Romanticism Heine Literary Romanticism is a movement in literature present in the history of virtually every European country, the USA, and Latin America. It lasted from approximately 1750 to about 1870 and was characterized by reliance on the imagination and emotional subjectivity of approach, freedom of thought and expression, and an idealization of nature. The term ‘romantic’ first appeared in 18th-century English and originally meant romancelike – that is, resembling the fanciful character of medieval romances. Romanticism was merely a product of bygone ages as are all works of literature. Heinrich Heine is an example of a German romantic poet. He is best renowned for his early lyrical poems and ballads, which are acclaimed for the variety and depth of moods and emotions they express.

Born in Dsseldorf, Heine attended schools there until 1815. There is some evidence that then, while staying in Hamburg with his uncle Salomon Heine, a banker, Heine fell in love with his cousin Amalie but she did not return his love. This early experience may have been the source for the themes of yearning, disappointment, and romantic irony in Heine’s poetry. His poems epitomize the Romantic style, and focus mainly on love, and unrequited or otherwise unattainable love. In his own time, he was also well known for his liberal political opinions and for his satirical attacks on German nationalism.

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His writings and controversial activities brought him into disfavor in Germany but made him famous throughout Europe. In reading his works, it will be noticeable that In 1822 Heine’s first volume of verse, Gedichte (Poems, 1884), was published. The book attracted attention because of the delicacy and lyrical beauty of the poems. He remained in Berlin until 1823, writing poetry. From 1824 to 1825 he returned to the study of law in Gttingen.

Because the profession of law was prohibited to Jews in Germany at that time, Heine, who was born Jewish, converted to Christianity in 1825 in order to obtain a law degree. He received his degree but never practiced law. In 1826 Die Harzreise (The Harz Journey 1887), a prose account of a trip he had taken to the Harz, a mountain range in central Germany, was published. This work, with its wit and grace of style, won success immediately and established Heine’s literary reputation. In 1827 his Buch der Lieder (Book of Songs, 1846) was published.

Many noted composers, including Franz Schubert of Austria and Robert Schumann of Germany, wrote music to accompany these verses. From 1827 to 1831 Heine lived in England and Italy as well as in various parts of Germany. During that period he wrote the three volumes of travel stories that, with Die Harzreise, make up the four volumes of his Reisebilder (1826-1831; Travel Pictures, 1887). He also wrote a number of prose works in which he displayed sympathy with the democratic ideas of the French Revolution (1789-1799) and bitterly satirized the feudal regimes of the German kingdoms and duchies (see Feudalism). In the 1830s Heine became a prominent member of a literary group known as Junges Deutschland (Young Germany), which attacked the German school of Romanticism for having come under the domination of the monarchy and the church.

He had hoped to obtain a position as a professor of German literature, but his political ideas brought him into the disfavor of the established German governments. Seeking a more friendly political and literary atmosphere, Heine left for Paris in 1831. Except for two brief visits to his native land, he spent the rest of his life in France. In Paris Heine wrote for several German newspapers and became friends with writers such as Honor de Balzac and George Sand and composers such as Hector Berlioz and Frdric Chopin. In 1835 the writings of the Junges Deutschland group were banned in most of Germany, and Heine’s income was considerably reduced. In 1845 he contracted a spinal disease that confined him to his mattress grave, as he called his bed, from 1848 to his death in 1856.

Nevertheless, some of his most notable works such as the volume of poetry Romanzero (1851), date from the last years of his life. Heine’s personality was composed of sharply conflicting elements: a pagan joy of life and a feeling for Hebraic ethical values; a love of Romanticism and a hatred for the German Romantic writers of his time because of their subservience to reactionary political and religious forces; German patriotism and a humanitarianism that embraced the entire world; nominal Christianity and lifelong attachment to Judaism. These conflicts created in Heine the spirit of disillusionment, of mockery, and of biting satire that characterizes so much of his writing. Poetry.


Romanticism Romanticism literature in poetry and how it effects everyday society. I have no quarrel, it is scarcely necessary to add, either with the man of science or the romanticist when they keep in their proper place. (Gleckner 33). Some people are still unclear of the exact boundaries in which literature is considered Romanticism, but few common relations seem to be apparent in all or most pieces.The Romantic believes that the particular qualities which make-up humanness – mind, purpose, consciousness, will, personality are unique in known phylogeny, and are so far at variance with the physical conditions in which man exists that they are irrelevant to the general structure of physical reality.(Gleckner 123). As the drunken era of over-doped writers started their 1770’s few thought with such creativeness as Irving’s Rip Van Winkle. People became obsessed by the idea of freedom, and the writers became rebels, perpetually in revolt against conservative society, yearning after a spiritual independence that the current age denied them.

Hero of American Romanticism: male, young, innocence, love of nature, distrust to town life.(Arpin 120). Romanticism logic might have been considered a waste of laboring effort to conceive but, it made a revolutionary path for new way of thinking for an old school society. The Romantic attitude to life and art has a subjective foundation is not to be denied.( Gleckner 260). Romantic poetry and thought have their starting-point in the poet himself, in his aspirations and in his experience. On the one hand, his aspiration to a certain fullness of being, to a certain purity of spiritual life, to harmony and unity, a yearning toward the absolute. On the other hand, a visionary experience which responds to this aspiration and which assures the soul of the validity of its dream and of its hope. To understand the romantic doctrine, it is therefore necessary to scrutinize the experiences which the romantics thought crucial and from which all their intellectual activity arose.

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In these germinal experiences, there are many individual differences which cannot delay as here. The readers only know the word as the poet decided to show it to them. The interpretation in which one can receive from the piece is left for society to experience. Thus, as romantic literature everywhere developed, imagination was praised over reason, emotions over logic, and intuition over science-making way for a vast body of literature of great sensibility and passion.(Funk 1). Proper object of the romantic poetic experience is in fact, a sort of matter-spirit continuum. For the English romantic poets, nature is not the treasure-house of all that is primitive, chaotic, savage, or sensational.

It is the archetype and the accomplished model of all creation. Their metaphysics may be thought rather unstable: they are not English for nothing. But they have brought into being what might be called a philosophy of creativity, which is the core of their thought, in the same way as the experience in which this philosophy originates in its vital core. The Romantics found in nature a far less clearly defined divinity; their experiences is usually recorded as a more generalized emotional and intellectual awakening.(Arpin 119). Such an approach allows us to see the romantic doctrine of nature and art in its proper perspective.

Nature, as revealed by the poetic experience, is a tertium quid born of the meeting and interpretation of two opposite forces: the unity and organizing power of the spirit, and diversity and chaos of matter. The idealizing and certifying function of art is, no doubt, something of a commonplace. (Gleckner 166). But for the romantics a poem’s unity and ideal quality do not arise out of strictly intellectual or technical operation; they are arrived at, as in neoclassicism, by taking general types according to fixed rules. They are, on the contrary, the culmination of an organic process in which the poets create a work which is a symbol. As a critic, Poe defended the doctrine of art for art’s sake; and his poems their best have a curious rhythmic fascination.(Quennell 178).

The Romantic Movement began to take shape in England many years before it emerged any where else where it would reach its highest point during the productive 1830’s. Romantic feelings had always existed; but only at this moment in history did they acquire so strong a colouring and cover so wide a field.(Quenell 144). The first two great English Romantic poets were William Wordsworth (1770-1850) and Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834). Both did their best to dispense with the artificial diction of the famed Auguston poets, and to employ the real language’ of contemporary men and women, however, in a style of vivid sensation when their natural eloquence appeared. The wrench of the American Revolution emphasized differences which had been growing.

(Benton 785). The two poets took ordinary aspects of life and exemplified an entirely new attitude toward the art of poetry. The emotion of the time had a definite need for expression. The romantic theory of form is at once expressive from which it arises. Everything which does not derive from the experience, everything which does not help to express the idea, everything ornamental, gratuitous, and superfluous, must be rigorously prescribed. (Gleckner 213). That is why the sphere of speech the romantics rejected the mechanical conventions of poetic diction dear to their predecessors, with its mythological allegories, and pathetic fallacies.

They advocate a flexibility which allows meter and rhythm to medel themselves directly on the emotion which is their psychological origin. But they add that the rhythm must be controlled, that the meter must have regularity of its own, because the original emotion issues forth from an intuition of order, harmony, and unity. The poets are able to control the society of their age by their individual meter and rhythm.If in short you conceive of the universe as a perfectly ordered machine, you will assume that any imperfections you may notice are really things you do not understand. (Gleckner 67). People first affected by the beliefs of the Romanticism poets soon saw life with a new concept of hope and confrontation.

Romantic sensibility sough to rise above dull realities’ to a realm of higher truth.(Arpin 111). Romantic poets of the time were called for a need to make an ill stable society, stable, and reprimand sorts of expression seen as common place to their parents. Soon the romantic poets realized the life of a Romanticist lived the pain of emotions which separated them from the common man’s organized lifestyle. The general romantic dissatisfication with the organization of society was often channeled into specific criticism of urban society. (Funk 1). Source List Arpin, Gary.

American Romanticism. Anderson, Robert. Elements of Literature. 1993. Anderson, Robert. Orlando: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc., 1993. Page 116- 122.

Benton, William. American Literature. Britannica. 1957 ed. Funk & Wagnalls. Romanticism.

Microsoft Corporation. 1993: whole document. Encarta 96 Encyclopedia. Microsoft . 1996.

Gleckner, Robert. Romanticism Points of View. Detroit, Michigan: Prentice-Hall , Inc., 1962. Quennel, Peter. An Illustrated Companion to World Literature. New York: Excalibur Books, 1986.

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