SAPHIR, MORITZ GOTTLIEB:
Hungarian humorist; born at Lovas-Berény Feb. 8, 1795; died at Baden, near Vienna, Sept. 5, 1858. In 1806 he went to Prague to study the Talmud; but, feeling a deeper interest in German literature, he settled in Pesth in 1814, where he learned likewise French, English, and Italian. The reception given to "Papilloten," his first work (Pesth, 1821), encouraged him to go to Vienna, where he became a contributor to literary periodicals. After traveling through southern Germany in 1824, he settled in Berlin, where he edited both the "Berliner Schnellpost für Literatur, Theater und Geselligkeit" (1826-29) and the "Berliner Courier" (1827-29), gaining the favor of the general public by his clever plays on words, a style then new in literature. His success made him many enemies, including Fouqué, Förster, Cosmar, and Diez, who attacked him in a pamphlet entitled "Saphir in Berlin." This was answered by his own "Der Getödtete aber Dennoch Lebende Saphir," which passed through four large editions within a week. The quarrel, however, induced him to go to Munich in 1829, where he founded the "Bazar für München" (1830-33) and the "Deutsche Horizont" (1831-33).
Saphir was expelled from Bavaria in 1832 on account of his incessant attacks upon the directors of the theater, and went to Paris, but the king soon permitted him to return to Munich. He then assumed the editorship of the "Bayrische Beobachter" and was appointed "Hoftheaterintendanturrath." In 1835 he went to Vienna, where he became Bäuerle's associate editor on the "Theaterzeitung," issuing "Der Humorist," a periodical of his own, in 1836.
The following is a list of Saphir's works: "Conditorei des Jocus" (Leipsic, 1825); "Gesammelte Schriften" (4 parts, Stuttgart, 1830); "Neueste Schriften" (3 parts, Munich, 1830); "Humoristische Damenbibliothek" (6 vols., Vienna, 1831-41); "Humoristische Abende" (Augsburg, 1832); "Humoristische Glasperlen" (Munich, 1833); "Dumme Briefe" (2 parts, ib. 1834); "Carnevals und Masken-Almanach" (ib. 1834); and "Das Fliegende Album für Ernst, Scherz, Humor und Lebensfrohe Laune" (2 vols., Leipsic, 1846; 5th ed. 1875). His collected works have been published in 12 volumes (Brünn, 1884), and in an enlarged edition in 26 volumes (ib. 1890).
In 1832 Saphir embraced the Protestant faith.
- Jüdisches Athenäum, p. 217;
- Pallas Lex. xiv.;
- Meyers Konversations-Lexikon.