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Strobl, Karl Hans

Entry updated 24 January 2022. Tagged: Author, Community, Editor.

(1877-1946) Austrian author, editor and publisher who sometimes wrote as K H Strobl; a war correspondent during World War One; once highly regarded for Horror tales whose influences included Edgar Allan Poe, such as "Der Kopf" ["The Head"] in his early collection Aus Gründen und Abgründen. Skizzen aus dem Alltag und von drüben ["For Reasons and Abysses. Sketches from Everyday Life and Elsewhere."] (coll 1901). He also wrote occasional short sf stories, a posthumous selection of the Fantastika being Unheimliche Geschichten ["Uncanny Tales"] (coll 1972). His huge novel Eleagabal Kuperus (1910) is an apocalyptic vision of a struggle between good and evil principles that involves a science-fictional attempt by the Villain to deprive humanity of oxygen; this was filmed as Nachtgestalten ["Night Shapes"] (1920) directed by Richard Oswald.

Strobl is perhaps of greatest genre importance as the founder and publisher from 1919 to 1921 of the pioneering fantasy magazine Der Orchideengarten (which see). His own work became increasingly right-wing during the 1920s: the quasi-sf Gespenster im Sumpf: ein phantastischer Wiener roman ["Ghosts in the Swamp: A Fantastic Viennese Novel"] (1920) is a nationalistic, anti-socialist and antisemitic account of the doom of Vienna. He fell under the influence of Nazism, and following the 1938 Anschluss his writings consisted largely of pro-Nazi propaganda; after World War Two his work was banned for a time by the Allies. [DRL]

Karl Hans Strobl

born Iglau, Margraviate of Moravia, Austro-Hungarian Empire: 18 January 1877

died Perchtoldsdorf, near Vienna, Austria: 10 March 1946

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