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A Divided Heart and Other Stories   By: (1830-1914)

Book cover

First Page:

A DIVIDED HEART

[Illustration: Paul Heyse]

A DIVIDED HEART

AND

OTHER STORIES

FROM PAUL HEYSE

TRANSLATED INTO ENGLISH With an Introduction BY CONSTANCE STEWART COPELAND

New York: BRENTANO'S CHICAGO PARIS WASHINGTON

Copyright. 1894, BY BRENTANO'S.

BURR PRINTING HOUSE, NEW YORK.

To My Mother

C. S. C.

CONTENTS.

Introduction Paul Heyse

A Divided Heart

Minka

Rothenburg on the Tauber

INTRODUCTION PAUL HEYSE

PAUL HEYSE.

INTRODUCTION.

It occasionally happens that a reader expecting to find the customary account of an author's early struggles for bread and knowledge, his bitter disappointments, his late and almost joyless success, is surprised by the record of a singularly fortunate life; of a life which advances easily and naturally from a peaceful and promising childhood to an equally peaceful, famous old age. Goethe's was such a life; and reading it, one feels that sharp encounter with the hardest facts of existence would have lessened his greatness, would have disturbed that perfect serenity of soul which made him philosopher as well as poet, and fostered his fidelity to high ideals of life and art.

A countryman of Goethe's, Paul Heyse, born in Berlin in 1830, two years before the great poet's death, was no less fortunate in the lot to which fate assigned him. Heyse's power was unlike Goethe's in kind and degree, but the opportunities for its development were equally favorable. His father was a philologist and lexicographer, whose home was comfortable and refined, and whose friends were cultured and literary. He took charge of his son's early education, and naturally laid great stress on language, inculcating the love for purity and exactness in its use, which is one of Heyse's best qualities. Stimulated by the atmosphere of his home, and by these studies in literary technique , Heyse began to try his skill in original work at a very early age, and was only seventeen years old when his first book, "Jungbrunnen: New Tales by a Travelling Scholar," appeared. Although this production encouraged his friends in the belief that a great future lay before him, it made no impression whatever on the world at large, and the young author pursued his studies at the Berlin University without astounding anyone by phenomenal brilliancy or success.

Finishing at Berlin, he betook himself to Bonn, and spent a year studying Romance and philology with the famous Diez. So great was the interest in mediaeval languages which Diez succeeded in awakening in the young man, that in 1850 Heyse travelled to Italy and employed a year in examining the precious manuscripts of the old Italian libraries. The results of these researches were afterwards published under the title "Romanische Jnedita auf italienischen Bibliotheken gesammelt;" and a book of Italian songs was also presented to the world.

Upon his return to Germany, Heyse at once began serious literary work, and put the first rung in the traditional ladder to fame. Although his present place in literature is due to his work as a novelist, his first creations were dramas in verse. He aspired to become a poet; not a singer of songs and lyrics, but a great dramatic poet, whose lines should chant, and whose thoughts should create a new era... Continue reading book >>




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