George, Stefan (1868–1933) By Norton, Robert E.
Stefan George was one of the most original and influential poets to have written in German in the last 150 years. During his lifetime he was regarded by some as the greatest German poet after Goethe, and not a few thought he was the greatest one of all. Yet, for a variety of reasons, George’s works almost completely disappeared from view shortly after his death, and only recently have they been rediscovered by a wider reading public. It is noteworthy, however, that this renewed interest in George has focused less on his poetry than on his life, and in particular on the nature of his sexuality and his political views. No matter how one evaluates these aspects of his extra-literary significance, George can rightfully claim our attention as the author of some of the most remarkable and powerful verse in the German language.