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Exiles and Ironists

Essays on the Kinship of Heine and Laforgue

Prof. Ursula Franklin

This study examines the literary and intellectual kinship between Heinrich Heine, who wrote most of his mature work in France, and Jules Laforgue, who wrote most of his poetry and prose in Germany. Both expatriate poets mark the end of literary traditions which they revolutionized: Heine transformed German Romantic, Laforgue French Symbolist poetry; and their innovative voices were to have repercussions far beyond their own times and national traditions.
Since Laforgue himself repeatedly paid tribute to his German master, the intertextual link between the poets has become a critical commonplace. And though there are numerous books on Heine's influence on French poets, and though most of Laforgue's commentators mention Heine, there exists to date no documented comparative study on Heine and Laforgue. These essays, a first thorough, comparative examination, address themselves to filling the gap.