First published in 1965, Annette von Droste-Hülshoff is the first book about the great German poetess of the early nineteenth century in English. Delicate, fey, over-sensitive, unstable, with the intellect often described as unbecomingly masculine, it is easy to see how Annette von Droste-Hülshoff was bound to flout the conventions of the conservative society she lived in and to suffer accordingly. But melancholy and despairing as many of her poems are, we are never allowed to imagine her as a weak person. Margaret Mare is careful to show us her trenchant humour, her gift of mimicry, her generosity to her friends, the resolution which made her refuse, in the middle of a dangerous illness, to treat herself ‘like a soap bubble or a soft egg’—giving us a full picture of the woman of genius who could prophesy confidently that her works would still be read a hundred years after her death. Divided into three parts the book deals with the poet’s life and background, detailed interpretations of selected poems, and, the poet’s treatment of supernatural themes, her epics and prose works, her style and use of images. This book will be an essential read for scholars and researchers of poetry, literature, German literature, European literature, and comparative literature.
Table of Contents
Foreword Bibliography Part I: Biographical Part II: Annette von Droste’s Writings 1. Analysis of selected poems 2. The Supernatural 3. The Epics 4. Symbols and Images in Annette von Droste’s Poetry 5. Her Poetic Style 6. The Prose Works Part III: Conclusion Part IV: Translations Index