RAABE, ra'be, Wilhelm, German novelist and poet: b. Eschershausen, duchy of Bruns wick, 8 Sept. 1831: d. 15 Nov. 1910, in the city of Braunschweig. After attending the gymna sia in Holzminden and Wolfenbattel, he en tered a book store as apprentice in 1849. He used this opportunity for wide reading and enriched himself with the tales and folklore of his own and other countries. In 1855 he en tered the University of Berlin to study the humanities. In the autumn of 1856 appeared his first book, (Die Chronik der Sperlingsgasse,) under the pseudonym Jakob Corvinus. The book, which contains sketches of life among the German bourgeoisie, was very successful and Raabe became well known. Being thus encouraged he gave up his studies and devoted himself entirely to literary work. From 1862 to 1870 he lived in Stuttgart. Then he again returned to Braunschweig and remained active until the end of the century, publishing upwards of 30 novels and a number of short stones and sketches.
His life work may be divided into three periods. During the first he wrote with a light touch, producing a series of pictures of Ger man life from the abundance of his imagina tion and experience, among which are 'Die Chronik der (1856), 'Die Kinder von Finkenrode) (1859) and Herrgotts Kanzlei) (1862). The influence of the pessimism of Schopenhauer is evident dur ing the second period. Representative works of this period are (Der (1864), Telfan' (1867), and (Der Schfid derump' (1870). These three works are sometimes re
ferred to as a trilogy. While they are indepen dent of each other in substance, they do rep resent a distinct epoch in the life of Raabe.
'During the third period of the novelist's life his works no longer show this pessimistic strain A genial humor pervades them, though they frequently deal with serious subjects. (Horacker) (1876) perhaps best represents this tendency. 'Der Dratunling) (1872), and
Raabe has been continually gaining in the estimation of the German people. This was especially shown at the celebration of his 70th birthday in 1901. He is perhaps the most dis tinctly German of modern novelists and story writers. There is hardly a situation in the life of the average German that has not been portrayed by Raabe. His early works were in fluenced to some extent by Jean Paul. Later he also shows evidences of having read Dickens and Thackeray. In 1911 a selection of Raabe's poems was published. Consult Brandes, W., (Wilhelm Raabe) (Wolfenbiittel and Berlin 1906) Gerber, Paul, 'Wilhelm Raabe, Eine Wfirdigung seiner Dichtungen) (Leipzig 1897) ; 'Gesammelte Erzahlungen) (2d ed., Berlin 1901) ; Spiero, H., 'Wilhelm Raabe) (Bielefeld 1911).