Alexander Buchner

On this date in 1827, Alexander Karl Ludwig Buchner, German writer and younger brother of Ludwig and Georg Buchner,  was born in Darmstadt, Germany. He was educated at Zurich University and taught philosophy there for a time. In 1862 he became a professor of German literature and language at Caen University, in France. He wrote extensively on English poetry, and published History of English Literature, as well as works on Shakespeare, Byron, Jean Paul and Thomas Chatterton. In 1864, he produced a book on Richard Wagner. Political exile forced him to Holland, in 1849. He alludes to his own rationalist views in his exuberant support of his brother Ludwig's scientific work. D. 1904.

"[Before Force and Matter, 1855] what did the world at large know then of the first achievements of science? The vast majority were sunk in their blind faith in authority and the Bible . . . they did not wish to know, because such things clearly contradicted the pleasant legends of the Bible, whose naive story of creation led to little reflection. Into this frog-pond was suddenly flung the log of Force and Matter. No wonder there was a universal croak."

—Alexander Buchner, praising his brother Ludwig's scientific achievement Force and Matter, in the "Introduction" of Last Words on Materialism and Kindred Subjects by Ludwig Buchner, 1901

Compiled by Bonnie Gutsch

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