Heinrich Heine has been called “the first modern intellectual” - and with good reason. During the 1830s and 1840s, when living in Parisian exile, Heine made an art of commenting on the modern urban experience. From what might be called a progressive perspective, and in the feuilletonistic style of which he was a pioneer, he examined the “social significance” of all manner of phenomena, from major political occurrences, as the July Revolution of 1830, to the arrangement of fancy new commodities in shop windows. In doing so Heine developed further the genre of literary reportage he had begun to cultivate in the early 1820s, at the very beginning of his career, when in a series of desultory dispatches, Briefe aus Berlin
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Reitter, Paul. "Heinrich Heine". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 22 September 2004
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