Rüdiger Safranski

In the course of the 19th century, Romanticism, an artistic, literary and intellectual movement, spread across Europe. Driven back toward the margins in our own rational era, Romanticism takes centre stage once more in Rüdiger Safranski's new book.

With their myths and fairy tales, their yearning and their irony, their dreams and their heightened senses, the Romantics inspired themselves and their contemporaries. Tieck, Novalis and Fichte, Schelling and Schleiermacher represented the liberation of genius, the voyage into uncharted territory, the desire for experimentation, the joy of provocation. After his famous book on Schiller and German Idealism, Rüdiger Safranski now describes the second important German school of thought.

If Romanticism as an epoch has come to an end, it lives on as a concept. This is the second story told by Safranski in this book, which traces the curriculum vitae of the imagination in the work of Heine, Richard Wagner, Nietzsche and Thomas Mann, and in the artistic upheavals of the 20th century. This volume resembles a »double-entry bookkeeping« of Romantics and romanticism, and of a German obsession adopted all over Europe.

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