writer, poet, and publisher, famous for his work founded on legends and myths from ancient stories.
He was a famous German children's author and screenwriter. At the beginning of WWII, he left Germany and went to the USA.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
He was a German writer and statesman. Goethe's body of work is extensive: poetry, four novels, over 10000 letters, and nearly 3000 drawings.
He was a famous German writer. He found love for literature and writing at an early age when he started writing poems and stories.
Born Otfried Syrowatka, he was a well-recognized German author of many children's books. He wrote 25 books translated into 40 languages.
A significant German author who made his mark in the literature of the 20th century. He won the Nobel prize for literature in 1929.