Other Literary Forms
Although Friedrich Hebbel is best known as the leading German dramatist of the mid-nineteenth century, he also wrote outstanding poetry and literary criticism. His poems have been issued in independent editions and are part of the poetic canon in anthologies. In addition, Hebbel wrote essays on literary theory, including “Mein Wort über das Drama” (1843), and the “Vorwort zu Maria Magdalena” (1844; the preface to Maria Magdalena); a hexameter epic, Mutter und Kind (1859); and finally, a number of short stories, first published in various periodicals, then in book form as Erzählungen (1855). Aside from these literary “works” in the strict sense, Hebbel left a journal, originally published in two volumes as Tagebücher (1885-1887), and referred to by Wilhelm Scherer as a “literary-historical monument of the first order.” Hebbel’s letters also provide many fascinating insights into his thought and times.