Heine (Jewish Thinkers Series)


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Another friend was the satirist Karl Immermann , who had praised Heine's first verse collection, Gedichte , when it appeared in December Since Heine was not very religious in outlook he soon lost interest, but he also began to investigate Jewish history. He was particularly drawn to the Spanish Jews of the Middle Ages. In Heine began a historical novel, Der Rabbi von Bacherach , which he never managed to finish.

Here he began to write the poems of the cycle Die Heimkehr "The Homecoming". In September he decided to take a break and set off on a trip through the Harz mountains. On his return he started writing an account of it, Die Harzreise. On 28 June Heine converted to Protestantism. The Prussian government had been gradually restoring discrimination against Jews.

In it introduced a law excluding Jews from academic posts and Heine had ambitions for a university career. As Heine said in self-justification, his conversion was "the ticket of admission into European culture". In the event, Heine's conversion, which was reluctant, never brought him any benefits in his career. Heine now had to search for a job. He was only really suited to writing but it was extremely difficult to be a professional writer in Germany.

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ISBN 13: 9780802131485

The market for literary works was small and it was only possible to make a living by writing virtually non-stop. Heine was incapable of doing this so he never had enough money to cover his expenses. Before finding work, Heine visited the North Sea resort of Norderney which inspired the free verse poems of his cycle Die Nordsee.

In Hamburg one evening in January Heine met Julius Campe, who would be his chief publisher for the rest of his life. Their stormy relationship has been compared to a marriage. Campe was a liberal who published as many dissident authors as he could. He had developed various techniques for evading the authorities. The laws of the time stated that any book under pages had to be submitted to censorship the authorities thought long books would cause little trouble as they were unpopular.

One way round censorship was to publish dissident works in large print to increase the number of pages beyond The censorship in Hamburg was relatively lax but Campe had to worry about Prussia, the largest German state which had the largest market for books it was estimated that one-third of the German readership was Prussian. Initially, any book which had passed the censor in a German state was able to be sold in any of the other states but in this loophole was closed.

Campe was reluctant to publish uncensored books as he had bad experience of print runs being confiscated. Heine resisted all censorship. So this issue became a bone of contention between the two. This volume included Die Harzreise , which marked a new style of German travel-writing, mixing Romantic descriptions of Nature with satire. Heine's Buch der Lieder followed in This was a collection of already published poems. No one expected it would be one of the most popular books of German verse ever published and sales were slow to start with, picking up when composers began setting Heine's poems as Lieder.

It contains the ironical disillusionment which is typical of Heine:. Starting from the mids Heine distanced himself from Romanticism by adding irony, sarcasm and satire into his poetry and making fun of the sentimental-romantic awe of nature and of figures of speech in contemporary poetry and literature.

A mistress stood by the sea sighing long and anxiously. Heine became increasingly critical of despotism and reactionary chauvinism in Germany, of nobility and clerics but also of the narrow-mindedness of ordinary people and of the rising German form of nationalism , especially in contrast to the French and the revolution. Nevertheless, he made a point of stressing his love for his Fatherland :.

Plant the black, red, gold banner at the summit of the German idea, make it the standard of free mankind, and I will shed my dear heart's blood for it. Rest assured, I love the Fatherland just as much as you do. The first volume of travel writings was such a success that Campe pressed Heine for another. Reisebilder II appeared in April It contains the second cycle of North Sea poems, a prose essay on the North Sea as well as a new work, Ideen: Das Buch Le Grand , which contains the following satire on German censorship: [22].

Heine went to England to avoid what he predicted would be controversy over the publication of this work. Heine was unimpressed by the English: he found them commercial and prosaic and still blamed them for the defeat of Napoleon. On his return to Germany, Cotta , the liberal publisher of Goethe and Schiller, offered Heine a job co-editing a magazine, Politische Annalen , in Munich.

Heine did not find work on the newspaper congenial, and instead tried to obtain a professorship at Munich University, with no success. The aristocratic poet August von Platen had been annoyed by some epigrams by Immermann which Heine had included in the second volume of Reisebilder. In Heine left Germany for France, settling in Paris for his remaining 25 years of life.

Heine shared liberal enthusiasm for the revolution, which he felt had the potential to overturn the conservative political order in Europe. Saint-Simonianism preached a new social order in which meritocracy would replace hereditary distinctions in rank and wealth. There would also be female emancipation and an important role for artists and scientists.

Heine frequented some Saint-Simonian meetings after his arrival in Paris but within a few years his enthusiasm for the ideology - and other forms of utopianism- had waned. Heine soon became a celebrity in France. Paris offered him a cultural richness unavailable in the smaller cities of Germany. He had little interest in French literature and wrote everything in German, subsequently translating it into French with the help of a collaborator.

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In Paris Heine earned money working as the French correspondent for one of Cotta's newspapers, the Allgemeine Zeitung. The first event he covered was the Salon of If the two countries understood one another there would be progress. Heine thought that such an image suited the oppressive German authorities. He also had an Enlightenment view of the past, seeing it as mired in superstition and atrocities.

According to Heine, pantheism had been repressed by Christianity and had survived in German folklore. He predicted that German thought would prove a more explosive force than the French Revolution. Heine reluctantly fell in love with her. She was illiterate, knew no German, and had no interest in cultural or intellectual matters. Nevertheless she moved in with Heine in and lived with him for the rest of his life they were married in They were liberal, but not actively political.

Nevertheless, they still fell foul of the authorities. In Gutzkow published a novel, Wally die Zweiflerin "Wally the Sceptic" , which contained criticism of the institution of marriage and some mildly erotic passages. In November of that year, the German Diet consequently banned publication of works by the Young Germans in Germany and — on Metternich's insistence — Heine's name was added to their number. Heine, however, continued to comment on German politics and society from a distance.

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His publisher was able to find some ways of getting around the censors and he was still free, of course, to publish in France. He was also a republican, while Heine was not. When the book was published in it was universally disliked by the radicals and served to alienate Heine from his public.

It was the last Heine ever fought - he received a flesh wound in the hip. Before fighting, he decided to safeguard Mathilde's future in the event of his death by marrying her. Heine continued to write reports for Cotta's Allgemeine Zeitung and, when Cotta died, for his son and successor.

One event which really galvanised him was the Damascus Affair in which Jews in Damascus had been subject to blood libel and accused of murdering an old Catholic monk. This led to a wave of anti-Semitic persecution. The French government, aiming at imperialism in the Middle East and not wanting to offend the Catholic party, had failed to condemn the outrage.

On the other hand, the Austrian consul in Damascus had assiduously exposed the blood libel as a fraud. For Heine, this was a reversal of values: reactionary Austria standing up for the Jews while revolutionary France temporised. Heine responded by dusting off and publishing his unfinished novel about the persecution of Jews in the Middle Ages, Der Rabbi von Bacherach. Initially it was thought he might be a "popular monarch" and during this honeymoon period of his early reign —42 censorship was relaxed.

Heine looked down on these writers on aesthetic grounds — they were bad poets in his opinion — but his verse of the s became more political too. Heine's mode was satirical attack: against the Kings of Bavaria and Prussia he never for one moment shared the belief that Frederick William IV might be more liberal ; against the political torpor of the German people; and against the greed and cruelty of the ruling class.

The most popular of Heine's political poems was his least typical, Die schlesischen Weber "The Silesian Weavers" , based on the uprising of weavers in Peterswaldau in The Marx family settled in Rue Vaneau. Marx was an admirer of Heine and his early writings show Heine's influence. In December Heine met the Marxes and got on well with them. Ultimately Heine's ideas of revolution through sensual emancipation and Marx's "scientific materialism" were incompatible, but both writers shared the same negativity and lack of faith in the bourgeoisie.

On the other hand, he did not share Marx's faith in the industrial proletariat and remained on the fringes of socialist circles. Heine could not be expelled from the country because, since he was born under French occupation, he had the right of residence in France. He believed its radicalism and materialism would destroy much of the European culture that he loved and admired.

In the French edition of "Lutetia" Heine wrote, one year before he died: "This confession, that the future belongs to the Communists, I made with an undertone of the greatest fear and sorrow and, oh! Indeed, with fear and terror I imagine the time, when those dark iconoclasts come to power: with their raw fists they will batter all marble images of my beloved world of art, they will ruin all those fantastic anecdotes that the poets loved so much, they will chop down my Laurel forests and plant potatoes and, oh!

In my chest there are two voices in their favour which cannot be silenced ….

“Where They Have Burned Books, They Will End Up Burning People” - Jewish Review of Books

The second of the two compelling voices, of which I am talking, is even more powerful than the first, because it is the voice of hatred, the hatred I dedicate to this common enemy that constitutes the most distinctive contrast to communism and that will oppose the angry giant already at the first instance — I am talking about the party of the so-called advocates of nationality in Germany, about those false patriots whose love for the fatherland only exists in the shape of imbecile distaste of foreign countries and neighbouring peoples and who daily pour their bile especially on France".

In October—December Heine made a journey to Hamburg to see his aged mother and to patch things up with Campe with whom he had had a quarrel. He was reconciled with the publisher who agreed to provide Mathilde with an annuity for the rest of her life after Heine's death. Heine repeated the trip with his wife in July—October to see Uncle Salomon, but this time things did not go so well. It was the last time Heine would ever leave France.

The former is based on his journey to Germany in late and outdoes the radical poets in its satirical attacks on the political situation in the country. It tells the story of the hunt for a runaway bear, Atta Troll, who symbolises many of the attitudes Heine despised, including a simple-minded egalitarianism and a religious view which makes God in the believer's image Atta Troll conceives God as an enormous, heavenly polar bear.

Atta Troll's cubs embody the nationalistic views Heine loathed. Atta Troll was not published until , but Deutschland appeared in as part of a collection Neue Gedichte "New Poems" , which gathered all the verse Heine had written since This put a stop to Heine's annual subsidy of 4, francs.

Salomon left Heine and his brothers 8, francs each in his will. Heine's cousin Carl, the inheritor of Salomon's business, offered to pay him 2, francs a year at his discretion. Another explanation could be found in its musical structure, said Flam. It cannot be proven by science.


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What is interesting, however, is that there is evidence that the Kol Nidre melody was generated in the th century by a troupe of German troubadours called Minnesingers who sang about courtly love. But once it is written down, the music is frozen. Beer went into the field and collected some 1, Jewish melodies. It was in Berlin that Lewandowski worked with cantor Abraham J. Lichtenstein, who eventually exposed Kol Nidre to composer Bruch.

The Reconstructionist movement added it back into its holiday services in , but the Reform movement restored the full Aramaic text to its Union Prayerbook only in Schoenberg poured his conflicted soul into his Kol Nidre and, departing from the traditional haunting melody, created a distinctive piece that, to the untrained ear, may be labeled as narrative text and choir over orchestral cacophony. Freudian psychoanalyst Reik also connects the tune to the moment in time and the deeply primitive instincts it triggers. This music brings adequately to expression the revolutionary wish of the congregation and their subsequent anxiety; the soft broken rhythms reflect their deep remorse and contrition.

Thus, the song is really full of terror and mercy, as Lenau has observed.

Heine (Jewish Thinkers Series) Heine (Jewish Thinkers Series)
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