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Travel Pictures

by Heinrich Heine Peter Wortsman

Heinrich Heine (1797-1856), one of Germany's most revered poets, is equally well-known for his idiosyncratic prose, the vibrant voice of which feels astonishingly modern in its familiar tone and thematic acrobatics. Travel Pictures comprises the accounts of four journeys taken at different times in his life. The opening "Harz Journey," a quirky chronicle of his walking tour in the Harz Mountains, is the text that first made him famous. But in all four accounts, Heine, seasoned by the skepticism of a born outsider, does more than climb mountains, ford streams and cross borders. In this remarkable book, Heine propels German letters into the Modern mindset. Freud cites a few of Travel Pictures' most humorous passages in Jokes and Their Relation to the Unconscious. Heine's incomparable lyric vision lifts the book into the transcendent realm of great journey literature.

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