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«Der Große Heide Nr. 2»

Heinrich Heine and the Levels of His Goethe Reception


George F. Peters

Heine's relationship to Goethe has long been the subject of critical debate, much of it stormy. This is the first major study which seeks to reconcile the seemingly contradictory aspects of Heine's psychological, theoretical, and artistic reaction to Goethe - from his vehement condemnation of Goethe's apolitical stance to his covert desire to accede to Goethe's greatness. Four levels of reception are delineated: Heine's programmatic pronouncements on Goethean art; his deep-seated resentment of the senior poet; and his creative resolution of the dilemma, the dismantling and restructuring of Goethe's poetic models.
Contents: Analysis of Heine's complex reception of Goethe: his acquaintance with Goethe's work, programmatic pronouncements on the man and his art, personal rivalry, and play with Goethean texts and models. First modern book-length study on the topic; first attempt to differentiate levels of Heine's Goethe reception and thereby reconcile seeming contradictions in his thought. Aimed at a non-specialized academic audience acquainted with German literature.