The Folkish Journalist (1877-1887)
This rather comfortable, if self-divided, period in List's life came to an end after his father died in 1877, when List was twenty-nine years old. Neither he nor his mother appear to have had the elder List's keen sense of business, and as economic times became difficult List quit the business to devout himself fulltime to his writing. At this time his writing continued to be of a journalistic kind. Deprived of his ability to travel and wander as he had before, he wrote articles for many newspapers. which dealt with his earlier travels and mystical reflections on these Loci. Many of these pieces were anthologized in 1891 in his famous German Mythological Landscapes. It was also during this period, in 1878, that he married his first wife, Helene Foster-Peters. However, the marriage was not to last through the difficult years of this period.
Given the Pan-German nationalism of the various groups and papers with which List had been associated throughout his career, it seems certain that from a political standpoint he was firmly in their camp.
However, the nature of his mysticism at this time seems to have been somewhat more original. Before any influence from later Theosophical notions could have been present, he was continuing on the path of mystical Germanic revivalism. Besides his own intuition - which, given his results, must have been his chief source - he must have been familiar with a variety of non-scientific, neo-romantic works on Germanic mythology and religion popular at the time, and was perhaps also aware of at least a portion of the scientific studies. In any event, many of the uniquely Listian notions seem to have been already solidifying in this early period.
Through these years, List was also working on his first book-length (two-volume) effort, Carnuntum, a historical novel based on his vision of the war between the Germanic and Roman worlds centered at that location around the year 375 C.E.