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Heine, Heinrich (1797–1856)

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-DC110-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 2003
Retrieved May 20, 2018, from

Article Summary

Heinrich Heine was one of the most significant German literary and political figures during the period after the Napoleonic wars until the 1848 Revolution. He is associated with the movement called ‘Young Germany’, which sought radical political and social reform. His literary work includes some of the most memorable German poetry of the nineteenth century, characterized by bitter irony, wit and intensity of feeling. His iconoclastic cultural essays, travel writings and reflections on contemporary art, politics and society are written with a stylistic verve and humour which influenced Nietzsche, among many others. His contribution to philosophy lies both in his renewal of German prose style, and his manner of connecting philosophy to social, political and cultural life. His philosophically oriented texts form part of the critique of religion in the 1830s and 1840s associated with Feuerbach, Marx and others. Heine’s demands for greater social justice are particularly distinguished by their criticisms of the aspects of Christianity which repress the sensuous side of human existence.

Citing this article:
Bowie, Andrew. Heine, Heinrich (1797–1856), 2003, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-DC110-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2018 Routledge.

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