German Romanticism

German Romanticism was the dominant intellectual movement of German-speaking countries in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, influencing philosophy, aesthetics, literature and criticism. Compared to English Romanticism, the German variety developed relatively late, and, in the early years, coincided with Weimar Classicism (1772–1805). In contrast to the seriousness of English Romanticism, the German variety of Romanticism notably valued wit, humour, and beauty.

The early period, roughly 1797 to 1802, is referred to as Frühromantik or Jena Romanticism.[1] The philosophers and writers central to the movement were Wilhelm Heinrich Wackenroder (1773–1798), Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling (1775–1854), Friedrich Schleiermacher (1768–1834), Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel (1772–1829), August Wilhelm Schlegel (1767–1845), Ludwig Tieck (1773–1853), and Friedrich von Hardenberg (Novalis) (1772–1801).[2]

The early German romantics strove to create a new synthesis of art, philosophy, and science, by viewing the Middle Ages as a simpler period of integrated culture; however, the German romantics became aware of the tenuousness of the cultural unity they sought.[3] Late-stage German Romanticism emphasized the tension between the daily world and the irrational and supernatural projections of creative genius. In particular, the critic Heinrich Heine criticized the tendency of the early German romantics to look to the medieval past for a model of unity in art and society.[3]

Caspar David Friedrich - Mondaufgang am Meer - Google Art Project
Caspar David Friedrich, (1774–1840)
Moonrise by the Sea, 1822, 55x71 cm

Literary and philosophical figures

Joseph von Eichendorff
Joseph von Eichendorff

Key figures of German romanticism include:

Composers

  • Ludwig van Beethoven. In his earlier works, Beethoven was a Classicist in the traditions of Mozart and Haydn (his tutor), but his Middle Period, beginning with his third symphony (the 'Eroica'), bridges the worlds of Classical and Romantic music. Because Beethoven wrote some of his greatest music after he became totally deaf, he embodies the Romantic ideal of the tragic artist who defies all odds to conquer his own fate. His later works portray the triumph of the human spirit, most notably his 'Choral' Symphony No. 9; the stirring 'Ode to Joy' from this symphony has been adopted as the anthem of the European Union.
  • Johannes Brahms. His works are cast in the formal moulds of Classicism; he had a profound reverence for Beethoven. Brahms was also attracted to the exoticism of Hungarian folk music, and used it in such pieces as his famous 'Hungarian Dances', the final movement of his Violin Concerto, and the 'Rondo alla zingarese' from his Piano Quartet No. 1, op. 25, in G minor.
  • Franz Liszt. Liszt was by nationality a Hungarian, but nevertheless he spent many years in Germany, and his first language was German. Credited as the inventor of the tone poem. In his old age, Liszt adopted a more dissonant, ominous flavour, characteristic works being 'la Lugubre Gondola' and 'Die Zelle in Nonnenwerth'—predating Impressionism and 20th-century atonality.
  • Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy. A composer of the Early Romantic period, together with such figures as Schumann, Chopin and Liszt. One of the persons responsible for reviving interest in the almost-forgotten music of Johann Sebastian Bach.
  • Franz Schubert. His body of work consists mainly of song cycles and German Lieder set to poems by his contemporaries, many of which are among the most common repertoire in those categories performed today.
  • Robert Schumann. His works recall the nostalgia of lost childhood innocence, first love, and the magnificence of the German countryside. As an influential critic, he played a major role in discovering new talents, among them Chopin and Brahms.
  • Richard Wagner. The most famous composer of German opera; was an exponent of Leitmotif. One of the main figures in the so-called War of the Romantics.
  • Carl Maria von Weber. Perhaps the very first of Romantic musicians, if we exclude Beethoven, in the sense that Weber was the first major composer to emerge wholly as a product of the Romantic school, as contrasted with Beethoven, who had started off as a Classicist. The emotional intensity and supernatural, folklore-based themes in his operas presented a radical break from the Neoclassical traditions of that time.

Visual artists

Philipp Otto Runge 005
Philipp Otto Runge, Self Portrait, 1802–1803, Kunsthalle, Hamburg

Architecture

Entwurf Kirchen Oranienburger Vorstadt III Perspektive
Karl Friedrich Schinkel. Project for church in Oranienburger Vorstadt, Berlin

See also

References

  1. ^ Beiser, ix
  2. ^ Beiser, 7
  3. ^ a b "German literature – Encyclopædia Britannica". Britannica.com. 2012-12-07. Retrieved 2014-01-13.
  • Beiser, Frederick C. (2003). The Romantic Imperative: the Concept of Early German Romanticism. Harvard University Press.

Suggested reading

  • Benz, Ernst. The Mystical Sources of German Romantic Philosophy, translated by Blair R. Reynolds and Eunice M. Paul. London: Pickwick Publications, 2009. ISBN 978-0-915138-50-0. (Original French edition: Les Sources mystiques de la philosophie romantique allemande. Paris : Vrin, 1968.)
  • Breckman, Warren. "Introduction: A Revolution in Culture," in European Romanticism: A Brief History with Documents. Ed. W. Breckman. New York: Bedford/St Martin's, 2007.
  • Gossman, Lionel. “Making of a Romantic Icon: The Religious Context of Friedrich Overbeck’s ‘Italia und Germania.’” American Philosophical Society, 2007. ISBN 0-87169-975-3.
  • Gossman, Lionel. “Orpheus Philologus: Bachofen versus Mommsen on the Study of Antiquity.” American Philosophical Society Transactions, 1983. ISBN 1-4223-7467-X.
  • Grewe, Cordula. Painting the Sacred in the Age of German Romanticism. Aldershot: Ashgate Books, 2009.[1]
  • Johnston, Catherine, et al. Baltic Light: Early Open-Air Painting in Denmark and North Germany. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1999. ISBN 0-300-08166-9.
  • O'Neill, J, ed. (1981). German masters of the nineteenth century : paintings and drawings from the Federal Republic of Germany. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art. ISBN 0-87099-264-3.
  • Safrankski, Rüdiger. Romantik. Eine deutsche Affäre. Munich: Carl Hanser Verlag, 2007. ISBN 978-3-446-20944-2.
  • Siegel, Linda. Caspar David Friedrich and the Age of German Romanticism. Branden Publishing Co, 1978. ISBN 0-8283-1659-7.
  • Vaughan, William. German Romantic Painting. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1980. ISBN 0-300-02387-1.
Absolute music

Absolute music (sometimes abstract music) is music that is not explicitly "about" anything; in contrast to program music, it is non-representational. The idea of absolute music developed at the end of the 18th century in the writings of authors of early German Romanticism, such as Wilhelm Heinrich Wackenroder, Ludwig Tieck and E. T. A. Hoffmann but the term was not coined until 1846 where it was first used by Richard Wagner in a programme to Beethoven's Ninth Symphony.The aesthetic ideas underlying the absolute music derive from debates over the relative value of what were known in the early years of aesthetic theory as the fine arts. Kant, in his Critique of Aesthetic Judgment, dismissed music as "more enjoyment than culture" because of its lack of conceptual content, thus taking as a negative the very feature of music that others celebrated. Johann Gottfried Herder, in contrast, regarded music as the highest of the arts because of its spirituality, which Herder linked to the invisibility of sound. The ensuing arguments among musicians, composers, music historians and critics have, in effect, never stopped.

East Baltic race

The East Baltic race is one of the subcategories of the Europid (Caucasian) race, into which it was divided by biological anthropologists and scientific racists in the early 20th century. Such racial typologies have been rejected by modern anthropology for several reasons.The term East Baltic race was coined by the anthropologist Rolf Nordenstreng, but was popularised by the race theorist Hans F. K. Günther. This race were living in Finland, Estonia and north-western Russia. It was characterized as "short-headed, broad-faced, with heavy, massive under-jaw, chin not prominent, flat, rather broad, short nose with low bridge; stiff, light (ash-blond) hair; light (grey or whitish blue) eyes, standing out; light skin with a greyish undertone.The American Eugenics Society described East Baltic people as being Mongolized.The Nazi philologist Josef Nadler declared the East Baltic race to be the main source of German Romanticism. Also in the Third Reich the philologist Julius Petersen wrote that Ludwig Tieck's Romanticism might have been promoted by his possible Slavic heritage, referring to the American biographer Edwin H. Zeydel's theory, that Tieck's grandmother was Russian.

Edmond Jaloux

Edmond Jaloux (19 June 1878, Marseille – 22 August 1949, Lutry) was a French novelist, essayist, and critic. His works tended to be set in Paris or his native Provence. He was interested in German Romanticism and English writers. In 1936 he joined the Académie française. He died in Switzerland in 1949.

Erlking

"Erlking" (German: Erlkönig, lit. 'alder-king') is a name used in German Romanticism for the figure of a spirit or "king of the fairies". It is usually assumed that the name is a derivation from the ellekonge (older elverkonge, i.e. "Elf-king") in Danish folklore. The name is first used by Johann Gottfried Herder in his ballad "Erlkönigs Tochter" (1778), an adaptation of the Danish Hr. Oluf han rider (1739), and was notably taken up by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe in his poem "Erlkönig" (1782), which was set in music by Schubert, among others. In English translations of Goethe's poem, the name is sometimes rendered as Erl-king.

German literature

German literature comprises those literary texts written in the German language. This includes literature written in Germany, Austria, the German parts of Switzerland and Belgium, Liechtenstein, South Tyrol in Italy and to a lesser extent works of the German diaspora. German literature of the modern period is mostly in Standard German, but there are some currents of literature influenced to a greater or lesser degree by dialects (e.g. Alemannic).

Medieval German literature is literature written in Germany, stretching from the Carolingian dynasty; various dates have been given for the end of the German literary Middle Ages, the Reformation (1517) being the last possible cut-off point. The Old High German period is reckoned to run until about the mid-11th century; the most famous works are the Hildebrandslied and a heroic epic known as the Heliand. Middle High German starts in the 12th century; the key works include The Ring (ca. 1410) and the poems of Oswald von Wolkenstein and Johannes von Tepl. The Baroque period (1600 to 1720) was one of the most fertile times in German literature. Modern literature in German begins with the authors of the Enlightenment (such as Herder). The Sensibility movement of the 1750s–1770s ended with Goethe's best-selling Die Leiden des jungen Werther (1774). The Sturm und Drang and Weimar Classicism movements were led by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Friedrich Schiller. German Romanticism was the dominant movement of the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

Biedermeier refers to the literature, music, the visual arts and interior design in the period between the years 1815 (Vienna Congress), the end of the Napoleonic Wars, and 1848, the year of the European revolutions. Under the Nazi regime, some authors went into exile (Exilliteratur) and others submitted to censorship ("internal emigration", Innere Emigration). The Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded to German language authors thirteen times (as of 2009), or the third most often after English and French language authors (with 27 and 14 laureates, respectively), with winners including Thomas Mann, Hermann Hesse, and Günter Grass.

Jena Romanticism

Jena Romanticism (German: Jenaer Romantik; also the Jena Romantics or Early Romanticism (Frühromantik)) is the first phase of Romanticism in German literature represented by the work of a group centred in Jena from about 1798 to 1804. The movement is considered to have contributed to the development of German idealism in late modern philosophy.

Ludwig Achim von Arnim

Carl Joachim Friedrich Ludwig von Arnim (26 January 1781 – 21 January 1831), better known as Achim von Arnim, was a German poet, novelist, and together with Clemens Brentano and Joseph von Eichendorff, a leading figure of German Romanticism.

Manfred Frank

Manfred Frank (born March 22, 1945) is a German philosopher, emeritus professor of philosophy at the University of Tübingen. His work focuses on German idealism, romanticism, and the concepts of subjectivity and self-consciousness. His 950-page study of German romanticism, Unendliche Annäherung, has been described as "the most comprehensive and thoroughgoing study of early German romanticism" and "surely one of the most important books from the post-War period on the history of German philosophy." He has also written at length on analytic philosophy and recent French philosophy.

Nazarene movement

The epithet Nazarene was adopted by a group of early 19th century German Romantic painters who aimed to revive honesty and spirituality in Christian art. The name Nazarene came from a term of derision used against them for their affectation of a biblical manner of clothing and hair style.

Novalis

Novalis (; German: [noˈvaːlɪs]) was the pseudonym and pen name of Georg Philipp Friedrich Freiherr von Hardenberg (2 May 1772 – 25 March 1801), a poet, author, mystic, and philosopher of Early German Romanticism. Hardenberg's professional work and university background, namely his study of mineralogy and management of salt mines in Saxony, was often ignored by his contemporary readers. The first studies showing important relations between his literary and professional works started in the 1960s.

Organicism

Organicism is the philosophical perspective which views the universe and its parts as organic wholes and – either by analogy or literally – as living organisms. It can be synonymous with holism. Organicism is an important tradition within the history of natural philosophy where it has remained as a vital current alongside reductionism and mechanism, the approaches that have dominated science since the seventeenth century. Plato is among the earliest philosophers to have regarded the universe as an intelligent living being (see Timaeus). Organicism flourished for a period during the era of German romanticism during which time the new science of biology was first defined by Jean-Baptiste Lamarck. Within modern-day biological sciences organicism is the approach that stresses the organization (particularly the self-organizing properties), rather than the composition, of organisms. John Scott Haldane was the first biologist to use the term to describe his philosophical views in 1917, after which it was followed by certain other biologists in the 20th century.

Phantastes

Phantastes: A Faerie Romance for Men and Women is a fantasy novel by Scottish writer George MacDonald, first published in London in 1858. It was later reprinted in paperback by Ballantine Books as the fourteenth volume of the Ballantine Adult Fantasy series in April 1970.

The story centres on the character Anodos ("pathless", or "ascent" in Greek) and takes its inspiration from German Romanticism, particularly Novalis. The story concerns a young man who is pulled into a dreamlike world and there hunts for his ideal of female beauty, embodied by the "Marble Lady". Anodos lives through many adventures and temptations while in the other world, until he is finally ready to give up his ideals.

The edition published in 1905 was illustrated by Pre-Raphaelite painter Arthur Hughes.

C.S. Lewis wrote, concerning his first reading of Phantastes at age sixteen, "That night my imagination was, in a certain sense, baptized; the rest of me[,] not unnaturally, took longer. I had not the faintest notion what I had let myself in for by buying Phantastes."

Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe

Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe (; French: [laku labaʁt]; 6 March 1940 – 28 January 2007) was a French philosopher. He was also a literary critic and translator.

Lacoue-Labarthe was influenced by and wrote extensively on Martin Heidegger, Jacques Derrida, Jacques Lacan, German Romanticism, Paul Celan, and Gérard Granel. He also translated works by Heidegger, Celan, Friedrich Nietzsche, Friedrich Hölderlin, and Walter Benjamin into French.

Lacoue-Labarthe was a member and president of the Collège international de philosophie.

Philosophy of culture

Philosophy of culture is a branch of philosophy that examines the essence and meaning of culture.

Ricarda Huch

Ricarda Huch (German: [huχ]; 18 July 1864 – 17 November 1947) was a pioneering German intellectual. Trained as an historian, and the author of many works of European history, she also wrote novels, poems, and a play. Asteroid 879 Ricarda is named in her honour. She was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature seven times.

Transcendentalism

Transcendentalism is a philosophical movement that developed in the late 1820s and 1830s in the eastern United States. It arose as a reaction, to protest against the general state of intellectualism and spirituality at the time. The doctrine of the Unitarian church as taught at Harvard Divinity School was of particular interest.

Transcendentalism emerged from "English and German Romanticism, the Biblical criticism of Johann Gottfried Herder and Friedrich Schleiermacher, the skepticism of David Hume", and the transcendental philosophy of Immanuel Kant and German Idealism. Miller and Versluis regard Emanuel Swedenborg as a pervasive influence on transcendentalism. It was also strongly influenced by Hindu texts on philosophy of the mind and spirituality, especially the Upanishads.

A core belief of transcendentalism is in the inherent goodness of people and nature. Adherents believe that society and its institutions have corrupted the purity of the individual, and they have faith that people are at their best when truly "self-reliant" and independent.

Transcendentalism emphasizes subjective intuition over objective empiricism. Adherents believe that individuals are capable of generating completely original insights with little attention and deference to past masters.

Urreligion

Urreligion is a notion of an "original" or "oldest" form of religious tradition (ur- being a Germanic prefix for "original, primitive, elder, primeval, or proto-"). The term contrasts with organized religion, such as the theocracies of the early urban cultures of the Ancient Near East or current world religions.

The term originates in German Romanticism.

Wilhelm Heinrich Wackenroder

Wilhelm Heinrich Wackenroder (13 July 1773 – 13 February 1798) was a German jurist and writer. With Ludwig Tieck, he was a co-founder of German Romanticism.

Wackenroder was born in Berlin. He was a close friend of Tieck from youth until his early death. They collaborated on virtually everything they wrote in this period. Wackenroder probably made substantial contributions to Tieck's novel Franz Sternbalds Wanderungen (Franz Sternbald’s Wanderings, 1798), and Tieck to Wackenroder's influential collection of essays, Herzensergießungen eines kunstliebenden Klosterbruders (Outpourings of an Art-Loving Friar, 1797). Outpourings is a tribute to Renaissance and medieval literature and art, attributing to them a sense of emotion Wackenroder and Tieck felt was missing in German Enlightenment thought. It was also the first work to claim for Northern Renaissance art a status equivalent to that of the Italian Renaissance, at least in the case of Albrecht Dürer. The Outpourings have been accorded a status in Germany akin to that of Lyrical Ballads in England, i.e. as the first work of the Romantic movement.Wackenroder died in Berlin in 1798 at the age of 24 of a case of typhoid fever.

Young Bosnia

Young Bosnia (Serbo-Croatian: Mlada Bosna/Млада Босна) was a revolutionary movement active in the Condominium of Bosnia and Herzegovina before World War I. The members were predominantly school students, primarily Bosnian Serbs (including Serb Muslims), but also Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats. There were two key ideologies promoted amongst the members of the group, the Yugoslavist (unification into a Yugoslavia), and the Pan-Serb (unification into Serbia). Young Bosnia was inspired from a variety of ideas, movements, and events; such as German romanticism, anarchism, Russian revolutionary socialism, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Friedrich Nietzsche, and the Battle of Kosovo.

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