Hoffmann, E(rnst) T(heodor) A(madeus) [Ernst Theodor Willhelm]
- Gerhard Allroggen
(b Königsberg [now Kaliningrad], 24 Jan 1776; d Berlin, 25 June 1822). German writer and composer. His fantastic tales epitomize the Romantic fascination with the supernatural and the expressively distorted or exaggerated. As a critic, he placed his sharp mind at the service of a consistent (if partial) view of Romanticism and wrote vivid and forceful reviews of the music of his time. His work as a composer, which he himself regarded highly, has been neglected but shows a certain verve and originality. He was also a gifted artist, the author of some excellent sketches and caricatures. His personality and talents lent a distinctive, if somewhat lurid, hue to Romanticism and influenced several generations of artists, writers and composers....