Faber du Faur, Curt ˜vonœ 1890-1966

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Curt von Faber du Faur (1890-1966) was a Professor of German Literature at Yale University and Curator of the Yale Collection of German Literature at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library.

From the description of Curt von Faber du Faur papers, circa 1936-1966. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 702194647

Professor of German and Curator of German literature at Yale University. A rare book expert, he was also known for his work on Goethe and German Baroque literature.

From the description of Kurt von Faber du Faur papers, 1923-1966. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 462019109

Biographical Note

Curt von Faber du Faur (1890-1966) was Professor of German and Curator of German literature at Yale University. A rare book expert, he was also known for his work on Goethe and German Baroque literature.

Faber du Faur was born July 5, 1890 in Stuttgart, Germany. His father was a German army general, and his mother, Baroness Berthe Cotta von Cottendorf, came from a publishing family. After serving in the German army as a captain from 1909 to 1919, Faber du Faur studied in Munich and Giessen and published his dissertation in 1921. He then opened a rare book store in Munich, Karl und Faber, where he began his impressive collection of German literature from the Renaissance to 1871.

In 1928 he married the German-American Emma von Ploetz and moved in 1931 to Florence. Faber du Faur emigrated to the U.S. in 1939 and served as visiting lecturer at Harvard University before going to Yale in 1944 as a research associate professor and associate curator of the German collection. At this time he donated to his valuable collection of 7,000 rare volumes to Yale; other frequent donations followed. In 1951 he was promoted to full professor and curator. Although he retired in 1959, he kept his post as curator until his death in January 1966.

In 1965 the Federal Republic of Germany awarded him the Great Cross of Merit for making many friends for German literature in the United States.

Publications:

Curt von Faber du Faur and Kurt Wolff. Tausend Jahre deutscher Dichtung. 1927.

Curt von Faber du Faur, Konstantin Reichardt, and Heinz Bluhm, eds. Wächter und Hüter; Festschrift für Hermann J. Weigand zum 17. November 1957. New Haven: 1957.

Curt von Faber du Faur. Der Hausbuchmeister. Inaug.-Diss.-Giessen. Berlin: 1921.

--------. Deutsche Barocklyrik; eine Auswahl aus der Zeit von 1620-1720. Salzburg: 1936.

--------. German Baroque Literature. New Haven: 1958-69.

From the guide to the Kurt von Faber du Faur Papers, 1923-1966, (Stanford University. Libraries. Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives.)

Curt von Faber du Faur, Yale professor and Curator of the Yale Collection of German Literature, was born in Stuttgart, Germany, on July 5, 1890. In 1958, he provided this biographical information on a questionnaire sent to him by the Yale University Press, which was about to issue the first volume of his catalog, German Baroque Literature .

“I was an officer in the German Army, from 1909-1919. Left January 1919, studied History of Art and German Literature at Munich and Giessen. Settled as an antiquarian in Munich 1923. Transferred my home to Florence, Italy, 1931. Lived there farming olives, wheat and wine. Wrote criticism and articles for “Frankfurter Zeitung”. Emigrated to America, March, 1939. Was book collector since 1911. Offered my collection as a loan to Harvard University where it stood from 1939 to 1944. Lectured at Harvard. Sold the collection to Yale 1944. Became Research Associate, 1944, Research Professor February 1951.”

A few facts may be added to this modest autobiographical sketch. On his father’s side, Faber was descended from a distinguished military family and also from the French jurist and poet, Guy de Faur, seigneur de Pibrac (1529-84), a friend of Ronsard. Faber’s mother was descended from the Cottas, publishers to Goethe and numerous other writers.

In the army, Faber held the rank of lieutenant; his discharge came about because of illness. After graduate study in Munich and Giessen, he was awarded his PhD in art history by the latter university. His dissertation, on a late fifteenth-century south German engraver and painter, was published as Der Hausbuchmeister (Berlin, Gloria-Verlag, 1921).

During the 1920s, he was in contact with the circle around the poet Stefan George, where he met his future wife, Emma Schabert, née Mock, widow of Rufus Blake. Their marriage took place in 1928. (The Yale Collection of German Literature counts among its holdings Faber’s heavily annotated copies of George’s poetry cycles.)

Faber’s career as an antiquarian bookseller was distinguished. In 1923 he and Dr. Georg Karl founded the firm Karl & Faber in Munich, which grew to be one of Germany’s major auction houses for antiquarian books and art. The firm still does business, after several name changes, as Hartung & Hartung. Among the early catalogs published by the Karl & Faber was Sammlung Victor Manheimer . Deutsche Barockliteratur von Opitz bis Brockes (Katalog 27, 1927), which Faber wrote with Karl Wolfskehl.

While “farming olives, wheat and wine” in Italy in the 1930s, Faber also wrote and published a volume of poetry and three Expressionist plays: Uffizien. 14 Gedichte (Florence, 1933); Das grüne Blut. Dramatisches Gedicht (Munich, 1936); Der Abfall. Dramatisches Gedicht (Munich, 1937), and St. Satyros. Dramatisches Gedicht (Munich, 1937).

Oral tradition at Yale has always maintained that Curt von Faber du Faur abandoned Harvard in favor of Yale because Harvard did not grant him faculty rank. (In the retained administrative files of the Yale Collection of German Literature, there is a folder of material documenting the actual negotiations between Yale and Faber.) At Yale, his initial appointment was as Research Associate in German Literature and Bibliography and Associate Curator of the German Literature Collection (Carl Schreiber was still curator of the Speck Collection at that time). By 1951 he had been promoted to Research Professor in German Literature and Bibliography and by 1955 he was sole curator of the library collection. During these years he held visiting lectureships at Columbia University (1949/50) and in the Middlebury College summer school (1951).

Faber was a fellow of Davenport College at Yale and a trustee of the Yale Library Associates. His major honors included the Yale Medal (1964), the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of German ( Bundesverdienstkreuz, 1965), and the gold Goethe Medal of the Goethe Institut (1966). He was a member of the Deutsche Akademie für Sprache und Dichtung in Darmstadt. Among his friends were Richard Alewyn, Ernst Hauswedell, Paul Hindemith, Thornton Wilder, and Karl Wolfskehl.

Through his collecting, writing, and teaching, Curt von Faber du Faur envigorated the study of seventeenth-century German literature in the United States. The two-volume bibliography of his book collection was for a long time a standard bibliographical reference in the field of German baroque literature; its discursive chapter introductions still serve as a general introduction to the field. See “The Legacy of Curt Faber du Faur to the United States” ( Colloquia Germanica 25 [1992], 195–209) by Blake Lee Spahr, probably Faber’s most prominent student.

From the guide to the Curt von Faber du Faur papers, circa 1936-1966, (Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Raphael, Alice, 1887-1975. Alice Raphael papers, 1917-1977. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Faber du Faur, Curt von, 1890-1966. Curt von Faber du Faur papers, circa 1936-1966. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Broch, Hermann, 1886-1951. Hermann Broch archive, 1872-1990 (inclusive) 1930-1951 (bulk). Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Faber du Faur, Curt von, 1890-1966. Correspondence to Adolf Klarmann, 1950-1951. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
creatorOf Curt von Faber du Faur papers, circa 1936-1966 Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Kurt von Faber du Faur Papers, 1923-1966 Stanford University. Libraries. Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives.
referencedIn Hermann Broch archive, 1872-1990s, 1930-1951 Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Henel, Heinrich. Heinrich Henel papers, 1929-1966. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Yale University. Library. Correspondence to Adolf Klarmann, 1949. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
referencedIn Helen and Kurt Wolff papers, 1888-1994 Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Richard Beer-Hofmann correspondence, 1882-1967. Houghton Library
creatorOf Faber du Faur, Curt von, 1890-1966. Kurt von Faber du Faur papers, 1923-1966. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
referencedIn Wolff, Helen, 1906-1994. Helen and Kurt Wolff papers, 1888-1994. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Alice Raphael Papers, 1917-1977 Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Arnim, Bettina von, 1785-1859 person
associatedWith Arnim, Bettina von, 1785-1859. person
associatedWith Babb, James T. (James Tinkham), 1899-1968. person
correspondedWith Beer-Hofmann, Richard, 1866-1945 person
associatedWith Broch, Hermann, 1886-1951. person
associatedWith George, Stefan Anton, 1868-1933. person
associatedWith Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von, 1749-1832. person
associatedWith Gryphius, Andreas, 1616-1664. person
associatedWith Henel, Heinrich. person
associatedWith Hoffmansthal, Hugo von. person
associatedWith Hoffmansthal, Hugo von. person
associatedWith Knollenberg, Bernhard, 1892-1973. person
associatedWith Moscherosch, Johann Michael, 1601-1669. person
associatedWith Raphael, Alice, 1887-1975. person
associatedWith Reichardt, Konstantin. person
associatedWith Seymour, Charles, 1885-1963. person
associatedWith Wehner, Josef Magnus, 1891-1973. person
associatedWith Weigand, Hermann J. (Hermann John), 1892-1985. person
associatedWith Wolff, Helen, 1906-1994. person
associatedWith Wolff, Kurt, 1887-1963. person
associatedWith Wolfskehl, Karl, 1869-1948. person
associatedWith Yale University corporateBody
associatedWith Yale University. Library. corporateBody
associatedWith Zabel, Morton Dauwen, 1901-1964. person
associatedWith Zinegref, Julius Wilhelm. person
associatedWith Zinegref, Julius Wilhelm. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Germany
Subject
Baroque literature
Germanliterature--17th century
Book collecting
German literature--Early modern, 1500-1700
German literature--20th century
German literature--19th century
German literature--18th century--History and criticism
Authors, German
Baroque literature--Germany
German literature--18th century
German literature--19th century--History and criticism
Occupation
Function

Person

Birth 1890

Death 1966

Germans

English,

German

Information

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