Friday, 3 July 2009

Herder and Hegel

Readers may like to note that 19th century German editions of the works of both Herder and Hegel can be accessed online - here and here. Of particular interest in relation to Nordic literature and its ideological antecedents, perhaps, are Herder's Treatise on the Origin of Language (1772), Selection from correspondence on Ossian and the songs of ancient peoples (1773), Of German Character and Art (with Goethe, 1773), Folk Songs (1778-79), and the dialogue Iduna (1796), in which the philosopher suggests that the Nordic gods may serve as the foundation of a new national German literature, replacing the myths and deities of Greek and Oriental antiquity.

1 comment:

Eric Dickens said...

It's good that everything by Herder exists online, so you can pin down quotes and passages, to then read later in a book. Though I don't think I'm quite up to reading long texts in slightly archaïc German in Frakturstil on my computer screen.

What I will probably read first is the relevant parts of a Herder reader called "Herder für unsere Zeit - Ein Lesebuch", published in the GDR in the Orwellian year of 1984. I'm sure that clever scholars smuggled passages into the selection to spite the Soviet domination of German life at the time. Because the idea of small nations having worth and independence could surely not quite gel with the idea of the world as a brotherhood dominated by Russia.