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Arno Holz was a German naturalist poet and dramatist. He is best known for his poetry collection Phantasus (1898).
Holz was born in Rastenburg as the son of pharmacist Hermann Holz and Franziska neé Werner. The family moved to Berlin in 1895. After his schooling, Holz worked in 1881 as a journalist but chose a living as a freelance writer. He was beset with financial difficulties for much of his life. He established contacts with the Berlin naturalist club Durch where he met famed writer Gerhart Hauptmann. In 1885 his poetry collection, Buch der Zeit (book of time) won the Schiller Prize. Around this time, Holz was fascinated by Darwinism.
From 1888 onward Holz lived and worked together with translator and writer Johannes Schlaf. Together they developed a theory of "consistent naturalism" in their programmatic text, Art: its Nature and its Laws, wherein they aimed to provide art an exact description and incorporated colloquial elements. They tried, in their description, to eliminate subjectivity from art, to the extent it was scientifically possible, summarized in Holz's formula,
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