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The Life of August Wilhelm Schlegel

Roger Paulin


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The true translator, one could state boldly, who is able to render not just the content of a masterpiece, but also to preserve its noble form, its peculiar idiom, is a herald of genius who, over and beyond the narrow confines set by the separation of language, spreads abroad its fame and broadcasts its high gifts. He is a messenger from nation to nation, who mediates mutual respect and admiration, where otherwise all is indifference or even enmity.

August Wilhelm von Schlegel

1Work on this project has been greatly assisted by my easy access to the large Schlegel holdings in Cambridge University Library and in the Wren Library, Trinity College, Cambridge. David Lowe and Christian Staufenbiel of Cambridge University Library and Sandy Paul and the staff of the Wren Library have been of invaluable help in my researches.

2I am grateful to the following institutions for allowing me to consult and/ or refer to unpublished material in their possession: Edinburgh, National Library of Scotland (Murray Archives); Bonn, Universitätsbibliothek, Handschriftenabteilung; Bonn, Universitätsarchiv; Coburg, Landesarchiv; Dresden, Sächsische Staats-Landes-und Universitätsbibliothek; Kupferstich-Kabinett, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden; Hanover, Landeskirchliches Archiv; Hanover, Ev. Lutherische Stadtkirchenkanzlei; Heidelberg, Universitätsbibliothek; Jena, Universitätsarchiv; Wolfenbüttel, Herzog August Bibliothek. Hans-Joachim Dopfer (Sigmaringen) kindly permitted me to use the portrait drawing of Schlegel.

3I am indebted to fellow scholars working in the same field: Claudia Becker, who generously placed Ernst Behler’s Nachlass at my disposal; Anil Bhatti; Cornelia Bögel, who in addition gave me great assistance with my manuscript; Ralf Georg Czapla; Christoph Jamme; Stefan Knödler; Margaret Rose; Jochen Strobel; Rosane and Ludo Rocher kindly gave me much useful advice on Sanskrit and answered my questions; Roger Dawe gave me guidance in matters relating to Classics, Pat Boyde with regard to Italian. Stephen Fennell encouraged me to start writing; Julia Allen, David Blamires, Barry Nisbet, Helmut Pfotenhauer, and my wife, Traute, read all or part of the manuscript and made helpful suggestions towards its improvement. Responsibility for what is written lies with me alone.

4Anne and Thomas Bürger extended kind hospitality to me during my various visits to Dresden; Rolf Herrfahrdt similarly in Hanover.

5The Fellows’ Research Fund of Trinity College kindly met the costs of my archival visits to Bonn, Dresden, Heidelberg and Hanover.

6I wish to record my grateful thanks to Trinity College and to the Deparment of German, University of Cambridge (Schröder Fund) who made generous grants towards the production of this book.

7A final word of cordial thanks to all at Open Book Publishers, who have seen this book through its various stages to its conclusion.

8                                      October 2015, Trinity College Cambridge

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