Partner Herman Bang

Max Eisfeld (1863-1935) was a German actor. Max Eisfeld was the partner of the Danish writer Herman Bang, and between 1885 and 1886 they lived together in Prague in the then Empire of Austria-Hungary. In his own life, although Herman Bang had experienced something close to the ideal in his love for the German actor Max Eisfeld – some of the effects of which are felt in his poetry collection Digte (1891) – the fact that he subsequently felt betrayed by Eisfeld could not fail to endorse his general scepticism about the viability of such relationships. Bang has hinted at their relationship in the poem Nat and the dissolution of the relationship in the poem New Year 1887.

Max Eisfeld was born Gustav Karl Max Appel. Without any real scenic training, Eisfeld was hired at the hip theatre in Meiningen. He later gained involvement in Vienna, Paris, London and New York. In 1903, Eisfeld starred in Max Reinhardt's production of Oscar Wilde's Salome in Berlin as the Prophet Jochanaan.

Bang met Eisfeld in Meiningen in 1886. Eisfeld was employed at the Meininger Holtheater, and Bang fell in love with him. Both went to Vienna and Prague together. Eisfeld separated from Bang in 1887, who therefore fell into great distress. Eisfeld continued his acting career in Paris, London, New York and Berlin (among others under Max Reinhardt). Bang indicated Eisfeld's separation in his Gediehte (Digte, 1889), in particular Nat and Nytaar. In his novella, Tine, 1889, Eisfeld is called Max Appel, the lieutenant who was severely wounded by Dybbiil and then groomed by Tine.

Max Eisfeld died in a Berlin retirement home in 1935.


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