Rudolf Tombo, Jr. (essay date 1901)
SOURCE: "General Survey and First Notices: General Considerations upon the Reception of the Ossianic Poems in Germany," in Ossian in Germany, 1901. Reprint by AMS Press, 1966, pp. 66-75.
[In the following excerpt from his landmark study of Macpherson's influence on German Romantic poetry, Tombo surveys the history of the poet's popularity in that country.]
Almost a century and a half has elapsed since the literary world of Europe bowed to a new offspring of the poetic muse that many thought would be immortal. The poems of Ossian were assigned to a 'natural genius,' whom men of unquestioned literary sagacity placed next to and even above Homer. Now they are almost...
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