Max Dauthendey

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Max Dauthendey

Max Dauthendey (* as Maximilian Albert Dauthendey on July 25, 1867 in Würzburg , † August 29, 1918 in Malang on Java ) was a German poet and painter .


Origin and youth

Max Dauthendey was born in Würzburger Büttnersgasse 2 (today Büttnerstraße) as the eighth child of the daguerreotypist and photographer Carl Albert Dauthendey and the second child of his second wife Charlotte Karoline.

The father, born on November 1, 1819 in Aschersleben in the Harz Mountains, came to Russia as a trained mechanic and optician at the age of 23 in October 1843 and founded a company in St. Petersburg a . a. two studios for daguerreotypes on Nevsky Prospect , which he was the first to introduce in the tsarist empire. There he married his first wife Anna Olschwang, the daughter of a Hanau rabbi . The children Olga and Konstantin died very early. This was followed by the four daughters Anna, Marie, Dorothea and Elisabeth . In 1855 Carl Dauthendey's first wife committed suicide .

On November 1, 1857, Dauthendey's father married Charlotte Karoline Friedrich, who came from a German family and was born in St. Petersburg on May 11, 1837. A first son, Kaspar, was born in St. Petersburg on February 23, 1860, before Carl Dauthendey and his family left Russia for business reasons and finally built up a new professional life in Würzburg in 1864 at the age of 48. His second wife also died on June 11, 1873 of a lung disease on the Würzburg estate " Neue Welt " when Max Dauthendey, the first child born in Germany, was six years old. This manor at Leutfresserweg 32 with its residents and guests was to gain great importance for Dauthendey.

After his first studio in Max's birthplace, the successful businessman was able to have a stately residential and commercial building with two studios and workshops built on the newly laid out Kaiserstrasse at number 9, which he and his children moved into in May 1876. As successful as Carl Dauthendey was in business terms, the business succession by one of his sons that was expected as a matter of course did not materialize. The older son Kaspar learned to be a photographer and showed talent and commitment, but could not submit to his authoritarian father. Because of the arguments with his father and to escape the unpopular three years of military service, Kaspar went to the USA. In a fit of paranoia, he shot himself there on February 15, 1885 in Philadelphia . That left only Max as a potential successor to his father's business. However, he never left any doubt that he did not feel any inclination for such an activity, but rather wanted to pursue his artistic ambitions. After his mother's untimely death, it was mainly the older step-sisters who took care of his upbringing and school career alongside his father. The relationship with his father had been tense since early childhood, as he already suspected that Max would not develop in his favor. Max later recalled how when he was nine years old he felt the dog whip for a minor offense when his father treated him in a flaring anger like his former Russian serfs .

As a child around ten years old, his father took him on long walks through Würzburg. However, his father's stories and explanations only caught his attention when, for once, they were not of a technical nature, but related to nature and its beauty. His father soon realized that Max did not feel drawn to a technical-practical profession:

“The love for machines and everything related to them is innate to me and runs in my blood. But you have no sense for it. I'm personally sorry, but I can't blame you for it. You are a dreamer!"

- Max Dauthendey : The spirit of my father

In October 1880, a school remnant imposed for poor performance was the cause of the 13-year-old's first attempt to escape from his parents' home, which, however, ended in Aschaffenburg . As early as Christmas 1883 he wished to be able to leave school. While still at school, the 17-year-old, influenced by stories and a travel book that he had wanted as the only Christmas present, came up with the plan to go to the Dutch colony of Java as a soldier. His father finally realized that learning science subjects was wasted time for his musically inclined son. However, he was able to persuade him to hold out for another three years in order to gain authorization for one-year voluntary military service with the exam, thereby saving himself the usual three-year service and not repeating the mistake his older brother made. In 1886, Max Dauthendey passed the one-year exam after failing. As a reward, in the spring of 1886, his father financed a journey of several months through central Germany, which took him to Dresden, Berlin, Magdeburg, Dessau, Naumburg and Weimar.

In an unpopular profession

Dauthendey had to give up his wish to become a painter after his return to Munich and begin an apprenticeship as a photographer in his father's studio. With the arguments that the basis for livelihood was paramount, that the studio offered itself as a “gold mill” and that painting and poetry were not excluded, his father was able to prevail again. In 1888, in his free time, he wrote his first epic entitled “Unter Maien. An old-time spring fair “, which Max dedicated to his father as a Christmas present. He still complied with his father's will, but it was only a temporary compromise that exacerbated the fundamental conflict and merely postponed a final decision.

In the spring of 1889 Max was given the opportunity to do a three-month traineeship in a Geneva lithographic institute. Then in the summer of that year he fled to his maternal relatives in Russia without much preparation or knowledge from his father and stayed there in St. Petersburg for half a year. This breakout of his professional constraints and his father's strictness was followed by an equally hasty engagement to one of his cousins ​​in Berlin before he returned to Würzburg.

In 1890/91 Max met the two philosophy and medical students Arnold Villinger and Siegfried Löwenthal , with whom he developed an enthusiastic friendship. Since the death of his second wife in the "New World" , his father had been on friendly terms with its residents. Max had already met Gertraud Rostosky , nine years his junior , who later became a painter, when he was a child . She described how she met Dauthendey again later:

“On a Sunday in May [1890 dV] I went to church with my mother. Two young men passed us on the Old Main Bridge, who immediately turned and greeted us. It was Max Dauthendey and his friend, medical student Arnold Villinger, who came from the Guttenberg Forest with bouquets of may flowers. The warmth and the naturalness with which Max introduced his friend to us made the encounter a festive introduction to my youth experience "

- Gertraud Rostosky : "Max Dauthendey - how I experienced him", p. 14

When the three friends were invited to the “New World”, it became their preferred meeting point and the beginning of a diverse intellectual exchange of artistic, philosophical and ideological thoughts and ideas. For Dauthendey it was a return to a place of his childhood that had acquired special significance through the death of his mother there.

Emancipation and poetic beginnings

The development of his own views of life and models of explaining the world led to an acceleration of the process of alienation from the constraints in his father's house, but also to a growing inner security with regard to his calling as a poet. He thought about a new understanding of religion and worldliness, which resulted in the idea of ​​his own philosophy of life, the core of which he called the all-soul "world festival". He gave up his original desire to become a painter and tried his hand at first poetic exercises alongside his professional activity. The long-simmering conflict finally led to his physical and psychological breakdown in April 1891. His father felt compelled to have him admitted to a mental hospital. His two friends finally brought him to the "New World" to recover.

His childhood friend and future friend Gertraud Rostosky, who lived with her mother and grandmother on the "New World", described Dauthendey's condition:

“I hardly recognized Max when I saw him come across the courtyard about two weeks after his arrival in the New World, led by Löwenthal and Villinger. He was emaciated to a skeleton, trembling all over and looked like a ghost with his deathly pale face and dark protective glasses over his eyes. "

- Gertraud Rostosky : Max Dauthendey - as I experienced him, pp. 25/26

Dauthendey began after his recovery in May 1891 in the course of the year with smaller works and publications in the "Modern Rundschau" as well as with the opening chapters of his first impressionistic novel "Josa Gerth", which had the "New World" as its main scene. This first talent test, published at the Edgar Pierson publishing house in Dresden at the end of 1892, was influenced by Jens Peter Jacobsen's novel “Niehls Lyhne”, which had made a lasting impression on Dauthendey.

In Berlin artist circles

Shortly before Christmas 1891 there was a final break with his father. Dauthendey broke the clutches between home and work and suddenly went to Berlin . But just a few days later, on December 29, 1891, he wrote a letter to his father asking for money. He had obviously given up and was ready to give him monthly support to secure the material existence of the budding poet.

Until 1893 he stayed with the Friedrichshagener poet circle and had contacts with Stanislaw Przybyszewski . He processed Przybyszewski's relationship to Dagny Juel and her relationship to Edvard Munch as a triangular story in his bohemian comedy Maja (1911). In the Friedrichshagener poet circle he maintained connections to Bruno Wille , Ola Hansson , Laura Marholm and Richard Dehmel . He is called "Mimosa Pudica" by Przybyszewski because he attracted attention with his astonishingly fine, elegant and oversensitive manner.

In the spring of 1892 Dauthendey traveled to Munich . He ceded the travel money that his friend Villinger had received from his mother for a visit to Venice , so that Dauthendey could take the trip in his place.

Dauthendey felt, reinforced by the conflict situation with his father, an unfulfilled urge for friendship and security, which increased so much in relation to Siegfried Löwenthal that he felt threatened and distanced himself. After Dauthendey's visit to Löwenthal in Brieg in the autumn of 1892, there were exuberant outbursts of emotion. Suicide threats were intended to force him to remain in the vicinity of Löwenthal, so that he was again admitted to a sanatorium, the “Asyl-Neufriedberg” for “mentally ill” people near Munich.

Back in Berlin, his childhood friends were joined by new friendships with poets and painters. Richard Dehmel, who became aware of him through Dauthendey's recently published novel “Josa Gerth”, coined the word “color poet” for him due to the colourfulness of the language used. The Edward Munch exhibition and encounters with Stefan George , Hugo von Hofmannsthal and August Strindberg as well as the examination of their works had an impact on his development. However, the Nordic writers had a special influence on him.

The reactions to his early publications were very disappointing, however. In particular, the volume of poetry “Ultra-Violett”, which he described as a collection of his first youthful poetry and which was published in 1893, was dismissed in the reviews of the major daily newspapers. For a long time he was unable to overcome his disappointment at the public lack of understanding. The lack of success also resulted in the continuation of his economic misery. However, this was characteristic of his whole life, since even in times of good income his inability to deal with money and an inadequate lifestyle made him repeatedly dependent on the help and support of his friends and acquaintances.

Sweden, Paris and marriage

In March 1893 and spring 1894 he came to Kville near Gothenburg at the invitation of the Swedish writer Carl Gustaf Uddgren (1865–1927). In London he made the acquaintance of the American artist couple Theodosia and James Durand. He also came into contact with Frank Wedekind there. Relations with Würzburg and in particular with the “New World” did not break off. At the end of 1894, Dauthendey completely surprisingly proposed marriage to his childhood friend Gertraud Rostosky; at the same time as his friend Villinger. Dauthendey's stepsister, Elisabeth , intrigued against such a connection, since in her opinion, for the poet-to-be, whom she jealously monitored, only a rich marriage would be possible in order to enable free and undisturbed work. For Rostosky, the decision for Dauthendey would have been out of the question. Despite all subsequent misunderstandings, insults and temporary estrangements, Dauthendey remained her great love. In October 1894 in Stockholm Dauthendey met Uddgren's bride at the time, Annie Johanson, the daughter of a Swedish wholesale merchant, whom he immediately glorified in poetry.

At the end of 1894, when he met his father for the first time since the separation, he described a reception like a “young hero returning home”. His father asked his forgiveness for his tough demeanor. Dauthendey then confessed to him his love for Annie Johanson, whom he intended to marry soon.

In Paris he met again with Uddgren and Annie Johanson. Quite surprisingly, he married Uddgren's former bride after her betrothal on May 6, 1896 in Jersey and moved with her to Paris. There they lived in contact with the Dauthendey from London known couple Durand.

Dauthendey's father died on September 5, 1896 in Würzburg. In 1893 he had already handed over his studio to the photographer Ferdinand Bauer. From 1896 Georg Glock became the owner of the studio "Dauthendey's C., Successor" and two years later the owner of the entire residential and commercial building.

In his book The Spirit of My Father , Dauthendey tells a mysterious story about the death of his father. Accordingly, he smoked cigarettes that were made especially for him from Turkish tobacco. On September 5, 1896 - Dauthendey was then living young married in Paris - it seemed to Dauthendey at exactly 12.30 p.m. that soap, water and his hands smelled strongly of bitter Turkish takak. He had neither smoked nor were there cigarettes in the house. Annie, his wife, who never knew his father, couldn't smell tobacco on his hands. When the young couple returned from shopping around 3 p.m., they received a telegram. Annie and Dauthendey looked at each other and said, as if struck by the same thought: "This is a death report". It was the same: Dauthendey's father died that same noon, at 12.30 p.m., in Würzburg.

His father's inheritance was supposed to free the Dauthendey couple from their economic hardship for a while. Just 14 days after his father's funeral both traveled to Taormina in Sicily . At the beginning of November they returned to Paris after they had recognized Dauthendey's romantic ideas of securing their livelihood through farming as unrealistic.

Mexico trip

They spent the winter of 1896/97 in an inn on Boulevard Montparnasse . Like Strindberg and Munch, they ate lunch in Madame Charlotte's “cremerie” on Rue de la Chaumiere. After the inheritance matters had been clarified, Dauthendey received his share, but was surprised to find that the hoped-for level of interest would not be enough for her desired lifestyle. Together with the Durands, plans were drawn up for the establishment of an artists' colony in America. When the substance of the inheritance had to be attacked, Dauthendey decided to move to Mexico. At the beginning of May 1897 they followed the Americans who had already gone. After a four-week stay in Brittany where they were described Southampton and New York to Veracruz . In Mexico they met again with the Durands. After a short time in the tropical country, however, Dauthendey realized that neither an economic livelihood could be achieved nor would the hoped-for artistic inspirations arise here:

"I would rather be a stone knocker, street sweeper and beggar at the church doors of Europe than to stay in a country whose nature, its palm trees and volcanoes, its agave plantations, sugar cane and coffee trees will never give me a German song."

- Max Dauthendey : Thoughts from my wandering years, 1913

In the novel “Raubmenschen”, published in 1911, he processed his Mexican travel experiences and impressions into literature. In December 1897, after a round trip through the Gulf of Mexico via New Orleans , they both traveled back to the Old World, where they reached Le Havre in early February 1898 after a stormy passage through the Atlantic .

Greece, Paris, Berlin and Munich

In Paris both decided to seek a separate recovery from their exertions. His wife decided to stay with her father in Sweden, while Dauthendey traveled through Greece in April / May 1898 with the archaeologist and writer Karl Gustav Vollmoeller . The two visited Athens and the ancient sites in the Peloponnese . In May 1898 Dauthendey met his wife again in Würzburg on the "New World".

The years 1899 to 1906 were characterized by frequent changes of residence. The Dauthendeys stayed together and sometimes separately from November 1898 to February 1899 in Berlin and in the spring of 1899 in Paris, where they were overtaken by the usual financial difficulties. From October 1899 to April 1900, Munich was her domicile, followed by stops on the “New World” in Würzburg from May to September 1900 and in the summer of 1901 after a spring in Florence . They stayed in Paris until February 1902, then in Munich, where Dauthendey was a regular at the bohemian meeting places “Cafe Dichtelei”, “Simplicissimus” and “Stefanie” . In the winter of 1903/04 he intensified his relationship with Gertraud Rostosky and lived with her in Paris, while in 1903 his wife had a relationship with Olaf Gulbransson in Munich for several months .

Permanent financial misery

Dauthendey was one of the type of artist for whom only his own ideas were decisive and who fully relied on the support of those around him for such mundane things as worrying about daily life. However, since his friends and acquaintances did not always meet these expectations, economic bottlenecks, even hardship, were the constant companions of Dauthendey and his wife, which determined his life as well as his urge to travel and his longing for exotic places.

The brief idea of ​​alleviating the constant financial misery with an embroidery school failed in April / May 1903, as did the earlier plans for a farm. On April 16, 1903 he wrote to his wife:

“Because I am among such young stupid people who all calculate and never know how to spend artistically. They are all young, selfish people who argue and act like schoolboys. "

- Geibig, p. 36

He continued to earn his living largely from loans and gifts, advances and rare fees. As an artist, he considered himself entitled to make high demands on his way of life and to show a certain insensitivity to the property of others. His friend, the painter Gertrud Rostosky, even sold pictures to donate the proceeds to Dauthendey.

First trip around the world

Dauthendey needed stimuli for his poetic activity, which he wanted to gain again by traveling. At the end of December 1905, he set out on his first world tour, which took him to Egypt, India, China, Japan and America. Back in Würzburg, he and his wife moved into an apartment on the third floor at Sanderring 23 in Würzburg on July 3, 1906, which both officially used until 1918 (even after moving to the "Waldhaus" inaugurated in 1913). The experiences of the world tour and a longer stay in Würzburg from October 1907 to December 1909 enabled a phase of great poetic productivity. In 1910, the Albert Langen publishing house took over the publication of his works from Juncker-Verlag. Dauthendey was able to achieve a great success with the drama “The Gadgets of an Empress”. In Berlin around this time he also made the acquaintance of Robert Walser and Rainer Maria Rilke .

The "forest house"

Max Dauthendey's "Waldhaus" in Guggelesgraben 37

In the spring of 1912, Dauthendey had an unusually large amount of money at his disposal due to a fee from his publisher of 900 marks. The desire expressed to his wife on a walk to have his own house in an idyllic location prompted a farmer from Höchberg , who had overheard the conversation by chance, to give Dauthendey a piece of land on Leutfresserweg (on which the “Zur Neuen Welt” estate is located) reaching Guggelesgraben for sale. Dauthendey spontaneously accepted the offer and bought the one acre meadow property for 600 marks . As early as 1911, he had dealt with drafts for a house in the Japanese style. Now he commissioned the construction of a "garden pavilion with a kitchen house". He had to take out a mortgage for the construction sum of 25,000 marks that had finally accrued and borrow money again from good friends. The house was inaugurated in the spring of 1913. On July 25, 1913, on the occasion of his birthday, Dauthendey presented the new home to his old friend Gertraud Rostosky and her mother. On parting, however, he visually admitted:

“No, that can never be a 'dear old house', the walls are lacking in soul. First many experiences, perhaps of entire generations, are part of it, in order to give him the vitality that comes to the aid of the creative. "

- Gertraud Rostosky, p. 82

Building the house also turned out to be a bad investment for very mundane reasons, as Dauthendey had overlooked or ignored the fact that the road and water access was not secured. Prolonged rainfall this spring temporarily cut off the new home from the environment. After receiving a donation of 1,000 RM from the Schiller Society, Dauthendey left his dream home forever on August 23, 1913 and took the train to Italy . He also used part of the mortgage loan taken out to finance the home for the cost of the trip.

Second world tour and death in Java

After the trip to Italy, Dauthendey was back in Berlin. With the start of his second trip around the world - financed by Albert Langen-Verlag and Norddeutscher Lloyd - on April 15, 1914 in Bremen , his fateful journey began. Via Antwerp, Gibraltar, Algiers, Genoa, Naples, Messina, Port Said, Aden and Singapore, he finally reached Weltevreden , a suburb of Batavia on Java, on June 24, 1914 . The desire to travel to German New Guinea delayed the planned return date. The First World War , which began on August 1, 1914, caused the Netherlands, as opponents of the German Empire, to intern German nationals in the colony of the Dutch East Indies , today's Indonesia . Dauthendey also met this fate when he returned to Java from German New Guinea. Although his wife won influential acquaintances to lobby for Dauthendey's release, even such well-known personalities as Romain Rolland and Bernhard Shaw were unable to secure his return to Germany. Dauthendey, who suffered from malaria at the beginning of his forced residency in Java, spent four years in different places such as Medan (on Sumatra ), Garoet, Soerabaia and Tosari. He suffered increasingly from physical complaints, especially he was plagued by rheumatoid arthritis. The treatment by the German tropical doctor Wilhelm Schüffner made it possible for him to recover, which he used to travel to Java. Many of his poems and watercolors were created here . At least as badly as his physical pain, the pain of separating his wife and home also hit him. In a letter to his wife he wrote:

“I won't be able to take the pressure any longer. It's too long, I'm not only separated from you, but also from my climate, from my language, from my homeland, from all the memories a poet needs, and also from the graves. [...] I miss everything every second. "

- Heinz Otremba : Max Dauthendey died 80 years ago, Frankenland 1998, p. 192

Shortly before the end of the war, he died of malaria on August 29, 1918 at the age of 51. His remains were transferred from Malang to Würzburg by his wife on May 24, 1930 at the instigation of his hometown. The then Lord Mayor Hans Löffler ensured that Dauthendey was buried in the former Lusamgärtchen , which was located in the garden of the Franconian Luitpold Museum on Maxstraße, near Walther von der Vogelweide in the presence of Dauthendey's sister and his wife. After the catastrophic destruction of Würzburg on March 16, 1945, which also destroyed the Luitpold Museum, the Dauthendeys coffin was moved to the family grave (1st section to the right of the funeral hall) in the Würzburg main cemetery on March 21, 1951 as part of the urban reconstruction the poet's final resting place. His parents, his half-sister Elisabeth and his brother Kaspar are also in the grave, which is cared for by the cemetery administration.

Fate of wife and sister Elisabeth

Dauthendey's wife Annie also died under tragic circumstances at the end of the Second World War when she was fleeing from Silesia and was killed in an air raid on Dresden on the night of February 13-14, 1945 . A large part of her husband's original 300 watercolors were lost.

His half-sister Elisabeth, who was particularly successful as a writer with her fairy tales and novels and who as a “ half-Jewish woman ” could no longer publish during the Nazi era , died on April 18, 1943 in Würzburg.

Services and reception

The free and rhythmic poetry and prose determined by colors and tones made Dauthendey one of the most important representatives of Impressionism in Germany. His works are determined by the love for nature and its aesthetics. With a virtuoso talent for languages, he converted his sensitivity for sensual impressions into impressionistic word art.

Stefan George said of his poems that they "are the only thing that is now completely new in all of literature [...] a peculiar art that can be enjoyed more richer than music and painting, since it is both together."

Already his first collection of poems from 1893 with the title “Ultra-Violet” shows the beginnings of an impressionistic visual power that reveals poetically designed perception of colors, smells, tones and moods. In his later nature and love poetry this increased to the glorification of the sensual and erotic and met with his philosophy, which understood life and the world as a festival, as a panpsychic "world festival". Rilke described him as "one of our most sensual poets, in an almost Eastern concept"

The novellas as lyrical-impressionistic mood pictures with personal travel experiences let you feel freshness and narrative pleasure. The collections “Lingam” (1909) and “The eight faces from Lake Biwasee” (1911) mark the artistic high point of his work.

Dauthendey's novels were not so successful, some of which lack a consistent plot and suffer from the lack of individual personalization. In addition to the travel descriptions, the autobiographical writings in particular can claim literary and historical significance. His typical technique of stringing together pictures and scenes in color, improvising and achronologically, underlines and increases the effect of the narrative content.

With the colorful imagery of his early works, Dauthendey set himself apart from naturalism and, with his linguistic dynamics and sometimes radical abstraction in his later works, went beyond the Impressionist design means, so that he can be considered one of the forerunners of literary expressionism . In the later poetry, however, ornamental-decorative patterns were used in places, which led to a linguistic flattening.

During the National Socialist era , Dauthendey's work and person met with official rejection. For example, one of the leading literary historians in the Nazi era, Adolf Bartels , noted with a view to the Far Eastern locations of the Dauthendey novellas and narratives that the author “must now be regarded as an exoticist”. August Diehl as head of the Reichsschrifttumskammer in Mainfranken wrote in the “Mainfränkischer Kalender” of 1937, the official yearbook of the NSDAP in the Gau Mainfranken , the party official verdict on Dauthendey as a poet with the “never-ending, almost exclusive basic theme of a completely Un-Germanic glorification of sexual love as a cosmic ardor. ”The poet-philosopher and his“ world festivity ”, which ran counter to any national sense of community, were most decidedly rejected. Their prophet Dauthendey was thus declared to be the "counter-footer [of] the National Socialist worldview".

Today his work is not only one of the Franconian classics, but also has a permanent place in German literature.


Prose, novels and short stories

Max Dauthendey: “Last Journey”. The cover picture shows the coast of New Guinea, painted by Max Dauthendey
Illustrations by Emil Rudolf Weiß for The Unavoidable
  • Early prose. From the estate 1890-1894 (including impressions of Würzburg. A fairy tale of the future. Nordland in Farben, 1967)
  • Josa Gerth (1892)
  • Lingam (1909)
  • The winged earth (1910)
  • Maja (1911)
  • Predators (1911)
  • The eight faces on Lake Biwas (1911)
  • Hearing the night rain raining in Karasaki (1911)
    • New editions: Langen Müller, Munich / Vienna 1957, and dtv, Munich 1980, ISBN 3-423-01571-3 .
  • My Father's Spirit (1912)
  • Thoughts from my wandering years (1913)
  • The sinking hour of the "Titanic". On the anniversary of April 16, 1913 (1913)
  • Tales from the Four Winds (1915)
  • The fairy tale letter book of the holy nights in the Javanese lands (1921)
  • Experiences in Java (1924)
  • Far Eastern Stories (1930)
  • The festive world tour of the poet Max Dauthendey. A selection from his works (1935)
  • The garden without seasons and other stories (1954)
  • The Most Beautiful Stories (1956)
  • Seven Seas took me in (1957)
  • Early prose (1967)


  • Sun. Longing (2 dramas, 1895)
  • An empress's gimmicks (1910)
  • Maja: Scandinavian bohemian comedy in three acts (1911)
  • A shadow fell across the table (1911)
  • Laugh and die. Five o'clock tea. Two tragic acts (1911)
  • Madame Zero. Schwank in three acts (1911)
  • Menagerie Krummholz. Fairground comedy in three acts (1911)
  • Mrs. Raufenbarth (1911)
  • We Walk by the Sea in Deep Sand (1918)
  • The Heathen Geilane (1925)
  • The Child (1925)


  • Rain scent (1893)
  • Ultra Violet (1893)
  • Black sun. Phallus (1897/1910)
  • Relics (1899)
  • The Eternal Wedding - The Burning Calendar (1905)
  • Chant book (1907)
  • The white sleep. Songs of the Long Nights (1908)
  • Lusamgärtlein (1909)
  • Spooky World (1910)
  • The winged earth (1910)
  • Selected songs from seven books (1914)
  • The Great War's Need (1915)
  • The Song of World Festival (1917)
  • Collected Poems (1930)


  • Last Voyage (1925)
  • Your picture calls me (1930)
  • A heart in the noise of the world (1933)
  • Star talk. Letters to the sister . Poems , Würzburg (Osthoff) 1996, ISBN 3-9805298-1-9

Work edition

  • Collected Works (6 volumes, 1925)


Memorial plaque on the "New World" u. a. with the name Max Dauthendeys

From 1934 to 2015 there was a Max Dauthendey Society in Würzburg, which kept the memory of the poet alive by nurturing and promoting his work.

As early as 1926, his hometown named a street in the Sanderau district after Max Dauthendey. The path leading to his “Waldhaus” near the Guggelesgraben was also named after him in 1930. On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of his death, the city of Würzburg had a memorial plaque put up on the “Zur Neuen Welt” estate in 1968, which lists Dauthendey alongside the residents and other guests. Dauthendey's birthplace, where the family had lived on the first floor for twelve years in a six-room apartment until 1876, was destroyed to the ground in the bombing raid on Würzburg on March 16, 1945 and later demolished. In 1982, for the 115th birthday of the poet, on the " Hertie -Haus" (today Modehaus Wöhrl ) standing in the immediate vicinity (Beim Grafeneckart 10) at the entrance to the Old Main Bridge , a Rottendorf painter and graphic artist Ossi Krapf Commemorative plaque donated by the Dauthendey Society. The house at Kaiserstraße 9, which he moved into in 1876, was also destroyed on March 16, 1945 (the Glocken-Apotheke building was later built in its place ), as did his third-floor apartment at Sanderring 23 at Löwenbrücke , after his first trip around the world in 1906 ". After all, a school has been named after him since 1969.

Literature chronologically

  • Carl Mumm: Max Dauthendey's language and style . Frankfurt am Main 1925.
  • Wilhelm Annecke: Max Dauthendey as a playwright . Univ. Diss. Halle 1934.
  • Annie Dauthendey: Würzburg in the poetry of Max Dauthendey . Triltsch, Würzburg-Aumühle 1936.
  • Herman George Wendt: Max Dauthendey: Poet-Philosopher . New York: Columbia Univ. Press, 1936; Zugl. Diss. Columbia University New York, 1936.
  • Wilhelm Kraemer: Max Dauthendey. Man and work . Nolte, Düsseldorf 1937.
  • Korfiz Holm: colored gloss. Memories of Ludwig Thoma, Max Dauthendey and Albert Langen . Langen / Müller, Munich 1940.
  • Erika Valerie Stieber: Max Dauthendeys 'devotion to life' . Vienna 1941.
  • Wilhelm Bietak:  Dauthendey, Max Albert. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 3, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1957, ISBN 3-428-00184-2 , pp. 531-533 ( digitized version ).
  • Hermann Gerstner: Max Dauthendey and Franken 1958, reprinted in Frankenland 1993, p. 1 ff. (PDF).
  • Klaus Seyfarth: The narrative work of art Max Dauthendeys . Zugl. Dissertation 1959, Marburg an der Lahn 1960.
  • Max Rößler: On the way home of the poet Max Dauthendey . Echter, Würzburg 1967.
  • Edmund Klaffki: Max Dauthendeys lyrical beginnings. Ultra violet and early poetry based on the manuscripts from the estate . Mag.-Work. Frankfurt am Main 1975.
  • Herbert Günther: German poets experience Paris. Uhland, Heine, Hebbel, Wedekind, Dauthendey, Holz, Rilke, Zweig . Neske, Pfullingen 1979.
  • Elisabeth Veit: Fiction and Reality in Poetry. Literary world models between 1890 and 1918 in the poetry of Max Dauthendeys, Richard Dehmels and Alfred Momberts . Univ. Diss. Munich 1987.
  • Hermann Gerstner (Ed.): Seven seas took me in. Max Dauthendey's life picture with documents from the estate . Ullstein book. Vol. 22238. Ullstein, Berlin 1990. ISBN 3-548-22238-2 .
  • Daniel Osthoff: Max Dauthendey. A bibliography . Osthoff, Würzburg 1991. ISBN 3-9802568-2-0 .
  • Kurt Illing (Ed.): In the footsteps of the poets in Würzburg. Hugendubel, Würzburg 1992.
  • Gabriele Geibig: The Würzburg poet Max Dauthendey (1867-1918). His legacy as a mirror of life and work . Writings from the Würzburg City Archives. Vol. 9. Schöningh, Würzburg 1992. ISBN 3-87717-766-2 .
  • Günther Hess: Max Dauthendey 1867–1992, speeches on his 125th birthday . Osthoff, Würzburg 1992. ISBN 3-9802568-6-3 .
  • Maria Noelle: Southeast Asia. Three exotic views of Southeast Asia. The travel narratives of Isabella Bird, Max Dauthendey, Ai Wu, 1850-1930 . White Plains, NY: Eastbridge, 2002.
  • Gertraud Rostosky : Max Dauthendey - how I experienced him . Issue 8 of the Max Dauthendey Society, Würzburg 2004, ISBN 3-935998-04-X .
  • Georg Hippeli: Through the year with Dauthendey. Mainfranken's nature reflected in Dauthendey's poetry . JHRöll, Dettelbach 2006. ISBN 3-89754-266-8 .
  • Gabriele Geibig-Wagner: Max Dauthendey. Poet, world traveler, outsider . In: Geschichte der Stadt Würzburg (2007), pp. 992–996.
  • Georg Hippeli (Ed.): I have so much to tell you ... love, lust and passion in poems by Max Dauthendey . JHRöll, Dettelbach 2008. ISBN 3-89754-287-0 .
  • Walter Roßdeutscher: Max Dauthendey and his family. The last Dauthendeys, compiled from texts by the poet, image documents by Carl Albert Dauthendey and own research . Osthoff, Würzburg 2009.
  • Mihaela Zaharia: Exotic worldviews in German-language literature from Max Dauthendey to Ingeborg Bachmann . Kovač, Hamburg 2009.
  • Aleksandra E. Rduch: Max Dauthendey. Gauguin of literature and vagabond of bohemian; with unpublished texts from the estate . Lang, Frankfurt am Main 2013.
  • Walter Roßdeutscher: Extremely expressive ... Max Dauthendey and his painterly work. A documentation with a catalog raisonné . Osthoff, Würzburg 2015.
  • Arne Klawitter: Aesthetic Response. Signs and writing aesthetics from East Asia in German-language literature and intellectual history . V&R unipress, Göttingen 2015. On Dauthendey and his aestheticization of Japan, pp. 323–361.
  • Rüdiger Görner: language light work. A poetological figure in Max Dauthendey's aesthetic self-positioning . In: Yearbook of the German Schiller Society, Volume LX, De Gruyter, Berlin 2016, electronic edition at
  • Friedrich Kröhnke : How Dauthendey died . Literaturverlag Droschl, Graz and Vienna 2017, ISBN 978-3-99059-003-4 .
  • Franconia . Journal of the Frankenbund e. V. - .
  • Daniel Osthoff (Ed.): Ernst Rowohlt - Max Dauthendey, who needed, adored and insulted each other. The young publisher and his second author in letters . Osthoff, Würzburg 2017.
  • Georg Hippeli (ed.): Max Dauthendey in Japan . JHRöll, Dettelbach 2017. ISBN 978-3-89754-498-7
  • Wolfdietrich Rasch (Ed.): Poetic prose around 1900 . : Max Niemeyer, Tübingen 2017. There: Flower life. The wave [1893]
  • Georg Hippeli (Ed.): Max Dauthendey: My Smeroe Ascent. Experiences on Java . JHRöll, Dettelbach 2019. ISBN 978-3-89754-554-0 .

Settings (selection) in chronological order

  • Conrad Ansorge : 5 songs Op. 15 - No. 4 You Passed By (1900)
  • Erwin Schulhoff : Gray Angels for voice and piano (1910/11)
  • Erwin Schulhoff : Let me by your silent eye for voice and piano (1910/11)
  • Roland Bocquet : 5 songs based on poems by Dauthendey (1913) - Silence blows / My chair is in the sky / Of your body / On the apple trees there is a rosy crowd / The sky opens the blue door
  • Justus Hermann Wetzel : O Grille, sing for sting voice and piano (?)
  • Justus Hermann Wetzel : March Evening - Duet for 2 voices and piano (?)
  • Heinz Tiessen : Five Songs Op. 22 - Text: Max Dauthendey (No. 2 and No. 5) (1915)
  • Hermann Zilcher : No Cloud Keeps Silence, a dance song based on poems by Maximilian Dauthendey and Otto Julius Bierbaum for coloratura soprano, violin and piano, op.36 (1917)
  • Carl Schadewitz : The Burning Calendar - 12 love songs by Max Dauthendey op.11 (1918)
  • Norbert von Hannenheim : Songs based on poems by Max Dauthendey (before 1919) - Spring is on everyone's lips / Worries are plowing / Paths empty, seeing emptiness / And longing, the raging beauty / And thirsty, the night comes to everyone / And what are they all looking for?
  • Paul Graener : Four songs op. 50 (1919) - 3. The moon is like a fiery rose / 4. Am sweet purple clover field
  • Paul Graener : Four songs op. 52 (1920) - 3. We walk by the sea, in the deep sand / 4. The sky opens the blue door
  • Paul Graener : Prelude, Intermezzo and Aria based on verses by Max Dauthendey, Op. 84 for a high voice, viol (viola or violoncello) solo and chamber orchestra (1932) - Your eyes no longer hide anything / Oh, how happy and healthy love makes me
  • Heinrich Schalit : 6 love songs based on poems by Max Dauthendey op. 17 (1921) - The sky opens the blue door / Sun and stars will once be cold / Hear me, beloved mine / Your eyes / May / Love is now blooming everywhere
  • Josef Schelb : Three songs for soprano and piano based on poems by Max Dauthendey (1935) - Schwindender Mond / Rosenduft / The boats of Yabase
  • Artur Immisch : 2 poems from "The eight faces on Lake Biwasee" by Max Dauthendey for voice and piano (?) - On the lake / Gave you the sunny day today
  • Paul Hindemith : O Grille, sing (1942)
  • Heinz Tiessen : Three songs based on poems by Max Dauthendey for soprano and piano Op. 56 (1950) - Fresh snow on the mountain / March / The blackbirds have drunk the sun
  • Ottmar Gerster : Die Amsel for soprano and oboe (1955)
  • Heinz Tiessen : Die Amsel op.62 - Lyric Rhapsody and song cycle for voice and small orchestra Text: Max Dauthendey (1950) - Fresh snow on the mountain / Today I heard over the fields / Since the night with lanterns was still outside / Streams tremble silver [also udT The blackbird sang] / The blackbirds drank the sun
  • Bert Rudolf : The Eight Faces at the Biwasee Ballet (1957)
  • Stefan Schäfer (composer) : Moon songs based on poems by Max Dauthendey for soprano, violin, viola, violoncello and double bass (2013) - Traces of the moon / The moon that laughs without warmth / Two purple primroses / The moon is like a fiery rose / Night after night / Two black ravens / Moon musicians
  • Stefan Schäfer (composer) : Three songs based on poems by Max Dauthendey for soprano and clarinet (2015) - Faulbaumduft / Vollmond / Reif

Web links

Commons : Max Dauthendey  - Collection of images, videos and audio files
Wikisource: Max Dauthendey  - Sources and full texts

Individual evidence

  1. ^ NDB 3 (1957) .
  2. Ralph Bauer: New World and Java. Max Dauthendey. In: Kurt Illing (Ed.): In the footsteps of the poets in Würzburg. Self-published (print: Max Schimmel Verlag), Würzburg 1992, pp. 65–80; here: p. 67.
  3. ^ Walter Roßdeutscher: Carl Albert Dauthendey - first photographer 1819–1896 . In: Frankenland 1997, pages 121 ff.
  4. a b My Father's Spirit , 1912
  5. To the friendship of Max Dauthendey and Karl Vollmoeller ( Memento of the original from December 20, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  6. Ralph Bauer: New World and Java. Max Dauthendey. In: Kurt Illing (Ed.): In the footsteps of the poets in Würzburg. Self-published (print: Max Schimmel Verlag), Würzburg 1992, pp. 65–80; here: pp. 68–72.
  7. Ralph Bauer: New World and Java. Max Dauthendey. In: Kurt Illing (Ed.): In the footsteps of the poets in Würzburg. Self-published (print: Max Schimmel Verlag), Würzburg 1992, pp. 65–80; here: pp. 70–74.
  8. ^ Letter from Annie Dauthendey to Karl Willy Straub dated May 18, 1930. In: StAF T 1, Straub estate, Karl Willy
  9. Frankenland , 1975, p. 114
  10. Ralph Bauer: New World and Java. Max Dauthendey. In: Kurt Illing (Ed.): In the footsteps of the poets in Würzburg. Self-published (print: Max Schimmel Verlag), Würzburg 1992, pp. 65–80; here: pp. 77–79.
  11. Frankenland 1995, p. 179 ff.
  12. Andreas Sattler: Everything for a trip around the world . In: Die Zeit , No. 11/1958
  13. ^ Rilke in a letter to Hans Reinhard, Schloss Berg, November 29, 1920
  14. ^ Adolf Bartels: History of German Literature . 11th and 12th edition, Braunschweig 1933
  15. Heiner Reitberger: With Dauthendey no state could be made . In: Frankenland 1984, p. 165
  16. Heiner Reitberger: With Dauthendey no state could be made . In: Frankenland 1984, p. 166.
  17. Max-Dauthendey-Gesellschaft ( Memento of the original dated August 16, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  18. Ralph Bauer: New World and Java. Max Dauthendey. In: Kurt Illing (Ed.): In the footsteps of the poets in Würzburg. Self-published (print: Max Schimmel Verlag), Würzburg 1992, pp. 65–80; here: pp. 67–69.