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FrL & FPG's 1904/5 'Fanny Essler' Complex (Seven Poems & One Novel)
How to cite this 2005 e-Article

Else von Freytag-Loringhoven & Felix Paul Greve

Felix Paul Greve's & Else von Freytag-Loringhoven's
1904/5 'Fanny Essler' Poems: His or Hers?
Revised e-Edition in Ten Parts
by Gaby Divay, University of Manitoba Archives, ©25Mar2005



            For the very complex choice of the title "Fanny Essler" and an identical joint pseudonym for Else and himself, Greve must have been responsible. Though only two other pseudonyms, F. C. Gerden and Konrad Thorer,[34] are attested in his Insel correspondence, he assumed such a wide range of identities for publications and travels alike that Wolfskehl refers to him as a "Pseudologe" in 1902 (Wk,1938). To some extent, Grove maintained the old-standing habit. The foremost and cleverest pseudonym he adopted for his Canadian identity in 1912: with the elegant, minor change from an "e" to an "o", and two different given names, he shed his previous existence, while maintaining his beloved initials "FPG".

When he submitted a list of publications in support of his nomination for the Royal Society of Canada, he stated that "there are a few other anonymous or pseudonymous ... boks published under a mask" (Letters, 341). When he placed his very first Canadian work, the sprawling essay "Rousseau als Erzieher" in Der Nordwesten in 1914, he simply signed "Fred Grove". Eight years later, when he was about to publish his first Canadian book, the nature essays Over Prairie Trails, in 1922, he toyed with the idea of using the name "Andrew Rutherford" as a pseudonym (Pacey, 1976, xxv).
This very name turns out to be a far more imaginative choice. It also appears in relation with the title page of his unfinished novel typescript, Jane Atkinson -- "by Andrew R. Rutherford". In this text, Grove repeats the following cameo scene from his 1905 Fanny Essler novel: Jane treasures a tortoise-shell comb remaindered from a maiden aunt's variety store on Toronto's Yonge Street -- Fanny/Else's aunt, Adele Blaurock, operates just such a shop on Berlin's Friedrichstrasse, and tortoise-shell combs are mentioned as unsalable items in that context as well.

The fictitious Rutherford name is actually a veiled biographical reference to the maternal Scottish grandfather of Greve's former friend Herman Kilian, whose name was Andrew Rutherford-Clark, and whose daughter's first name was Jane (Pacey, 1974, n.15). Given that the projected Rutherford pseudonym also plays an important role in Grove's fake Canadian biography, in which he appropriates Kilian's entire family background for himself,  it  is charged with almost as many intricate and multilayered connections as Greve's "Fanny Essler" pseudonym was some twenty years earlier.

Similarly, the title of Grove's lost novel Felix Powell's Career, "a college story with a multiple sexual theme" (Letters, 386), condenses artfully Greve's first names "Felix Paul" and his first Meredith translation, Beauchamp's Career which he had undertaken three decades earlier, in 1904. It remained unpublished, unlike several other, less daring, Meredith translations.        

            Direct reflections of Else are understandably lacking in Grove's records. He once made an oblique reference to her and Palermo (ASA, 10), and the Broegler episode (ISM 134 ff.), which describes his seduction at the tender age of 17 by the wife of a teacher at the famed Gymnasium Johanneum in Hamburg, may have been partly inspired by Else who was, however, only five years older. The seduction is described also in Grove's second confessional letter to his fellow teacher Warkentin in Manitoba (the first letter was in German), with the additional information, that young FPG was dragged into public divorce proceedings as a consequence (Letters, 11).

Else's preference for Greve in late 1902 had long-lasting legal consequences even after the annulment of her marriage to Endell in late January, 1904 (Letters, 552, n. 1). As usual, Grove seems to have combined several related events. Difficulties are mentioned at the time by Else (Ab 126 ff.), and in Greve's correspondence with O. A. H. Schmitz. His enigmatic words in December 1906 are: "Ich habe soeben Nachricht erhalten, daß man nach angestellten Recherchen im Begriff steht, die Hindernisse einer Legalisierung meiner Ehe zu beseitigen"(14.12.06).[35] In Reichel's substantial thesis about Endell, there is conspicuous silence about Endell's first marriage, and several trips to Italy in 1903 are explained with renal complications (74). No reason is given why his second marriage to Anna Meyn, to whom Endell became engaged in 1904 already, was delayed until January, 1909 (78). Veiled, but striking links to Endell are obvious in Grove's choice of a monogram in 1939 "which an artist friend designed for me decades ago" (Letters, 345; ill., 350). It adorns the cover of In Search of Myself (1946), and reflects the same gothic style evident in the Endells' monogram on Else Ti's stationary in 1901 (Stadtarchiv München). Grove, by the way, often addressed his wife Catherine with "Tee" which matches Else's "Ti" (Ab 38) in sound and in meaning. Pacey comments: "This endearment which, Mrs. Grove states, her husband told her meant 'mistress' in Chinese, he uses only in letters addressed to her -- and, very occasionally in reference to her elsewhere" (Pacey, 1976, 83).

[34]A Faustian self-representation in epic form, "Konrad, the Builder," appears in Grove's poetry notebook (PEd 164-174).
[35]Spettigue mistranslates the future implied in "im Begriff stehen" as a fait accompli: "...that the impediment to a legalizing of my marriage is removed."(1992, p. 25)

Originally published:
Divay, Gaby. "Fanny Essler's Poems: Felix Paul Greve's or Else von Freytag-Loringhoven's?"
Arachne: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Language and Literature, v. 1, no. 2 (1994), 165-197.
How to cite this e-Version:
Divay, Gaby. "Felix Paul Greve's & Else von Freytag-Loringhoven's 1904/5 'Fanny Essler' Poems: His or Hers?" e-Edition, ©March 2005 at
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