Academic journal article German Quarterly

Aurum und Aurora: Ludwig Tiecks "Runenberg" und Jakob Bohme

Academic journal article German Quarterly

Aurum und Aurora: Ludwig Tiecks "Runenberg" und Jakob Bohme

Article excerpt

Lier, Edwin. Aurum and Aurora: Ludwig Tiecks "Runenberg" and Jakob Bohme. Beitrage zur neueren Literaturgeschichte, 151. Heidelberg: Winter, 1997. 262 pp. DM 72.00

As Edwin Lier acknowledges in this 1995 Dusseldorf dissertation, the German Romantics" championing of the seventeenth-century Silesian mystic Jakob Bohme is well known, including references to Bohme in the letters of Ludwig Tieck and in the 1855 biographical memoir about him by Rudolf Kopke. Whether the German Romantics', and particularly Tieck's, interest in Bohme was in any sense profound or mostly a matter of name dropping that had been anathema to rationalists has been a matter of some debate. The thesis Lier argues is that Tieck's fascination with Bohme at the time of his writing of the tale "Der Runenberg" was so deep and so genuine that the story cannot be interpreted properly without recourse to Bohme's theosophical treatises.

Lifer begins the presentation of his argument with an introductory section (17-78) in which he offers a brief report of Bohme's life and works. That presentation is followed by a review of primary sources showing Tieck's interest in Bohme, of secondary sources regarding that interest, and of interpretations that have been made of "Der Runenberg" over the years. The succeeding, main section (79-197) then sets about to draw parallels between Bohme's writings and the Tieck story with regard to themes and symbols. Lier then concludes his argument with a section (199-239) on instances of Bohme's influence on other authors, artists, scientists, philosophers, and theologians of the time, taken up individually (Johann Wolfgang Goethe, Henrich Steffens, Johann Wilhelm Ritter, Philipp Otto Runge, Franz von Baader, Friedrich Schleiermacher, Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling), and ending with comparison of Bohme's mode of thought with that of two twentieth-century authors of a mystical bent, the poet Rainer Maria Rilke and the philosopher Martin Heidegger. …

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