Heinrich Heine: Romanzero

(1845 words)
  • Willi Goetschel (University of Toronto)

Romanzero, Heinrich Heine's final collection of poetry published in 1851, is also his poetic legacy: an irreverent review of both life's depths and superficialities, which more often than not co-exist, sometimes as literal bed fellows as the opening poem “Rhampsenit” suggests. Breaking into the pharaoh's treasure chamber, Rhampsenit the daredevil not only walks away with the stolen goods, but is also awarded half the kingdom and the pharaoh's daughter as his bride, whose virginity he stole in the first place. In this figure, Pharaoh meets his equal, Heine suggests, and Egypt gets its most effective ruler. Romanzero ends by describing the nose of another queen – with a sense of smell both delicate and obtuse – …

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Goetschel, Willi. "Romanzero". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 28 January 2007
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=11185, accessed 04 October 2015.]

Related Groups

  1. European Romanticism