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Romantic Weltliteratur of the Western World

Edited By Agnieszka Gutthy

Romantic Weltliteratur of the Western World is a collection of essays that examine Romantic literature and art from Europe and America. Since Goethe coined the concept of Weltliteratur, scholarly interest in comparative, global, and transnational literary and cultural studies has only continued to grow. Intended to complement existing scholarship, the essays in this volume offer a variety of critical approaches to Romantic literature and explore the dialogic component of different literary works as well as their transnational intertextualities.

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10. A Source Study of “The Nightingale and the Rose” (1888) by Oscar Wilde, With Special Reference to “Les sept cordes de la lyre” (The Seven Strings of the Lyre) (1838) by George Sand (Akemi Yoshida)

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10. A Source Study of “The Nightingale and the Rose” (1888) by Oscar Wilde,With Special Reference to “Les sept cordes de la lyre” (The Seven Strings of the Lyre) (1838) by George Sand1

Akemi Yoshida

Introduction

“The Nightingale and the Rose” by Oscar Wilde is a cruelly beautiful fairy tale presenting Romantic ideas of love and art, published in 1888 as a piece in the story collection The Happy Prince and Other Tales. The tenderhearted Nightingale overhears the Student’s lament that despite all his learning he cannot be happy unless he comes into possession of a red rose for which the Professor’s daughter, the object of his love, would deign to dance with him. It happens “there is no red rose in all [his] garden.”2 The Nightingale, the lifelong theme of whose music has been nothing but love, determines to help him attain the object of his desire and starts searching for a red rose. Unfortunately, the only rose tree in the garden which can produce red flowers has been damaged by the winter cold so that the only way for the nightingale to create a red rose out of the tree is to sing to the tree all night with a thorn against her breast till the “thorn [pierces her] heart”3 and her blood flows into the veins of the tree to revivify it. To gain only one red rose, the nightingale bravely sacrifices her life and sings...

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