Sunday Book-Thought 106

There is a core to the meaning of life, as the poet would like to portray it, which is the same for all ages. Thus, there is something eternal about a great poet. But man is simultaneously a historical creature. When a new social order has been instituted and the meaning of life has changed, the poets of the preceding epoch no longer move us as they once moved their contemporaries. This is our situation today. We are awaiting the poet who can speak to us about our sufferings, our joys, and our struggles with life!
Wilhelm Dilthey, ‘The Historicity of Poetic Technique’, in Poetry and Experience (Selected Works: Volume V), trans. by Louis Agosta and Rudolf A. Makkreel, ed. by Rudolf A. Makkreel and Frithjof Rodi (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1985), pp. 160-173 (p. 173).

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