Posted by Richard on  UTC 2018-10-29 08:30

Exculpatory preface

Last July, your author foolishly declared during his less-than-magnificent essay on Klopstock's magnificent ode Der Zürchersee that he would consider at an appropriate moment Albrecht Haller's poem Doris (1730), which plays a walk-on part in Klopstock's poem. We are told that on the journey it was recited by Anna Maria Hirzel, 'Dr Hirzel's wife, young with very expressive blue eyes, who recited Haller's Doris incomparably wistfully'.

The calendar now tells us that that moment has come: 16 October 2018. The foolishness of that declaration is now apparent: we are now going to discuss in English a poem written in an 18th century German which might even cause modern native speakers to pause.

Worse: the passage of time has left Haller, his life, his work and his poetry largely unknown to modern readers, even to native speakers of German, so we are going to have to spend more time on his biography than we would have done for better known figures.

No boat trip will lift this text; there is nothing at all here to photograph. Off we go.


Errata 31.10.2018: A few typos were corrected and in Chapter 2 two paragraphs were added to the analysis of the last stanza of the poem

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