Werke von Wilhelm Schröder (German Edition)
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Performances of French tragedies, such as Lessing had objected to in Hamburg forty years earlier, were still by no means uncommon in Once Schlegel found himself in the imperial capital, these two enterprises became joined in one effort. She continues, knowing his response in advance: This he already knew, and in a sense the rumour—for it was no more than that—of his sailing to America provided the answer.
Switzerland, occasionally France, Austria and Germany, before the great flight to Russia and Sweden in Sophie of course wanted money: August Wilhelm had to hear promptings from his brother about his talent as a dramatist, about careers in new universities like Berlin, just being founded. Dorothea, extending her rapt admiration for Friedrich to her brother-in-law, averred that the two would be the pyramids that would outlast everything of their age.
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We cannot of course overlook the litany of querulous and self-pitying communications from Friedrich, but two symbolic confraternal gestures do stand out: August Wilhelm was to give his poem a prominent position in the reissue of his poetic works that he oversaw in Was August Wilhelm the author? This is only one side. For this periodical Schlegel produced a corpus of learned reviews that must rank as a scholarly achievement almost commensurate with the more accessible Vienna Lectures.
The list does not necessarily end there. By the same token, it is also without doubt that Schlegel certainly gave advice on German literature and thought to his benefactress which she in fact acknowledged. The plan of a comprehensive work on Germany—its people, culture, letters, moeurs , in brief whatever the French needed to learn about this fascinating nation in the north that was paradoxically not yet a nation—had never left her.
Now, there was the south, and there was Austria. They had met in Venice in , and she had not forgotten him. The disparity in their ages was no hindrance, as other admirers and lovers knew or were to know. Her plans for Vienna now had a treble thrust: Schelling and Schlegel were on their best behaviour and discoursed amicably, while agreeing to differ in private.
It was also to be the last time that he saw her. But Munich also had its drawbacks: This was granted, and the seventeen-year-old boy made his request: The Emperor, as so often, was forthright, blunt and rude; he then relented and adopted a more kindly tone. Might not a little credit accrue to his tutor Schlegel?
Within a week, she had been received by the Emperor Francis and two royal archdukes. Her letters are studded with other grand names—Lobkowitz, Lichtenstein, Lubomirski, Potocki. He, at her prompting, had joined them in March: The serious business in Vienna was threefold: It needs to be said that her every step was followed by the assiduous Austrian police, they having taken over from the equally zealous but more efficient Napoleonic surveillance system.
The Life of August Wilhelm Schlegel
This was partly his own doing, and partly because, as so often, he was ahead of his times. There were however problems: Ever since their removal to Paris and then Cologne, Friedrich had been doing just that. Of his Germanic and patriotic sentiments there could be no doubt; his letters, such as the one that he wrote to his brother in , were beginning to express notions of spiritual authority and order—one church, one constitution, one faith—that suggested the hierarchy of Rome.
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Rediscovering his exiguous dramatic talents, he was drafting a historical play on Charles V. Could he consult the imperial archives in Vienna? She temporarily lost custody of her talented son Philipp Veit, the later Nazarene painter. By the time of his arrival in Vienna Friedrich had seen the publication of a work that towered in significance over almost anything that he had produced that decade: Ueber die Sprache und Weisheit der Indier.
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While it did not involve the very first publication in German of a Sanskrit text, it was the first comprehensive survey of comparative mythology, migration theory, and the principles and origins of language, that was also a chrestomathy, a selection of Sanskrit religious and poetic texts in a German translation.
This Friedrich had, during the extraordinary six-month burst of creative energy—and sheer concentration—after their arrival in Paris.
After approaches to Reimer and eventual successful negotiations with Zimmer, it was not to come out until Yet in many ways Friedrich had succeeded in bringing together in one volume aspects of India that would occupy August Wilhelm in what was ultimately a never-ending quest. The work had two major thrusts.
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It was a study in comparative grammar, which enabled two language groups or families to emerge, equally venerable as organs of sacred truths Hebrew and Sanskrit but divergent in terms of structure. Human history could be traced to movements and removals, of place, language, belief and culture, away from the Centre, the simple and undivided Whole of primeval origins, as disorders and disruptions forced mankind in all directions. The work shows the comparative religionist, that Friedrich once was, in conflict with the believer on one faith and order. There is no hint of any preparatory work, but coincidences and overlaps between Berlin and Vienna suggest that he had to hand notes from the earlier series and that he used these, suitably adapted, for his new audience.
The Life of August Wilhelm Schlegel
There is evidence that he wanted his lectures to reach a wider public: There is also no doubt that the quickly-forged links with the literary world of Vienna gave some immediacy to his lecturing plans. There was no attempt to present him as the voice of a faction, a school, as he had been in Berlin. But there was no overlooking the Schlegel presence in Prometheus , either: His own contribution to Prometheus was in itself not inconsiderable: It was in a sense the Vienna that August Wilhelm was poised to conquer.
Otherwise, it seemed like a triumph of Kotzebue and Iffland and their dubious sentimentality; or a riot of frivolous comedy after the French, and, this being Vienna, lots of opera. Her divorce from Bernhardi had been finally decreed, and the courts had awarded custody of her two sons to him. There Ludwig succumbed again to the rheumatic complaint that regularly laid him low in moments of stress; while Friedrich Tieck, his artistic career compromised and his finances exhausted, sent more and more desperate letters to the all-provident Schlegel.
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At the end of , Bernhardi appeared in person and took his elder son Wilhelm back with him to Berlin, leaving Felix Theodor, who Schlegel had once believed was his, with his mother. Sophie and Knorring finally married in , but it was not until that she and Felix made the long journey to the Knorring estates in farthest Estonia. It brought odium to the name of Tieck, singly and collectively. Friendships and collaborations stood or fell according to their stance towards the affair: The medium to be adopted was another matter.
Schlegel was there at the outset of an era that saw, Europe-wide, the great wave of public lectures associated with Cuvier, Humboldt, Davy or Coleridge, and his must take their place in that lineage. But even as he was delivering his lectures in Vienna, others closer to hand were also using the public rostrum: Fichte, in Berlin, had been delivering his Reden an die deutsche Nation [ Speeches to the German Nation ] since the winter, and they represented in many ways the antithesis of what Schlegel stood for. Even more was happening in Dresden. Title page of vol.
Image in the public domain. If Schlegel in his peroration commended the Romantic historical drama to the German nation—in its widest sense—it was in the awareness that this form of dramatic art had evolved in the crucible of other national cultures, the English and Spanish, and hence drew on both North and South for its inspiration, while appealing to the Germanic facility for assimilation and creative adaptation.
There, one nation would be seen through the eyes of another; but here was a German claiming insights into the drama and theatre of the whole of Europe. Words in season eventually secured Schlegel permission to lecture in the capital city, and the university was the first chosen venue. A princely twenty-five florins was charged for fifteen lectures, three per week. One notices also the state censor, perhaps making notes in the back row. Nobles jostled to secure tickets, including Count Wrbna-Freudenthal who later signed the letter granting Schlegel his imperial audience in April.
These were the people with the time and the leisure, who would not miss 25 florins. What he has to say, however, is very much to my liking, e. I can say that I attended the lectures with great pleasure. It suited his hearers better and was more appropriate to his subject-matter.
He had now found the right medium, not academic discourse as in Jena, or that demanding section in Prometheus taken from his Berlin cycle. He would have to make concessions and keep technicalities to a minimum: Romantic doctrine would have to be made accessible to princes and counts of the Empire, a balancing-act that required considerable skill and tact. In a sense, of course, he was not proclaiming Romanticism as something radically new or—the ultimate horror in Vienna—revolutionary.
Much of his material was recycled from his own earlier lectures and publications. Very few, possibly none, of his audience would have been present in all three places, Jena, Berlin and now Vienna, and not many would have noticed how much had already been enunciated in those earlier venues, for instance most of the long sections on the Greeks. Much drew on existing published material, the Parny review in the Athenaeum on Aristophanes , the article on the Spanish theatre in Europa , or the recent Comparaison of that Heinrich von Collin also present was in the process of translating.
Schlegel had passed on but few of their insights in isolated publications, and Schelling, without acknowledgment, had done the same. In Vienna, Schlegel had to take a lot for granted, and he was sparing in his citation of sources. It was not the real point. While philology could never be an irrelevance for Schlegel, the circumstances of the Lectures required large generalisations, relativisms, eye-catching juxtapositions and sweeping conclusions, the most famous of which is this section from the Twelfth Lecture: Ancient art and poetry strives for the strict severance of the disparate, the Romantic delights in indissoluble mixtures: As the oldest law-givers proclaimed and set out their teachings and precepts in modulated harmonies, as Orpheus, the first tamer of the still wild human race, is praised in fable; in the same way the whole of ancient poetry and art is like a cadenced set of prescriptions, the harmonious proclamation of the eternal precepts of a world, finely ordered, that reflects the eternal archetypes of things.
The Romantic, by contrast, is the expression of the mysteries of a chaos that is struggling to bring forth ever new and wondrous births, that is hidden under the order of nature, in its very womb: The one is simpler, clearer and more akin to nature in the self-sufficient perfection of its single works; the other, despite its fragmentary appearance, is closer to the secret of the universe. For instance, the images of biological organic growth as opposed to the mechanical and ordered, are common currency in the language of German idealism: Schlegel applies them to whole periods and styles.
In matters of presentation and disposition, he had learned some lessons from Berlin; while in terms of his general attitudes, he had not greatly changed. Old enmities ran deep. Thus to introduce the essential Shakespeare, Schlegel reformulated the insight, not new or original, which the Germans Herder, Goethe, Eschenburg, Tieck, Schlegel himself had made their own: Read my Shakespeare, is the unspoken message of his Shakespeare lecture to his German audience, an instruction of less relevance for later French, English or other readers. Certain Schlegelian preferences or prejudices nevertheless emerge: Shakespeare had links with both the intellectual Bacon and the political strivings of his age, but there was in his account of the English nation still some of that spirit of chivalry and feudalism, independence of mind and action, that had animated the Middle Ages.
Not for the first time German ideas were being assimilated to the processes of foreign literature: Schlegel was clearly finding analogies with the Nibelungenlied , one of his current preoccupations. Roman theatre was not like this: Aeschylus and Sophocles had been Athenian citizens, Seneca the court philosopher of Nero. Hence the amount of space, seemingly beyond all proportion three lectures out of fifteen , that Schlegel devotes to the disqualification of the neo-classical, the need to deny it houseroom in the wide scheme of European drama that he unfolds, one that also obliquely takes in the Indians, who with the Greeks were the only ancient people with a native dramatic tradition.
It reflected national characteristics and virtues love, honour. Much of this would take on a peculiar relevance as the Lectures appeared in print, the sections up to and including European neo-classicism in , followed in by the sections on Romantic drama. National drama would also be nation-building: These political aspirations as opposed to legal, military and educational reforms were of course not to be fulfilled in the German lands, and Prince Metternich, no doubt sitting in the front row of the lecture hall, would be the author of the later reaction that saw their frustration.
Their journey took them into the Bohemian lands: Goethe was rumoured to be in Carlsbad. This meeting never eventuated, but in Prague, where they arrived on 26 May, they hoped to meet Friedrich Gentz. He chose therefore to lie low in Prague. At their meeting, they got on famously: He had to borrow money from his brother to get this far, and more would be needed to see him to his ultimate destination.
His first communication from Vienna, in July , would inaugurate a litany recounting his tribulations, his waiting in the antechambers of the influential, his harassments, real and imagined, by the secret police. Schlegel left the party at Weimar and made a quick dash across to Hanover. It was part of her discovery that the Germans were a profoundly religious people Protestant Germans, that is, for Catholics formed a disproportionately shorter part of the narrative. She may not even have appreciated the differences inside German Protestantism.
But the visit to the Moravian Brethren in Neudietendorf near Erfurt struck a different note. She described the communal life and worship of the Brethren, their regularity and tranquility, the harmony of their inner feelings and their outward conduct. In comparing them with Quakers, whom she knew from England or from Voltaire , she was showing her indifference in matters both of doctrine and observance: Hanover had in experienced occupations and troop billetings not least under Marshal Bernadotte: It was to be the last time that he saw his cherished and devoted mother.