"The poetry of the ancients was that of possession; ours is that of longing. The former stands firmly on the soil of the present; the latter sways between memory and anticipation." (A.W. Schlegel)
"Whither does this mighty longing draw us? This longing that is worth more to us than any pleasure? Why just in this direction, thither where all the suns of humanity have hitherto gone down? Will it perhaps be said of us one day that we, too, steering westward, hoped to reach an India -- but that it was our fate to be wrecked against infinity? (Nietzsche, Daybreak)
And indeed it was...
This is an interesting, albeit turgid account of the use and development of the conception of Myth in German Romanticism -- a conception that in many ways defined what was most essential about German thought... in multiple spheres: theology (pietism); Wissenschaft
; and, of course, in Politik
I no longer have the patience (or interest) at this point in my career to work through a 400 page analysis (essentially) of Creuzer's Symbolik und Mythologie der alten Völker
-- something which I've had more than enough of in my professional life --, so I only read the opening and closing of the book. For those with more interest in this particular topic, and a strong stomach, this is definitely the book for you.
There are many interesting observations offered, however, on the nature of German Romanticism -- and the author knows enough to realize that Martin Bernal is a crank and a charlatan, and Renan an antisemite -- and so the book can be trusted.
Romanticism in Germany arose out of an Enlightenment (Die Aufklärung) infused and overcome by philosophical Idealism - once again establishing, if establishment is needed, that without a sturdy materialism -- or, at least, a philosophical Realism to serve as a metaphysical foundation (even if it is a 'dynamism' of the sort offered by the Stoics or, indeed, by Marx), one's politics will likely go astray.
The Epilogue deals with the mythography of Alfred Rosenberg.