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The Last of Homer's Children: Goethe Singing Epic

The Last of Homer's Children: Goethe Singing Epic (Hardback)

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While Goethe loved Homeric epic, at the same time, the figure of Homer himself was a source of deep literary anxiety for him. Goethe could translate epic, even masterfully, but he shrunk back from attempting to compose a serious full-length epic of his own. "Who could vie with the great nonpareil?" he wrote. Reading Wolf's Prolegomena was a significant turning point for Goethe. So greatly had he revered his Homer, that at first, he angrily rejected the idea of an Iliad and Odyssey composed by a succession of illiterate rhapsodes. Gradually, however, with the help of scholarly Weimar friends, he allowed himself to be convinced. Once freed from the idea of a single, monolithic Homer, Goethe experienced a joyous creative rebirth. Why should he not be a rhapsode himself, if only the last of Homer's children? The result was an idyll: Herman und Dorothea, which he adorned with nostalgic love, a hero and heroine on a truly Homeric scale, and a fruitful and thoroughly German landscape. With Hermann und Dorothea, Goethe honored not only Homer, but also his own people and times, celebrating what rhapsodes have always sung: the shadow of war and the love of home.

Essays & WritingLiterary CriticismLiterary studies: generalLiterary studies: c 1500 to c 1800Essays & WritingLiterary CriticismLiterary studies: poetry & poets Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing Publication Date: 01/04/2010 ISBN-13: 9781443819381  Details: Type: Hardback Format: Books
Availability: To Order. Estimated despatch in 1-3 weeks.  

Amy Vail, formerly Assistant Professor of Classics in the Honors College at Baylor University, teaches Latin in Indianapolis, Indiana. She has published an article and a book chapter on C.S. Lewis' use of Latin, and has edited and annotated the classical material in two major works by Owen Barfield.

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