The Uni library has Poetry For Dummies, and of course the random page I opened had to be Romanticism, and that was where I finally got it confirmed that literary periods don't work the same way in English as they do in the Teutonic sphere of influence - where you in Norway will talk of a span of time including Romanticism, Realism, Naturalism and Neo-Romanticism, in Britain there is VICTORIAN.
From this fine book, I now know that in the English (possibly just British?) understanding of Romanticism, the most important German figures are Goethe, Schiller, Hölderlin and Heine. After some 5-6 classes on ca. the corresponding period in Germany, I think I'm allowed to say that Heine is the only one of those four who is counted as romantic in German. The lesson learned is that literary history is a lot more political here than there, but I just can't get over how someone so obviously not romantic in one tradition can be celebrated as the man initiating Romanticism in another one.
At least I finally know why I always had troubles with recognising British romantic poetry as what it claimed to be.
- Current Mood: gobsmacked