Friday, December 05, 2008

Time for Heine

I’m anxious to see the new Chernoff & Hoover Hölderlin, but isn’t this is more the age of Heine?
“For Heine, the elements of Nature—nightingales, roses, lilies—have become a kind of emotional bric-a-brac, and they work simply as part of a psychological system of signs: nightingales are only a symbol of the lover’s sorrow; lilies make present the whiteness of the beloved’s skin. The banality of his poetic paraphernalia does not disturb Heine—quite the contrary: he uses it expertly to reflect a bitter irony onto a genuine passion, a passion that is forced to use such commonplace modes of expression to reveal itself.”

—Charles Rosen, The Romantic Generation

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