Author: Heinrich Heine
Title: Reisebilder [Travel Pictures] Time: 1822-1828
Length: several trips
Type: overland, some walking
The story: HH is already a pretty successful German poet/journalist when he embarks on several journeys to Berlin, Poland, the Harz, the North Sea, Italy and England. He travels mostly on foot, and he writes mostly about nature and society.
collection of essays
The resulting book is a collection of individual travelogues, i.e. one about Berlin, one about Poland, and so on. And while some of these stories are truly great (the Harz), others just boring (Berlin, Italy).
Heinrich Heine’s sharp tongue
The good: one thing that I loved about HH’s writing was his sharp tongue – some of his depictions of people were so mean that I actually had to laugh out loud when I read them. (And he writes very well about nature, too!)
some boring stuff
The bad: some parts totally lacked movement and were very hard to bear: HH’s account of Berlin, for example, seemed like just one long bla about high society – who hangs out where, what’s a good place to have coffee, and so on. I yawned a lot when I was reading this stuff.
worth the read
So, do I recommend reading HH then? Yes. Even if you only get his book to read the journey to the Harz, then it’s already absolutely justified. That’s how good that one is.
A good 7/10, despite all the boring parts.