Buch der Lieder
Buch der Lieder; Book of Songs (1827)
This collection of love poems is Heine’s most famous work. The poems, inspired by Heine’s unrequited love for his cousin Amalie, were first published in 1821 in a collection together with two poor quality plays. Only when the poems were published without the plays in 1827 did the collection become a bestseller.
According to Paul Peters, these poems are shocking because they register the ‘pure alterity and radical difference’ of the female subject (see reading list below, p. 69).
Michael Perraudin, Heinrich Heine. Poetry in Context. A Study of Buch der Lieder (Oxford: Berg, 1989)
Michael Perraudin, ‘Illusions Lost and Found: the Experiential World of Heine’s Buch der Lieder’, in A Companion to the Works of Heinrich Heine, ed. by Roger F. Cook (Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2002), pp. 37-53
Paul Peters, ‘A Walk on the Wide Side: Heine’s Eroticism’, in A Companion to the Works of Heinrich Heine, ed. by Roger F. Cook (Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2002), pp. 55-103
S. S. Prawer, Heine. Buch der Lieder (London: Edward Arnold, 1960)
William Rose, The Early Love Poetry of Heinrich Heine. An Inquiry into Poetic Inspiration (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1962)
Jeffrey L. Sammons, ‘The Struggle for a Poetic Attitude: Buch der Lieder’, in Sammons, Heinrich Heine: The Elusive Poet (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1969), pp. 26-87