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The German lyric poet John Christian Friedrich Hölderlin was born in 1770. Admired for his ability to re-create the forms of classical Greek poetry in German verse, Holderlin also completed the novel Hyperion. Holderlin studied theology at the University of Tubingen, where he obtained a Master's degree. As a young man he worked as a tutor, including in the house of a wealthy Frankfurt banker, where he and his employer's wife, Susette, fell in love. After a short, happy affair, Holderlin was forced to leave. Though he was shaken by the experience, Holderlin created much of his finest work during this period, including elegies and odes.
Shortly thereafter, Holderlin began to suffer from schizophrenia and composed several poems that were notable for their apocalyptic grandeur. For the last thirty-six years of his life, he suffered from chronic mental illness. Holderlin died in 1843.
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