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Saturday, December 19, 2015

The Heinrich Heine Prophecy





“German thunder is of course slow. Yet it is bound to come, and one day you will hear it crash unlike anything that has ever crashed in the history of this world. When that happens

“… … the eagles in the skies will fall down dead, and the lions in remotest Africa will be terrified and hide in their royal caverns. A drama will be staged in Germany such as will make the French Revolution look like an episode of romantic charm.”

Here is a more complete quote in German with a translation into English.



Notice “the royal caverns” where the lions hide?
That is Heine, the soothing and careful irony even on images of death or war.


It was not Nietzsche, but Heine who first published that God had died.

"Can't you hear the bells ringing? Kneel down. 
They are bringing the sacraments to a dying god."


This was in 1834.

The Fleishman translation is free online at  http://www.readbookonline.net/readOnLine/63355/
I think it is incomplete, but I have not yet compared it to the Snodgrass translation available at Archive Org which sounds like older English and is a transcript with its bugs.
Cambridge University Press also publishes a translation, but it is sold at more than 20 pounds.

I had never heard that Heine objected to Kant's philosophy. I think it is a good thing to read some Kant from time to time. It is like the Bible in that it can be read only little at a time. How come I never had  seen Kant's explicit acceptance of guns vs speech?

It is at the end of Kant's "Enlightenment" article. It is not difficult to read, but otherwise embarrassing enough:

http://uploads.worldlibrary.net/uploads/pdf/20130902213105kantenlightmentferrer_pdf.pdf

 
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Heine's prose is a tumble mix and not elegant, and the lyrics he wrote when he was dying in his “mattress grave” are not readily available in translation. They are part of the greatest lyrics of the German language, though at that time only Goethe was  famous.

In German the prophecy is in “On the History of Religion and Philosophy in Germany” free at Project Gutenberg:
http://gutenberg.spiegel.de/heine/religion/religion.htm : Zur Geschichte der Religion und Philosophie in Deutschland.








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