Heine’s Lorelei and Her Reception

(1870 words)

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

Two German heroines, both of them created as protagonists in fictitious narratives, gained world-wide recognition in literature, music, and the fine arts: Goethe’s Mignon in Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre [Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship, 1796] and Lorelei invented by Clemens Brentano in his novel Godwi (1801-1802). Whereas Mignon turned into the incarnation of romantic longing, in the wake of Heinrich Heine’s poem (1823), Lorelei became synonymous with a dangerous femme fatale. In his youth Brentano attended the Gymnasium at Koblenz (1787-89) and travelled along the Rhine, where he came across medieval echo-legends surrounding the rocky cliff on the right bank below St. Goarshausen, a hazardous passage even …

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Hoffmeister, Gerhart. "Heine’s Lorelei and Her Reception". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 18 December 2011
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=17668, accessed 25 September 2016.]

Related Groups

  1. Comparative Literature, Reception, Influences