Heinrich Heine

Heinrich Heine

Overview
Christian Johann Heinrich Heine (13 December 1797 – 17 February 1856) was one of the most significant German
German literature
German literature comprises those literary texts written in the German language. This includes literature written in Germany, Austria, the German part of Switzerland, and to a lesser extent works of the German diaspora. German literature of the modern period is mostly in Standard German, but there...

 poet
Poet
A poet is a person who writes poetry. A poet's work can be literal, meaning that his work is derived from a specific event, or metaphorical, meaning that his work can take on many meanings and forms. Poets have existed since antiquity, in nearly all languages, and have produced works that vary...

s of the 19th century. He was also a journalist
Journalist
A journalist collects and distributes news and other information. A journalist's work is referred to as journalism.A reporter is a type of journalist who researchs, writes, and reports on information to be presented in mass media, including print media , electronic media , and digital media A...

, essay
Essay
An essay is a piece of writing which is often written from an author's personal point of view. Essays can consist of a number of elements, including: literary criticism, political manifestos, learned arguments, observations of daily life, recollections, and reflections of the author. The definition...

ist, and literary critic
Literary criticism
Literary criticism is the study, evaluation, and interpretation of literature. Modern literary criticism is often informed by literary theory, which is the philosophical discussion of its methods and goals...

. He is best known outside Germany for his early lyric poetry
Lyric poetry
Lyric poetry is a genre of poetry that expresses personal and emotional feelings. In the ancient world, lyric poems were those which were sung to the lyre. Lyric poems do not have to rhyme, and today do not need to be set to music or a beat...

, which was set to music in the form of Lied
Lied
is a German word literally meaning "song", usually used to describe romantic songs setting German poems of reasonably high literary aspirations, especially during the nineteenth century, beginning with Carl Loewe, Heinrich Marschner, and Franz Schubert and culminating with Hugo Wolf...

er (art songs) by composer
Composer
A composer is a person who creates music, either by musical notation or oral tradition, for interpretation and performance, or through direct manipulation of sonic material through electronic media...

s such as Robert Schumann
Robert Schumann
Robert Schumann, sometimes known as Robert Alexander Schumann, was a German composer, aesthete and influential music critic. He is regarded as one of the greatest and most representative composers of the Romantic era....

 and Franz Schubert
Franz Schubert
Franz Peter Schubert was an Austrian composer.Although he died at an early age, Schubert was tremendously prolific. He wrote some 600 Lieder, nine symphonies , liturgical music, operas, some incidental music, and a large body of chamber and solo piano music...

. Heine's later verse and prose is distinguished by its satirical wit and irony. His radical political views led to many of his works being banned by German authorities.
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Quotations

Out of my own great woeI make my little songs.

Aus Meinen Grossen Schmerzen (Out of My Great Woe), st. 1

Ich weiss nicht, was soll es bedeuten,Dass ich so traurig bin;Ein Märchen aus alten Zeiten,Das kommt mir nicht aus dem Sinn.

I cannot explain the sadnessThat's fallen on my breast.An old, old fable haunts me,And will not let me rest.

Du bist wie eine Blume,So hold und schön und rein;Ich schau dich an, und WehmutSchleicht mir ins Herz hinein.

You're lovely as a flower,So pure and fair to see;I look at you, and sadnessComes stealing over me.

At first I was almost about to despair, I thought I never could bear it — but I did I bear it. The question remains: how?

An Karl von U.

Dort wo man Bücher verbrennt, verbrennt man auch am Ende Menschen.

Where they burn books, at the end they also burn people.

Every woman is the gift of a world to me.

Ideas: The Book Le Grand (1826)

Don't send a poet to London.

English Fragments (1828), Ch. 2 : London

Christianity is an idea, and as such is indestructible and immortal, like every idea.

History of Religion and Philosophy in Germany, Vol. I (1834)
Encyclopedia
Christian Johann Heinrich Heine (13 December 1797 – 17 February 1856) was one of the most significant German
German literature
German literature comprises those literary texts written in the German language. This includes literature written in Germany, Austria, the German part of Switzerland, and to a lesser extent works of the German diaspora. German literature of the modern period is mostly in Standard German, but there...

 poet
Poet
A poet is a person who writes poetry. A poet's work can be literal, meaning that his work is derived from a specific event, or metaphorical, meaning that his work can take on many meanings and forms. Poets have existed since antiquity, in nearly all languages, and have produced works that vary...

s of the 19th century. He was also a journalist
Journalist
A journalist collects and distributes news and other information. A journalist's work is referred to as journalism.A reporter is a type of journalist who researchs, writes, and reports on information to be presented in mass media, including print media , electronic media , and digital media A...

, essay
Essay
An essay is a piece of writing which is often written from an author's personal point of view. Essays can consist of a number of elements, including: literary criticism, political manifestos, learned arguments, observations of daily life, recollections, and reflections of the author. The definition...

ist, and literary critic
Literary criticism
Literary criticism is the study, evaluation, and interpretation of literature. Modern literary criticism is often informed by literary theory, which is the philosophical discussion of its methods and goals...

. He is best known outside Germany for his early lyric poetry
Lyric poetry
Lyric poetry is a genre of poetry that expresses personal and emotional feelings. In the ancient world, lyric poems were those which were sung to the lyre. Lyric poems do not have to rhyme, and today do not need to be set to music or a beat...

, which was set to music in the form of Lied
Lied
is a German word literally meaning "song", usually used to describe romantic songs setting German poems of reasonably high literary aspirations, especially during the nineteenth century, beginning with Carl Loewe, Heinrich Marschner, and Franz Schubert and culminating with Hugo Wolf...

er (art songs) by composer
Composer
A composer is a person who creates music, either by musical notation or oral tradition, for interpretation and performance, or through direct manipulation of sonic material through electronic media...

s such as Robert Schumann
Robert Schumann
Robert Schumann, sometimes known as Robert Alexander Schumann, was a German composer, aesthete and influential music critic. He is regarded as one of the greatest and most representative composers of the Romantic era....

 and Franz Schubert
Franz Schubert
Franz Peter Schubert was an Austrian composer.Although he died at an early age, Schubert was tremendously prolific. He wrote some 600 Lieder, nine symphonies , liturgical music, operas, some incidental music, and a large body of chamber and solo piano music...

. Heine's later verse and prose is distinguished by its satirical wit and irony. His radical political views led to many of his works being banned by German authorities. Heine spent the last 25 years of his life as an expatriate in Paris.

Childhood and youth



Heine was born in Düsseldorf
Düsseldorf
Düsseldorf is the capital city of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia and centre of the Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region.Düsseldorf is an important international business and financial centre and renowned for its fashion and trade fairs. Located centrally within the European Megalopolis, the...

, Rhineland
Rhineland
Historically, the Rhinelands refers to a loosely-defined region embracing the land on either bank of the River Rhine in central Europe....

, into a Jewish family. He was called "Harry" as a child, but after his baptism
Baptism
In Christianity, baptism is for the majority the rite of admission , almost invariably with the use of water, into the Christian Church generally and also membership of a particular church tradition...

 in 1825 he became "Heinrich". Heine's father, Samson Heine (1764–1828), was a textile merchant. His mother Peira (known as "Betty"), née van Geldern (1771–1859), was the daughter of a physician. Heinrich was the eldest of the four children; his siblings were Charlotte, Gustav
Gustav Heine von Geldern
Gustav Heine, Freiherr von Geldern was a German-Austrian publicist.He was the brother of Heinrich Heine. On completing his preliminary education at Hamburg he studied at the universities of Halle and Göttingen...

 - who later became Baron Heine-Geldern and publisher of the Viennese newspaper Das Fremdenblatt - and Maximilian, later a physician in Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg is a city and a federal subject of Russia located on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea...

.
Düsseldorf was then a small town with a population of around 16,000. The Revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

 in neighbouring France and the subsequent Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars which involved Germany meant that Düsseldorf had a complicated political history during Heine's childhood. It had been the capital of the Duchy of Jülich-Berg
Duchy of Jülich
The Duchy of Jülich comprised a state within the Holy Roman Empire from the 11th to the 18th centuries. The duchy lay left of the Rhine river between the Electorate of Cologne in the east and the Duchy of Limburg in the west. It had territories on both sides of the river Rur, around its capital...

 but at the time of his birth it was under French occupation. Then it went to the Elector of Bavaria before being conquered by Napoleon in 1806. Napoleon turned it into the capital of the Grand Duchy of Berg
Grand Duchy of Berg
The Grand Duchy of Berg was established by Napoleon Bonaparte after his victory at the 1805 Battle of Austerlitz on territories between the French Empire at the Rhine river and the Kingdom of Westphalia.-History:...

, one of three French states he established in Germany. It was first ruled by Joachim Murat
Joachim Murat
Joachim-Napoléon Murat , Marshal of France and Grand Admiral or Admiral of France, 1st Prince Murat, was Grand Duke of Berg from 1806 to 1808 and then King of Naples from 1808 to 1815...

, then by Napoleon himself. In 1815, on Napoleon's downfall, it became part of Prussia
Prussia
Prussia was a German kingdom and historic state originating out of the Duchy of Prussia and the Margraviate of Brandenburg. For centuries, the House of Hohenzollern ruled Prussia, successfully expanding its size by way of an unusually well-organized and effective army. Prussia shaped the history...

. Heine's formative years were thus spent under French influence. The adult Heine would always be devoted to the French for introducing the Napoleonic Code
Napoleonic code
The Napoleonic Code — or Code Napoléon — is the French civil code, established under Napoléon I in 1804. The code forbade privileges based on birth, allowed freedom of religion, and specified that government jobs go to the most qualified...

 and trial by jury. He glossed over the negative aspects of French rule: the heavy taxation, conscription and the economic depression brought on by the Continental Blockade. He greatly admired Napoleon as the promoter of the revolutionary ideals of liberty and equality. Heine loathed the political atmosphere in Germany after Napoleon's defeat, which was marked by the conservative policies of the Austrian chancellor Metternich, who tried to reverse the effects of the French Revolution.

Heine's parents were not particularly devout Jews. When he was a young child they sent him to a Jewish school where he learned a smattering of Hebrew
Hebrew language
Hebrew is a Semitic language of the Afroasiatic language family. Culturally, is it considered by Jews and other religious groups as the language of the Jewish people, though other Jewish languages had originated among diaspora Jews, and the Hebrew language is also used by non-Jewish groups, such...

. Thereafter he attended Catholic schools. Here he learned French, which would be his second language, although he always spoke it with a German accent. He also acquired a lifelong love for Rhineland folklore.

In 1814 Heine went to a business school in Düsseldorf where he learned to read English, the commercial language of the time. The most successful member of the Heine family was his uncle Salomon
Salomon Heine
Salomon Heine was a merchant and banker in Hamburg. Heine was born in Hanover, Germany. Penniless, he came to Hamburg in 1784 and in the following years acquired sizeable assets. It was common knowledge at the time that he was benefactor and patron to his nephew Heinrich Heine...

, who was a millionaire banker in Hamburg
Hamburg
-History:The first historic name for the city was, according to Claudius Ptolemy's reports, Treva.But the city takes its modern name, Hamburg, from the first permanent building on the site, a castle whose construction was ordered by the Emperor Charlemagne in AD 808...

. In 1816 Heine moved to Hamburg to become an apprentice at Heckscher & Co, his uncle Salomon's bank, but he displayed little aptitude for business. He learned to hate Hamburg with its commercial ethos but it would become one of the poles of his life alongside Paris. When he was 18, Heine almost certainly had an unrequited love for his cousin Amalie, Salomon's daughter. Whether he then transferred his affections (equally unsuccessfully) to her sister Therese is unknown. This period in Heine's life is not very clear, but it seems that his father Samson's business deteriorated and Samson Heine effectively became the ward of his brother Salomon.

Universities


Salomon realised that his nephew had no talent for trade and it was decided that Heine should enter the law. So, in 1819, Heine went to the University of Bonn
University of Bonn
The University of Bonn is a public research university located in Bonn, Germany. Founded in its present form in 1818, as the linear successor of earlier academic institutions, the University of Bonn is today one of the leading universities in Germany. The University of Bonn offers a large number...

 (then in Prussia). Political life in Germany was divided between conservatives and liberals. The conservatives, who were in power, wanted to restore things to the way they were before the French Revolution. They were against German unification because they felt a united Germany might fall victim to revolutionary ideas. Most German states were absolutist monarchies
Absolute monarchy
Absolute monarchy is a monarchical form of government in which the monarch exercises ultimate governing authority as head of state and head of government, his or her power not being limited by a constitution or by the law. An absolute monarch thus wields unrestricted political power over the...

 with a censored press. The opponents of the conservatives, the liberals, wanted to replace absolutism with representative, constitutional government, equality before the law and a free press. At the University of Bonn, liberal students were at war with the conservative authorities. Heine was a radical liberal and one of the first things he did after his arrival was to take part in a parade which violated the Carlsbad Decrees
Carlsbad Decrees
The Carlsbad Decrees were a set of reactionary restrictions introduced in the states of the German Confederation by resolution of the Bundesversammlung on 20 September 1819 after a conference held in the spa town of Carlsbad, Bohemia...

, a series of measures introduced by Metternich to suppress liberal political activity.

Heine was more interested in studying history and literature than law. The university had engaged the famous literary critic and thinker August Wilhelm Schlegel as a lecturer and Heine heard him talk about the Nibelungenlied
Nibelungenlied
The Nibelungenlied, translated as The Song of the Nibelungs, is an epic poem in Middle High German. The story tells of dragon-slayer Siegfried at the court of the Burgundians, how he was murdered, and of his wife Kriemhild's revenge....

 and Romanticism
Romanticism
Romanticism was an artistic, literary and intellectual movement that originated in the second half of the 18th century in Europe, and gained strength in reaction to the Industrial Revolution...

. Though he would later mock Schlegel, Heine found in him a sympathetic critic for his early verses. Heine began to acquire a reputation as a poet at Bonn. He also wrote two tragedies, Almansor and William Ratcliff, but they had little success in the theatre.

After a year at Bonn, Heine left to continue his law studies at the University of Göttingen. Heine hated the town. It was part of Hanover
Hanover
Hanover or Hannover, on the river Leine, is the capital of the federal state of Lower Saxony , Germany and was once by personal union the family seat of the Hanoverian Kings of Great Britain, under their title as the dukes of Brunswick-Lüneburg...

, ruled by the King of England, the power Heine blamed for bringing Napoleon down. Here the poet experienced an aristocratic snobbery absent elsewhere. He also hated law as the Historical School of law
German Historical School
The German Historical School of Law is a 19th century intellectual movement in the study of German law. With Romanticism as its background, it emphasized the historical limitations of the law...

 he had to study was used to bolster the reactionary form of government he opposed. Other events conspired to make Heine loathe this period of his life: he was expelled from a student fraternity
Burschenschaft
German Burschenschaften are a special type of Studentenverbindungen . Burschenschaften were founded in the 19th century as associations of university students inspired by liberal and nationalistic ideas.-History:-Beginnings 1815–c...

 for anti-Semitic
Anti-Semitism
Antisemitism is suspicion of, hatred toward, or discrimination against Jews for reasons connected to their Jewish heritage. According to a 2005 U.S...

 reasons and he heard the news that his cousin Amalie had become engaged. When Heine challenged another student, Wiebel, to a duel (the first of ten known incidents throughout his life), the authorities stepped in and Heine was suspended from the university for six months. His uncle now decided to send him to the University of Berlin.


Heine arrived in Berlin in March 1821. It was the biggest, most cosmopolitan city he had ever visited (its population was about 200,000). The university gave Heine access to notable cultural figures as lecturers: the Sanskritist Franz Bopp
Franz Bopp
Franz Bopp was a German linguist known for extensive comparative work on Indo-European languages.-Biography:...

 and the Homer critic F.A. Wolf
Friedrich August Wolf
Friedrich August Wolf was a German philologist and critic.He was born at Hainrode, a village not far from Nordhausen, Germany. His father was the village schoolmaster and organist...

, who inspired Heine's lifelong love of Aristophanes
Aristophanes
Aristophanes , son of Philippus, of the deme Cydathenaus, was a comic playwright of ancient Athens. Eleven of his forty plays survive virtually complete...

. Most important was the philosopher Hegel
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel was a German philosopher, one of the creators of German Idealism. His historicist and idealist account of reality as a whole revolutionized European philosophy and was an important precursor to Continental philosophy and Marxism.Hegel developed a comprehensive...

, whose influence on Heine is hard to gauge. He probably gave Heine and other young students the idea that history had a meaning which could be seen as progressive. Heine also made valuable acquaintances in Berlin, notably the liberal Karl August Varnhagen and his Jewish wife Rahel, who held a leading salon. Another friend was the satirist Karl Immermann
Karl Leberecht Immermann
Karl Leberecht Immermann was a German dramatist and novelist.He was born at Magdeburg, the son of a government official. In 1813 he went to study law at Halle, where he remained, after the suppression of the university by Napoleon in the same year, until Frederick William III of Prussia's...

, who had praised Heine's first verse collection, Gedichte, when it appeared in December 1821. During his time in Berlin Heine also joined the Verein für Cultur und Wissenschaft der Juden, a society which attempted to achieve a balance between the Jewish faith and modernity. 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 1824 Heine began a historical novel, Der Rabbi von Bacherach, which he never managed to finish.

In May 1823 Heine left Berlin for good and joined his family at their new home in Lüneburg
Lüneburg
Lüneburg is a town in the German state of Lower Saxony. It is located about southeast of fellow Hanseatic city Hamburg. It is part of the Hamburg Metropolitan Region, and one of Hamburg's inner suburbs...

. Here he began to write the poems of the cycle Die Heimkehr ("The Homecoming"). He returned to Göttingen where he was again bored by the law. In September 1824 he decided to take a break and set off on a trip through the Harz
Harz
The Harz is the highest mountain range in northern Germany and its rugged terrain extends across parts of Lower Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia. The name Harz derives from the Middle High German word Hardt or Hart , latinized as Hercynia. The legendary Brocken is the highest summit in the Harz...

 mountains. On his return he started writing an account of it, Die Harzreise.

On 28 June 1825 Heine converted to Protestantism
Protestantism
Protestantism is one of the three major groupings within Christianity. It is a movement that began in Germany in the early 16th century as a reaction against medieval Roman Catholic doctrines and practices, especially in regards to salvation, justification, and ecclesiology.The doctrines of the...

. The Prussian government had been gradually restoring discrimination against Jews. In 1822 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.

Julius Campe and first literary successes


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. 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
Norderney
Norderney is one of the seven populated East Frisian Islands off the North Sea coast of Germany. It is also a municipality in the district of Aurich in Lower Saxony....

 which inspired the free verse
Free verse
Free verse is a form of poetry that refrains from consistent meter patterns, rhyme, or any other musical pattern.Poets have explained that free verse, despite its freedom, is not free. Free Verse displays some elements of form...

 poems of his cycle Die Nordsee.
In Hamburg one evening in January 1826 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 320 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 320. 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 1834 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.
But the relationship between author and publisher started well: Campe published the first volume of Reisebilder ("Travel Pictures") in May 1826. 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 1827. 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. For example the poem "Allnächtlich im Traume" of the Buch der Lieder was set to music by Robert Schumann as well as by Felix Mendelssohn. It contains the ironical disillusionment which is typical of Heine:
Allnächtlich im Traume seh ich dich,
Und sehe dich freundlich grüßen,
Und lautaufweinend stürz ich mich
Zu deinen süßen Füßen.

Du siehst mich an wehmütiglich,
Und schüttelst das blonde Köpfchen;
Aus deinen Augen schleichen sich
Die Perlentränentröpfchen.

Du sagst mir heimlich ein leises Wort,
Und gibst mir den Strauß von Zypressen.
Ich wache auf, und der Strauß ist fort,
Und das Wort hab ich vergessen.


(non-literal translation in verse by Hal Draper:)
Nightly I see you in dreams-you speak,
With kindliness sincerest,
I throw myself, weeping aloud and weak
At your sweet feet, my dearest.

You look at me with wistful woe,
And shake your golden curls;
And stealing from your eyes there flow
The teardrops like to pearls.

You breathe in my ear a secret word,
A garland of cypress for token.
I wake; it is gone; the dream is blurred,
And forgotten the word that was spoken.


Starting from the mid-1820s Heine distanced himself from Romanticism
Romanticism
Romanticism was an artistic, literary and intellectual movement that originated in the second half of the 18th century in Europe, and gained strength in reaction to the Industrial Revolution...

 by adding irony, sarcasm and satire into his poetry and making fun of the sentimental-romantic awe of nature and of figures of speech
Figures of Speech
Figures of Speech is a hip hop group consisting of MCs Eve and Jyant. They performed at the Good Life Cafe in the early 1990s and were featured on the Project Blowed compilation....

 in contemporary poetry and literature. An example are these lines:


Das Fräulein stand am Meere
Und seufzte lang und bang.
Es rührte sie so sehre
der Sonnenuntergang.

Mein Fräulein! Sein sie munter,
Das ist ein altes Stück;
Hier vorne geht sie unter
Und kehrt von hinten zurück.

A mistress stood by the sea
sighing long and anxiously.
She was so deeply stirred
By the setting sun

My Fräulein!, be gay,
This is an old play;
ahead of you it sets
And from behind it returns.



Heine became increasingly critical of despotism
Despotism
Despotism is a form of government in which a single entity rules with absolute power. That entity may be an individual, as in an autocracy, or it may be a group, as in an oligarchy...

 and reactionary chauvinism
Chauvinism
Chauvinism, in its original and primary meaning, is an exaggerated, bellicose patriotism and a belief in national superiority and glory. It is an eponym of a possibly fictional French soldier Nicolas Chauvin who was credited with many superhuman feats in the Napoleonic wars.By extension it has come...

  in Germany, of nobility and clerics but also of the narrow-mindedness of ordinary people and of the rising German form of nationalism
Nationalism
Nationalism is a political ideology that involves a strong identification of a group of individuals with a political entity defined in national terms, i.e. a nation. In the 'modernist' image of the nation, it is nationalism that creates national identity. There are various definitions for what...

, especially in contrast to the French and the revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

. Nevertheless, he made a point of stressing his love for his Fatherland
Fatherland
Fatherland is the nation of one's "fathers", "forefathers" or "patriarchs". It can be viewed as a nationalist concept, insofar as it relates to nations...

:

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.

Travel and the Platen affair


The first volume of travel writings was such a success that Campe pressed Heine for another. Reisebilder II appeared in April 1827. 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:

The German Censors  ——  ——  ——  ——  ——
——  ——  ——  ——  ——  ——  ——  ——  ——  ——
——  ——  ——  ——  ——  ——  ——  ——  ——  ——
——  ——  ——  ——  ——  ——  ——  ——  ——  ——
——  ——  ——  ——  ——  ——  ——  ——  ——  ——
——  ——  ——  ——  ——  ——  ——  ——  ——  ——
——  ——  ——  ——  ——    idiots    ——  ——
——  ——  ——  ——  ——  ——  ——  ——  ——  ——
——  ——  ——  ——  ——  ——  ——  ——  ——  ——
——  ——  ——  ——  ——  ——  ——  ——  ——  ——
——  ——  ——  ——  ——


Heine went to England to avoid what he predicted would be controversy over the publication of this work. In London he cashed a cheque from his uncle for £200 (equal to £ today), much to Salomon's chagrin. 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
Johann Friedrich Cotta
Johann Friedrich, Freiherr Cotta von Cottendorf was a German publisher, industrial pioneer and politician.- Ancestors :Cotta is the name of a family of German publishers, intimately...

, 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. After a few months he took a trip to northern Italy, visiting Lucca, Florence and Venice, but was forced to return when he received news that his father had died. This Italian journey resulted in a series of new works: Die Reise von München nach Genua ("Journey from Munich to Genoa"), Die Bäder von Lucca ("The Baths of Lucca") and Die Stadt Lucca ("The Town of Lucca"). Die Bäder von Lucca embroiled Heine in controversy. The aristocratic poet August von Platen had been annoyed by some epigram
Epigram
An epigram is a brief, interesting, usually memorable and sometimes surprising statement. Derived from the epigramma "inscription" from ἐπιγράφειν epigraphein "to write on inscribe", this literary device has been employed for over two millennia....

s by Immermann which Heine had included in the second volume of Reisebilder. He counter-attacked by writing a play, Die romantische Ödipus, which included anti-Semitic jibes about Heine. Heine was stung and responded by mocking Platen's homosexuality in Die Bäder von Lucca.

Paris years



Foreign correspondent



In 1831 Heine left Germany for France, settling in Paris for his remaining 25 years of life. His move was prompted by the July Revolution
July Revolution
The French Revolution of 1830, also known as the July Revolution or in French, saw the overthrow of King Charles X of France, the French Bourbon monarch, and the ascent of his cousin Louis-Philippe, Duke of Orléans, who himself, after 18 precarious years on the throne, would in turn be overthrown...

 of 1830 which had made Louis-Philippe the "Citizen King" of the French. Heine shared liberal enthusiasm for the revolution, which he felt had the potential to overturn the conservative political order in Europe. Heine was also attracted by the prospect of freedom from German censorship and was interested in the new French utopian political doctrine of Saint-Simonianism
Saint-Simonianism
Saint-Simonianism was a French political and social movement of the first half of the 19th century, inspired by the ideas of Claude Henri de Rouvroy, comte de Saint-Simon ....

. Saint-Simonianism preached a new social order in which meritocracy
Meritocracy
Meritocracy, in the first, most administrative sense, is a system of government or other administration wherein appointments and responsibilities are objectively assigned to individuals based upon their "merits", namely intelligence, credentials, and education, determined through evaluations or...

 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 made many famous acquaintances (the closest were Gérard de Nerval
Gérard de Nerval
Gérard de Nerval was the nom-de-plume of the French poet, essayist and translator Gérard Labrunie, one of the most essentially Romantic French poets.- Biography :...

 and Hector Berlioz
Hector Berlioz
Hector Berlioz was a French Romantic composer, best known for his compositions Symphonie fantastique and Grande messe des morts . Berlioz made significant contributions to the modern orchestra with his Treatise on Instrumentation. He specified huge orchestral forces for some of his works; as a...

) but he always remained something of an outsider. He had little interest in French literature and wrote everything in German, subsequently translating it into French with the help of a collaborator.

In Paris Heine earned money working as the French correspondent for one of Cotta's newspapers, the Allgemeine Zeitung
Allgemeine Zeitung
The Allgemeine Zeitung was in the first part of the 19th century the leading political daily journal in Germany. It has been widely recognised as the first world class German journal and is a symbol of the German press abroad....

. The first event he covered was the Salon of 1831. His articles were eventually collected in a volume entitled Französische Zustände ("Conditions in France"). Heine saw himself as a mediator between Germany and France. If the two countries understood one another there would be progress. To further this aim he published De l'Allemagne ("On Germany") in French (begun 1833). In its later German version, the book is divided into two: Zur Geschichte der Religion und Philosophie in Deutschland ("Religion and Philosophy in Germany") and Die romantische Schule ("The Romantic School"). Heine was deliberately attacking Madame de Staël
Anne Louise Germaine de Staël
Anne Louise Germaine de Staël-Holstein , commonly known as Madame de Staël, was a French-speaking Swiss author living in Paris and abroad. She influenced literary tastes in Europe at the turn of the 19th century.- Childhood :...

's book De l'Allemagne (1813) which he viewed as reactionary, Romantic and obscurantist. He felt de Staël had portrayed a Germany of "poets and thinkers", dreamy, religious, introverted and cut off from the revolutionary currents of the modern world. Heine thought that such an image suited the oppressive German authorities. He also had an Enlightenment
Age of Enlightenment
The Age of Enlightenment was an elite cultural movement of intellectuals in 18th century Europe that sought to mobilize the power of reason in order to reform society and advance knowledge. It promoted intellectual interchange and opposed intolerance and abuses in church and state...

 view of the past, seeing it as mired in superstition and atrocities. "Religion and Philosophy in Germany" describes the replacement of traditional "spiritualist" religion by a pantheism
Pantheism
Pantheism is the view that the Universe and God are identical. Pantheists thus do not believe in a personal, anthropomorphic or creator god. The word derives from the Greek meaning "all" and the Greek meaning "God". As such, Pantheism denotes the idea that "God" is best seen as a process of...

 which pays attention to human material needs. 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 had had few serious love affairs, but in late 1834 he made the acquaintance of a 19-year old Paris shopgirl, Crescence Eugénie Mirat, whom he nicknamed "Mathilde". 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 1836 and lived with him for the rest of his life (they were married in 1841).

Young Germany and Ludwig Börne



Heine and his fellow radical exile in Paris, Ludwig Börne
Ludwig Börne
Karl Ludwig Börne was a German political writer and satirist.-Early life:Karl Ludwig Börne was born Loeb Baruch on May 6, 1786, at Frankfurt am Main, son of Jakob Baruch, a banker. His grandfather had been a government bureaucrat.-Education:Börne and his brothers were privately tutored by Jacob...

, had become the role models for a younger generation of writers who were given the name "Young Germany
Young Germany
Young Germany was a group of German writers which existed from about 1830 to 1850. It was essentially a youth ideology . Its main proponents were Karl Gutzkow, Heinrich Laube, Theodor Mundt and Ludolf Wienbarg; Heinrich Heine, Ludwig Börne and Georg Büchner were also considered part of the movement...

". They included Karl Gutzkow
Karl Gutzkow
Karl Ferdinand Gutzkow was a German writer notable in the Young Germany movement of the mid-19th century.-Life:...

, Heinrich Laube
Heinrich Laube
Heinrich Laube , German dramatist, novelist and theatre-director, was born at Sprottau in Prussian Silesia.-Life:He studied theology at Halle and Breslau , and settled in Leipzig in 1832...

, Theodor Mundt
Theodor Mundt
thumb|200px|Theodor MundtTheodor Mundt was a German critic and novelist. He was a member of the Young Germany group of German writers.-Biography:Born at Potsdam, Mundt studied philology and philosophy at Berlin...

 and Ludolf Wienbarg
Ludolf Wienbarg
Christian Ludolf Wienbarg was a German journalist and literary critic, one of the founders of the Young Germany movement during the Vormärz period.- Biography :...

. They were liberal, but not actively political. Nevertheless, they still fell foul of the authorities. In 1835 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. His publisher was able to find some ways of getting around the censors and he was still free, of course, to publish in France.

Heine's relationship with his fellow dissident Ludwig Börne was troubled. Since Börne did not attack religion or traditional morality like Heine, the German authorities hounded him less although they still banned his books as soon as they appeared. Börne was the idol of German immigrant workers in Paris. He was also a republican, while Heine was not. Heine regarded Börne, with his admiration for Robespierre, as a puritanical neo-Jacobin and remained aloof from him in Paris, which upset Börne, who began to criticise him (mostly semi-privately). In February 1837, Börne died. When Heine heard that Gutzkow was writing a biography of Börne, he began work on his own, severely critical "memorial" of the man. When the book was published in 1840 it was universally disliked by the radicals and served to alienate Heine from his public. Even his enemies admitted that Börne was a man of integrity so Heine's ad hominem attacks on him were viewed as being in poor taste. Heine had made personal attacks on Börne's closest friend Jeannette Wihl so Jeannette's husband challenged Heine to a duel. 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 1840 Damascus Affair
Damascus affair
The Damascus affair was an 1840 incident in which the accusation of ritual murder was brought against members of the Jewish community of Damascus. Eight notable Jews of Damascus were falsely accused of murdering a Christian monk, imprisoned and tortured. Several of the imprisoned died of torture,...

 in which Jews in Damascus had been subject to blood libel
Blood libel
Blood libel is a false accusation or claim that religious minorities, usually Jews, murder children to use their blood in certain aspects of their religious rituals and holidays...

 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.

Political poetry and Karl Marx


In 1840 German poetry took a more directly political turn when the new King William Frederick IV
Frederick William IV of Prussia
|align=right|Upon his accession, he toned down the reactionary policies enacted by his father, easing press censorship and promising to enact a constitution at some point, but he refused to enact a popular legislative assembly, preferring to work with the aristocracy through "united committees" of...

 ascended the throne. Initially it was thought he might be a "popular monarch" and during this honeymoon period of his early reign (1840–42) censorship was relaxed. This led to the emergence of popular political poets (so-called Tendenzdichter), including Hoffmann von Fallersleben (the author of "Deutschland Über Alles"), Ferdinand Freiligrath
Ferdinand Freiligrath
Ferdinand Freiligrath was a German poet, translator and liberal agitator.-Biography:Freiligrath was born in Detmold, Principality of Lippe. His father was a teacher. He left a Detmold gymnasium at 16 to be trained for a commercial career in Soest...

 and Georg Herwegh
Georg Herwegh
Georg Friedrich Rudolph Theodor Herwegh was a German revolutionary poet.-Biography:He was born in Stuttgart on 31 May 1817, the son of an innkeeper...

. Heine looked down on these writers on aesthetic grounds – they were bad poets in his opinion – but his verse of the 1840s 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 1844.
In October 1843, Karl Marx
Karl Marx
Karl Heinrich Marx was a German philosopher, economist, sociologist, historian, journalist, and revolutionary socialist. His ideas played a significant role in the development of social science and the socialist political movement...

 and his wife Jenny von Westphalen
Jenny von Westphalen
Baroness Johanna Bertha Julie "Jenny" von Westphalen was the wife of the philosopher Karl Marx. They became engaged in 1836 and married in 1843. They had six children.- Background :...

 arrived in Paris after the Prussian government had suppressed Marx's radical newspaper. 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. He published several poems, including Die schlesischen Weber in Marx's new journal Vorwärts ("Forwards"). 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. In the isolation he felt after the Börne debacle, Marx's friendship came as a relief to Heine, since he did not really like the other radicals. On the other hand, he did not share Marx's faith in the industrial proletariat and remained on the fringes of socialist circles. The Prussian government, angry at the publication of Vorwärts, put pressure on France to deal with its authors and in January 1845 Marx was deported to Belgium. Heine could not be expelled from the country because, since he was born under French occupation, he had the right of residence in France. Thereafter Heine and Marx maintained a sporadic correspondence but in time their admiration for one another faded. Heine always had mixed feelings about communism
Communism
Communism is a social, political and economic ideology that aims at the establishment of a classless, moneyless, revolutionary and stateless socialist society structured upon common ownership of the means of production...

. 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!, this undertone by no means is a mask! Indeed, with fear and terror I imagine the time, when those dark iconoclast
Iconoclasm
Iconoclasm is the deliberate destruction of religious icons and other symbols or monuments, usually with religious or political motives. It is a frequent component of major political or religious changes...

s 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
Lauraceae
The Lauraceae or Laurel family comprises a group of flowering plants included in the order Laurales. The family contains about 55 genera and over 3500, perhaps as many as 4000, species world-wide, mostly from warm or tropical regions, especially Southeast Asia and South America...

 forests and plant potatoes and, oh!, the herbs chandler will use my Book of Songs to make bags for coffee and snuff for the old women of the future – oh!, I can foresee all this and I feel deeply sorry thinking of this decline threatening my poetry and the old world order - And yet, I freely confess, the same thoughts have a magical appeal upon my soul which I cannot resist …. In my chest there are two voices in their favour which cannot be silenced …. because the first one is that of logic … and as I cannot object to the premise "that all people have the right to eat", I must defer to all the conclusions….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 1843 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 1844 to see Uncle Salomon, but this time things did not go so well. It was the last time Heine would ever leave France. At the time, Heine was working on two linked but antithetical poems with Shakespearean titles: Deutschland: Ein Wintermärchen
Germany. A Winter's Tale
Germany: A Winter's Tale is a satirical verse-epic or narrative by the German-Jewish author Heinrich Heine.From the onset of the Restoration in Germany Heine was no longer secure from the state Censor, and in 1831 he migrated to France as an exile...

 ("Germany. A Winter's Tale") and Atta Troll: Ein Sommernachtstraum ("Atta Troll: A Midsummer Night's Dream"). The former is based on his journey to Germany in late 1843 and outdoes the radical poets in its satirical attacks on the political situation in the country. Atta Troll (actually begun in 1841 after a trip to the Pyrenees
Pyrenees
The Pyrenees is a range of mountains in southwest Europe that forms a natural border between France and Spain...

) mocks the literary failings Heine saw in the radical poets, particularly Freiligrath. 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 1847, but Deutschland appeared in 1844 as part of a collection Neue Gedichte ("New Poems"), which gathered all the verse Heine had written since 1831. In the same year Uncle Salomon died. This put a stop to Heine's annual subsidy of 4,800 francs. Salomon left Heine and his brothers 8,000 francs each in his will. Heine's cousin Carl, the inheritor of Salomon's business, offered to pay him 2,000 francs a year at his discretion. Heine was furious; he had expected much more from the will and his campaign to make Carl revise its terms occupied him for the next two years.

In 1844, Heine wrote series of musical feuilleton
Feuilleton
Feuilleton was originally a kind of supplement attached to the political portion of French newspapers, consisting chiefly of non-political news and gossip, literature and art criticism, a chronicle of the latest fashions, and epigrams, charades and other literary trifles...

s over several different music seasons discussing the music of the day. His review of the musical season of 1844, written in Paris on April 25, 1844, is the first place where he uses the term Lisztomania, a term used to describe the intense fan frenzy directed toward Franz Liszt
Franz Liszt
Franz Liszt ; ), was a 19th-century Hungarian composer, pianist, conductor, and teacher.Liszt became renowned in Europe during the nineteenth century for his virtuosic skill as a pianist. He was said by his contemporaries to have been the most technically advanced pianist of his age...

 during his performances. However, Heine was not always honorable in his musical criticism. In April 1844 he wrote to Liszt suggesting that he might like to look at a newspaper review he had written of Liszt's performance before his concert; he indicated that that it contained comments Liszt would not like. Liszt took this as an attempt to extort money for a positive review and did not meet Heine. Heine's review subsequently appeared on April 25 in Musikalische Berichte aus Paris and attributed Liszt's success to lavish expenditures on bouquets and to the wild behaviour of his hysterical female "fans." Liszt then broke relations with Heine. Liszt was not the only musician to be blackmailed by Heine for the nonpayment of "appreciation money." Meyerbeer had both lent and given money to Heine, but after refusing to hand over a further 500 francs was repaid by being dubbed "a music corrupter" in Heine's poem Die Menge tut es.For all his brilliance and insight, Heine's place in the history of music criticism is tarnished.

Last years: the "mattress-grave"



In May 1848, Heine, who had not been well, suddenly fell paralyzed and had to be confined to bed. He would not leave what he called his "mattress-grave" (Matratzengruft) until his death eight years later. He also experienced difficulties with his eyes. It had been suggested that he suffered from multiple sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis is an inflammatory disease in which the fatty myelin sheaths around the axons of the brain and spinal cord are damaged, leading to demyelination and scarring as well as a broad spectrum of signs and symptoms...

 or syphilis
Syphilis
Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection caused by the spirochete bacterium Treponema pallidum subspecies pallidum. The primary route of transmission is through sexual contact; however, it may also be transmitted from mother to fetus during pregnancy or at birth, resulting in congenital syphilis...

, although in 1997 it was confirmed through an analysis of the poet's hair that he had suffered from chronic lead poisoning
Lead poisoning
Lead poisoning is a medical condition caused by increased levels of the heavy metal lead in the body. Lead interferes with a variety of body processes and is toxic to many organs and tissues including the heart, bones, intestines, kidneys, and reproductive and nervous systems...

. He bore his sufferings stoically and he won much public sympathy for his plight. His illness meant he paid less attention than he might otherwise have done to the revolutions which broke out in France and Germany in 1848. He was sceptical about the Frankfurt Assembly
Frankfurt Parliament
The Frankfurt Assembly was the first freely elected parliament for all of Germany. Session was held from May 18, 1848 to May 31, 1849 in the Paulskirche at Frankfurt am Main...

 and continued to attack the King of Prussia. When the revolution collapsed, Heine resumed his oppositional stance. At first he had some hope Louis Napoleon might be a good leader in France but he soon began to share the opinion of Marx towards him as the new emperor began to crack down on liberalism and socialism. In 1848 Heine also returned to religious faith. In fact, he had never claimed to be an atheist. Nevertheless, he remained sceptical of organised religion.

He continued to work from his sickbed: on the collections of poems Romanzero and Gedichte. 1853 und 1854, on the journalism collected in Lutezia, and on his unfinished memoirs. During these final years Heine had a love affair with the young Camille Selden, who visited him regularly. He died on 17 February 1856 and was interred in the Paris Cimetière de Montmartre. His wife Mathilde survived him, dying in 1883. The couple had no children.

Legacy

"The highest conception of the lyric poet was given to me by Heinrich Heine. I seek in vain in all the realms of millenia for an equally sweet and passionate music. He possessed that divine malice without which I cannot imagine perfection... And how he employs German! It will one day be said that Heine and I have been by far the first artists of the German language." - Friedrich Nietzsche
Friedrich Nietzsche
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche was a 19th-century German philosopher, poet, composer and classical philologist...

, Ecce Homo


Among the thousands of books burned
Book burning
Book burning, biblioclasm or libricide is the practice of destroying, often ceremoniously, books or other written material and media. In modern times, other forms of media, such as phonograph records, video tapes, and CDs have also been ceremoniously burned, torched, or shredded...

 on Berlin's Opernplatz
Bebelplatz
The Bebelplatz is a public square in the central Mitte district of Berlin, the capital of Germany.The square is located on the south side of the Unter den Linden boulevard, a major east-west thoroughfare in the city centre...

 in 1933, following the Nazi raid on the Institut für Sexualwissenschaft
Institut für Sexualwissenschaft
The Institut für Sexualwissenschaft was an early private sexology research institute in Germany from 1919 to 1933. The name is variously translated as Institute of Sex Research, Institute for Sexology or Institute for the Science of Sexuality...

, were works by Heinrich Heine. To commemorate the terrible event, one of the most famous lines of Heine's 1821 play Almansor was engraved in the ground at the site: "Das war ein Vorspiel nur, dort wo man Bücher verbrennt, verbrennt man auch am Ende Menschen." ("That was but a prelude; where they burn books, they will ultimately burn people also.")

In 1834, 99 years before Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state from 1934 to 1945...

 and the Nazi Party seized power in Germany, Heine wrote in his work "The History of Religion and Philosophy in Germany":
Christianity - and that is its greatest merit - has somewhat mitigated that brutal Germanic love of war, but it could not destroy it. Should that subduing talisman, the cross, be shattered, the frenzied madness of the ancient warriors, that insane Berserk rage of which Nordic bards have spoken and sung so often, will once more burst into flame. This talisman is fragile, and the day will come when it will collapse miserably. Then the ancient stony gods will rise from the forgotten debris and rub the dust of a thousand years from their eyes, and finally Thor
Thor
In Norse mythology, Thor is a hammer-wielding god associated with thunder, lightning, storms, oak trees, strength, the protection of mankind, and also hallowing, healing, and fertility...

 with his giant hammer will jump up and smash the Gothic cathedrals. (...)
Do not smile at my advice -- the advice of a dreamer who warns you against Kantians, Fichteans, and philosophers of nature. Do not smile at the visionary who anticipates the same revolution in the realm of the visible as has taken place in the spiritual. Thought precedes action as lightning precedes thunder. German thunder is of true Germanic character; it is not very nimble, but rumbles along ponderously. Yet, it will come and when you hear a crashing such as never before has been heard in the world's history, then you know that the German thunderbolt has fallen at last. At that uproar the eagles of the air will drop dead, and lions in the remotest deserts of Africa will hide in their royal dens. A play will be performed in Germany which will make the French Revolution look like an innocent idyll.

Music


Many composers have set Heine's works to music. They include Robert Schumann
Robert Schumann
Robert Schumann, sometimes known as Robert Alexander Schumann, was a German composer, aesthete and influential music critic. He is regarded as one of the greatest and most representative composers of the Romantic era....

 (especially his Lieder cycle Dichterliebe
Dichterliebe
Dichterliebe, 'The Poet's Love' , is the best-known song cycle of Robert Schumann . The texts for the 16 songs come from the Lyrisches Intermezzo of Heinrich Heine, composed 1822–1823, published as part of the poet's Das Buch der Lieder. Following the song-cycles of Franz Schubert , those of...

), Friedrich Silcher
Friedrich Silcher
Phillipp Friedrich Silcher , was a German composer, mainly known for his lieder , and an important folksong collector.-Life:...

 (who wrote a popular setting of "Die Lorelei", one of Heine's best known poems), Franz Schubert
Franz Schubert
Franz Peter Schubert was an Austrian composer.Although he died at an early age, Schubert was tremendously prolific. He wrote some 600 Lieder, nine symphonies , liturgical music, operas, some incidental music, and a large body of chamber and solo piano music...

, Felix Mendelssohn
Felix Mendelssohn
Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn Barthóldy , use the form 'Mendelssohn' and not 'Mendelssohn Bartholdy'. The Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians gives ' Felix Mendelssohn' as the entry, with 'Mendelssohn' used in the body text...

, Fanny Mendelssohn
Fanny Mendelssohn
Fanny Cäcilie Mendelssohn , later Fanny Hensel, was a German pianist and composer, the sister of the composer Felix Mendelssohn and granddaughter of the philosopher Moses Mendelssohn...

, Johannes Brahms
Johannes Brahms
Johannes Brahms was a German composer and pianist, and one of the leading musicians of the Romantic period. Born in Hamburg, Brahms spent much of his professional life in Vienna, Austria, where he was a leader of the musical scene...

, Hugo Wolf
Hugo Wolf
Hugo Wolf was an Austrian composer of Slovene origin, particularly noted for his art songs, or lieder. He brought to this form a concentrated expressive intensity which was unique in late Romantic music, somewhat related to that of the Second Viennese School in concision but utterly unrelated in...

, Richard Strauss
Richard Strauss
Richard Georg Strauss was a leading German composer of the late Romantic and early modern eras. He is known for his operas, which include Der Rosenkavalier and Salome; his Lieder, especially his Four Last Songs; and his tone poems and orchestral works, such as Death and Transfiguration, Till...

, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (Russian: Пётр Ильи́ч Чайко́вский ; often "Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky" in English. His names are also transliterated "Piotr" or "Petr"; "Ilitsch", "Il'ich" or "Illyich"; and "Tschaikowski", "Tschaikowsky", "Chajkovskij"...

, Edward MacDowell
Edward MacDowell
Edward Alexander MacDowell was an American composer and pianist of the Romantic period. He was best known for his second piano concerto and his piano suites "Woodland Sketches", "Sea Pieces", and "New England Idylls". "Woodland Sketches" includes his most popular short piece, "To a Wild Rose"...

, and Richard Wagner
Richard Wagner
Wilhelm Richard Wagner was a German composer, conductor, theatre director, philosopher, music theorist, poet, essayist and writer primarily known for his operas...

; and in the 20th century Hans Werner Henze
Hans Werner Henze
Hans Werner Henze is a German composer of prodigious output best known for "his consistent cultivation of music for the theatre throughout his life"...

, Carl Orff
Carl Orff
Carl Orff was a 20th-century German composer, best known for his cantata Carmina Burana . In addition to his career as a composer, Orff developed an influential method of music education for children.-Early life:...

, Lord Berners
Gerald Hugh Tyrwhitt-Wilson, 14th Baron Berners
Gerald Hugh Tyrwhitt-Wilson, 14th Baron Berners , also known as Gerald Tyrwhitt, was a British composer of classical music, novelist, painter and aesthete. He is usually referred to as Lord Berners.-Life:...

, Paul Lincke
Paul Lincke
Carl Emil Paul Lincke was a German composer and theater conductor. He is considered the "father" of the Berlin opera and holds the same significance for Berlin as does Johann Strauss for Vienna and Jacques Offenbach for Paris.He was the son of magistrate August Lincke and and wife Emilie...

, Yehezkel Braun
Yehezkel Braun
-Biography:From the age of two, Braun, was brought up in Mandate Palestine in close contact with Jewish and East-Mediterranean traditional music. The influence of this background is clearly felt in his compositions....

, and Friedrich Baumfelder
Friedrich Baumfelder
Friedrich August Wilhelm Baumfelder was a German composer of classical music, conductor, and pianist. He started in the Leipzig Conservatory, and went on to become a well-known composer of his time. His many works were mostly solo salon music, but also included symphonies, piano concertos, operas,...

 (who wrote another setting of "Die Lorelei", as well as "Die blauen Frühlingsaugen" and "Wir wuchsen in demselben Thal" in his Zwei Lieder).

Heine's play William Ratcliff was used for the libretti of operas by César Cui
César Cui
César Antonovich Cui was a Russian of French and Lithuanian descent. His profession was as an army officer and a teacher of fortifications; his avocational life has particular significance in the history of music, in that he was a composer and music critic; in this sideline he is known as a...

 (William Ratcliff
William Ratcliff (Cui)
William Ratcliff is an opera in three acts, composed by César Cui during 1861-1868; it was premiered on 14 February 1869 at the Mariinsky Theatre in Saint Petersburg under the conductorship of Eduard Nápravník...

) and Pietro Mascagni
Pietro Mascagni
Pietro Antonio Stefano Mascagni was an Italian composer most noted for his operas. His 1890 masterpiece Cavalleria rusticana caused one of the greatest sensations in opera history and single-handedly ushered in the Verismo movement in Italian dramatic music...

 (Guglielmo Ratcliff
Guglielmo Ratcliff
Guglielmo Ratcliff is a tragic opera in four acts by Pietro Mascagni to an Italian libretto by Andrea Maffei, translated from the German play Wilhelm Ratcliff by Heinrich Heine...

). Frank van der Stucken
Frank Van der Stucken
Frank Valentine Van der Stucken was an American composer and conductor, and founder of the Cincinnati Symphony in 1895.-Biography:...

 composed a "symphonic prologue" to the same play.

Controversy



In the 1890s, amidst a flowering of affection for Heine leading up to the centennial of his birth, plans were enacted to honor Heine with a memorial; these were strongly supported by one of Heine's greatest admirers, Elisabeth of Bavaria
Elisabeth of Bavaria
Elisabeth of Austria was the spouse of Franz Joseph I, and therefore both Empress of Austria and Queen of Hungary. She also held the titles of Queen of Bohemia and Croatia, among others...

, Empress of Austria. The empress commissioned a statue from the sculptor Louis Hasselriis
Louis Hasselriis
Louis Hasselriis was a Danish sculptor known for his public statuary. He studied under Herman Wilhelm Bissen. From 1869 and for the rest of his life he lived in Rome, but retained strong links with his homeland and also with the USA...

. Another memorial, a sculpted fountain, was commissioned for Düsseldorf
Düsseldorf
Düsseldorf is the capital city of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia and centre of the Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region.Düsseldorf is an important international business and financial centre and renowned for its fashion and trade fairs. Located centrally within the European Megalopolis, the...

. While at first the plan met with enthusiasm, the concept was gradually bogged down in anti-Semitic, nationalist
Nationalism
Nationalism is a political ideology that involves a strong identification of a group of individuals with a political entity defined in national terms, i.e. a nation. In the 'modernist' image of the nation, it is nationalism that creates national identity. There are various definitions for what...

, and religious criticism; by the time the fountain was finished, there was no place to put it. Through the intervention of German American
German American
German Americans are citizens of the United States of German ancestry and comprise about 51 million people, or 17% of the U.S. population, the country's largest self-reported ancestral group...

 activists, the memorial was ultimately transplanted into The Bronx
The Bronx
The Bronx is the northernmost of the five boroughs of New York City. It is also known as Bronx County, the last of the 62 counties of New York State to be incorporated...

. Known in English as the Lorelei
Lorelei
The Lorelei is a rock on the eastern bank of the Rhine near St. Goarshausen, Germany, which soars some 120 metres above the waterline. It marks the narrowest part of the river between Switzerland and the North Sea. A very strong current and rocks below the waterline have caused many boat...

 Fountain, Germans refer to it as the Heinrich Heine Memorial. Also, after years of controversy, the University of Düsseldorf was named Heinrich Heine University. Today the city honours its poet with a boulevard (Heinrich-Heine-Allee) and a modern monument.
The Heine statue, originally located in Corfu, was rejected by Hamburg
Hamburg
-History:The first historic name for the city was, according to Claudius Ptolemy's reports, Treva.But the city takes its modern name, Hamburg, from the first permanent building on the site, a castle whose construction was ordered by the Emperor Charlemagne in AD 808...

, but eventually found a home in Toulon
Toulon
Toulon is a town in southern France and a large military harbor on the Mediterranean coast, with a major French naval base. Located in the Provence-Alpes-Côte-d'Azur region, Toulon is the capital of the Var department in the former province of Provence....

.

In Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

, the attitude to Heine has long been the subject of debate between secularists, who number him among the most prominent figures of Jewish history
Jewish history
Jewish history is the history of the Jews, their religion and culture, as it developed and interacted with other peoples, religions and cultures. Since Jewish history is over 4000 years long and includes hundreds of different populations, any treatment can only be provided in broad strokes...

, and the religious who consider his conversion to Christianity to be an unforgivable act of betrayal. Due to such debates, the city of Tel-Aviv delayed naming a street for Heine, and the street finally chosen to bear his name is located in a rather desolate industrial zone rather than in the vicinity of Tel-Aviv University, suggested by some public figures as the appropriate location.

Ha'ir (a left-leaning Tel-Aviv magazine) sarcastically suggested that "The Exiling of Heine Street" symbolically re-enacted the course of Heine's own life. Since then, a street in the Yemin Moshe neighborhood of Jerusalem and a community center in Haifa have been named after Heine. A Heine Appreciation Society is active in Israel, led by prominent political figures from both the left and right camps. His quote about burning books is prominently displayed in the Yad Vashem
Yad Vashem
Yad Vashem is Israel's official memorial to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust, established in 1953 through the Yad Vashem Law passed by the Knesset, Israel's parliament....

 Holocaust museum in Jerusalem. (It is also displayed in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is the United States' official memorial to the Holocaust. Adjacent to the National Mall in Washington, D.C., the USHMM provides for the documentation, study, and interpretation of Holocaust history...

).

Works


A list of Heine's major publications in German. All dates are taken from Jeffrey L. Sammons: Heinrich Heine: A Modern Biography (Princeton University Press, 1979).
  • 1820 (August): Die Romantik ("Romanticism", short critical essay)
  • 1821 (20 December ): Gedichte ("Poems")
  • 1822 (February to July): Briefe aus Berlin ("Letters from Berlin")
  • 1823 (January): Über Polen ("On Poland", prose essay)
  • 1823 (April): Tragödien nebst einem lyrischen Intermezzo ("Tragedies with a Lyrical Intermezzo") includes:
    • Almansor (play, written 1821-1822)
    • William Ratcliff (play, written January 1822)
    • Lyrisches Intermezzo (cycle of poems)
  • 1826 (May): Reisebilder. Erster Teil ("Travel Pictures I"), contains:
    • Die Harzreise ("The Harz Journey", prose travel work)
    • Die Heimkehr ("The Homecoming", poems)
    • Die Nordsee. Erste Abteilung ("North Sea I", cycle of poems)
  • 1827 (April): Reisebilder. Zweiter Teil ("Travel Pictures II"), contains:
    • Die Nordsee. Zweite Abteilung ("The North Sea II", cycle of poems)
    • Die Nordsee. Dritte Abteilung ("The North Sea III", prose essay)
    • Ideen: das Buch le Grand ("Ideas: The Book of Le Grand")
    • Briefe aus Berlin ("Letters from Berlin", a much shortened and revised version of the 1822 work)
  • 1827 (October): Buch der Lieder ("Book of Songs"); collection of poems containing the following sections:
    • Junge Leiden ("Youthful Sorrows")
    • Die Heimkehr ("The Homecoming", originally published 1826)
    • Lyrisches Intermezzo" ("Lyrical Intermezzo", originally published 1823)
    • "Aus der Harzreise" (poems from Die Harzreise, originally published 1826)
    • Die Nordsee ("The North Sea: Cycles I and II", originally published 1826/1827)
  • 1829 (December): Reisebilder. Dritter Teil ("Travel Pictures III"), contains:
    • Die Reise von München nach Genua ("Journey from Munich to Genoa", prose travel work)
    • Die Bäder von Lucca ("The Baths of Lucca", prose travel work)
    • Anno 1829
  • 1831 (January): Nachträge zu den Reisebildern ("Supplements to the Travel Pictures"), the second edition of 1833 was retitled as Reisebilder. Vierter Teil ("Travel Pictures IV"), contains:
    • Die Stadt Lucca ("The Town of Lucca", prose travel work)
    • Englische Fragmente ("English Fragments", travel writings)
  • 1831 (April): Zu "Kahldorf über den Adel" (introduction to the book "Kahldorf on the Nobility", uncensored version not published until 1890)
  • 1833: Französische Zustände ("Conditions in France", collected journalism)
  • 1833 (December): Der Salon. Erster Teil ("The Salon I"), contains:
    • Französische Maler ("French Painters", criticism)
    • Aus den Memoiren des Herren von Schnabelewopski ("From the Memoirs of Herr Schnabelewopski", unfinished novel)
  • 1835 (January): Der Salon. Zweiter Teil ("The Salon II"), contains:
    • Zur Geschichte der Religion und Philosophie in Deutschland ("On the History of Religion and Philosophy in Germany")
    • Neuer Frühling ("New Spring", cycle of poems)
  • 1835 (November): Die romantische Schule ("The Romantic School", criticism)
  • 1837 (July): Der Salon. Dritter Teil ("The Salon III"), contains:
    • Florentinische Nächte ("Florentine Nights", unfinished novel)
    • Elementargeister ("Elemental Spirits", essay on folklore)
  • 1837 (July): Über den Denunzianten. Eine Vorrede zum dritten Teil des Salons. ("On the Denouncer. A Preface to Salon III", pamphlet)
  • 1837 (November): Einleitung zum "Don Quixote" ("Introduction to Don Quixote", preface to a new German translation of Don Quixote)
  • 1838 (November): Der Schwabenspiegel ("The Mirror of Swabia", prose work attacking poets of the Swabian School)
  • 1838 (October): Shakespeares Mädchen und Frauen ("Shakespeare's Girls and Women", essays on the female characters Shakespeare's tragedies and histories)
  • 1839: Anno 1839
  • 1840 (August): Ludwig Börne. Eine Denkschrift ("Ludwig Börne: A Memorial", long prose work about the writer Ludwig Börne
    Ludwig Börne
    Karl Ludwig Börne was a German political writer and satirist.-Early life:Karl Ludwig Börne was born Loeb Baruch on May 6, 1786, at Frankfurt am Main, son of Jakob Baruch, a banker. His grandfather had been a government bureaucrat.-Education:Börne and his brothers were privately tutored by Jacob...

    )
  • 1840 (November): Der Salon. Vierter Teil ("The Salon IV"), contains:
    • Der Rabbi von Bacherach ("The Rabbi of Bacharach", unfinished historical novel)
    • Über die französische Bühne ("On the French Stage", prose criticism)
  • 1844 (September): Neue Gedichte ("New Poems"); contains the following sections:
    • Neuer Frühling ("New Spring", originally published in 1834)
    • Verschiedene ("Sundry Women")
    • Romanzen ("Ballads")
    • Zur Ollea ("Olio")
    • Zeitgedichte ("Poems for the Times")
    • it also includes Deutschland: Ein Wintermärchen ("Germany: A Winter's Tale", long poem)
  • 1847 (January): Atta Troll: Ein Sommernachtstraum ("Atta Troll: A Midsummer Night's Dream", long poem, written 1841-46)
  • 1851 (September): Romanzero; collection of poems divided into three books:
    • Erstes Buch: Historien ("First Book: Histories")
    • Zweites Buch: Lamentationen ("Second Book: Lamentations")
    • Drittes Buch: Hebräische Melodien ("Third Book: Hebrew Melodies")
  • 1851 (October): Der Doktor Faust. Tanzpoem ("Doctor Faust. Dance Poem", ballet libretto, written 1846)
  • 1854 (October): Vermischte Schriften ("Miscellaneous Writings") in three volumes, contains:
    • Volume One:
      • Geständnisse ("Confessions", autobiographical work)
      • Die Götter im Exil ("The Gods in Exile", prose essay)
      • Die Göttin Diana ("The Goddess Diana", ballet scenario, written 1846)
      • Ludwig Marcus: Denkworte ("Ludwig Marcus: Recollections", prose essay)
      • Gedichte. 1853 und 1854 ("Poems. 1854 and 1854")
    • Volume Two:
      • Lutezia. Erster Teil ("Lutetia I", collected journalism about France)
    • Volume Three:
      • Lutezia. Zweiter Teil ("Lutetia II", collected journalism about France)

Posthumous publications

  • Memoiren ("Memoirs", first published in 1884 in the magazine Die Gartenlaube)

Editions in English

  • The Complete Poems of Heinrich Heine: A Modern English Version by Hal Draper, Suhrkamp/Insel Publishers Boston, 1982. ISBN 3-518-03048-5

See also


  • Die Lotosblume
    Die Lotosblume
    "Die Lotosblume", or "The Lotos-Flower", is a poem written by Heinrich Heine which was put to music by Robert Schumann in 1840. This Lied is part of Schumann's Myrthen collection ) and Six Song for Männerchor . The piece speaks of the blooming of the Lotosflower and how it is at night that it...

  • Heinrich Heine University of Düsseldorf
    Heinrich Heine University of Düsseldorf
    Heinrich Heine University , located in Düsseldorf, Germany, is named after German poet and political thinker Heinrich Heine, who was born in Düsseldorf in 1797. It became a full-fledged university in 1965 and currently comprises faculties of law, medicine, philosophy, mathematics and natural...

  • Heinrich Heine Prize
    Heinrich Heine Prize
    Heinrich Heine Prize refers to two different awards named after the 19th century German poet Christian Johann Heinrich Heine:* Heinrich Heine prize of Düsseldorf...


Sources

  • Jeffrey L. Sammons: Heinrich Heine: A Modern Biography (Princeton University Press, 1979)
  • Ritchie Robertson Heine (Jewish Thinkers Series, Halban, 1988)

In English


In German