Konten uns auch nicht genug an einander zerlieben. Drauf breiteten wir unsere Blankets wieder aus und legten uns seel, nieder in unser Kirchen Saalgen. Hielte uns. Herz Nathanael den Morgen Seegen, und erinnerte dass heute unsers 1. Loschens 32ter Gebtag [Geburtstag] sey. Wir sungen ihm einige Versel, und wiinschten ihm viel Gluck u.
Seegen zu seiner kiinftigen Arbeit u.
Miihe in diesem Lande. Lischer, Hermanus u. Haberland gingen mit dem Wagen zu Altems um Mehl zu hohlen it. Losch u. Feld- hausen gingen auf die Jagd, kamen aber leer wieder nach Hause. Wir hatten ein kleines L. Mahl mit dem Br. Losch, und freueten uns mit ihm iiber seine Gnadenwahl.
Gottlob hielte die Sing- stunde. Brandt, Hamilton College. Carpenter, Columbia University. Carruth, University of Kansas. Hermann Collitz, Bryn Mawr College. Cutting, University of Chicago.
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Dodge, University of Illinois. Hatfield, Northwestern University. Hewett, Cornell University. Hohlfeld, University of Wisconsin. Hugo K. Schilling, University of California. Schmidt-Wartenberg, University of Chicago. Hermann Schoenfeld, Columbian University. Calvin Thomas, Columbia University.
Street, Rooms 44 and ILelpstfl : F. Like " the Scandi- navian Eddas and all the most distinctive poems," the " Nibel- ungen probably had their rise in great historic perturbations, which they came in to sum up and confirm. From the skalds, and the Nibelungen, Whitman, inashort note, passes over to the minnesingers. In Goethe he beheld " genius, health, beauty of person, riches, rank, renown and length of days, all combining and centering in one case. Harris, offers rich material. The necessity and justification of evil, indis- pensable for keeping the equilibrium in the spiritual energy of mankind a theme that has recently again been treated in E.
A man cannot strive without erring ; evil rather purges him for purer ideals. As in Goethe's " Prolog im Himmel," the "evil spirit that eternally denies " is acknowl- edged by the Lord as a valuable accessory in preserving man- kind from idle security and ennervation, so Satan, defiant, war- like, boisterous and sly though he be, is by Whitman included, together with Father, Son and Holy Spirit, in the " Square Deific.
Drei Feurige Flut
Is not his " Santa Spirita " the same hardly defina- ble, yet inviolable feminine that brings final harmony in the "Square Deific " as in Goethe's spirit-world? A comparison with Jacob Boehmo, farfetched as it may seem, suggests itself to our mind. Traces of Boehme's ideas are perceptible in Goethe and Whit- man alike. We only need to think of the chorus of the angels that receives Faust in heaven or the Chorus mysticus : "Alles Vergangliche 1st nur ein Gleichnis.
Like Goethe. Whitman has been charged with paganism, or even atheism. Both charges are equally unreasonable and un- just, and have been definitely repelled by sound critics.
The terms that Goethe applied to his creed in conversation with Lavater, hold good for Whitman too : He is by no means anti- Christian, not even un-Christian, but indeed non-Christian. The motley variety of churches, creeds and sects, each claiming in its advertisements to be the right and only-saving, was repulsive to these profound and tolerant thinkers.
Er stehe fest und sehe hier sich um ; Dem Tiichtigen ist diese Welt nicht stumm. Was braucht er in die Ewigkeit zu schweifen! Was er erkennt, lasst sicli ergreifen. Why should I wish to see God better than this day? This idea explains Goethe's word, postulated by Kant's Critique of Practical Reason : "If there were no God now, we should have to invent one " Eckermann. I find letters from God dropt in the street, and every one is signed by God's name. His personality and his works are inconceivable without the national, political and social background of the New World.
No wonder, then, if Goethe's apparent lack of patriotism strikes Whitman as strange. It was not beau- tiful to me, like Goethe's love for Schiller, like Schiller's love for Goethe. Although he does not men- tion Herder as his own teacher. The single passage, in which he speaks of Herder, clearly discloses our poet's indebtedness to the Ger- man poet-philosopher : " Herder taught to the young Goethe, that really great poetry is always like the Homeric or Biblical canticles , the result of a national spirit, and not the privilege of a polished and select few.
Herder's chief interest was centered in poetry. In all his critical treatises, Whitman invariably comes back to poetry : " The problem of humanity all over the civi- lized world is to be finally met and treated by literature. Herder had started from Hamann's proposition : " Poetry is the mothertongue of the human race. What Herder says about these elements might well have been written by a critic of the Leaves of Grass: " Eine Nachahmung der tonenden, handelnden, sich regenden Natur ; — die Natursprache aller Geschopfe, vom Verstande in Laute gedichtet, in Bilder von Handlung, Leidenschaft und lebender Einwirkung personifi- ziert.
For culture is dangerous for poetry. Culture has weakened our eyes, lamed our hands ; it has made us lose the pregnancy of thought and expression, the flexibility and sincerity of sentiment, all of which the old heroes of litera- ture possessed.
But not by imitating these great masters may we expect to raise our literature to a higher and nobler plane, but only by learning from them the art how to write poetry. These poets knew how to absorb and reflect their own nature and history, the current thoughts and the language. We must become imitators of ourselves — we must be original.
The almost literal coincidence of ideas is evident.
To stress our point, we may add that Whitman shares with Herder the admiration of Homer and Shakespeare, and the enthusiastic valuation of the Bible as a work of art. Herder calls Homer " Ganz Natur " ; so Whitman, who secured for himself " the best translated versions he could get of Homer," read the Iliad in Buckley's prose version for the first time thoroughly " in a sheltered hollow of rocks and sand, with the sea on each side. Likely, because he " read them. Immortal Judah lives, and Greece im- mortal lives, in a couple of poems.
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Yet, despite many instances of accordance, such an investigation would lead us too far into the realm of philosophic conjecture ; moreover, we have not, as in the former instances, any direct indication whatsoever that Whitman had acquainted himself with that side of Herder's work. Despite the vast currency that Schiller's ideas have had in America, according to the recent proofs offered by American scholars, they have left no trace in Whitman's works. Schiller's doctrine and practice of aesthetics and form of poetry were incompatible with Whitman's views.
A certain similarity between the young Schiller's Shaftesburyean eudae- monism and demand of general brotherhood and Whitman's ideas of comradeship and universal humanity are merely inci- dental. This sort of personality we see in. From his scant allusions, it is impossible to say in how high or mean estimation Whitman held Heine.
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One citation sounds rather depreciatory : " For American literature we want mighty authors, not even Carlyle- and Heine-like, born and brought up in and more or less essentially partaking and giving out the vast abnormal ward or hysterical sick chamber which in many respects Europe, with all its glories, would seem to be. Heine, more invigorating to accomplish something bad than something empty. Martin Maack, Dichter-Lexicon, Liibeck, , p.
In his amateur attempt at linguistic research : Slang in A? Schliemann interesting but fishy about his excava- tions there in the far-off Homeric area, I notice cities, ruins, etc. Whitman was little occupied with speculations on Eupo- pean or German plastic art.
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For this, the very opportunities of visiting satisfactory galleries were wanting. At the great Ex- position of at New York, he had access to "a very large and copious exhibition gallery of paintings, hundreds of pictures from Europe, many masterpieces — all an exhaustless study. He exclaims in rapture : " Will America ever have such an artist out of her own gesta- tion, body, soul? If this is really a national trait, Whitman is a true native of America. For his admiration for Thorwaldsen's ''Apostles" expresses itself in the only term : " Colossal in size.