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Lateness and Modern European Literature$
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Ben Hutchinson

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198767695

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198767695.001.0001

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Epigonentum in Germany of the 1830s

Epigonentum in Germany of the 1830s

Chapter:
(p.95) 5 Epigonentum in Germany of the 1830s
Source:
Lateness and Modern European Literature
Author(s):

Ben Hutchinson

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198767695.003.0006

While the passing of Hegel in 1831 and Goethe in 1832 represented an opportunity for a new generation to shape intellectual discourse, such towering figures also symbolized the intimidating shadow thrown over the 1830s by their achievements. Hegel’s much-discussed thesis of ‘the end of art’ suggests he views romanticism as a kind of late style to the high style of classicism; his view of art as a thing of the past that may transcend itself offers a model of lateness to the post-romantic 1830s German literature. Chapter 5 focuses on three main areas: the figure of the epigone as introduced into modern German culture by Karl Immermann’s Die Epigonen; the ambivalent temporal discourse of ‘Young Germany’, torn between an overpowering past and an uncertain future; and the poetry of Heinrich Heine, who describes himself as the ‘last of the romantics’ and thereby also the ‘first of the moderns’.

Keywords:   Hegel, epigone, Karl Immermann, Heinrich Heine, Junges Deutschland, Karl Gutzkow, Alexander von Ungern-Sternberg

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