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Mendelssohn, Goethe, and the Walpurgis Night. 9781580463683

Mendelssohn, Goethe, and the Walpurgis Night

University of Rochester Press. 2007

Ficha técnica

  • EAN: 9781580463683
  • ISBN: 978-1-58046-368-3
  • Editorial: University of Rochester Press
  • Fecha de edición: 2007
  • Encuadernación: Rústica
  • Dimensiones: 15x23
  • Idioma: Inglés
  • Nº páginas: 294


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Mendelssohn, Goethe, and the Walpurgis Night addresses tolerance and acceptance in the face of cultural, political, and religious strife. Its point of departure is the Walpurgis Night. The Night, also known as Beltane or May Eve, was supposedly an annual witches' Sabbath that centered around the Brocken, the highest peak of the Harz Mountains.

After exploring how a notoriously pagan celebration came to be named after the Christian missionary St. Walpurgis (ca. 710-79), John Michael Cooper discusses the Night's treatments in several closely interwoven works by Goethe and Mendelssohn. His book situates those works in their immediate personal and professional contexts, as well as among treatments by a wide array of other artists, philosophers, and political thinkers, including Voltaire, Lessing, Shelley, Heine, Delacroix, and Berlioz.

In an age of decisive political and religious conflict, Walpurgis Night became a heathen muse: a source of spiritual inspiration that was neither specifically Christian, nor Jewish, nor Muslim. And Mendelssohn's and Goethe's engagements with it offer new insights into its role in European cultural history, as well as into issues of political, religious, and social identity -- and the relations between cultural groups -- in today's world.


1. The Cultural and Religious Prehistories
2. Tolerance, Translation, and Acceptance: Goethe's and Mendelssohn's Voices in European Cultural Discourse to ca. 1850
3. Reality and Illusion, Past and Present: Goethe and the Walpurgisnacht
4. The Composition, Revision, and Publication of Mendelssohn's Die erste Walpurgisnacht
5. The Sources, Structure, and Narrative of Mendelssohn's Walpurgisnacht Settings
6. At the Crossroads of Identity: Critical and Artistic Responses to Goethe's and Mendelssohn's Walpurgisnacht Treatments
7. Preforming Identity and Alterity: Die erste Walpurgisnacht Then and Now

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