The Book, Cat, & Cat Book Lovers Almanac

of historical trivia regarding books, cats, and other animals. Actually this blog has evolved so that it is described better as a blog about cats in history and culture. And we take as a theme the advice of Aldous Huxley: If you want to be a writer, get some cats. Don't forget to see the archived articles linked at the bottom of the page.

December 13, 2011

December 13, 1797

Heinrich Heine(December 13, 1797 to February 17, 1856) was a major German poet during the 19th century. He lived in France because of the censorship in Germany. He felt romanticism failed through a saccharine quality in the verse, but there is an ease and beauty in his verse which reminds one of Keats. here is a selection from a novel he never finished, titled From the Memoirs Of Herr Von Schnalewopski (1833):

My father was named Schnabelewopski, my mother Schnabelewopska. I was born as legitimate son of both, the 1st of April 1795, in Schnabelewops. My great aunt, the old lady von Pipitzka, nursed me as a child, and told me pretty tales, and often sang me to sleep with a song of which I have forgotten both the words and tune; but I can never forget the strange, mysterious way in which she nodded as she sang, aud how mournfully her only tooth, the solitary hermit of her mouth, peeped out. And I can remember, too, much about the parrot, whose death she so bitterly bewailed. My old great aunt is dead now herself, and I am the only one in the world who still thinks of her parrot. Our cat was called Mimi, and our dog Joli. ...

Nietzsche shared the world's regard for Heine, and wrote this in Ecce Homo (1888):

The highest conception of the lyric poet was given to me by Heinrich Heine. I seek in vain in all the realms of millenia for an equally sweet and passionate music. He possessed that divine malice without which I cannot imagine perfection... And how he employs German! It will one day be said that Heine and I have been by far the first artists of the German language.

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