By Geoffrey Atherton
Within the early glossy interval, the tradition of Rome, with Virgil as its maximum determine, was once the version for emulation. The age of Louis XIV in comparison itself to the Augustan age, and Dryden hailed Virgil as my Divine grasp. yet in 18th-century Europe, a basic shift happened in desire of Greece, a pattern that used to be such a lot reported in Germany. Winckelmann, the spokesman for philhellenism, extolled Greek paintings and brushed off all Roman paintings as by-product and Virgil as moment cost and incapable of knowing precise good looks. but he still remained indebted to Virgil for his view of Greek artwork, even supposing he did not realize it. The export of Winckelmann's new view of Virgil and extra as a rule Roman tradition -- shared to various extents by means of Lessing, Herder, Goethe, and the brothers Schlegel -- to the remainder of Europe within the nineteenth century, really to the English-speaking international through Coleridge and Matthew Arnold) quickly made it the reigning dogma: certainly it shaped the purpose of departure for Virgil scholarship within the twentieth century. This, despite the fact that, didn't hinder German poets from utilizing Virgil, even supposing neither they nor later students referred to as awareness to it. Virgil grew to become a repressed muse, and has a persevered, unexamined presence within the epic and idyll of Klopstock, Wieland, Goethe, and Novalis. Geoffrey Atherton's comparative research of the relation of modernity to antiquity via Virgil and his twofold reception represents a brand new viewpoint in this issue.Ge
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Extra resources for The Decline and Fall of Virgil in Eighteenth-Century Germany: The Repressed Muse (Studies in German Literature Linguistics and Culture)
Its old imperial border separating “das Freie Germanien” from the Latin world doubles as a cultural border some seventeen hundred years later when that latter-day “Freie Germanien . . hat folgerichtig . . 43 The classicist Friedrich Klingner also regards it as all of a piece. ”44 If Herder and Goethe were “mehr oder weniger kühl” towards a poet they preferred left on the shelf, the generation that followed was even more so. ”45 One could add to this list with ease. However, neither the puzzlement at the animadversions of the eighteenth century would change, nor the reasons for it increase.
Its cumbersome length insists not only on the totality of the whole experience but also indicates the vast and often contradictory impulses of the mystic experience Werther tries to squeeze out onto the paper. The first portion describes the bright sunlight above the treetops with only a few rays piercing the impenetrable darkness of the canopy into the inner sanctuary. 77 We move vertically from the bright open infinity of the sky to the dark enclosed miniature infinity of the world of insects.
Bürger employed some words and images from the Dido episode in his Lenore (1774) just as Schiller returned to the Laocoon episode; yet overall they are largely silent. Virgil’s relative absence in these, his greatest supporters, illustrates that the increasing German distance from Virgil has deeper causes than the merely cyclical movement of literary fashion. It fell, however, to others, to the Jena Romantics at the century’s close, to give the most forceful expression to the new estimation of Virgil.