This volume makes accessible for the first time in English Wackenroder’s Herzensergiessungen eines kunstliebenden Klosterbruders (1787). One of the most important documents of early German Romanticism, the Confessions from the Heart of an Art-Loving Friar elevated Albrecht Dürer to a position of significance in art history, strongly influenced the Pre-Raphaelite School of painting and the “Nazarenes,” and had a deep impact on such other Romantic authors as Tieck, the Schlegels, Hoffmann, von Arnim, and Brentano. In the realm of music, Wackenroder’s nuclear ideas are realized in the compositions of Mendelssohn, Liszt, Berlioz, and Wagner.
Mary Hurst Schubert has produced a gifted, fluent English translation that retains the flowing style and emotion-laden tone of the original German. She also includes all of the contributions to the 1799 edition of Phantasien über die Kunst für Freunde der Kunst (Fantasies on Art for Friends of Art) that are generally acknowledged to be Wackenroder’s work. Preceding the translated texts, Schubert provides a lengthy and valuable introduction that surveys the history of Wackenroder criticism and takes an exciting new approach to the Confessions. The volume is further enhanced by critical annotations to the translated texts, illustrations, a chronological list of all known editions of Wackenroder’s writings, and an extensive bibliography of Wackenroder research.