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E.t.a. Hoffmann His Life, His

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E.T.A. Hoffmann, often also called the 'Ghost Hoffmann', was one of the important writers and artist of the romantic era in Europe. He was a genius, who had the ability to write, compose and draw with his own characteristics and to catch the attention of many other artists and thinkers from his life time until present date.
This man, who was going to be the poet of the uncanny, was born on January 24th 1776 in K'nigsberg, Germany. Before his mother Luise Albertine D'rffer already had given birth to two other childs, but lost the first one in his early age. Hoffmann was baptized as Ernst Theodor Wilhelm and he later on in 1804 changed his name Wilhelm to Amadeus, because he became a passionate admirer of the great musician Amadeus Mozart.
His family, originating from old traditional polish nobility, had a strong background in the profession of law and therefore his father was a lawyer at the court in K'nigsberg.
As a young child, E.T.A. Hoffmann had inherited some negative genes from his parents. His father was a highly talented, impulsive and moody character and tended to be a notorious alcohol addict. His mother on the other side was a hysteric person, who was often falling in deep depressions and had a fanatical drive towards tidiness and properness in the family home. In addition she was very careful about the family image in society and always tried to avoid bad rumors about her and her family in the neighborhood.
Because of the tensions between Hoffmann's parents, his father took the chance of a new job offer in a different city and left his hysterical wife together with the two sons back in Koenigsberg. He filed for a divorce and became the custody over the older son Karl. In the young age of four Ernst had lost all contacts to his father and his older brother and stayed under the custody of his psychotic mother.
After the divorce Luise and Ernst moved to her mother's house, a spacious and gray building located at the Poststrasse. Luise's psychological problems started to get worse and she often fall into hysterical attacks and complained continuously about her life and her destiny. His uncle Doerffer, who was a typical Prussian character and a strict and bigot lawyer, was basically educating the young Hoffman with severe and strict rules, which left not much space for breathing and fun in his childhood. Ernst found the only kindness and warmth together with his aunt Sophie, who was an old unmarried virgin, that still was able to keep young and vivid. Hoffman had remembered the good relationship with her in the story of 'Lebensansichten des Katers Murr', where she was portrayed in the character of the nice aunt Fuesschen.
In the same house on the top floor the poet Zacharias Werner was living in his childhood together with his mother, who tried to educate him in a totally religious fashion, because in her psychotic sickness she thought that she had born a Saint. Hoffman never was allowed to play together with Werner and was observer of the many fights and discrepancies Werner had with his mother.
Living in such a childhood, disturbed by the sick character of his mother and the overly Prussian discipline and repetitive character of his uncle who was administering every step and matters of the family, the only escape for the poor young Hoffman from reality had been the fantastic world of the Dream.
It is obvious in his works, that Hoffmann had been overly influenced by the crazy childhood he had to live trough. We can find many relations in characters of his stories and character of his childhood.
In 1781 Hoffmann starts his academic education and visits the Burgschule, where he was gaining his knowledge in the spirit of enlightenment. In addition he was getting musical instruction courses by his uncle and private teachers, but at this time had no outstanding talent for music. Works by Swift, Sterne and Rousseau and the writers Schiller, Goethe and Jean Paul had been a strong influence in Hoffmann's studies of literature. At this period the first musical compositions and two fragments of stories are created by him, the 'Conaro, Memoiren des Grafen Julius von S.' and 'Der Geheimnisvolle' ('The Mysterious Man'). Hoffmann also liked to read the ghost stories of Grosse, an author not known anymore in present times. During his time at the High School, in 1787 he founded a deep friendship with Theodor Gottlieb Hippel, which lasted until the end of his life.
For studying law, Hoffman started in 1792 as a student at the Albertina University in Koenigsberg where he was instructed by the legal philosophies of Kant. After visiting the law school, Hoffman starts his practical training at the court in Koenigsberg, where he got in contact with the life and society of the nobles and landowners. At this period E.T.A. writes the story 'Das Majorat', a story about the stiff character of the noble society.
Hoffmann, who always had problems with his physical appearance, started in the young age of eighteen a passionate relationship with Dora Hatt, a married woman nine years older than him. Due to this relationship, who left deep impressions in the young Hoffmann, he developed his attitude towards mores and sexuality. Because his family did not agree of his relationship to an older woman, they forced him in 1796 to leave the city and to start a new position at the court in Golgau.
Living in Golgau together with the family of his godfather Johann Ludwig Doerffer, he is being introduced to his cousin Wilhemine ('Minna'), with whom he was going to become engaged in 1798. At this period Hoffmann's passion was mainly influenced by classical music and at this time he started to compose and write his first scores and operas.
In the year of the engagement, E.T.A. together with the family of his godfather moved to Berlin, where he started a new, but ...

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Keywords: e. t. a. hoffmann books, e.t.a. hoffmann short stories, hoffmann e t a

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