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Romantic Experience of Reality and Nature in Eichendorff's Lyrics

  • Journal of Humanities
  • 2006, (38), pp.7-32
  • Publisher : Institute for Humanities
  • Research Area : Humanities > Other Humanities

Sangwon Ahn 1

1성균관대학교

Candidate

ABSTRACT

This thesis is a study on the meaning of nature in Eichendorff's poetry. German Romanticism in the nineteenth century was invoked by the opposition against the Enlightenment and capitalism. Since the German Romantics were very critical of their time, through their poetry they tried to deliver an ideal of the lost harmony. They concentrated on nature as an alternative to the reality. The Romantic literature figured nature as an ideal and mysterious space, which had been already materialized by modern science. However, as the ideal pursued by Romanticism was the unfulfilling infiniteness, all the Romantic literature had to base itself upon the common emotion of "longing". In the poetry of Eichendorff, nature showed double imagery of positivity and negativity. Through the magical images of nature he sensed some limits of Romanticism itself. He warned his contemporary Romantics against the risk of being isolated from the reality, which was the price they must pay for pursuing the ideal.

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