Paul Scheerbart

Paul Scheerbart was a novelist, playwright, poet, newspaper critic, draughtsman, visionary, proponent of glass architecture, and would-be inventor of perpetual motion. A member of avant-garde art and architectural circles, his ideas were crucial for participants in the Glass Chain movement, a group that included major architects such as Walter Gropius, Bruno Taut, and Hans Scharoun. Scheerbart opposed the naturalism of his day with fantastical fables and interplanetary satires that were to influence Expressionist authors and the German Dada movement, and which helped found German science fiction. After suffering a nervous breakdown over the mounting carnage of World War I, Scheerbart starved to death in what was rumored to have been a protest against the war.