Heinrich Heine's Critique of the Present: Poetry, Revolution, and the "Rights of Life".

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  • Author(s): Levine, William
  • Source:
    Political Theory. Apr2021, Vol. 49 Issue 2, p314-338. 25p.
  • Additional Information
    • Subject Terms:
    • Abstract:
      Although the poet, journalist, and critic Heinrich Heine has not received much attention among recent political theorists, his revolutionary poetry and criticism were foundational for many German thinkers who have become canonical and comprise a powerful theoretical and historical project in their own right. This essay revisits Heine's Zur Geschichte der Religion und Philosophie in Deutschland, situating it within the broader arc of his poetry and prose works, to examine the unique mode of criticism he developed in response to a sense of political impasse and paralysis in his moment. For Heine, this paralysis stemmed from the persistence of outmoded institutions in a revolutionary age, and the act of exposing it was the first step toward rebelling against and overcoming it. Heine thus developed a revolutionary notion of criticism that sought to lay bare and get beyond his moment. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
    • Abstract:
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