Christian Gauss

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Christian Gauss (1878 – 1951) was a literary critic and professor of literature.


Gauss was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan. His father had fled Württemberg when Prussia began to dominate it in the 1860s.[citation needed] The son graduated from the University of Michigan at 20, worked as a newspaper correspondent in Paris, taught at Michigan and Lehigh University in the United States, and in 1905 became a first preceptor at Princeton University, where he remained until his retirement in 1946.[citation needed]

At Princeton, Gauss became a full professor two years after his arrival; he was chairman of the department of modern languages; and he served as dean. After retiring from Princeton, he was president of Phi Beta Kappa.[citation needed]

Though he was not a prolific author or a public figure, Gauss left a mark on literary scholarship: Princeton University's semiannual series of Christian Gauss Seminars in Criticism (founded in 1949 by R.P. Blackmur), and Phi Beta Kappa's annual Christian Gauss Award (est. 1950) for a book of literary criticism are named in his honor. Gauss influenced and corresponded frequently with F. Scott Fitzgerald and Edmund Wilson.[citation needed]

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