Other Literary Forms
Like his dramas, the works that Franz Grillparzer produced in other genres reflect probings of the human spirit that lay bare the fundamental conflicts of humankind’s existence. His poetry is reserved and thoughtful with strong confessional overtones. Especially characteristic in their melancholy self-analysis are the seventeen poems of the cycle Tristia ex Ponto (1835; elegies from the Black Sea). In these lyrics, the author captured the torment of his personal situation as he pondered love relationships that remained unfulfilled. He also wrote pointed political verse and clever, bitter epigrams. Two novellas, Das Kloster bei Sendomir (1827; the monastery at Sendomir) and Der arme Spielmann (1847; The Poor Fiddler, 1946), are closely akin to his dramas in their psychological penetration of life and in their intensity of dramatic effect. The Poor Fiddler, a coded portrait of Grillparzer’s own soul, is particularly powerful in its revelation of his passionate love for the common people. Many significant notes about theater and literature, filled with deep insight into the nature and enduring laws of art, are contained in the fragmentary autobiography and the diaries and letters that were collected, edited, and published after his death.