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Author Information: Adalbert Stifter

 
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1805-1868
Adalbert Stifter was born in 1805 in Upper Bohemia, and the forest country in which he spent his boyhood is prominent in his fiction. After studying law at Vienna University he earned his living as a tutor with leading Viennese families, after which he was a primary school inspector in Upper Austria for fifteen years. He began to write around 1840, and his stories became increasingly popular in the Taschenbücher – fashionable periodicals – of the day; he rewrote many of them for publication in volume form. His two novels, Indian Summer and the unfinished Witiko, were written in his last decade (he died in Linz in 1868). In his later years he devoted more and more time to landscape painting, in which he had been interested from the first. His attitude to life is summed up in his famous two-edged ‘gentle law’: that the same force that causes the milk to boil over leads a volcano to erupt, and the latter event is intrinsically no more important than the former.

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