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Rahel Varnhagen

Overview

"My aim has been to give a portrait of the greatest woman ... Germany can call her daughter. (...) My hope of having to some extent understood what is characteristic in Rahel's personality rests exclusively on the love she has inspired in me. (...) Each time I have returned to Rahel, my love has increased." (Ellen Key)
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Overview

"My aim has been to give a portrait of the greatest woman ... Germany can call her daughter. (...) My hope of having to some extent understood what is characteristic in Rahel's personality rests exclusively on the love she has inspired in me. (...) Each time I have returned to Rahel, my love has increased." (Ellen Key)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9783955078294
  • Publisher: DOGMA
  • Publication date: 12/22/2012
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 5.25 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Read an Excerpt


CHAPTER II PERSONALITY In Rahel's, as in every other pronounced personality, one can point to certain component parts by which the race and the family have contributed to its composition; one can even divine the process of moulding. But the means by which just this personality results from these component parts and from the treatment which in others would have produced quite different formsthat remains the eternal riddle. The individual features of the personality, its peculiar style, its unique charm, can no more be described or grasped in dealing with the living work of arta consummate personalitythan in dealing with the statue of bronze. Not only the work of art, as Kellgren has said, has "sprung from the womb of a glowing imagination": the individuality too springs from such a womb, that of Nature herself. Her imagination works as mysteriously as that of genius, and her style it is equally impossible to catch in the scant, grey meshes of words. Several of Rahel's most eminent contemporaries have attempted to describe her personality. The most successful among them were probably those who approached most nearly to her own self- analysis. For if it can be said of any one that she really knew herself, then that person is Rahel. In the whole world of women there is no one who can be better compared with Rahel in courage and inclination for exploring her own soul, in zeal of self-examination, and candour of self-revelation, than Marie Bashkirtseff. For there is need to remind certain modern authors of feminine confessions that shamelessness is not synonymous with candour, nor communicativeness with knowledge of self. Rahel's letters, published after her death, were to hercontemporaries a revelation of a new type of woman in the same degree as Marie Bashkirt- seff...
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