Stefan Lindinger
National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
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“Waldeinsamkeit” in Ludwig Tieck’s Novellas Der blonde Eckbert and Waldeinsamkeit as well as in Adalbert Stifter’s Der Hochwald
Dedalus 24 (2020), pp. 189-206. Download PDF

The neologism ‘Waldeinsamkeit’ describes a subset of loneliness which is specific for German Romanticism. The introductory part of this essay investigates the circumstances under which this new concept emerged. The detachment of loneliness from specific locations outside society and its transformation into a mindset (also) within society, which occurs in the course of the 18th century, results in this new subset which again links loneliness to the place where it occurs. The forest is no accidental location, for the German word ‘Wald’ is charged with strong cultural and ideological notions. Then, it will be analysed how ‘Waldeinsamkeit’ is established for the first time and later – after it had been used prolifically in both Romantic prose and poetry – revoked in two novellas by Ludwig Tieck, Der blonde Eckbert (1796/97) and Waldeinsamkeit (1841). In the last part, it will be discussed how Adalbert Stifter adapted and used ‘Waldeinsamkeit’ in Der Hochwald (1842/44).
Keywords: ‘Waldeinsamkeit’ – loneliness – forest – German Romanticism – Ludwig Tieck – Adalbert Stifter