‘Unity versus difference’ : the politics of region-building and national identities in Tyrol, 1830–67
Title: ‘Unity versus difference’ : the politics of region-building and national identities in Tyrol, 1830–67
Citation: Laurence COLE (ed.), Different paths to the nation : regional and national identities in Central Europe and Italy, 1830–70, London : Palgrave Macmillan, 2007, pp. 37-59
ISBN: 9781349279609; 9780230801424
On his way through Tyrol in the year 1828, on a journey from Munich to Genoa, the German poet Heinrich Heine stopped in two of the largest towns in the province: Innsbruck, where he heard at first-hand stories from the famous 1809 uprising against the Bavarians and French; and the episcopal residence of Brixen, where he was on the look-out for the hordes of Jesuits he had been warned about. Leaving Brixen, he continued his journey south, noting that he was passing from one cultural area, Germany, to another, Italy, though without specifying where precisely the boundary between the two lay. He simply wrote that, ‘in southern Tyrol the weather began to clear, the sun of Italy let its nearness be felt …’. South Tyrol, he added several lines later is ‘where Italy begins’.1 In identifying the southern part of this Austrian crownland as the start of Italy, Heine was feeding into a debate that had been going on since the early modern period, as humanist travellers and thinkers wrote on the issue as to where the border between the realms of ‘Italia’ and ‘Germania’ might be drawn.
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