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Heinrich Heine's Contested Identities

Politics, Religion, and Nationalism in Nineteenth-Century Germany


Jost Hermand and Robert C. Holub

This volume collects the papers presented at a conference that took place in Berkeley, California, in October 1997 in honor of Heinrich Heine's two-hundredth birthday. The theme of that conference was Heine's identity, which was formed and reformed, revised and modified, in relationship to the politics, religion, and nationalism of his era. Several speakers focused on Heine's Jewish identity and most contributions touched on his relationship to the politics of his era. The resulting essays offer a more differentiated understanding of Heine's predicaments and choices, as well as the parameters placed on him by the exigencies of the time. What this volume therefore achieves is not a radically new vision of Heine, but one that recognizes the ambivalences and vacillations, as well as the development and consistency, of his complex identity.
Contents: Jeffrey L. Sammons: Who Did Heine Think He Was? - Christhard Hoffmann: History versus Memory: Heinrich Heine and the Jewish Past - Bluma Goldstein: Heine's «Hebrew Melodies»: A Politics and Poetics of Diaspora - Robert C. Holub: Confessions of an Apostate: Heine's Conversion and Its Psychic Displacement - Hinrich C. Seeba: «Keine Systematie»: Heine in Berlin and the Origin of the Urban Gaze - Susanne Zantop: Columbus, Humboldt, Heine, or the Rediscovery of Europe - Jennifer Kapczynski/Kristin Kopp/Paul B. Reitter/Daniel Sakaguchi: The Polish Question and Heine's Exilic Identity - Jost Hermand: Tribune of the People or Aristocrat of the Spirit? Heine's Ambivalence Toward the Masses - Peter Uwe Hohendahl: Heine's Critical Intervention: The Intellectual as Poet.