Situated near the Donauhaus and Wildenstein Castle is Beuron with its famous Benedictine abbey, at one time an abbey of Augustine canons. In the S, during breaks between semesters, he occasionally spent a few weeks there in a monastic cell. Between and , when he was under a teaching ban, Beuron Abbey was the only place he appeared in public. At the end of the nineteenth century Messkirch had some two thousand inhabitants, most of them engaged in agriculture and the crafts. There was also a little local industry-a brewery, a bobbin factory, and a dairy.
In the town were the administrative offices of the district, commercial schools, a telegraph office, a railroad depot, a second-class post office, a district court, cooperative headquarters, and the administrations of the local castle and its estates. Messkirch was part of Baden, a circumstance of significance to its cultural atmosphere. There had been a vigorous liberal tradition in Baden since the beginning of the nineteenth century. In it saw the enactment of a representative con- stitution, and in the abolition of press censorship.
Baden was a bastion of revolution in In April of that year Hecker and Struve called for an armed rising from nearby Constance. The revolutionary contingents assembled at Donaueschingen. They were defeated, but a year later they briefly seized power. The grand duke fled to Alsace, and it was only with the help of Prussian troops that the old conditions were restored. The mood in Baden was not friendly toward Prussia, and after 18n-when Germany, under Prussia's leadership, was united as the German Reich-anything relating to the Reich retained an unpleasant Prussian taste.
In the end, Badensian liberalism came to terms with the Reich, partly because it had found another adversary-the Catholic Church. Ever since the Church, while otherwise fiercely opposed to it, had skillfully used the spirit of liberalism for its own ends. It demanded a free Church in the free state, abolition of state supervision of schools and universities, independent appointment to ecclesiastical benefits, and independent administration of Church assets.
It held that obedience should be to God rather than to men. The conflict was exacerbated in when the Baden government ordered the arrest of the archbishop of Freiburg. Eventually the government yielded, realizing that the Church was evidently too firmly rooted in the customs and attitudes of the population, especially in the countryside and the smaller towns. This Catholic populism in southwest Germany was supportive of the Church and hostile to the state, hierarchical but demanding. It was anti-Prussian, more regionalist than nationalist, anticapitalist, agrarian, anti-Semitic, locally rooted, and particularly Widespread among the lower social strata.
The conflicts between Church and state intensified once more when the Council of Rome in decreed the dogma of the infallibility of the pope. If, in the age of nationalism, it was impossible to restore the universal rule of the Church, then at least the Catholic world was to be effectively screened off against the state and secularized society. Against this view there arose an opposition, the so-called Old Catholic movement, which had its social roots mainly in the national-liberal, Catholic, educated middle class of southern Germany.
These circles did not wish to become too "Roman" and instead strove to combine Catholic and nationalist tendencies. Some Old Catholics went even further, hoping for an entire modernization of the Church-abolition of celibacy, limitation of the veneration of saints, self-determination of communities, election of priests. This movement created its own ecclesiastical organization and elected a bishop but remained small numerically; at no time did it have more than , members, even though it enjoyed support from the governments, especially in Baden, where the Old Catholic movement developed vigorously.
In the S and s Messkirch was one of its strongholds. At times almost half its population was Old Catholic. Conrad Grober, a committed champion of Roman Catholicism, has painted a gloomy picture of the Messkirch Kulturkampf period, which extended into Martin Heidegger's childhood: We know from our own bitter experience how much youthful happiness was destroyed in those years, when the wealthier Old Catholic children rejected the poorer Catholic children, applied nicknames to their clergy and to them, beat them up and immersed them in fountain-basins to rebaptize them.
Unfortunately we also know from our own experience how even Old Catholic schoolmasters divided the sheep from the goats, pinned the nickname of "black sick" on Catholic students and, using their fists, made them realize that they could not tread Roman paths with impunity. Indeed, all but one defected and they were obliged to join the Old Catholics if they wished to get a definitive post in Messkirch. Even much later it was still clear that only by changing one's religion could one obtain a minor official post in the town on the Ablach.
Among the steadfast was Heidegger's father. He remained with the "Romans;' even though at first he derived only disadvantages as a result. The government had granted the Old Catholics the right of codetermination in the town church of St. To the Romans this was a desecration of the building, and therefore they moved out. In , with the active help of the Beuron monks, they converted an old fruit warehouse into an "emergency church" not far from the town church. There the cooper's workshop of Friedrich Heidegger, the sexton, was also accommodated, and there Martin was christened.
The clash between Romans and Old Catholics divided the town community into two camps. The Old Catholics were the "good families," the "liberals;' the "modern" people. From their point of view the Romans were a drag on progress; they were blinkered, backward little people clinging to outdated ecclesiastical customs.
When the Romans processed out into the fields for the spring and fall blessings of the crops, the Old Catholics remained at home, and their children threw rocks at the monstrances. In these conflicts young Martin first experienced the clash between tradition and modernism, and he felt the hurtful aspect of that modernism. The Old Catholics belonged to "those at the top," and the Romans, though superior in numbers, were bound to feel vanquished. This made their community rally together all the more closely.
When, toward the end of the century, the number of Old Catholics declined drastically in Messkirch and the religious conflict abated, the Romans had the town church, with all its assets and lands, returned to them. The Heideggers moved back into the sexton's house on the church square. On December 1, , a solemn divine service celebrated this victory over the "apostates. The Old Catholic sexton found it embarrassing to hand over the church keys to his successor, and so he simply handed them to the sexton's small son, who happened to be playing in the square.
The world of Martin Heidegger's childhood was the sexton's small, cowering house on the church square, opposite the towering Church of St. The square opens toward the sixteenth-century Furstenberg Castle. Through its great portals the children were able to penetrate to the inner courtyard and on into the castle park, as far as the garden gate at the distant end, where open country began with a farm track: "He runs from the princely garden gate to.
The ancient lime trees of the castle park gaze after him over the wall, no matter whether at Easter time he shows up brightly among the sprouting crops and awakening meadows or at Christmas disappears under snowdrifts behind the next hill" D, The "sexton's lads;' Martin and his younger brother, Fritz, had to help with the church services. They were servers, they picked flowers to decorate the church, they ran errands for the priest, and they rang the bells.
There wereas Heidegger recalls in On the Secret of the Bell Tower Vom Geheimnis des Glockenturms -seven bells in the tower, each with its own name, its own sound, and its own time. There was the "Four;' to be rung at four in the afternoon; the "Alarm Bell;' which roused the town's sleepers from their slumber; and the "Three," which was also the knell. The "Child" rang for sunday school and for rosary worship; the "Twelve" marked the end of morning lessons at the school; the "Klanei" was the bell struck by the hour hammer; and the one with the most beautiful ring was the "Big One"; it would ring on the eve and on the morning of high holidays.
Between Maundy Thursday and Easter Saturday the bells were silent; instead there were rattles. A cranking handle set in motion a number of little hammers that struck against hard wood. A rattle stood in each of the four corners of the tower, and the boy bell ringers had to work the handles in turn to ensure that the harsh sound went out in all four directions of the compass.
The most beautiful time was Christmas. Toward half past three in the morning, the boy ringers would come to the sexton's house, where mother Heidegger had laid the table with cakes and milky coffee. After this breakfast, lanterns were lit in the front-door passage, and everyone went out through the snow and the winter's night to the church opposite and up into the dark bell tower to the frozen ropes and ice-covered clappers.
Such was life under the Church's care in a small provincial town at the beginning of the century. In Feldweg Heidegger recalls sailing a little boat he had whittled in the school fountain: "The dreamlike quality of such voyages was enveloped in a splendor then hardly visible, which lay on all things.
Those voyages of our games knew nothing yet of wanderings during which all shores were left behind" D, 3 8. This splendor then hardly visible lies on all Heidegger's memories of his childhood in Messkirch.
And this is probably not just the transfiguration of memory, because his brother, Fritz, experienced those years in a similar way. Fritz spent all his life in the place of his childhood; there he worked as an official of the local credit bank, and there he died. To the Messkirch folk, Fritz Heidegger was a "card. On those occasions he knew no shyness. During the Hitler era he even picked a quarrel with well-known local Nazis; his popularity protected him. Fritz did not attend any university. The bank official sometimes called himself a "searchlight. He would not allow two ideas in one sentence.
You've got to tear them apart, he told his brother. Through a narrow door things could pass only one at a time.
E. T. A. Hoffmann
In this case, therefore, Fritz favored clarity, though otherwise things could not be obscure enough. One of his favorite phrases was "Let people overlook me, but they are not to regard me as overseeable! Anyone preserving his sense of the crazy can manage quite well with this Da-da-dasein, he used to say. His comment on his own birth, five years after Martin's, was "Life-pain begins for one person today and for another tomorrow. For the little earthworm in Schloss-Strasse it began on Ash. Wednesday-vomiting, tanning, terrible deviation.
As is customary on Ash Wednesday. Their parents were believers, but without fanaticism or rigid confessionalism, according to Fritz. Catholic life had so much become part of their flesh and blood that they had no need to defend their faith or assert it against others. They were all the more aghast when their son Martin turned away from the "right road," the one that was simply the most natural to them. Their mother was a cheerful woman.
She had a reputation for being hardworking, and she was almost never seen without an apron or a head scarf. The father was an introverted person, capable of being silent for days on end, inconspicuous, hardworking, honest. A man of whom the sons had little to say later. The Heideggers were not affluent, but neither were they poor. Two thousand marks in immovable assets and a mark income tax assessment in put them in the lower middle class. This was enough for a family to live on, but not enough for the children to receive expensive higher education.
At that point the Church lent a hand. It was the Church's usual practice to support gifted youngsters and at the same time recruit future priests, especially in rural regions. The parish priest, Camillo Brandhuber, suggested to the parents that, after Martin's completion of the Messkirch Biirgetschule a kind of junior high school -there was also a gymnasium senior high school in the town then-they might wish to send their gifted elder son to the Catholic seminary in Constance, a residential institution for young priests. Brandhuber had given Martin Heidegger Latin lessons free of charge, thereby enabling him to go on to senior high school.
The prefect of the Constance seminary was Conrad Grober. Brandhuber and Grober obtained a grant for Martin from a local foundation, and in he entered the Constance seminary and the local gymnasium. The Heideggers were proud that the Church was going to look after their son. For Martin, however, this was the beginning of a time of financial dependence on the Church.
Now he owed it a debt of gratitude. This dependence was to continue over a thirteen-year period, until After his Weiss Grant for the Constance seminary , Martin received for his final high school years and the first four semesters he studied theology in Freiburg an Eliner Grant that was tied to training for the priesthood. His studies between and were financed by the Schatzler Donation, which imposed on recipients the obligation of preserving the philosophy and theology of St.
Thomas Aquinas. Heidegger remained dependent on the Catholic world beyond the time when, in his mind, he had already begun to break clear of the Church. He had to adapt, and that made him ashamed; it was an affront for which he could not forgive what he called the "system of Catholicism. In Messkirch was still a closed world, even though echoes of the conflict with the Old Catholics lingered on.
In Constance, however, only thirty miles away, the modern age was clearly perceptible. Constance was a mix of religions. Its great history as a "free Reich city"-a city not subject to any local prince or ruler, but coming directly under the emperor-was still reflected in its architectural monuments. There was the old Merchant Hall, where in the sixteenth century the Council of Constance had sat, as well as the house where Jan Hus, the Czech reformer, had awaited his trial.
The Dominican monastery where the "heretic" was imprisoned had meanwhile been turned into a hotel, the Insel-Hotel, or Island Hotel, whose assembly rooms were the center of the city's cultural life. It was the venue for concerts and lectures, which the students enjoyed attending. There homage was paid to the "modern spirit:' There were discussions about Nietzsche, Ibsen, atheism, Hartmann's philosophy of the unconscious, Vaihinger's "as if philosophy;' and even psychoanalysis and the interpretation of dreams.
There had long been a progressive spirit in Constance; from the days of Hecker in the city had remained a bastion of Badensian liberalism. Gunther Dehn, who attended the Constance gymnasium at the same time as Heidegger, recalled in his memoirs the thrill he and his classmates had experienced when they discovered that the attendant at the men's bathing establishment was a veteran of who had actually fought on the barricades.
The local paper with the highest circulation, the Abendzeitung, was democratic, anticlerical, and cautiously anti-Prussian, despite or perhaps just because of a Prussian infantry regiment's being stationed in the city and the fact. The seminary, Studienhaus St. Konrad, known simply as Konradihaus, had been closed during the years of the Kulturkampf and only reopened in The gymnasium, formerly a Jesuit college, was under state supervision.
The seminarists, in consequence, attended a "temporal" school inspired by a moderately liberal, anticlerical, educational humanism. The modern languages teacher, for instance, Pacius, was a democrat, a freethinker, and a pacifist, much liked by the students for his forceful remarks.
He annoyed the seminarists-who, as budding theologians, were supposed to revere Aristotlewith his assertion: "Aristotle-who was he, anyway, compared to Plato, that giant spirit? But Protestants, too, did not escape his sharp tongue. The influence of these schoolmasters on their students, including Martin Heidegger, must have been considerable.
The seminarists in the Konradihaus were, as far as it was possible, immunized against the freethinking they encountered at school. They were equipped with apologetic polish; they were prepared for argument with the "secular:' They were forever writing essays to show themselves well armed. There was, for instance, the question of whether man was really capable, by his own efforts, of attaining humanity and where the limits of tolerance lay; there was discussion of freedom and original sin; there was examination of the problem of whether Goethe's Iphigenie was a pagan Christian or a Christian German or only a pagan character.
As a relief from such controversial topics there was local history: the history of Reichenau monastery, the customs and usages of the Begau-the region north of Lake Constance-and the prehistoric pile-dwelling folk on the lakeshore. Now and again the seminarists behaved like other young people in Germany; on sunny days they would set out with guitars, singing as they marched, to the Mainau, to the Grafengarten in Bodman, or to the vineyards on the Lower Lake. They rehearsed dialectal plays, they made music; if their secular classmates boasted of their visits to the.
The seminarists certainly were no wimps. They elected-how else could they act in Baden? The seminarists lived under careful, but evidently not intolerant, supervision.
E. T. A. Hoffmann 1776–1822
Certainly Martin Heidegger looked back on his years in Constance without anger. To Matthaus Lang, then spiritual prefect of the younger students, he wrote in "I think back with pleasure and gratitude to the beginnings of my student career at the Konradihaus, and I become ever more aware of how closely all my efforts are bound up with my native soil. I can still remember clearly the trust I came to feel for you as the new prefect, a trust that has endured, and that made my time in the seminary one of joy.
These sons of lawyers, officials, and merchants felt superior to the seminary "capons:' as they called them. After all, the seminarists mostly came from rural areas and, like Martin Heidegger, from modest or even poor backgrounds. Dehn, the son of a chief postal director, recalled: "We always treated the 'capons' with some condescension. They were poorly dressed and, as we thought, also rather unwashed. We regarded ourselves as superior.
But that did not prevent us from thoroughly exploiting them. They were made to execute their homework most meticulously. During break they then had to translate for us, which they always did willingly. They were barred from various pleasures of their "secular" classmates, either for lack of pocket money or because of outright prohibitions.
They remained onlookers when for three days the carnival raged in the crooked little streets and taverns of the city,with the students representing their own crazy guild, and when summer vacationers poured into the city and the amusement boats with their colorful pennants sailed out to Meersburg, returning at nightfall with a reeling mass of humanity that streamed, singing and roaring, through the lanes of the Old City, the gymnasium students with their colored caps invariably among them. The day following such events, the boasting would begin: during the breaks between lessons there were accounts of experiences and conquests that made the semi-.
At grape-picking time the slightly intoxicating Sauser was served everywhere. The gymnasium students were allowed to attend certain bars until ten o'clock. There they would meet their teachers over a jug of wine-a good opportunity for fraternizing, intimacy, and social advantage that was denied to the seminarists. When all was said and done, the seminary students belonged to a different world and they were made to feel it.
They had to fight against a sense of inferiority. Defiance was some help, however, for the outsiders could also see themselves as the elect. It is possible that this tension between seminary and cheerful city life, between the Catholic world and the liberal civilian environment, gave rise even then in the student Martin Heidegger to a vision of two worlds-here the strict, persistent, slow world, and out there the fast-living, superficial one, indulging in momentary stimulations; here painful effort, and out there mere activity; here the striking of roots, and out there untrammeled behavior; the ones making things too hard for themselves, with the others seemingly taking the more comfortable path; the ones being profound, the others being frivolous; the ones remaining faithful to their own ego, while the others lose themselves in dissipation.
This pattern would later become famous in Heidegger's philosophy under the concepts of "authentic being" and "inauthentic being:' In the autumn of Martin Heidegger switched from the Konradihaus in Constance to the archiepiscopal seminary of St. George in Freiburg, where he attended the renowned Bertold gymnasium.
The grant from the Messkirch local foundation no longer covered the cost of the Constance institution. But Conrad Grober and Camillo Brandhuber, those enterprising mentors of the sexton's son, had opened up another source of funds-the Eliner studentship. This grant had been established in the sixteenth century by Christoph Eliner, a theologian from Messkirch.
Local candidates in theology were to be sponsored by it, the condition being that they attended the gymnasium and the university of Freiburg. The move from Constance to Freiburg had the character of a promotion. Without rancor Martin left Constance, which he always held in fond memory. Even in later years he would attend the reunions of the Konradihaus alumni. He developed no similar feelings of attachment for the Freiburg seminary. As he was to spend nearly all his life in that city, he would have to create some distance between the seminary and himself.
Here he would turn away from Catholicism, which in Freiburg cast a particularly massive shadow. The min-. Like a mighty ship it lies at the foot of the ranges of the Black Forest, as though about to sail out into the bay of the Breisgau. There were still numerous little streets radiating from the minster square, some of them hemmed by canals. The seminarists were accommodated near the fine residences of the clergy. When young Martin Heidegger came to Freiburg, the city essentially still had the appearance that Sulpiz Boissere had described to Goethe in a letter a century earlier: ''About Freiburg I would have to write a whole book to you, this is a place of places, all that is old is so beautifully and lovingly maintained, a wonderful situation, in every street a crystal-clear stream, in every street an old fountain, His intellectual ambition still sought an ecclesiastical field of activity.
After graduation he intended to join the Jesuit order. His teachers supported this intention. The principal of the seminary wrote in his graduation report in "He is gifted, diligent, and of good moral character. He had already attained a certain maturity when he came to us, and he was used to studying on his own initiative; indeed his studies in German literature, an area in which he proved to be extremely well read, were sometimes pursued at the expense of his other subjects. Since he is quite sure he wishes to pursue a theological career and favors the life of a religious order, he will probably apply for entry to the Society of Jesus.
The young authors of naturalism, symbolism, or art nouveau had not yet appeared on his personal reading list. About the stimuli he received at school, Heidegger had this to say in the curriculum vitae he composed for his habilitation in In my first year in Freiburg the emphasis in mathematics shifted from simple problem-solving towards a more theoretical approach, and my natural liking for this subject now became a really serious interest, which soon extended to physics as well.
I also derived a lot of stimulation from my classes in religion, which prompted me to read widely on the biological theory of evolution. In my final year at school it was primarily. IS Religious instruction, of all things, aroused his interest in the then especially antireligious theory of biological evolution. He was evidently attracted to intellectually dangerous spheres, where his Messkirch faith would have a difficult time. However, he was not afraid of intellectual adventure, for he still felt firm ground, the ground of faith, beneath his feet.
Thus on September 30, , he entered the Society of Jesus as a novice at Tisis near Feldkirch, in the province of Vorarlberg in western Austria. A mere two weeks later, however, on expiry of his probationary period, he was dismissed. Apparently, according to Hugo Ott, Heidegger had complained of heart trouble and had therefore been sent home for medical reasons. Two years later these pains would recur, causing him to discontinue his training as a priest. Perhaps his heart was rebelling against his head.
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For this he may well have had financial reasons. His parents could not pay for his studies, and the Eliner studentship, which he had been receiving since his time at the Freiburg gymnasium, was tied to the study of theology. They gave me a certain formal training in logic, but in philosophical terms they failed to give me what I was looking for,"! Only one Freiburg theologian received special mention from him, and in later years, too, Heidegger would always refer to him as his teacher-Carl Braig.
As a final-year high school student he had already studied Braig's compendium, On Being: Outline of Ontology , and through it familiarized himself with some basic concepts of ontological tradition. It was also Braig. Braig, Heidegger recalled fifty years later, had the knack of turning ideas into a living present. Carl Braig was a theologian of antimodernism. Ever since the papal encyclical Pascendi domini gregis of , which had declared war on "modernism"-De falsis doctrinis modernistarum-"modernism" and "antimodernism" had become the banners of an intellectual battle not only within Catholicism.
The antimodernists were not simply out to defend the Church's dogmas such as that of immaculate conception or the principles of clerical hierarchy such as the pope's infallibility. That was how their opponents were fond of depicting them, regarding antimodernism as nothing but a dangerous or possibly ludicrous conspiracy of obscurantists against the scientific spirit of the age, against enlightenment, humanism, and progressive ideas of every kind. Carl Braig was an illustration of the fact that one could be an antimodernist without becoming an obscurantist.
His was a shrewd mind, discovering the unreflected prerequisites of faith in their numerous variants in the modern scientific attitude. That which believed itself to be without faith and without assumptions he wished to rouse from its "dogmatic slumber:' The so-called agnostics, he argued, also had a faith, albeit a particularly primitive and homespun one: belief in progress, in science, in biological evolution that favors mankind, in economic and historical laws.
Modernism, according to Braig, was "blinded to anything that is not its Self or serves its Self":? Braig criticized modern civilization for its lack of respect for the inexhaustible secret of a reality of which we ourselves are a part and which surrounds us. If Man arrogantly places himself at its center, he is ultimately left only with a pragmatic relationship to truth: Truth, in that case, is what serves us and what brings us practical success. This is refuted by Braig: "Historical truth, like all truth-and the most brilliantly victorious is mathematical truth, the strictest form of eternal truth-comes before the subjective ego and exists without it As soon as the ego of reason regards the reasonableness of things, they are not in truth Braig encourages a crossing of the transcendental boundaries: Can we be certain that only we discover the world?
Why should not the world discover us for itself? Do we perhaps recognize only because we have ourselves been recognized? We can think God-so why should we not be God's thoughts? Braig, often rather rudely, smashes the cabinet of mirrors in which he sees modern man to be imprisoned. Braig pleads openly for what may seem a premodern realism, spiritually and empirically. He justifies it by pointing out that, since we know about boundaries, we have already crossed them. By recognizing recognition and perceiving perception we are already moving in the sphere of the absolutely real.
We must separate ourselves, Braig argues, from the absolutism of the subject in order to become free for the reality of the absolute. It was in this arena of the modernist conflict that young Martin Heidegger made his first appearance. He had meanwhile become a member of the Gralbund League of the Grail , a strictly antimodernist faction of the Catholic youth movement whose spiritual leader was the Viennese Richard von Kralik, a zealot for the restoration of a pure Catholic faith, as well as of the ancient Holy Roman Catholic Empire of the German nation.
Its center was to be Habsburg, not Prussia. Clearly this was also a political concept for central Europe. The members of these circles dreamed of the romantic Middle Ages of Novalis and placed their trust in Stifter's "gentle law" of loyally preserved origins. The same circles, however, were also quite ready to defend such origins very robustly against modern presumptions and temptations. An occasion to do so arose for young Martin Heidegger in connection with the festive consecration of a monument to Abraham a Sancta Clara in August at Kreenhainstetten, a small village near Messkirch.
Messkirch local patriotism had always honored the memory of Abraham a Saneta Clara-who was born at Kreenhainstetten in and died in Vienna in a greatly revered court preacher-with articles in the local press and small ceremonies on round-figure anniversaries. Since the beginning of the century, however, a strident, polemically ideological aspect had entered this cozy local tradition.
The antimodernists of southern Germany had chosen Abraham a Saneta Clara as their role model. They invoked him in their polemics against the liberal trend in Catholicism. In the writings of the famous Augustine monk it was easy to find strong words against pleasure-seeking and depraved urban life, against spiritual pride that no longer bowed to the revealed teachings of the Church, against the love of extravagance of the wealthy, but also against the so-called cupidity of "money-lending Jews.
Not everyone born under a straw roof had his head full of straw, was one of his frequently quoted sayings. Abraham a Sancta Clara was Christian-Socialist, populist, crude, pious without being a bigot, rooted in his native soil, and also anti-Semitic-exactly the right mixture for the antimodernists. The unveiling of his monument on August 16, , was a great public event. Martin Heidegger had come over for it from Freiburg. The village had decorated itself with flowers. Streamers with sayings of the preacher were hanging from windows and were stretched across the village street.
A procession set itself in motion, led by mounted heralds in historical costume of the time of Abraham a Sancta Clara, and including the monks from Beuron, ecclesiastical and civil dignitaries, schoolchildren with bright little flags, girls wearing flowers, the locals in regional costume. There was a band playing, speeches were made, poems and sayings of Abraham a Saneta Clara were recited by pupils of the Messkirch Biirgerschule.
These events were reported in the article Heidegger wrote for Allgemeine Rundschau, a Catholic conservative weekly published in Munich, a text that Heidegger thought worthy of inclusion in his Collected Works. The undemanding village of Kreenhainstetten, with its tough, self-assured, reserved inhabitants, rests sleepily in a gentle valley. Even the church tower is an odd man out. Unlike its brethren, it does not look freely into the land, but with its awkward heaviness has to bury itself among the black and red roofs.
Thus simply, clearly, and truthfully unrolled the unveiling ceremony" D, 1. It should not be forgotten that Martin Heidegger, when he wrote these sentences, had already sniffed city air-in Constance and, since , in Freiburg. He knew what distinguished him from those who moved with assurance and skill in a bourgeois environment, fashionably dressed, versed in questions of the latest literature, art, and philosophy. He focuses on the difference between his own world, that of Messkirch and Kreenhainstetten, and the world outside-a hint already of the difference between autonomous and nonautonomous being.
One may therefore read a kind of self-portrait of the author into his lines about the unveiling of the monument. The church tower is an "odd man out;' just as Heidegger is. The others are "looking freely into the land;' but he is forced by his "awkward heaviness" back into the ground. Of a "stifling sultriness," of being a period of "outward culture;' of "fast living," of an "all-overturning innovation mania;' of "momentary.
Heidegger between and for the journal Der Akademiker, a monthly of the integralist Catholic University Students' Union. To the young Martin Heidegger this was an exemplary and therefore instructive road, because it traversed all the follies and temptations of modernity before finally coming to rest in the tranquility and salvation of religious faith, in the "transcendental value of life. Self-conceit must bow to "religious-moral authority.
It is already an almost crushing fact that most people turn out to be for themselves, not interested in discovering the truth or attaining it; they would rather be nailed to the cross and remove every justification for an individualistic ethic,"! Heidegger's invectives against the "cult of personality" are not free from resentment, as he cannot conceal the fact that he himself lacks that vilified.
In about Heidegger still believes that the Church's "treasure of truth". The impressive posing and stage management of the young Nietzsche followers, who would loll about in. This turning to God lacks all cozy mildness. It wishes to make life difficult. At home, by contrast, this truth of the faith loses all heaviness and burden. Thus his. He heard the murmuring of sleepy springs and eavesdropped on melancholy folk songs. The German June evening, in which one might be lost in dreamy silence, hovers over his beloved books. The convert's God-filled and fulfilling longings for home might well constitute the most powerful impetus for his art.
The authoritarianism of faith and the objectivity of strict logic are one and the same to him. They are different ways of participating in the eternal. Yet even so this involves emotions, moreover very exalted ones. Only in the strict disciplines of faith and logic is there fulfillment of the craving for "complete and final answers to the questions of Being. It sometimes flashes so. When Heidegger, in his Lebenslauf of , referred to his "training in formal logic:' as though this had been propaedeutic, this was an understatement. To him, formal and mathematical logic was a kind of worship; he allowed logic to take him into the discipline of the eternal, and there he found stability on the swaying ground of life.
It is significant that Grober, a strictly observing churchman, should have chosen this particular book. Franz Brentano, born in , the nephew of Clemens Brentano, the well-known writer of the romantic movement, was a philosopher who, as a Catholic priest, originally subjected philosophy to faith, but who, after the "Infallibility Council" of , came into conflict with his superiors. Eventually he left the Church and married, and in consequence had to resign his professorship in Vienna. He taught at the university as a Privatdozent-an unsalaried assistant professor-until , when, almost blind, he retired to Venice.
Brentano was Husserl's teacher and hence one of the founding fathers of phenomenology. The question that agitated Brentano was the nature of God's existence. If there is a God, what does "there is" mean? Is he an idea in our head? Is he outside in the world as its quintessence, as its highest being? In subtle analysis Brentano discovers that there is a third category, between the subjective idea and the "in-itself" of things-the "intentional objects. These intentional objects are something, in other words: they cannot be dissolved into the subjective actions through which we enter into relation with them.
In this manner Brentano prepares an entire separate world of what is, a world occupying an intermediate position in the customary subject-object pattern. It is in this world of intentional objects that Brentano also places our relation to God. Here "there is" a God. The awareness of God cannot be verified by real objects of our experience, nor, on the other hand, is it based on abstract general concepts, such as the "supreme Good:' the "supreme Being:' and the.
Brentano undertakes the examination of Aristotle's concept of existence in order to show that the believed God is not the God whom we try to attain by way of abstraction from the fullness of what exists. With Aristotle Brentano demonstrates that, strictly speaking, there is no Whole.
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There are only discrete objects. There is no such thing as dimension in itself, there are only objects with dimension. There is no love, but only the many separate events of love. Brentano warns against falsely ascribing substance to conceptual things. Substance resides not in the general concepts but only in specific individual objects.
These are of intensive infinity because they stand in infinitely numerous relations and can therefore be determined in an infinite number of respects. The world is inexhaustible but offers itself only in specificity and in the manifold gradations of the kinds of existence. To Brentano's way of thinking, God is in the detail.
Linking up with Aristotle, Brentano's work maps out the territory of the thinkable; in consequence, faith, which remains mandatory to him, is spared deceptive logification. It rests on a different basis from justification, even though-Brentano's dissertation suggests-it may one day be possible to describe precisely just what really occurs in the act of faith, in contrast, for instance, to judgment, imagination, or perception. These are the outlines of the phenomenological program for the next few years.
Reading Brentano was a tough task for Martin Heidegger. He records how, in the semester vacations in Messkirch, he struggled with the text. Only in what is unuttered in their language His Logical Investigations, published exactly at the turn of the century, became a personal cult book for Heidegger. After borrowing it from the university library, he kept the book in his room for two years. No one else seemed to ask for it, which gavehim a sense of indulging in a solitary but also an exclusivepassion. Even fifty years later, whenever he thought of the book, he raved about it: "I remained so fascinated by Husserl's work that I read in it again and again in the years to follow.
The spell emanating from the work extended to the outer appearance of the sentence structure and the title-page" Z, In an essayin he defined his position: "Fundamental for the realization of the absurdity and theoretical barrenness of psychologism is the distinction between the psychic act and its logical content, between real thought processes occurring in time and their ideal extratemporal identical meaning-in short, the distinction between what 'is' and what 'applies" GA 1, With this differentiation between "psychic act" and "logical content" Husserl at the beginning of the century had cut the Gordian knot of the psychologism argument-admittedly in such a subtle way that only few people, among them young Heidegger, realized what had happened.
On the surface this looked like a problem for professional philosophers, but in fact these controversies reflected the opposing trends and tensions of the period. Philosophy in about was in deep trouble. The natural sciences, in alliance with positivism, empiricism, and sensualism, were stifling it. The triumphalism of the sciences was based on an exact knowledge of nature and on a technical command of nature.
Organized experience, experiment, formulation of a hypothesis, verification, the inductive process-these had become the components of the logic of scientific research. The ancient and venerable philosophical question of "what something is" was no longer being asked. It was known to lead into infinity, and because there was no longer any interest in the infinite, the question was dropped. To those modern scientists who began to see themselves as agents of a research process, the question of "how something functions" was much more promising.
This might lead to something definite, along with the prospect that objects, and perhaps also people, might be made to work in accordance with these concepts. Reason, of course, by which this entire process is set in motion, is itself part of nature. It should therefore be possible-this was the ambitious programto explore it by the same methods as "external" nature. Toward the end of the nineteenth century, therefore, in conjunction with the disciplines of physiology and brain chemistry, there emerged a kind of "natural science" of the psychic-experimental psychology.
The principle of this research approach is to pretend ignorance and to act as if one knows nothing about the psyche, as if it could be observed from without, positivistically and empirically. Scientists want to explain, not to understand; they look for regularities, not for meaning, because comprehension. This, however, prevents one from having the psyche in front of one in neat isolation. The approach to experimental science, in psychology as elsewhere, calls for an aseptic object, as it is not the "meaning" but the "mechanism" of the psychic that is to be analyzed-the laws of the conversion of physiological stimuli into idea-images, the regular association structures in the idea complexes, and ultimately the laws of thought themselves: that is, logic.
From this perspective, logic appears to be a natural process in the psyche. And that is the "problem of psychologism. By analyzing thought as a natural psychic event, science entangles itself in a tricky contradiction. It examines thought as an event occurring according to laws; if, however, it studied itself more carefully, it would be bound to notice that thought is not a process evolving according to laws. Thought is not determined by laws but is merely tied to certain rules.
In the wide field of the thinkable, logic appears not as a natural law but as something that applies if we allow it to apply. The concept of law is, of course, ambiguous. It describes something that occurs regularly and inevitably in just the way it does occur, and it also describes a mechanism that claims to prescribe a certain course to an occurrence. In the former case these are laws of Being; in the latter they are laws of what should be.
In one case they describe what is, in the other they prescribe. Husserl's investigations aim at freeing logic from naturalism and bringing out once more its normative-that is, spiritual-character. Of course the logical work takes place within the psyche, but it is a normative product of the psyche and not a natural law of a psychic process. This clarification, however, is immediately followed by the next problemthat of the relation between the psychic act and its product, between the genesis of thought and the validity of the thought content.
The calculating process of "twice two is four" is a psychic act, but "twice two is four" is valid also if the psychic act is not performed. The arithmetical result claims validity regardless of whichever head happens to be performing this calculation. Anyone calculating or performing any other logical operation arrives-this sounds very Platonic already-at a participation in a trans-. The meaning and application spheres there accumulated are actualized and called upon whenever any actions of thought, which can be described as psychic events, are performed.
However, the formulation that logic is not the natural law of thinking but is part of an ideal sphere of validity can lead to misunderstanding, because it suggests that this may simply be a pragmatic agreement. In actual fact, we did not agree on the logic of syllogisms and then declare it to be "correct"; it is correct. All men are mortal-Socrates is a man-hence Socrates is mortal.
This manner of concluding is evidently correct; it is valid. However, this does not necessarily mean that the judgments thus arrived at are empirically correct; that would depend on whether or not the premises ''All men are mortal We may use the correct manner of concluding and yet arrive at any number of false judgments if all men were officials, Socrates would be one too. We cannot therefore state that we have become accustomed to concluding by syllogism because this has led us to successful cognition. Indeed it need not lead us to successful cognition in the empirical sense at all; far more often, it misleads us.
These conclusions, therefore, are not confirmed by experience, but, like any logical operation, they are simply selfevident. The more one immerses oneself in this evidence of logic, the more mysterious it becomes. From a simple analysis of the syllogism one suddenly finds oneself in the magic realm of a spirit that triumphs over all attempts to reduce it pragmatically, biologically,naturalistically, or sociologically.
Yet the epoch since the middle of the nineteenth century, under the impact of the practical successes of the empirical sciences, had developed a veritable passion for reduction, for driving the spirit out from the sphere of knowledge. Nietzsche had described that century as "sincere" and "honest;' though in a plebeian manner.
It was "more subservient to reality of every kind, more true:' 11 It had torn loose from the "domination of ideals" and instinctively looked for theories everywhere that could justify "subjection to the real," Nietzsche was referring to the philistine and fainthearted aspect of that realism. In fact, however, a realism had been triumphant since the middle of the century that subjected itself to reality only in order more completely to command and reshape it to its own liking.
The "will to power;' with which Nietzsche had credited the "free spirit;' triumphed not in the elevated regions of "supermen;' but in the busy, antlike activity of a civilization that had scientized its practical reason. This applied to the bourgeois world, but it also. If someone knows something he cannot be fooled quite so easily; the most impressive aspect of knowledge is that one need not let oneself be impressed any longer. A gain of sovereignty is promised, and the need to bring things down to one's own, rather pitiful, level is being satisfied.
It is astonishing how, ever since the middle of the nineteenth century, after the idealistic flights of the absolute spirit, there has suddenly been a universal desire to make Man "small. To the romantics the world would burst into song if only one uttered the magic formula. The poetry and philosophy of the first half of the century was the breathtaking project of discovering and inventing ever-new magic formulas.
The age called for exuberant meanings. The matadors in this magical arena were "reflection athletes;' but they did appear at the moment when the realists, their minds on facts, and armed with the formula "nothing other than The realists would see to it all. This realism of the second half of the nineteenth century would achieve the trick of thinking of Man as "little" but doing great things with him-provided one wishes to describe the scientized civilization, from which we are all benefiting, as "great.
But even the most extravagant fantasy would have been unable, at that time, to imagine the monstrosities that the spirit of positivist disenchantment was yet to produce. German idealism had been drained by a robust kind of materialism about the middle of the century. Breviaries of disenchantment suddenly became best-sellers. This ethos of a materialism of force and urge and glandular function was characterized by Czolbe: "It is indeed no proof of humility, but rather of arrogance and vanity, to improve upon the world we know by imagining a supersensuous world, and to wish to exalt man into a creature above nature by the addition of a supra-.
Yes, certainly, dissatisfaction with the world of phenomenathe deepest root of supersensuous ideas-is not reason at all, but rather moral weakness. The world of Becoming and Being-nothing other than a swirling of molecules and transformations of energy. What was holding sway was the world of the atomist Democritus.
There was no need any longer for the nous of Anaxagoras or the ideas of Plato; there was no need for the God of the Christians, for the substance of Spinoza, for the cogito of Descartes, for the I of Fichte, for the spirit of Hegel. The spirit that lives in Man was nothing but a cerebral function. Ideas were to the brain as gall was to the liver or urine to the kidney. These ideas were "a little unfiltered;' remarked Hermann Lotze, then one of the few survivors of the once numerous tribe of metaphysical philosophers.
It was also Lotze who-unsuccessfully-pointed out to the materialists the folly of their salto mortale. He recalled Leibniz, who had long settled the whole materialist problem, especially the relation between awareness and body, in his discussion with Hobbes. If one thing is based on another, this does not mean that it is identical with it; for if it were, it would not be different from it, and it could not therefore be based on the other.
Human life, Leibniz said, was based on breathing, but this did not mean that it was just air. The victorious advance of materialism was not halted by clever objections, more especially because it had a metaphysical admixture: belief in progress. If we analyze objects and life down to their most elementary components, then-this belief in progress claims-we shall discover nature's secret of operation. Once we discover how everything is done, we shall be able to copy it. At work here is an awareness that is out to discover all secrets, including those of nature, which-by means of experiment-has to be caught red-handed.
If one knows how it operates one can show it which way to continue. This mental attitude also gave nourishment to Marxism in the second half of the nineteenth century. In laborious and painstaking work, Marx had dissected the body of society and separated its soul-capital. In the end it was no longer entirely clear whether the messianic mission of the proletariat-Marx's contribution to German idealism-would even stand a chance of prevailing against the unshakable law of capital-Marx's contribution to the post-rs so spirit of determinism.
Marx, too, wishes to discover all secrets; this he does through a critique of ideology. For the ideology critics, ideas are not-as believed by the large crowd of philosophizing physiologists and zoologists-. The ideology-critical sociologist similarly tries to strip the magic from the astonishing secretions of the mind. The campaigns of materialism are directed against validity. In a striking critique of this attitude was published-F. Lange's classic History of Materialism. It did not exactly remain without effect.
Nietzsche was greatly influenced by it, and even though his philosophy later detonated as a "life philosophy;' blowing apart many particularly massive chunks of materialism, it was Lange who had lit the fuse. Neo-Kantianism, which will be discussed later because young Heidegger moved in its circles, was likewise set in motion by Lange. Lange's fundamental idea is the restoration of that neat Kantian differentiation between a world of phenomena that we can analyze by laws, a world to which, as objects among objects, we ourselves belong with part of our being, and a world that reaches into us, which used to be called "spirit" and by Kant was called "freedom" with reference to the internal man, and the "thing in itself" with reference to the external world.
Lange recalls Kant's definition of nature: nature is not where the laws which we call laws of nature apply, but the other way about. To the extent that we view something from the angle of such "laws;' we ourselves constitute it as the appearance of "nature"; to the extent that we view it from the angle of spontaneity and freedom, we are dealing with "spirit. We can analyze ourselves as a thing among things; we can, as Hobbes has deliberately done, view ourselves as a machine-but it is we who choose that perspective.
We are free to make ourselves into machines. We are part of the world of phenomena-that is, nature according to the law, a thing among things-yet at the same time each person experiences within himself the spontaneity of freedom. Freedom is the secret of the world revealing itself to us, the back of the mirror of phenomena. The "thing in itself"that is ourselves in our freedom; the core of all determination is the dimension in which we can determine ourselves. This Kantian double perspective-Man is a thing among things and also freedom-is once more brought into play by F.
Materialism as a research method in the natural sciences, Lange states, is entirely to be welcomed. Scientific experience must act as if there were only material reality. It must not, when it can make no further progress with its explanations, invoke the "spirit" as a stopgap.
It is possible to pursue the scientific physiology. It was Lange's great achievement to have demonstrated that, just as there is. Against idealist evaporation and the. There was widespread. At that point truth is only the illusion with which we are comfortable and which benefits us. Validity is valid only when it has become a fact.
Valid is only what has been valid. This will become the punch line of historicism. Lange was seeking a compromise-materialism was to share power with the world of the spirit:. Who will refute a Mass of Palestrina, or who will convict Raphael's Madonna of error? The "Gloria in Excelsis" remains a universal power, and will ring through the centuries so long as our nerves can quiver under.
Kaiser Wilhelm himself was not quite genuine either; his will to power was more will than power. The "as if" called for stage sets-indeed it lived by them. No one realized this better than Richard Wagner, who pulled out all the stops of theatrical magic to redeem his age-a time-limited redemption, a redemption "as if:' All this went alongside a very reality-oriented. Just because this was so effectiveit had to be dressed up a little, adorned, draped, chiseled, and so on, to make sure the whole thing looked good and was valid.
After all, official German policy also went all out for validity or standing-Germany's standing in the world. If one is seen to have standing, he saves himself the trouble of having to become something. This mixture of efficiency in the real world and an "as if" attitude opened the door to Germany for the Anglo-Saxon pragmatism of a William James and Charles Peirce. Pragmatism, of course, pleads for disarmament in matters of truth. Truth is pulled up from its anchoring in the realm of ideas and downgraded to a social principle of self-regulation of processes. The criterion of truth is practical success-and the same applies to so-called values.
Their reality is tested not in the ominous and never sufficiently demonstrable agreement with some ideal Being, but in its effect. The spirit is what it accomplishes. Pragmatism replaces the correspondence theory of truth with the theory of efficiency. One need no longer be afraid of error. Like the hermit who thinks he is Saint Serapion, the Baron has a poetic soul; he simply fails to acknowledge his doubleness.
Beethoven: The higher musical mechanic Hoffmann perceived music as occupying an altogether separate sphere beyond the phenomenal. These images of the sublime all point towards the Absolute as an eradica- tion of difference between the bodily subject and the ethereal object. And the Absolute, Hoffmann implies, can be glimpsed through the agency of the Fifth Symphony. Thus Hoffmann can be portrayed as a mystical metaphysician who believed that instrumental music, unlike language, could dissolve the distinction of subject and object. In fact the Fifth Symphony review itself anticipates the novellas of —19 on many levels,46 a fact that, if properly recognized, should lead to a complete reori- entation of musicological understanding of Hoffmann and his significance.
Their interest in contemporary composition was limited, as was their musical literacy. On the other hand, as a musician and reviewer Hoffmann constantly dealt with recent music. As his analysis of the Symphony amply demonstrates, such works are finite in duration, conduct a dialogue with generic conventions, and for their creation require as much thought, technique and reflection as literature. In this sense music and language are not antithetical but analogous; in the Fifth Symphony review Hoffmann simply shifted music into the position the literary Romantics usually reserved for poetry.
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They cannot play with it as the machinery allows the soldiers to perform only one fixed routine. Meister Abraham explains that he set up a concave mirror beside the path. That came from inside him. Metamorphosen der Musikergestalt bei E. Hofmann et la musique, ed. Alain Montandon Berne: Lang, , — With their creaking contraptions and their knowing irony they hold up the mirror to the spirit. Le Constitutionnel 11 March , 1—2. Abbate, Carolyn. Princeton: Princeton University Press, Abbott, Helen.
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