In general, the notion that Heinrich Heine represented a “wound” became common currency in Germany after 1945, reflecting the German wound of the war and the country’s subsequent division; all interpretations have transformed themselves into a cultural problem and a question of political economy. A commodity in the market of ideas instead of poetic expression. With time, Heine appears to mean something other than what he intended.
The division that Heine has created was cultural-epistemological in nature.Heine was vigorously opposed by Felix Borne, an ardent follower of Rousseau, Robespierre, and Byron. Borne followed the axiom, that Art must be the daughter of its time, and give itself up in the service of politics. Heine loved the classics: Schiller and Goethe and developed a line of thinking that would be reflected in modern artists like Fellini who also felt that the seeds of fascism were to be found in pop culture. Or Otto Dix, for whom modern art was grounded in an appreciation and influence of the Old Masters; art forms which are disruptive yet maintain a coherent linkage to an evolutionary rooted in the backwaters of antiquity, that implied a conjunction between nationality and all artifices of division that man created. At root a utopian vision, sometimes bitter, pessimistic and discouraged, but one in which a faint light refused to extinguish itself. Utilitarianism should be thrown to the wolves and along with it, the rotted carcass of Jeremy Bentham, John Stuart Mill and the dog shit of rational liberalism.
In prophetic wisdom foreseeing the events of 1848, Heine warned about the fatal results of the Jacobinism of the dogmatic and apparently so virtuous, republicans. When the radicals take power, he wrote in the Denkschrift, they will have a radical cure, and there will appear the phenomenon of the pure Philistine, cured of all traces of beauty. He will have to drag himself around all his life, in hateful hospital garb, in ash-grey uniforms. All our patrimony of serenity, all sweetness, all perfume of flowers, all poetry, will be pumped out of life, and nothing will be left behind, except the Rumford soup of utility … as for beauty and genius, there will no longer be room for them in the society of our new Puritans.” Read More:http://american_almanac.tripod.com/heine.htm
…It was a style of poetic irony which shattered romantic feeling. A musical dissonance within the language, that deliberately “got out of tune”.It was not a language of reason and reflection with a sprinkling of poetic words. Rather, it was a language of images the approximate gesture, which taken together, formed a whole which evoked profound poetical thoughts. Heine chose the poetic method of the socratic paradox, in order to change the thinking of his contemporaries. The joke creates a paradox, a metaphor in the thought of the reader, which is impossible to understand symbolically, or directly communicable with words — but the “idea,” lying “between” the words, is communicated by Heine, through irony, for example, through the juxtaposing of two contrary elements in word-play; a metaphor or “idea” not explicitly contained within the words, is communicated to the mind.
Heine used the method of paradoxes, to blow skyhigh political correctness and pedestrian linearity. He employs surprising, ironic turns of phrase, which point to the “discontinuity” between Romantic illusion and reality
Heinrich Heine had come to Paris for an extended visit, but the months stretched into years. The Prussian government then slammed the door behind him by placing both Heine and his works under a sentence of banishment. But although he accepted a yearly stipend from the French privy purse, he refused to become a naturalized French citizen. But heine knew that he would be free to write as he pleased only if he remained in exile. Besides, he was still wholly captivated by Paris and would have exchanged it for no other city.
Heine sees between Kant and the murderous Maximilian Robespierre, a profound similarity. Both are fundamentally unpoetic, uncreative natures, with the souls of salesmen: “Even though Immanuel Kant, this great destroyer in the realm of thought, exceeded Maximilian Robespierre in terrorism, still in many ways they were alike, the which allows a comparison between the two men. First, we find in both the same merciless, razor-sharp, unpoetical, rational honesty. Also in both, the same talent of suspicion, – except that the one exercises it against thought, and calls it criticism, while the other applies it to people, and calls it republican virtue. In the highest degree however, in both you can see a type of boring philistinism–Nature had intended them for careers where they would have had to be precise in weighing out coffee and sugar, but Fate had it so, that they weighed other things, and the one laid a king, and the other God, on the scales….
…Kant wrote in a “grey, dry, literary style, and clothed his thoughts in the tepid language of a civil servant in the chancellery.” And already through just his language, we can recognize the dessicated mind of the Philistine, for “only genius has a new word for a new thought … But Immanuel Kant was not a genius. Sensing this lack, just as much as did Maximilian [Robespierre], Kant was all the more suspicious of genius; and in his Critique of Judgment, he went so far as to assert that genius has no business meddling in science, its activity belongs to the domain of art.” Read More:http://american_almanac.tripod.com/heine.htm
A poem as a work of art, needs a poetic mood, Heine commented in a discussion with Eduard Wedekind, but also much planning and preparatory work. “Creation itself is an idle movement/Which is easily blunted;/Still the plan, the planning,/Only that shows what an artist is,” Heine says in No. 4 of the Neuen Gedichte, and in No. 6 he underscores: “The subject matter only becomes a valid subject through its artistic form.”