Georg Heym

Georg Heym (30 October 1887 – 16 January 1912) was a German writer. He is particularly known for his poetry, representative of early Expressionism.

Georg Heym
Georg Heym
Georg Heym
BornOctober 30, 1887
Hirschberg, Lower Silesia, Province of Silesia, Kingdom of Prussia, German Empire
DiedJanuary 16, 1912 (aged 24)
Alma materUniversity of Würzburg
Short story
Literary movementExpressionism
Notable worksDie ewige Tag

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Heym was born in Hirschberg, Lower Silesia in 1887 to Hermann and Jenny Heym. Throughout his short life, he was constantly in conflict with social conventions. His parents, members of the Wilhemine middle class, had trouble comprehending their son's rebellious behavior. Heym's own attitude towards his parents was paradoxical; on the one hand he held a deep affection for them, but on the other he strongly resisted any attempts to suppress his individuality and autonomy.

In 1900 the Heyms moved to Berlin, and there Georg began unsuccessfully attending a series of different schools. Eventually, he arrived at the Friedrich-Wilhelms-Gymnasium at Neuruppin in Brandenburg. He was very unsatisfied, and as a way to achieve some release he began writing poetry. After he graduated and went to study law at Würzburg, he started writing plays as well. However, publishers largely ignored his work.

In 1910 Heym met the poet and writer Simon Guttmann, who invited Heym to join the recently founded Der Neue Club, a descendant of a student society at the University of Berlin. Other members of this Club included Kurt Hiller, Jakob van Hoddis, and Erwin Loewenson (also known as Golo Gangi); often visiting were Else Lasker-Schüler, Gottfried Benn, and Karl Kraus. Although the Club had no actual stated objective, its members all shared a sense of rebellion against contemporary culture and possessed a desire for political and aesthetic upheaval. The Club held "Neopathetisches Cabaret" meetings in which members presented work, and it was here that Heym first gained notice. His poetry immediately attracted praise. In January 1911, Ernst Rowohlt published Heym's first book and the only one to appear in his lifetime: Der ewige Tag (The Eternal Day).

Heym later went through several judicial jobs, none of which he held for long due to his lack of respect for authority. On 16 January 1912, Heym and his friend Ernst Balcke went on a skating trip to the frozen river Havel. They never returned. A few days later their bodies were found. Appearances indicated that Balcke had fallen through the ice and Heym had attempted to save him but fell in as well. Heym remained alive for half an hour, calling out for help. His cries were heard by some nearby forestry workers, but they were unable to reach him.



  • Der Baum
  • Der Gott der Stadt (1910)
  • Der Krieg (1911)
  • Der ewige Tag (1911)
  • Umbra vitae (1912)
  • Marathon (1914)
  • Die Stadt (1911)


  • Der Dieb. Ein Novellenbuch (1913)


  • Der Athener Ausfahrt (1907)


  • Versuch einer neuen Religion (1909)


  • Heym, Georg (1994). The Thief and Other Stories. Translated by Susan Bennett (1st ed.). London: Libris. ISBN 1-870352-48-3.
  • Heym, Georg (2004). Poems. Translated, with an introduction and notes by Antony Hasler (1st ed.). London: Libris. ISBN 1-870352-97-1. Bilingual edition. Review by Will Stone (2004). Review by Michael Hoffman (21 May 2005). (Re-edition: Evanston, Illinois: Northwestern University Press, 2006. ISBN 0-8101-2322-3.)

External links

Texts by Heym

About Heym

Albrecht von Johansdorf

Albrecht von Johansdorf (c. 1180 – c. 1209) was a Minnesänger and a minor noble in the service of Wolfger of Erla. Documents indicate that his life included the years 1185 to 1209. He may have known Walther von der Vogelweide and is believed to have participated in a crusade. He is known to have written at least five "recruitment" songs in Middle High German, most likely for the Third Crusade. His "Song 2" owes a debt to the structure and melody from a song in Old French by trouvère poet Conon de Béthune. His "Song 5", which mentions the capture of Jerusalem, may suggest that he wrote around 1190. Von Johansdorf's Minnelieder conform outwardly to the standard pattern of man subordinating himself to the woman above him and is responsible for the classical formulation of "the educative value of Minnedienst" (daz ir deste werde sit und da bi hochgemuot). His integrity and warmth of heart are most evident in poems referring to the departure for the crusade.

Der Neue Club

Der Neue Club was an Expressionist club founded in the Hackesche Höfe courtyards, Berlin by Kurt Hiller and Jakob van Hoddis.

Die Aktion

Die Aktion ("The Action") was a German literary published between 1911 and 1932 in Berlin-Wilmersdorf. The magazine focused on political issues, literary Expressionism and other left-wing politics. Edited by Franz Pfemfert, the magazine was initially published weekly; it was then published ever two weeks after 1919; and only sporadically starting from 1926.

Publication of Die Aktion was resumed in 1981 by the Edition Nautilus publishing house. Issues appear irregularly.

Ernst Blass

Ernst Blass(17 October 17, 1890, (Berlin) – 23 January 23, 1939 (Berlin), (pseudonyms : Daniel Stabler and Erich Sternow ) was an important expressionist poet, critic and writer.Blass was a close friend of Kurt Hiller and joined him at Der Neue Club, alongside other writers of early Expressionism, Georg Heym and Jakob van Hoddis. From 1911, he collaborated with the magazine Die Aktion, before distancing himself from Franz Pfemfert in 1914.In Das Wesen der neuen Tanzkunst (The essence of the new dance art) Blass set out to identify abstract categories whereby "a new dance art" could be outlined. He described how the anthroposophical breathing methods taught at Loheland could transform the "marionette" into an animal form which could then leap in an ecstatic manner. In this he was responding to previous theories of dance, such as produced by Heinrich von Kleist who had written in 1807 a short text "Über dem Marionette Theater" according to which the dancer became a marionnette without either will or consciousness.In 1980 Thomas B. Schumann published a three volume collection of Blass' poetry (Volume 1), short stories (Volume 2) and various essays(Volume 3).


German Exilliteratur (German pronunciation: [ɛˈksiːl.lɪtəʁaˌtuːɐ̯], exile literature) is the name for a category of books in the German language written by writers of anti-Nazi attitude who fled from Nazi Germany and its occupied territories between 1933 and 1945. These dissident authors, many of whom were of Jewish origin and/or with communist sympathies, fled abroad in 1933 after the Nazi Party came to power in Germany and after Nazi Germany annexed Austria by the Anschluss in 1938, abolished the freedom of press and started to prosecute the authors whose books were banned.

Hermann Bahr

Hermann Bahr (19 July 1863 – 15 January 1934) was an Austrian writer, playwright, director, and critic.


Heym is the surname of:

Georg Heym (1887-1912), German author

Stefan Heym (1913-2001), German author

Jakob van Hoddis

Jakob van Hoddis (16 May 1887 – May/June 1942) was the pen name of a German-Jewish expressionist poet Hans Davidsohn, of which name "Van Hoddis" is an anagram. His most famous poem Weltende (End of the world) published on 11 January 1911 in the Der Demokrat magazine, is generally regarded as the preliminary Expressionist poem which inspired many other poets to write in a similarly grotesque style; he is also seen as perhaps the only German predecessor of surrealism (which did not exist as a movement in Germany).

Kleist Prize

The Kleist Prize is an annual German literature prize. The prize was first awarded in 1912, on the occasion of the hundredth anniversary of the death of Heinrich von Kleist. The Kleist Prize was the most important literary award of the Weimar Republic, but was discontinued in 1933.

In 1985 the prize was awarded for the first time in over fifty years. Between 1994 and 2000 it was awarded biennially. A monetary sum of €20,000 accompanies the award.

List of German-language poets

This list contains the names of individuals (of any ethnicity or nationality) who wrote poetry in the German language. Most are identified as "German poets", but some are not German.

List of modernist poets

This is a list of major poets of the Modernist movement.

Luisenfriedhof III

The Protestant Luisenfriedhof III (German: Der evangelische Luisenfriedhof III) is a cemetery in the Westend district of Berlin. The cemetery is under monument and cultural heritage protection.

Marieluise Fleißer

Marieluise Fleißer (German: [maˌʁiːluˈiːzə ˈflaɪsɐ]; 23 November 1901, Ingolstadt – 2 February 1974, Ingolstadt) was a German author and playwright.

Pan (magazine)

Pan was an arts and literary magazine co-founded by Richard Dehmel and published from 1895 to 1900 in Berlin by Otto Julius Bierbaum and Julius Meier-Graefe.The magazine was revived by Paul Cassirer in 1910, published by his Pan-Presse.

Pan played an important role in the development of Art Nouveau in Germany. The magazine printed a number of illustrations by both well-known and unknown young artists. Among the best-known artists who contributed to the periodical were Franz von Stuck, Félix Vallotton, and Thomas Theodor Heine.

Pan also printed stories and poems, in the emerging Symbolist and Naturalist movements; authors published included Otto Julius Bierbaum, Max Dauthendey, Richard Dehmel and Arno Holz.

Under Cassirer contributors included Frank Wedekind, Georg Heym, Ernst Barlach, and Franz Marc. Alfred Kerr took over the publication of the magazine in 1912 and it appeared only sporadically until its demise in 1915.

Paul Boldt

Paul Boldt (1885, Christfelde, West Prussia - 1921, Freiburg im Breisgau) was one of the poets of German Expressionism.

Boldt was born in the town of Christefelde an der Weichsel in the countryside of West Prussia, an area which is now a part of Poland. After finishing his secondary education, he studied philology at universities in Munich, Marburg, and Berlin without taking a degree. Once in Berlin, he started associating with the writers and artists who frequented the city's many cafes and began writing poetry himself.

In 1912, his first published poems appeared in Die Aktion, a magazine most frequently associated with the Expressionist movement. Two years later, he published his only book, Junge Pferde! Junge Pferde! (Young Horses! Young Horses).

He was drafted into the German Army at the beginning of World War I, but was discharged in 1916 on the grounds that he was psychologically unfit to serve. It was during his time in the military that he stopped writing poetry, and the last of his poems to appear in print during his lifetime came out in 1918.

Boldt died at the age of 35 from an embolism that was a complication of surgery for a hernia. Since his death, he has been largely forgotten, unlike other Expressionist poets writing in German, such as Gottfried Benn, Georg Heym, and Georg Trakl. (There are, in fact, no photographs or likenesses of Boldt known to exist.) However, in the last few decades there has been a movement seeking to revive recognition for what many readers and critics believe to be his considerable poetic gifts.

Most recently, there has been a "mini-renaissance" of Boldt's reputation in the German-speaking world, as his complete works have been republished for the first time in over a quarter-century; specifically in two volumes: Junge Pferde! Junge Pferde! ("Young Horses! Young Horses!") and "Auf der Terrasse des Cafe Josty" ("On the Terrace of Cafe Josty"), published by Edition Razamba in 2008 and 2009, respectively. A compilation book of poetry, titled Herbstpark was published in January 2018 as part of the series "50 zeitlose Gedichte" (50 timeless poems) at Martin Werhand Verlag.

English-language translations of some of Boldt's poems can be found in "The Online-Archive with the oeuvre of Paul Boldt" listed below.

Rainald Goetz

Rainald Maria Goetz (born May 24, 1954 in Munich) is a German author, playwright and essayist.

Terézia Mora

Terézia Mora ([ˈtɛreːziɒ ˈmorɒ]; born 5 February 1971) is a Hungarian writer, screenwriter and translator.

The Weird

The Weird: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories is an anthology of weird fiction edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer.

Published on 8 May 2012, it contains 110 short stories, novellas and short novels. At 1,152 pages in the hardcover edition, it is probably the largest single volume of fantastic fiction ever published, according to Locus.

Zsuzsa Bánk

Zsuzsa Bánk (born 24 October 1965 in Frankfurt) is a German writer.

Her parents moved to Germany after the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 and she studied Publicity, Political Science, and Literature at the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz and in Washington.

She has received several literature prizes such as the Adelbert von Chamisso Prize in 2004.

Currently she lives in Frankfurt on Main with her husband and two children.

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