Heinrich Heine: Dreams in A Winter's Tale. A New Historicist Approach.
Seminar paper from the year 2000 in the subject German Studies - Modern German Literature, grade: A-, University of Connecticut (German), language: English, abstract: Texts do not come out of the blue. This could be the motto of those literary theorists that apply the method of the "new historicism," a procedure for interpreting texts that has become popular in the 1980s. New historicism aims at revealing power relations that are reflected but hidden in texts. Alll texts are considered products of specific historical conditions and therefore imbued with cultural, social and political elements. Such a complex dialogue between text and history can be clearly seen in Deutschland. A Winter's Tale by Heinrich Heine. His motto, when he was writing the travel story in 1844, could have been: dreams do not come out of the blue either. One may wonder why the four dreams, which make up a comparatively small part of the whole text, are of such importance. From the point of view of a new historicist, however, all texts sorts should be regarded equal and inter-dependent. Accepting the historicity of all texts, new historicists work with sources from a variety of disciplines and discourses for the analysis of a piece of literature. Furthermore, this approach even justifies an application of discourses that have come into existence before or after the work in question - as long as they can contribute to its interpretation and evaluation. For the interpretation of the dreams in Heine's Deutschland. A Winter's Tale I will make use of this methodological advantage and apply various sources that range from ancient times up to the 20th century.
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