Klett-Cotta-Verlag Psychology


Literatur und Musik bei Wilhelm Heinse

Oktober 2018, 22. Jahrgang, Heft 88, pp 58-76

Listening for Oneself. Literature and Music in the Work of Wilhelm Heinse
Wilhelm Heinse (1746-1803) was an outsider, and this is precisely what makes him a key figure for understanding the ›saddle period‹ between the Enlightenment, Classicism and Romanticism. He is one of the few authors from the late 18th century whose literary and theoretical writings deal with music and visual art in equal measure, while showing a keen awareness of the differences between the different arts. Taking up contemporary debates on the media-based, semiotic and aesthesiological commonalities and differences between the arts conducted by such writers as Dubos, Batteux, Diderot, Lessing, and Herder, Heinse develops a concept for a non-normative aesthetics of the particularity of the subject and the arts. Against this background, his music novel Hildegard von Hohenthal (begun in 1795/96), which caused some controversy among his contemporaries, can be read as a sophisticated play with intermedia references and a literary formulation of an emancipatory aesthetic of listening for oneself.

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