An Evaluation of Wilhelm Heinse's Style and Language

Elliott, Rosemarie (1989) An Evaluation of Wilhelm Heinse's Style and Language. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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In the introduction to this thesis attention is drawn to the difficulties of classification concerning Wilhelm Heinse's work, a factor which is found to be in turn contributing to his undeserved obscurity. The proposed solution to the problem, namely, making Heinse's style and language the key by which to gain recognition for him, is supported by reference to an extensive appendix. The chapter-based examination of Heinse's lightning, storm, and fire imagery is explained. Chapter I uses Heinse's Stanzen and Wieland's Idris und Zenide as a main base for comparison (a method of comparison having been adopted as best for showing the new-ness of Heinse). Heinse's different, often boldly new expressiveness and his advance beyond Wieland are demonstrated. Heinse's lightning imagery serves to define the "Genie" concept. Chapter II concentrates on Heinse's Gemahldebriefe, where, in their indirect function as a polemic against Winkkelmann's aesthetic teachings, Heinse achieves new heights for the descriptive word, showing himself to be equivalent in his medium to a "bildender Kunstler". The concurrent focus on Heinse's storm imagery brings with it a detailed discussion of the concept of the "Schwarmer", and of that of the "grosser Mensch" as manifested in Rubens. Chapter III compares the language of Heinse's Ardinghello with that of Goethe's Die Leiden des jungen Werthers, and defines Heinse's distance from Empfindsamkeit. With the focus on fire, the element with special affinity to Ardinghello, and to Heinse, the trilogy of imagery Lightning - Storm - Fire is completed. Heinse's Nature descriptions are found to confirm his outstanding verbal mastery whether relaying Nature's "hochstes Leben" or its serene beauty. An underlying profound aesthetic awareness is shown to be a crucial component in the factors making up the special quality of Heinse's language. The conclusion finds Heinse's style and language to fit at times into that of the Sturm und Drang, but in general to be uniquely "Heinsean", informed by a genuine insight into art and classical culture, a feeling for beauty, an emphasis on life and motion, a vitalistic and erotic, ecstatic cosmic vision - and the abilty to captivate the reader by his unsurpassed descriptive artistry.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: German literature
Date of Award: 1989
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1989-77987
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 28 Feb 2020 12:09
Last Modified: 28 Feb 2020 12:09

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