Portland State University. Department of History
Date of Publication
Master of Arts (M.A.) in History
Heine, Heinrich, 1797-1856. Deutschland, ein Wintermèarchen, Heine, Heinrich, 1797-1856 -- Political and social views, Politics and literature -- Germany -- History -- 19th century, Germany -- History -- 1815-1866
1 online resource, (112 p.)
The conclusion of the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars marked the beginning of the modem world. In western Europe new ideals about the position of the individual and the future of society flourished in the early nineteenth century--prior to the revolutions of 1848. However, the forward move into the modem world was stymied in the multitude of states which composed Germany after 1815. Due to a combination of factors- political repression, conservative/romantic trends, social lethargy, and liberal immaturity--German society in the period 1815-1848--the Vormärz (pre-March 1848) clung to traditional ways. The most famous German writer of this period, Heinrich Heine, developed a unique understanding of this situation. He grasped the fundamental paradoxes of his age and forced them upon an often unwilling audience. Heine was an atypical figure in German society--an outsider who commanded great attention and whose insight into the nature of German society was colored by his own individual conceptions which encompassed the breadth and multifaceted character of German and European history. His social and political commentary made him many enemies and detractors--both on the Left as well as the Right. Heine's most famous satirical poem, Deutsch/and: Ein Wintermiirchen, has been identified as the pinnacle critique of Vormärz Germany. In the epic poem Heine illuminates the fundamental flaws of his beloved motherland, while simultaneously expounding his larger conceptions of history and the possible future. Heine's gifts as a writer allowed him to create a work which is at once both a commentary on the state of German society during the Vormärz and an investigation into his own peculiar position within and outside of his own culture.
Henley, Andrew Dean, "Vormärz of Germany and The Critique of Heinrich Heine" (1997). Dissertations and Theses. Paper 5372.