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Song Loves the MassesHerder on Music and Nationalism$
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Johann Gottfried Herder and Philip V. Bohlman

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780520234949

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520234949.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 19 November 2019

Songs of the Enlightenment Bard

Songs of the Enlightenment Bard

Essay on “Homer und Ossian” (1794)

Chapter:
(p.168) 5. Songs of the Enlightenment Bard
Source:
Song Loves the Masses
Author(s):

Philip V. Bohlman

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520234949.003.0010

Herder turned to the imaginary Scottish bard, Ossian, again at the end of his life, this time comparing him directly to Homer. In Chapter 5 Herder admits clearly that he recognizes that Ossian was the invention of James Macpherson, but he moves beyond the Ossian controversy to reflect on the nature of epic as a genre of national narrative formed from the bridge between oral and written traditions. An aesthetic of national character in folk song emerges more fully formed at the end of his life as Herder draws attention to the ways in which Scottish, Irish, and Welsh attributes are evident in the Ossian epics in ways quite unlike the attributes of the ancient Greeks in Homer.

Keywords:   Classical poetry, Epic, Fingal, Homer, James Macpherson, Narrative folk song, Nationalism in music, Oral tradition, Ossian

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