The Collected Works and Letters of Ernst Freiherrn von Feuchterleben. Historical Critical Edition and Commentary. (KFA)

The historical critical edition of the collected works and letters of Ernst Freiherrn von Feuchterleben (1806–1849) represents the first effort to publish the complete works of one of the most significant scholarly writers of the epoch of the Austrian “Vormärz”. In contemporary cultural life he was engaged as a poet, an art critic, as a philosopher, pioneer of psychiatry and first school reformer in the 1848 revolution. The first complete representation of his literary, pedagogic and medical writings and his assembled complete letters and diary notes should replace the obsolete and insufficient edition of his works, edited by Friedrich Hebbel (Vienna 1851–1853).

Feuchtersleben obtained the degree of doctor of medicine at Vienna University in 1834 after being engaged for more than eight years in the study of medicine as well as philosophy, aesthetics and Oriental literature. So Feuchtersleben’s works offer a thematic variety. His first literary publication “Gedichte” (“Poems”, 1836) was inspired from the famous “Franz Schubert Kreis” and later on from the circle of Neuners “Silbernes Kaffeehaus”, where he met the Austrian poets and friends Anastasius Grün, Nikolaus Lenau, Johann Mayrhofer, Eduard von Bauernfeld, Franz Grillparzer, and artists like Moritz von Schwind and Carl Rahl. In 1835/36 he lost his friend Johann Mayrhofer as well as his father Ernst von Feuchtersleben by suicide. As a mirror of this biographical catastrophe Feuchtersleben wrote his most famous book “Zur Diätetik der Seele” (“To the Dietetic of the Soul”, Vienna 1838, 5th ed. 1848, until 1879 43 editions; 1st engl. transl. London 1839).  The incredible instantaneous success of this treatise shows that the therapeutic concept against hypochondriacal melancholy by enforcing the self-knowledge and will power concerned not only to the depressive constitution of the author himself but also to the constitution of the whole contemporary “Weltschmerz” generation, which suffers under hypochondriacal asthenia as a psychical manifestation of the repressive atmosphere in Austria under the political “System Metternich”.

The Feuchtersleben-Edition represents the texts in its original historical orthography.

It is explained by an extensive accompanying commentary which offers a detailed insight into the epoch of the Austrian “Vormärz”, specially mirroring the history of literature, medicine and the education system: a resource for investigating the texts of Feuchtersleben in its specific contemporary historical horizon. Alongside the documentation and commentaries the volumes also supplies potted biographies. The volume rounds off with an extensive index of the complete index of persons.

Content of the actual part of the Edition: KFA Vol. II:
Feuchtersleben’s literary and philosophical writings (published as books), 
Zur Diätetik der Seele (1. Aufl. 1838; 5. Aufl. 1848)
Beiträge zur Literatur, Kunst- und Lebens-Theorie (1837)
Lebensblätter (1841).
Bd. II/1: Text (500 S.); Bd. II/2: Commentary.
Published vols: Bd. I/1.2: Gedichte; Bd. III: Pädagogische und politische Schriften und Reden; Bd. VI/1.2: Sämtliche Briefe – Autobiographische Schriften – Tagebuchblätter.


Head of Project:
Hermann Blume