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Unity and Synthesis in the Work of Heinrich Heine


Frederick E. Hueppe

In his middle period (1831-1848), Heinrich Heine, inspired by his concept of the «complete» man (e.g., Goethe, Luther and Shakespeare), veers dramatically from his earlier mode of «Zerrissenheit» to espouse the Hellenistic-Renaissance outlook emphasizing the psychosomatic oneness of the human personality. In numerous prose works as well as in several important poems of this period that reveal a new consistency and compactness of form, he seeks to restore harmony within the individual by exposing the falsity of human dualism. Guided chiefly by the thought of Spinoza and Hegel, Heine ultimately arrives at the social doctrine of Saint-Simonism as the concrete fulfillment of his quest for unity and synthesis.