Georges Wickram: father of the popular novel
Only few elements about the early life of Georges Wickram are known. Born around 1500, he would have been an illegitimate child of Conrad Wickram, former mayor of Colmar and who came from an important family from Turckheim. George Wickram would have held several jobs: librarian, usher of the town of Colmar and then managing agent of Burckheim in the Kaiserstuhl from 1555. However, he became famous as a man of letters.
At the beginning of the 16th century, the humanism movement was … But Georges Wickram, who did not speak Latin or Greek and who had a difficult time at school, is one of the more famous writers of Colmar. He is considered to be the father of the popular novel in the German literature. The characters of “Rollwagenbüchlein” (1555), his most famous work, are modest people: artisans, barbers, tailors, inn-keepers, farmers or lansquenets…what was really different from the chivalry and epic stories at that time. Fertile author, he also wrote dramas and carnival stories, often played in Colmar. Complete artist, he also tried to paint and in 1546 he opened a singing school that will have some success.
Today in Colmar a bilingual school has the name of this eminent member of the intellectual life of Colmar.