Memoirs in Flames

Windows into History

A painting of Dusseldorf, birthplace of Heinrich Heine, painted by Andreas Achenbach in 1831.

Snippets 142.  Christian Johann Heinrich Heine was a German lyric poet, whose words were set to music by composers including Franz Schubert and Robert Schumann.  In the twilight of his life he decided to write his memoirs, which he never finished.  The following quote is from the introductory passage of those memoirs, published posthumously in 1884, and I think you will agree that his writing also had the lyrical quality of a talented poet:

All that is important and characteristic is honestly communicated here, and the combined effect of exterior events and of occurrences in the inner life of my soul will reveal to you the stamp of my being and myself. The veil has fallen from my soul, and thou mayest look at it in its beautiful nakedness. There are no blemishes, only wounds…

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