Hugo Friedrich

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Hugo Friedrich

Hugo Friedrich (born December 24, 1904 in Karlsruhe , † February 25, 1978 in Freiburg im Breisgau ) was a German Romanist . In addition to his research on classical French literature , which resulted in several book publications, his structural analysis of modern poetry is considered a milestone. As an excellent rhetorician, he inspired his audiences in lectures with equally sophisticated and understandable formulations of even complex issues.

life and work

After graduating from the Goethe-Gymnasium Karlsruhe , Friedrich studied German , philosophy , Romance studies and art history in Heidelberg and Munich , despite strong musical inclinations . After receiving his doctorate in Heidelberg in 1928, still studying German, he completed his habilitation in Cologne in 1934 with the widely acclaimed thesis on "Anti-Romantic Thinking in France". In 1937 he was appointed to the University of Freiburg im Breisgau , where, despite several appointments from other universities, he taught until his retirement in 1970.

Hugo Friedrich became a member of the NSDAP on January 1, 1938 , although in connection with the appointment procedure to the University of Freiburg he was described as "neither technically nor ideologically suitable for the exercise of this office" and a number of alternatives to him were put forward . In connection with the appointment to the Berlin Romance Studies chair in 1942, which Friedrich refused, he, like Fritz Schalk , who was also on the appointment list, was then attested to having “exaggerated intellectualism and political disinterest”.

Although he strictly refused to found his own school, his teaching spread to seven post-doctoral students and has influenced Romance studies to this day. With his works he became famous far beyond the boundaries of his field.

Friedrich's focus was on the form and structure of literature at least as much as its content; With his work The Structure of Modern Poetry , he also had the greatest successes (14 editions):

“Poetry ... has always known moments in which the verse rose to an intrinsic power of sound that is more compelling than its content. (...) But in such cases older poetry never revealed the content, rather sought to increase its meaning through the dominant sound. (...) Since the European Romanticism, other conditions have emerged. (...) The function of communication and the function of being an independent organism of musical force fields are more distinct than before. (...) The possibility has been recognized of creating a poem by means of a combinatorial system that switches with the sounding and rhythmic elements of language as if with magical formulas. From them, not from the thematic planning, a meaning arises - a floating, indefinite meaning, the mysteriousness of which is embodied less by the core meanings of the words than by their tonal powers and semantic fringes. "

Hugo Friedrich was married three times and had two children from the second marriage.

Awards and honors

Fonts (selection)


  • Erich Köhler : Obituary for Hugo Friedrich (December 24, 1904 - February 25, 1978). In: Yearbook of the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences for 1979 , Heidelberg 1980, pp. 60–62.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Frank-Rutger Hausmann : Also a national science? The German Romance Studies under National Socialism , in: Romance Journal for Literature History 22, 1998, p. 262 (Reprints from the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg) [1]
  2. Frank-Rutger Hausmann: Werner Krauss and the "war effort" of the German Romanists 1940-1941 , special prints from the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität, p. 28, note 40
  3. ibid., P. 35
  4. ^ History of the Romance Department at the University of Freiburg
  5. ^ Hugo Friedrich, The Structure of Modern Poetry , 3rd edition of the extended new edition, Hamburg 1970, p. 50.