Karl Kraus was an Austrian writer and journalist, known as a satirist, essayist, aphorist, playwright and poet. He is regarded as one of the foremost German-language satirists of the 20th century, especially for his witty criticism of the press, German culture, and German and Austrian politics.
Kraus was born into a wealthy Jewish family of Jacob Kraus, a papermaker, and his wife Ernestine, née Kantor, in Jičín, Bohemia (now the Czech Republic). The family moved to Vienna in 1877. His mother died in 1891.Kraus enrolled as a law student at the University of Vienna in 1892. Beginning in April of the same year he began contributing to the paper Wiener Literaturzeitung, starting with a critique of Gerhart Hauptmann's Die Weber. Around that time, he unsuccessfully tried to perform as an actor in a small theater. In 1894 he changed his field of studies to philosophy and German literature. He discontinued his studies in 1896. His friendship with Peter Altenberg began about this time.
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