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The Life of August Wilhelm Schlegel

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Roger Paulin

2. Jena and Berlin (1795-1804)

Texte intégral

‘Devoting Myself Exclusively to the Profession of a Writer’

  • 1 SW, VII, xxxi.

1In the preface to his Kritische Schriften of 1828, taking stock of his career as a critic, Schlegel identified the years 1795 to 1804 as those in which he had ‘devoted himself solely to writing as a profession’ (‘wo ich mich ausschließend dem Schriftstellerberuf widmete’).1 1828 was by coincidence also the year in which Goethe began issuing his correspondence with Schiller, documents that suggested a wide disparity of interest between them and Schlegel’s generation. The reality was of course different: these years brought Schlegel into close contact with the great Dioscuri of Weimar and Jena, Goethe and Schiller. The decision to live by his pen involved to some extent hitching his wagon to their star, exploiting the openings that they afforded, pursuing aims that coincided with theirs, and using them, Goethe especially, as tutelary geniuses. This Classical and Romantic decade is rightly seen as the great time of intellectual and poetic ferment that produced the Letters on Aesthetic Education, Wallenstein, Wilhelm Meister and Hermann und Dorothea, Die Horen and Athenaeum, to cite but a few. It is proper to mention the titles of Goethe’s and Schiller’s works in one breath with the Schlegel brothers’: they all share in the creativity, the desire to achieve new standards and perceive new norms, the ‘aesthetic revolution’ (Friedrich Schlegel’s phrase), the zest for all things new. This is what the modern historian Reinhold Koselleck meant when he saw this period as a ‘Sattelzeit’, rising up to an ‘eminence’, or as the threshold to a new age (‘Epochenschwelle’).

  • 2 Kritische Friedrich-Schlegel-Ausgabe [KA], ed. Ernst Behler et al., 30 vols (Paderborn, Munich, Vie (...)
  • 3 Adolf Stoll, Der junge Savigny. Kinderjahre, Marburger und Landshuter Zeit Friedrich Karl von Savig (...)

2There was a human side to all this, and a human cost. Movements involve real people, competing and jostling, urging themselves to bursts of creativity, sparing neither their nerves nor their physical energies, nor those closest to them. ‘Do not distract yourself with reading literary trifles. Force yourself. […] Schiller has to pump the thoughts up out of himself with the greatest effort. And Goethe’s lightness of touch is often the fruit of immense diligence and great strain’,2 was the advice Friedrich Schlegel gave to his brother on 17 August 1795, at the outset of that decade of professional writing. Georg Forster’s death, in the clash of critical and political forces, had been a warning example; but even Schiller, who insisted on keeping politics out of critical discourse, found his creativity constantly interrupted by chronic bouts of illness; Goethe’s otherwise robust frame almost succumbed. The new Romantic movement was soon to have its own necrology: two promising young men of the new generation died, respectively, in 1798 and 1801, Wackenroder and Novalis; Caroline was often ill, surely a contributory factor to the breakdown of her marriage with Schlegel; Ludwig Tieck ruined his health in damp and insanitary Jena. When in the summer of 1799, the young Friedrich Carl von Savigny, the later distinguished jurist, attended August Wilhelm’s lectures in Jena, he saw before him a man marked by a ‘destructive force’,3 the result of over-exertion and economic pressure, in modern parlance, ‘burned out’.

  • 4 Die Horen eine Monatsschrift herausgegeben von Schiller (Tübingen: Cotta, 1795-97). AWS’s contribut (...)
  • 5 SW, VII, xxxi.
  • 6 KA, XXIII, 252.

3Being a professional writer meant for Schlegel producing in the space of a few years four major and several minor contributions to Schiller’s periodical Die Horen4 (which included a large section of translation from the Divine Comedy), some of this running parallel with the versions of sixteen Shakespearean plays up to 1802—he told Schiller that he might spend hours just on one line—and nearly three hundred reviews for the Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung in Jena. Then there were lectures at Jena University, followed by the cycle in Berlin (this does not take contributions to Musenalmanache into account). Small wonder that his 1828 preface spoke of ‘difficulties and restrictions’, the ‘demands of the moment’ that inhibited ‘objects of wide compass’.5 Listed like this, his achievement in these years appears anything but fragmentary. But, transpose it on to a day-to-day basis, as has been done for Goethe, and it is a story of overlapping demands, pressures and conflicts, commitments and deadlines. Not for nothing did his brother Friedrich—hardly suppressing a touch of fraternal disrespect— call him the ‘great schoolmaster of the universe’,6 knowing him capable of prodigies of sheer hard work that drew on the reservoirs of knowledge accumulated in his years in Hanover, in Göttingen and in Holland.

  • 7 Ibid., 260.

4Yet Friedrich Schlegel, writing in November 1795, could claim with some justification that he already had three and a half years as a writer to his credit: August Wilhelm was in these terms a relative novice.7 Friedrich had lived from his writing (conveniently forgetting those loans, but no matter). His letters seemed to be flares shooting in all directions, firecrackers and showers of sparks, but there were also some concrete results as well: his work on the schools of Greek poetry, for instance, his essay on republicanism, the monograph-length essay on the study of the Greeks and Romans, soon to be joined by his essays on Condorcet, on Lessing, on Forster. He was still overflowing with ideas, a refutation of Kant, a study of Greek music, an essay on Caesar and Alexander, a history of mankind even; he was entering into his phase of close study of Fichte, and had revived his friendship with the young inspector of salt mines, Friedrich von Hardenberg, known as Novalis. Much would remain fragmentary, work in progress, the products of a young man in a hurry, always picking up the next project and so often publishing several drafts too soon. Schiller spotted this particular weakness and lampooned him for it. He could also be a menace. He was an unruly presence when he moved from Dresden to Jena in the summer of 1796 and effectively destroyed August Wilhelm’s good working relationship with Schiller. Transferring to Berlin a summer later, he was immediately at home in the salons and societies that provincial Jena did not offer and was quite the man about town.

  • 8 Caroline. Briefe aus der Frühromantik. Nach Georg Waitz hg. von Erich Schmidt, 2 vols (Leipzig : In (...)

5In the spring of 1795, August Wilhelm’s time in Holland was drawing to a close. Caroline was still sequestered in Lucka. During her absence on a visit to Gotha, her small son Wilhelm Julius died, aged a year and a half. He was buried without ceremony;8 the cause of death was given as purpura. A child, not of love (or perhaps just), but of the Revolution, Friedrich Schlegel’s godchild, poor little Julius passes out of our account. But what would have become of him; might he not have been a hindrance, a reminder of an episode best forgotten? Yet his death meant, as Caroline wrote, the end of her inner peace and happiness, leaving only a kind of stoical acceptance. There was no material or political security, either. Leaving Lucka, she headed for Göttingen, and her family, only to find that the writ against her staying in the kingdom of Hanover was still in force. Brunswick, the dukedom next door, dynastically allied with Hanover, proved to be more welcoming (and more cultivated): Lessing had found refuge there twenty years earlier. Schlegel returned from Holland in June, and in August, Caroline, her mother, and her daughter Auguste moved to Brunswick. In the same letter (to Göschen) she wrote of the consolation of having Schlegel there until he found his destination. His mother, meanwhile, needed careful handling before the nature of their relationship became open news.

  • 9 August Wilhelm und Friedrich Schlegel im Briefwechsel mit Schiller und Goethe, ed. Josef Körner and (...)
  • 10 Briefe von und an August Wilhelm Schlegel, ed. Josef Körner [Briefe], 2 vols (Zurich, Leipzig, Vien (...)
  • 11 Ibid., 28f.
  • 12 Ibid., 27f.
  • 13 Caroline, I, 374; KA, XXIII, 469.
  • 14 Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre. Johann Wolfgang Goethe, Gedenkausgabe der Werke, Briefe und Gespräche, (...)

6The residence town of Brunswick, with its French theatre and Italian opera, its polished court—the culture-loving Duchess Anna Amalia of Saxe-Weimar had been a Brunswick princess—certainly had its attractions. In addition, survivors of Johann Adolf Schlegel’s generation lived there, ‘Mamselle Jerusalem’ (her brother had been the model for Goethe’s Werther), or ‘Mad. Ebert’, the widow of Johann Arnold Ebert, Johann Adolf’s friend and professor at the Collegium Carolinum academy. Another professor, Johann Joachim Eschenburg, the translator of Shakespeare and professor, was a further useful link: Schlegel was nevertheless about to supplant his translation. With Ebert dead there was talk of Schlegel succeeding him. Opinions differed as to what he should do. A family friend from Hanover advised him not to commit himself and to wait until a favourable moment made it opportune.9 His brother Moritz for his part warned against the perils of journalism (‘journaliere Schriftstellerey’) and the ‘superficial philosophy’ that Schiller was purveying in Die Horen.10 It was too late for such admonitions. Even before he left Holland, Schlegel had already signed up as a contributor to Schiller’s periodical Die Horen, and Schiller had introduced him to Christian Gottfried Schütz, university professor and editor of the Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung in Jena for which Schlegel was to write those nearly three hundred reviews;11 he was still in contact with his old publisher, Wilhelm Gottlieb Becker, who had published some of his poems and the first part of his Dante.12 He was clearly on the way to becoming a free-lance writer, even if the prospect of 1,000 talers a year that his brother Friedrich had once dangled before him was to be seldom fulfilled. Should they all make a fresh start and go to America? A plan emerged and was dropped almost as soon as it was mentioned.13 America was, in Goethe’s phrase, ‘here or nowhere’ [hier oder nirgend].14

  • 15 Caroline, I, 376.
  • 16 Ibid., 378.

7At first, Caroline seems to have accepted Schlegel’s presence. To her confidant Luise Gotter in Gotha she stated that the basis of her attachment to Schlegel was friendship, and the need for protection.15 She had her ten-year-old daughter Auguste to consider, and her education. This precocious and talented child (the grand-daughter of two Göttingen professors) was showing musical gifts; later, her step-father and step-uncle, the Schlegel brothers, would be giving her Greek lessons. There is a slightly stiff letter to her signed, ‘Your friend Wilhelm’, suggesting that Schlegel was at least making the effort to be amicable.16

  • 17 SW, VII, xxxi.

8That autumn he and Caroline made the short journey to Salzdahlum, the slightly ramshackle lodge that at the time housed the ducal Brunswick art collection (now in the Herzog Anton Ulrich Museum). We do not know what they saw, but it doubtless extended what he knew from Holland or Düsseldorf. Over a year earlier, two Göttingen students, Ludwig Tieck and Wilhelm Heinrich Wackenroder, had made the same journey; but they had already seen the Dürers in Nuremberg and the dubious ‘Raphael’ in Pommersfelden. In his preface of 1828, Schlegel stated that his real aim had been to write a history of the fine arts, but that ‘demands of the moment’ kept him from it.17 It is therefore all the more frustrating that there is a blank in our knowledge of the visit to Salzdahlum, especially noted for its Netherlandish collection, and what caught their eye.

  • 18 Wieneke, 19 ; KA, XXIII, 211.
  • 19 Caroline, I, 712.
  • 20 Ibid., 662-664.
  • 21 Ibid., 382.

9One of the more pressing ‘demands of the moment’ was of course Schlegel’s collaboration on Schiller’s Die Horen that lasted from 1795 to 1797. Schiller went even further. On December 10, 1795, he wrote to Schlegel in Brunswick suggesting that they come and live in Jena. Surely, he said, letters were no substitute for conversation.18 Over a year earlier, Friedrich Schlegel had urged him to consider these twin towns of Jena and Weimar as a base. But first, August Wilhelm was married to Caroline. Their wedding took place on 1 July, 1796 in the St Catherine church in Brunswick.19 His devotion to Caroline, her sense of gratitude to him, and the awareness that their destinies coincided, had led them to this step. She went into the union with her eyes open; it was not primarily a love relationship, but one of mutual respect, a good working arrangement, nothing more, free of any romantic illusions. She brought with her a sharp critical mind, but abandoned such literary ambitions as she may have had (there is the fragment of a novel).20 Schlegel’s multifarious projects took precedence. Her wit and perspicacity were undiminished: surveying Schiller’s Musenalmanach for 1796, she immediately spotted the wicked Xenien. Her description of these epigrams by Goethe and Schiller, forming their own section in the almanac, as ‘piglets enclosed in their own sty’,21 does not feature in the critical literature. No‑one in Jena or Weimar could overlook ‘Mad. Schlegel’.

2.1 Jena

  • 22 Ernst Borkowsky, Das alte Jena und seine Universität. Eine Jubiläumsgabe zur Universitätsfeier (Jen (...)
  • 23 Caroline, I, 397.
  • 24 Christoph Wilhelm Hufeland, Die Kunst das menschliche Leben zu verlängern, 2 parts (Vienna and Prag (...)

10The ancient university town of Jena, set romantically between hills in the valley of the river Saale, was on the face of it not a natural choice for an up-and-coming man of letters. Once Germany’s premier university, it had lost ground to Göttingen. By the end of the 1780s Jena was facing bankruptcy, and with a population of only 4,500, it was being deserted by its students, the sustainers of its livelihood, whose numbers dropped to as low as 850. Those that remained gave Jena the unenviable reputation of being Germany’s rowdiest university. Student corporations, bizarrely uniformed and armed to the teeth, flouted civil authority when it suited them.22 The troops sent by Duke Carl August of Saxe-Weimar in the summer of 1792 to quell a student riot, knew this to their cost when they were forced to withdraw; another stand-off occurred in 1795. Unpopular professors— and others—were liable to have their windows broken (it happened to Fichte, to Goethe’s secret pleasure). Caroline wrote with some relief in September 1796 that they were living above a courtyard and thus unlikely to have their glassware smashed.23 The town itself was unprepossessing; it could be noted that prominent citizens, Schiller being the most famous, moved outside the town to summerhouses as soon as the weather allowed, indeed the macrobiotic physician, Christoph Wilhelm Hufeland, himself based in Jena, recommended such ‘Rusticationen’ as an antidote to the insalubriousness of towns.24

  • 25 Friedrich Sengle, Das Genie und sein Fürst. Die Geschichte der Lebensgemeinschaft Goethes mit dem H (...)
  • 26 Theodore Ziolkowski, Das Wunderjahr in Jena. Geist und Gesellschaft (Stuttgart: Klett- Cotta, 1998) (...)

11If Jena proved attractive to the Schlegel brothers, it was very largely Goethe’s good work. As Saxe-Weimar’s minister of state responsible for educational matters, assisted by the excellent government official, Christian Gottlob Voigt, he set to work in the 1790s to improve the university’s image.25 That meant first of all winning round Duke Carl August, who was inclined to see Jena as a hotbed of sedition—a professor was actually lecturing on the French Revolution—and then securing new blood among the professoriate. Of course Schiller himself had been a professor extrordinarius in Jena since 1789, and his lectures on world history had been filled with enthusiastic hearers, but he was unable to sustain these numbers, and his health forced him to abandon lecturing altogether. Yet Schiiller’s intellectual presence was a draw-card in itself: Wilhelm von Humboldt stayed in Jena at various times between 1794 and 1797. Then in 1794 came Goethe’s coup in securing Johann Gottlieb Fichte’s appointment to the main chair of philosophy.26 This unkempt and farouche figure lectured to huge audiences, some even sitting on the window-sills of the auditorium, holding them in the palm of his hand through the force of his oratory. It was he who had given those seditious lectures on the Revolution and on freedom of thought; his calls for independence of mind among his young hearers, on ‘Man’s Vocation’ (‘Die Bestimmung des Menschen’) appealed to students coming to terms with their own moral selves. He also challenged what he saw as the reactionary spirit of the student corporations: they promptly smashed his windows. Very few may have understood his new philosophical terminology: Friedrich Schlegel and Novalis were enthusiastic Fichteans, while August Wilhelm never was, and their relationship was never close; in that he would be seconded by Schiller.

  • 27 Bruford, Culture and Society, 297-308.
  • 28 KA, XXIII, 376.

12Besides Fichte, the Jena professors included Schütz, professor of rhetoric, who with the jurist Gottlieb Hufeland edited the Allgemeine Literatur‑Zeitung. This review periodical was part of the realm of the Weimar entrepreneur Friedrich Justin Bertuch and helped to put Jena on the map.27 But Heinrich Eberhard Gottlob Paulus, the theologian and orientalist, deserves mention, and his young wife, with whom August Wilhelm allegedly flirted,28 not least because their daughter Sophie would have been five in 1796. In 1818, she was to be the partner of his second, ill-starred marriage. It was largely the result of Goethe’s ministrations that this whole galaxy had been brought together, and it was fortunate for the Schlegels that Goethe in 1795‑ 96 spent a disproportionate amount of time in Jena itself, or was occupied with university affairs. Goethe knew, as August Wilhelm was to find out in 1798, that university matters required tact and diplomacy. Weimar the residence town of a petty dukedom was open to all kinds of social and intellectual currents, but some aspects of Jena University’s administration suggested deepest provinciality and small-town mentality. Goethe had general oversight, but four Thuringian dukes, all members of the Ernestine branch of the Saxon house, also had their say in university appointments. These Serenissimi Nutritores, ‘Sovereign Providers’, were Saxe‑Coburg, Saxe‑Meiningen, Saxe‑Gotha, and of course Saxe‑Weimar itself.

  • 29 SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd. e. 90, II (9) (the actual document is now lost); Briefe, II, 14.

13It said much for Goethe’s conciliatory and persuasive skills that the university had the professors that it did. Just before his marriage and their move to Jena, Schlegel had supplicated to an even smaller Thuringian court, Schwarzburg‑Rudolstadt, for the style of ‘Rat’ [counsellor], duly conferred on 28 May 1796.29 Titles were to prove important in Jena.

  • 30 Caroline, I, 419.

14First, Schlegel had to associate with Jena’s notabilities and luminaries and join in the literary and intellectual scene. Some of these people he had only known by correspondence: he had been in touch with Schiller by letter since the summer of 1795, and with Schütz since the end of that year. For the time being, they were his main providers: Die Horen paid four Louisd’ors a sheet,30 and the Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung brought in a steady income.

  • 31 Briefe, I, 28; Briefwechsel zwischen Schiller und Wilhelm v. Humboldt. Mit einer Vorerinnerung über (...)
  • 32 Raymond Heitz, ‘Publizistik, Politik und die Weimarer Klassik. Die Horen im Kreuzfeuer von Schiller (...)
  • 33 SW, X, 59-90.

15Schiller had of course known about Schlegel since 1791; his name was among the array of potential contributors to Die Horen, linking generations and philosophical schools, listed when the journal was announced in 1794. Not all of these names were of course actually to feature in the pages of Die Horen (Fichte was a prominent absentee). Schlegel could be relied upon right through from the earliest issues in 1795, until the enterprise began to falter, then to collapse in 1797. Meanwhile, Schlegel was a regarded as an ‘Acquisition’; both Humboldt and Schütz used the word.31 From his experience in Göttingen and Amsterdam, Schlegel knew a little about how journals and reviews functioned; they set out with great intentions and then got stuck in details; editors changed tack and went in for ‘deals’: Schiller, for instance, as editor of Die Horen, had ‘set up’ reviews of his own journal and had them paid for by his own publisher, Cotta in Tübingen.32 There were often divided loyalties: Schlegel found himself writing for the one (Die Horen) and then reviewing what he had written in the other (Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung).33 Schütz had even asked him to review the ‘poetic’ material of the first few issues of Die Horen, which meant Goethe’s Roman Elegies and Conversations of German Exiles.

  • 34 Ibid., XI, 185-221.
  • 35 Ibid., 16-22.
  • 36 Ibid., 136-146.
  • 37 Ibid., X, 363-371.

16All of Schlegel’s writings at this stage—whether for Die Horen or for the Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung—pursued a strategy of their own or exploited others’ strategies for their own purposes. He dressed up in more accessible form some notes made originally for his brother Friedrich in order to help him formulate ideas on two of his preoccupations: the origin of language and the development of rhythm and metre. Die Horen was not the place for too technical a discussion, but reviews in the Allgemeine Literatur- Zeitung, of Voss’s Homer translation and later of Goethe’s Hermann und Dorothea,34 provided the appropriate forum. These, in their turn, dovetailed into his later contributions to the Athenaeum (1798‑1800), co-edited with his brother. Similarly, reviews in the Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung enabled him to note other translations of Shakespeare (Tieck’s of The Tempest in 1796, for instance),35 or to spot talent, Tieck’s Volksmährchen [Folktales]36 or Tieck’s and Wackenroder’s Herzensergiessungen [Heart’s Outpourings]37 or even odes and elegies by the young Hölderlin. It was part of the programmatic Romantic Movement in making. His Dante and Shakespeare projects followed similar patterns. Bürger’s and Becker’s journals had given him the outlet for his first ideas on Dante and how to translate him; now Die Horen enabled him to publish long extracts in metrical form. As for Shakespeare, Schiller’s journal gave him the chance to to set out his translation principles (the Wilhelm Meister essay), to provide a piece of model criticism (the Romeo and Juliet essay) and to demonstrate in chosen extracts how Shakespeare might actually look in German. There was no need for Schlegel to tell Schiller directly that he was using Die Horen in order to provide publicity for the Shakespeare translation that started coming out in 1797.

Die Horen

Fig. 4 Die Horen eine Monatsschrift herausgegeben von Schiller (Tübingen, 1795-98). Title page of vol. 1.

Fig. 4 Die Horen eine Monatsschrift herausgegeben von Schiller (Tübingen, 1795-98). Title page of vol. 1.

Image in the public domain.

  • 38 Die Horen, 1. Bd., 1. Stück (1795), ix.
  • 39 Helmut Koopmann, ‘Schillers Horen und das Ende der Kunstperiode’, in: Schiller publiciste, 219-230, (...)

17Schiller’s Die Horen [The Hours] with Goethe as right-hand man and star contributor, began by appealing to a ‘Societät’ of ‘all men of good will’,38 but was from its inception elitist to a fault in concept and practice. Schiller almost immediately departed from the general accord that his ‘Announcement’ of 1794 had promised. There was talk of a cultural, intellectual and aesthetic consensus, but only on its own strict terms. Although Cotta originally wanted a journal of general European interest,39 Schiller insisted on excluding any kind of political debate—and got his way. From its very inaugural number (1795) it set its sights too high, placing strains on its readers’ capacities for abstract thought (Schiller’s Letters on the Aesthetic Education of Man) or on their moral sensibilities (Goethe’s Roman Elegies). It was clear that Die Horen would be hard going for those unwilling to follow Schiller’s lead, to the heights of ideal abstraction, or Goethe’s, into the hidden places of passion. In publishing terms, Die Horen was a total failure. It is remembered today precisely because of those bold forays and affronts to the ‘Zeitgeist’, not for the many pieces that merely provided copy (which include Goethe’s translation of Benvenuto Cellini). In this context, August Wilhelm Schlegel’s contributions are very much worth looking at.

  • 40 Die Horen, v.
  • 41 Wieneke, 12.
  • 42 SW, VII, 25.

18They came very close to the ideal that Schiller enunciated in his ‘Announcement’, of ‘breaking down the barrier between the aesthetic world and the learned’, ‘imparting sound knowledge into social intercourse and taste into scholarship’,40 thus effectively removing the differences between the arts and the sciences. Schlegel, when in October 1795 he sent Schiller a contribution, the Briefe über Silbenmaß [Letters on Metrics], very much hoped that he had found the right tone of ‘thoroughness combined with an entertaining style’, avoiding the ‘dry and technical’.41 And so the undoubted quality of Schlegel’s pieces for Die Horen singles him out as a major contributor, but also what he was trying to do through them. His articles represent ‘genuine criticism’ (‘ächtere Kritik’)42 that combines the poetic and the intellectual, accessible in style yet not written for a generality of readers either; text-based, not abstract; making alien poetry available through an ‘answerable style’ of translation, and postulating a kind of ‘musée imaginaire’ of great poetry. All these points the later Athenaeum would develop more confidently, so that despite enormous personal and ideological differences, it is legitimate to link these two periodicals.

  • 43 As established by Peer Kösling, ‘Die Wohnungen der Gebrüder Schlegel in Jena’, Athenäum, 8 (1998), (...)
  • 44 Caroline, I, 389.
  • 45 Wieneke, 37.
  • 46 Caroline, I, 712.

19Once settled in the Döderlein house in the Leutragasse in the centre of Jena,43 Caroline, Auguste and August Wilhelm quickly adjusted to life in a university town. It was, after years of interruption, what Caroline was used to, with the sole difference that Jena was not Göttingen. The house was small but ‘pleasant’, her husband showing a love of domestic order and even ‘elegance’.44 In the first confusion of moving in, they had to borrow some tea from the Schillers, and soon they were visiting the Schiller family, the poet, his wife Charlotte, and their two small sons. Then it would be the Hufelands’ turn, and other tea-parties. Soon, Schiller and Schlegel were exchanging notes similar to those that passed between Schiller and Goethe. Schiller was paying well (a Shakespeare extract brought in seven-and- a-half Louisd’ors).45 All seemed set for the future. But Schiller had other correspondents, and to them he wrote of different things. Wilhelm von Humboldt was told on 23 July, 1796 that one could have a good conversation with Caroline, but she could also be sharp and prickly.46 Humboldt, in his turn warned Schiller that she was ‘cold, vain, and a bad influence on Schlegel’ (these were letters that Humboldt suppressed, when in 1830 he published his correspondence with Schiller, to spare Schlegel’s feelings and maintain his working friendship). Through his friend Christian Gottfried Körner in Leipzig and his circle, Schiller was in any case predisposed against Caroline: the sobriquet ‘Madame Lucifer’ would not be long in coming. Clever, witty and articulate women, it seemed, represented a kind of threat to male-dominated Jena. Schiller meanwhile was prepared to tolerate Caroline so long as her husband gave sustenance to the already ailing Horen.

  • 47 KA, XXIII, 320f.

20Things were not made better by the arrival—incursion—of Friedrich Schlegel in Jena from the summer of 1796 until the summer of 1797. Friedrich had been publishing in the Jena-based Philosophisches Journal, part-edited by Fichte, and in Johann Friedrich Reichardt’s magazine Deutschland.47 The composer Reichardt played an important intermediary role in the lives of the young Romantics. His incidental music to Shakespeare and his settings of Goethe were significant musically and culturally. As Kapellmeister in Berlin, he had introduced the young Ludwig Tieck into soirees and circles otherwise closed to him (he even became his brother-in-law). But he had also spoken unwisely of the French Revolution—at a time of political reaction in Berlin—and had lost his post. Now he was settled romantically at Giebichenstein, near Halle, on a promontory above the river Saale. Giebichenstein became a synonym for sociability, conviviality, meetings of minds: Friedrich Schlegel, drawn to agreeable company, found his way there.

  • 48 Deutschland, 4 parts (Berlin: Unger, 1796), I, i, 55-90.
  • 49 18 June, 1796. Gräf-Leitzmann, I, 164.

21Reichardt’s short-lived periodical Deutschland (1796) was conceived very much as a counter to Weimar and Jena. Perhaps injudiciously, he engaged the Schlegel brothers: Friedrich wrote an essay on republicanism, August Wilhelm produced an extract from his translation of Romeo and Juliet, so short as hardly to be noticed. Then Reichardt published his own review of Die Horen.48 It seized on the feature that for many was its chief weakness: its rejection of any debate whatsoever on political events, in an age when the map of Europe was being redrawn and old verities were no longer secure. Reichardt, not surprisingly, singled out Goethe’s ‘aristocratic’ Conversations of German Emigrés for criticism. Schiller, who stood on his dignity, was incensed: Reichardt and his periodical, he wrote to Goethe, was a ‘biting insect’ that must be stamped upon.49 This was already in June, 1796, before Friedrich Schlegel’s own massive indiscretion, his review of Die Horen in Deutschland.

  • 50 Caroline, I, 710.
  • 51 KA, XXIII, 482.

22Schiller never had a high opinion of Friedrich Schlegel and denied him any talent as a writer.50 When his friend Körner mentioned Friedrich as a possible contributor to Die Horen and sent Schiller the draft of Friedrich’s Studium essay, Schiller never even bothered to read it through.51 With both Schlegel brothers in Jena during the later months of 1796, Schiller, despite having an aristocratic wife, may have felt a sense of social unease in the presence of these two highly self-aware and self-possessed superintendent’s sons, too clever by half, formidably erudite and informed, moving without effort in all social circles while Caroline, too, was a Göttingen professor’s daughter and frequented them as of right. As yet, however, August Wilhelm was all deference.

  • 52 Sengle, Das Genie und sein Fürst, 147-164.

23To Goethe, however, these matters were as nothing. The minister of state, the courtier, the representative in one person of an aristocracy of the mind and of station, the director of the court theatre—there seemed no end to his attainments—could afford to be all things to all men (and women). The intensity of his correspondence with Schiller, the almost daily notes that crossed between Jena and Weimar, could give the impression of an exclusivity, of a preoccupation with the aesthetic and the intellectual. But in Goethe’s case they shut out much of his persona, his domestic and administrative duties, the tiresome details of everyday life in Weimar;52 they made no mention of Weimar’s open secret, his mistress, Christiane Vulpius. Goethe tried to keep on good terms with Weimar’s other luminaries, Wieland and Herder; he encouraged young genius like Alexander von Humboldt, or later, Schelling. And he was welcoming to the Schlegel brothers.

  • 53 Caroline, I, 391.
  • 54 Ibid., 408-413.
  • 55 As Friedrich Schlegel later puts it. Caroline, I, 465; KA, XXIV, 185.
  • 56 AWS’s correspondence with Böttiger in Briefe, I, 35-37, 48-52, 55f., 58-60, 63-67.

24To Caroline, he was distinctly affable.53 They had not met for three years, since the days in Mainz, and neither had any wish to remind the other of their respective involvements. Goethe was however no longer the lithe young man of his early Weimar years and with the gravitas of office he had put on weight. His ‘Corpulenz’ was not such as to prevent him from riding over to Jena to discuss with Schiller his latest draft of Wilhelm Meister. In the winter of 1796, August Wilhelm and Caroline were in Weimar.54 First they were in the theatre. There was dinner at Goethe’s (but no sign of Christiane). They visited Herder, whom they knew to be touchy and querulous, but found him charming and his Baltic accent delightful. Wieland, visiting Weimar from his self-imposed exile in nearby Ossmannstedt, was in a witty frame of mind. Not all of this was innocent. Polemics were in the air; reputations were to be ‘adjusted’. Both Friedrich and Caroline were conspiring in an ‘Annihilation’ of Wieland.55 As one classical scholar to another,56August Wilhelm conducted a friendly correspondence with Karl August Böttiger, ‘Konsistorialrat’ in Weimar. Not everyone found Böttiger so amenable: Ludwig Tieck lampooned him; he was Weimar’s ‘Magister Ubique’, an ever-present and indefatigable purveyor of gossip (for which Goethe consigned him to the Walpurgis Night’s Dream in Faust). But for Schlegel, he was a useful link with Weimar, especially with Herder and Wieland, who saw themselves overshadowed by Goethe and Schiller and generally unappreciated.

Goethe and Schiller on the Attack: The Xenien

  • 57 Schiller to Goethe 1 November, 1795. Der Briefwechsel zwischen Schiller und Goethe, ed. Hans Gerhar (...)

25For all the good relations and the general tone of bonhomie, controversy was in the air. Already towards the end of 1795, Schiller was writing to Goethe of ‘times of feud’ and a ‘church militant’.57 They felt embattled. Neither Die Horen nor the first parts of Wilhelm Meister had been well enough received for Goethe’s satisfaction nor was this state of affairs to improve substantially. Excellence was not being given its due; German literary discourse was dominated by the ill-disposed, by mediocrities, by superannuated talents, by mere specialists. Schiller named them: Nicolai, Manso, Eschenburg, Ramdohr and tutti quanti. Philosophy was wreathed in Fichtean obnubilations. There were direct opponents, the hated Reichardt for instance, who had dared to remark ‘deficiencies’ in Die Horen, and there were those all-too-clever young men, the brothers Schlegel.

  • 58 Die Horen, Jg. 1795, 5. Stück, 50-56.

26Such indignation could not be contained in letters. Already in 1795, it spilled over into the ‘unpolitical’ pages of Die Horen. Goethe, in his short polemic Literarischer Sansculottismus58 threw down the gauntlet to the detractors of Die Horen, the snipers, the deniers; those who would not allow that Germany might some day, like France and England, be secure in a culture supported by a mature society. Small wonder, where the literary scene was dominated by such an untalented bunch; with them setting the tone, there could be no ‘classical’ literature, no centre, no nation with an attendant high degree of culture. None of this was new. Friedrich Nicolai had said substantially the same thing back in 1755: now, he was to be a prominent target in the frontal attack that was marshalled by Goethe and Schiller in 1796, the 414 epigrammatic distichs known as Xenien (Offerings), published, not in Die Horen, but in Schiller’s Musenalmanach for 1797.

27It was more scatter-shot than directed fire: almost anyone who mattered (notable exceptions were Fichte and Voss) received a burst of Goethe’s and Schiller’s disdainful—but often delightfully wicked—epigrammatic wit. The Xenien made clear to August Wilhelm Schlegel which side Goethe and Schiller were on: his mentor Heyne (nos. 366-70), his publisher Becker (no. 132), his patron Eschenburg (no. 159) came under fire, the Bürger review was revisited (no. 345) and his wife’s alleged association with Forster was rehearsed (no. 347) (there was even a light-hearted Xenion on Johann Elias Schlegel and his nephews [no. 341]). But the twenty-one in total devoted to Friedrich showed the extent of Schiller’s exasperation with Schlegel’s ‘Gräkomanie’, his rejection of modern poetry, his unacknowledged borrowings, his all-too fertile pen, his hasty, impetuous writing:

                   Die höchste Harmonie
                   [The height of harmony]

  • 59 Goethe, Gedenkausgabe, II, 486.

Ödipus reißt die Augen sich aus, Jocasta erhenkt sich,
Beide schuldlos; das Stück hat sich harmonisch gelöst.
59

[Oedipus tears out his eyes, and Jocasta’s body dies hanging,
Both without guilt; the play ends harmoniously.]

28This was a travesty, of course, of Friedrich Schlegel’s contrast between Greek harmony and the frenzied, dissonant, ‘atroce’ world of modern art and letters, his critique of Shakespeare and Hamlet.

  • 60 Caroline, I, 401-404.
  • 61 KA, XXIII, 344.
  • 62 Deutschland, III, 74-97.
  • 63 Goethe in vertraulichen Briefen seiner Zeitgenossen, ed. Wilhelm Bode, 3 vols (Berlin, Weimar : Auf (...)

29This attention lavished on Friedrich Schlegel may surprise: even the detested Reichardt received fewer Xenien. For the time being, both brothers (and Caroline) nevertheless enjoyed good personal relations with Schiller, observing the proprieties of polite sociability.60 Privately, Friedrich did his best to shrug off the Xenien, consoling himself with the thought that he must expect some grapeshot from an opponent like Schiller.61 It was no more than an uneasy truce. Now, Friedrich, taking over from where Reichardt had left off, began to review the 1796 issues of Die Horen in the much-disliked Deutschland.62 These reviews were, to say the least, partial. He praised his own brother at Schiller’s expense, made impudent remarks about Schiller’s poetry, found good words for Goethe’s wonderful elegy Alexis und Dora, but made impertinent comments on Goethe’s translation of Benvenuto Cellini. There were two-edged comments on the Xenien and their effect on the more sensitive reader, for privately Friedrich was up in arms at their treatment of Reichardt. He was in good company: by no means everyone had enjoyed reading these ‘Offerings’, and the Weimar and Gotha courts had been scandalised.63 His account of the eighth number of the 1796 Horen was little better: there was talk of mediocrity and even plagiarism. The Hours [Horen], he said, had diverged from their orbit and had entered their ‘translation phase’—translation was beginning to dominate (nearly half)—and suggested that the supply of more imaginative copy was beginning to run dry.

30Schiller’s reaction was instantaneous and Olympian. Not being able to harm Friedrich, who was excluded from Die Horen, he hurled his bolts at August Wilhelm instead. On 31 May, 1797, August Wilhelm received this astringent message:

  • 64 Wieneke, 38.

It was my pleasure to afford you a chance to make an income, not given to many, in my Horen, by publishing your translations of Dante and Shakespeare, but now that I hear that Herr Friedrich Schlegel, even as I am rendering you this favour, is abusing them publicly and finds too many translations in the Horen, you must accept my excuses for the future. And to release you once and for all from a relationship that must inhibit the frank and sensitive exchange of thought and opinion, permit me to break off an arrangement that under such circumstances is no longer natural and which already has too often compromised my trust.64

31This glacially imperious letter thus removed with immediate effect an important source of income from Schlegel. Shaken, he wrote straight away to Schiller, protesting his innocence, claiming not to have seen the review, disavowing any personal influence over his brother:

  • 65 Ibid., 38-40, ref. 39.

If ever you have felt any bond of friendship for me, then please do not refuse my request to speak to you as soon as possible and plead my innocence in this most unfortunate mishap [...]65

  • 66 Ibid., 40; Caroline, I, 420.

32Caroline added a postscript, similarly penitent,66 but Schiller remained inexorable:

In the circle of my close acquaintances I must have implicit and absolute trust, and after what has happened, that cannot be the case between you and me.

  • 67 Josef Körner, Romantiker und Klassiker. Die Brüder Schlegel in ihren Beziehungen zu Schiller und Go (...)
  • 68 SW, II, 172.

33Schlegel was not entirely blameless.67 In his Horen review in the Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung, he had praised Goethe to the exclusion of Schiller. He may well have been behind the disrespectful mention of Schiller’s less than good poem Würde der Frauen [Women’s Worth] and indeed his parody of it,68 which produced gales of laughter in the Athenaeum circle, may date from this time. He had not restrained Friedrich when he went over to the anti-Schiller faction, but then again there was Schiller’s behaviour in the Xenien. There was fault on both sides.

  • 69 Wieneke, 44-48.

34Clearly, there was no trifling with Schiller’s sensitivities. Despite the apparent finality of this exchange of letters, Schiller in fact did not bar Schlegel from further collaboration on Die Horen, or on his Musenalmanach, both of which were at any rate moribund and about to expire. But the damage was done: the relationship never recovered. This was immediately visible when Schiller demanded changes to August Wilhelm’s contributions to the Musenalmanach.69 There was his distinctly un-Promethean poem Prometheus, that Goethe, his artistic advisor Heinrich Meyer, Wilhelm von Humboldt, and now Schiller, had all found unreadable; and here Schiller was surely the expert in matters relating to philosophical or allegorical poetry. Schlegel did not take kindly to criticism. It brought out a less attractive side: he marshalled all of his formidable philological knowledge (all of his pedantry), knowing that Schiller was at a disadvantage in these matters.

35From now on, Schlegel was not capable of objective or reasonable comment on Schiller (Schiller returning the compliment in his letters to Goethe). He was to be represented almost always to his disfavour or he was written out of the account altogether: the Athenaeum, which wreathed Goethe in clouds of incense, was to mention Schiller but once, and then only incidentally.

  • 70 Friedrich Schlegel, ‘Georg Forster. Fragment einer Karakteristik der deutschen Klassiker’, Lyceum d (...)
  • 71 Deutschland, III, ix, 326-336 ref. 326.
  • 72 SW, X, 376-413.

36Friedrich Schlegel, meanwhile, was throwing Goethe’s and Schiller’s own parlance back in their faces by reviewing Georg Forster in another of Reichardt’s periodicals.70 What is more: Forster, far from being the failed revolutionary, was for Schlegel a ‘classic’, a ‘citizen of the world’, a ‘true patriot’. There was, of course, some self-projection involved in this, the intellectual with universal sweep, radical, progressive. It did not mean that either Schlegel brother was about to abandon the security of his own studies and engage in active politics (Friedrich much later saw fit to suppress his Forster review). In fact, their interests were still fairly and squarely in literature or poetry in their widest sense, but nothing illustrates better their as yet divergent approaches that were to complement each other in the Athenaeum, than their respective reviews of Herder: Friedrich’s of parts of the Humanitätsbriefe [Letters on Humanity] in 1796,71 and August Wilhelm’s of Terpsichore in 1797.72 Where Friedrich recognised a fellow-spirit ‘writing fragments of an uncompleted whole’, wrestling with the large issues of the Ancient and Modern in poetry and as yet finding no solution, casting his gaze over the widest range of poetic traditions, August Wilhelm seized on questions of poetic language and prosody.

Schlegel’s Reviews: Language, Metrics

  • 73 KA, XXIII, 247.

37‘Force yourself’ had been Friedrich Schlegel’s advice to his brother as he embarked on a career as a professional writer.73 Writing under pressure involved drawing on existing sources of knowledge and insight, the things that Bürger and Heyne had taught him in Göttingen, the notions garnered from his wide reading in Holland: the theory and practice of translation, the origins of language, prosody and metrics, the relationship of the arts to each other, anthropology and human character, criticism, its proprieties and limits, the history of poetry. There could at this juncture be no question of a system, but a network of ideas was nevertheless emerging, fragmentary adumbrations of comparative literature, even of ‘Weltliteratur’.

  • 74 Die Horen, Jg. 1795, 11. Stück, 43-76; 12. Stück, 1-55; Jg. 1796, 1. Stück, 75-122.
  • 75 As for instance SW, X, 232f., 284, 354.

38Was there not something calculated and careerist about Schlegel’s abandoning the ailing Bürger and embracing his adversary Schiller? But both he and Bürger knew that there was nothing to retain him in Göttingen: the ‘young eagle’ had to take flight. He might seem now to be accommodating to Schiller, especially the Schiller of the ‘naïve’ and the ‘sentimental’, those critical categories that he set out in his great Horen essay of 1795‑96.74For Schlegel was praising three great ‘naïve’ poets, Homer, Dante, and Shakespeare, and dispraising Klopstock, a prime representative of the modern and the ‘sentimental’. On the other hand all of these figures had in their time also been dear to Bürger’s heart and were central to his writings. Schlegel was of course venturing into terrain never traversed by Bürger; yet while his major articles for Die Horen showed Schlegel moving far beyond his old mentor, the many reviews for Schütz contained occasional references to the whole question of a poet’s life and works,75 that pointed forward to that great biographical and critical essay of 1801, with its speaking title, Bürger.

  • 76 SW, VII, 98-154.
  • 77 Cf. Klaus Hammacher, ‘Hemsterhuis und seine Rezeption in der deutschen Philosophie und Literatur de (...)

39It was not Bürger, but Friedrich Schlegel, who prompted Schlegel’s first article for Die Horen, Briefe über Poesie, Sylbenmaß und Sprache [Letters on Poetry, Prosody and Language] (1795‑96).76 It used Schiller’s ‘house style’, a series of fictitious letters, although Schlegel’s model is most likely to have been Frans Hemsterhuis, the Dutch philosopher (who wrote in French) whose Platonic dialogues and letters were to influence his aesthetic and historical writings. He admired Hemsterhuis’s ability to express philosophical truths in an accessible fashion,77 the stated aim also of Die Horen. He did not subscribe to Hemsterhuis’s notion of a Golden Age with the enthusiasm that his brother’s friend Novalis was to do, but it did inform his thinking about historical origins nevertheless.

  • 78 Cf. Walter Jesinghaus, ‘August Wilhelm von Schlegels Meinungen über die Ursprache’, doctoral disser (...)

40‘Amalie’, the imaginary recipient of these letters, cannot have been a philosophical novice. She was taken, in eclectic fashion, through the various theories of language, the Platonic notion of an ideal language, Rousseau’s on the passions as the source of linguistic articulation, de Brosses’s on infant intuition, Fulda’s etymologies, Hemsterhuis’s views on the psychological roots of language, and Herder’s ‘inner language’ that becomes poetic expression.78

41Amalie would, however, learn that Schlegel’s real point of departure was primitive humankind, driven still by its senses, where joy and pain provided the first and basic articulations common to all, and where the human ability to express feelings through sounds and bodily movements led over to rhythm and dance. It could be observed in the most primitive of peoples (Amalie would have read Georg Forster). It followed that rhythmic utterance, and eventually metre, were not later refinements, but belonged to the basic needs of human articulation. Thus all poetry, in terms of these origins, was essentially lyrical, with dance and song as the expressive form of what later became dignified with the name of myth.

  • 79 KA, XXIII, 263-267, ref. 265.
  • 80 SW, VII, 155-196.

42In December 1795 Friedrich could write to his brother that he had achieved ‘complete clarity’ in matters of language and metre,79 which suggests that he had received from August Wilhelm a long letter, only much later published in the standard edition of 1846 as Betrachtungen über Metrik [Considerations on Metre] but datable to this period.80 It says much for the relationship between the brothers that August Wilhelm took the effort to commit to paper almost thirty pages of thoughts that both reacted to Friedrich’s notions but also went far beyond them. It is as if Friedrich, exuberantly postulating a history of Greek poetry, had need of some elementary instruction in metrical matters. These his brother duly supplied. Addressing Friedrich in these private Considerations, he needed to become more technical.

  • 81 Ibid., 175f.

43While he was at it, he treated Friedrich to one of the eighteenth century’s more extraordinary theories, the relationship between vowel sound and colour,81 the clavecin oculaire [ocular harpsichord] pioneered by the abbé Louis Bertrand Castel and continued in Schlegel’s day by the physicist Ernst Florens Friedrich Chladni with his Farbklavier [colour pianoforte]. It is however interesting to note that none of these theories on synaesthesia and language colouration went into writings published in his own lifetime or into his lectures on prosody. It is not to Schlegel that we look for the link between these experiments and Charles Baudelaire’s later ‘correspondences’.

  • 82 SW, X, 115-195.
  • 83 Bruford, Culture and Society, 386; Ernst Friedrich Sondermann, Karl August Böttiger. Literarischer (...)

44It is therefore instructive to see Schlegel applying some of his more general insights on language and metre to a specific case, his 70‑page review of Johann Heinrich Voss’s translation of Homer that appeared in the Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung in 1796.82 It was too technical for Die Horen, still hoping to capture a general readership. The length of the review may surprise, but Homer had now come into his own; he was everywhere, an almost measureless subject. He was Klopstock’s model; he was for Schiller the ‘naïve’ poet tout court; poets, among them Bürger, had been rendering him into German. The year 1795 had seen the publication of Friedrich August Wolf’s Prolegomena ad Homerum, which challenged for ever the notion of one single blind singer as the author of Homer’s songs. Goethe was beginning his ‘Homeric’ phase that saw his verse epics Hermann und Dorothea and Achilleis. What is more: Voss was one of the few contemporary poets not to be treated with disfavour in the Xenien, indeed his epic poem Luise, that Homerized domestic life, had found high praise there. The Weimar Friday club had spent the winter months discussing Voss’s translation.83 Into this chorus of praise Schlegel was to introduce a note of discord.

  • 84 SW, X, 185.
  • 85 Ibid., 182.

45Schlegel, too, had of course made his critical début with Homer, that Latin De geographia Homerica in Göttingen. Now, Voss’s translation gave him the opportunity to expand and expound. It was a review of which he was inordinately proud. He republished it twice in his lifetime—once in 1801 in Charakteristiken und Kritiken, once in 1828, in his Kritische Schriften— and once in Voss’s. Looking back in 1828, after Voss’s death, he was able to assess its status: it had been his first major piece of criticism and he had devoted months to it. It had also been generally well received. He could now state what he would not have dared to say in 1796: that Goethe’s and Schiller’s admiration of Voss had gone hand in hand with their own laxity in metrical matters, however readable the results.84 In 1801, he had inserted a kind of apology. He had not always done Voss justice and—a valid point— he had in 1796 done little translating himself, at least of this kind.85 That was, of course, to change very soon. The fact nevertheless remained that he had challenged the authority of a significant poet of Goethe’s generation and a former friend of Bürger’s. Seen historically, it was the critique offered by the author of the standard German translation of Shakespeare (which Schlegel’s undoubtedly is) to the creator of the standard German Homer (Voss still remains supreme).

  • 86 There is a nice irony in the fact that Schlegel’s later father-in-law, the appalling Heinrich Eberh (...)
  • 87 Briefe, I, 57.

46Voss, difficult and querulous by nature, an inveterate bearer of grudges, never forgave Schlegel and sought every opportunity to cause him annoyance and embarrassment. It confirmed him as a great Romantic- hater.86 There can be no doubt that his later decision (with his sons) to translate Shakespeare, was informed by the desire to ‘get even’ with Schlegel. Schlegel, in his turn, never mentioned in print a factor of which he was subsequently aware and which could have mitigated some of his strictures: Voss in 1796 had been ill and the review had served to compound his physical and mental discomfort.87

  • 88 SW, X, 186.
  • 89 Ibid., 117, 122.

47If some readers of the review found it too harsh (Friedrich August Wolf was one),88 they could not deny that Schlegel spoke with considerable technical authority. This for the moment set him apart from his brother Friedrich, yet it could be said that both brothers as reviewers complemented each other, the one in the universality of his claims, the other in the precision of his arguments. There was much in Schlegel’s review that was generally acceptable: the assertion, for instance, that German had a special affinity with Greek and a structure that facilitated its rendition into the modern medium. And who better than Voss (‘learned’, ‘noble’, ‘manly’) to accomplish this with Homer? There was also a need for ‘consistent and accurate correctness’,89 and there followed a detailed critique, often line-by- line, some of it relating to passages that still defy modern scholars, much of it merely captious. It might be fair to single out Voss’s occasional use of the lexis of modern sensitivity, where Homer’s original is robust and simple, but that same charge could be levelled at Schlegel’s own Shakespeare, and Voss was later to do it; indeed it has often been a complaint of critics since then that Schlegel’s Shakespeare approximates more to the dramatic language of his own day and does not bring across the sheer challenge of the Elizabethan original.

  • 90 Ibid., 149f.

48There was nothing in principle wrong with comparing Voss with his predecessors among Homer translators, but when one of these was Bürger this was special pleading and pro domo. For Schlegel knew, and indeed went on to say, that Voss’s versification was exemplary. In view of what Schlegel was to write in 1796 in Schiller’s Horen about translating Shakespeare (‘everything that the German language is capable of’), it is interesting to find him here pronouncing on the limitations of translation: a translation can never be more than an ‘imperfect approximation’, with ‘established borders’ that may not be transgressed;90 above all, it must not read like some ‘translationese’, some invented language that is neither the original nor its modern rendition. This was directed against Voss’s idiosyncratic use of German word order, compounds and archaisms to convey what was for him the Homeric essence: hence the untypical negativeness of Schlegel’s pronouncements.

  • 91 Ibid., 186.

49For all that, Voss’s translation and his Luise have stayed in print, as has Hermann und Dorothea. Friedrich August Wolf was always to remain for Schlegel an authority in matters of editorial philology:91 his name recurs later in the edition of the Râmâyana. No‑one could hold back the tide of Homerizing. Schlegel in effect never returned to Homer criticism. A pattern was establishing itself already in the 1790s: the overlapping of projects, brief spasms of attention, then abrupt abandonments. The Dante project is one of these, competing with Homer, then pushed aside as the next idea caught his imagination. It did not mean that he was a fragmentist by nature, like his brother Friedrich: it was not the way August Wilhelm worked. He simply took on too many commitments: a too crowded writing and reviewing programme saw flagging interests, as personal crises also supervened. A history of Italian poetry, with Dante at its centre, and a translation of Shakespeare, simply could not coexist. Furthermore, both Dante and Shakespeare involved verse translations, requiring concentration and attention to the minutest detail; they could not be hurried. Eschenburg, living in different times, had managed to produce a complete Shakespeare in the space of a few years, but he was not driven by Schlegel’s ambition and—crucially—was translating into prose.

  • 92 Wieneke, 5.
  • 93 Emil Sulger-Gebing, Goethe und Dante. Studien zur vergleichenden Literaturgeschichte, Forschungen z (...)

50The subject of Dante had the high praise of both Herder and Schiller:92 for Herder, he was a mighty voice in the historical cycle of poetry; one can imagine Schiller, already seized by the extreme situations in Shakespeare, equally fascinated by the disturbing scenes in Dante (Goethe was at this stage largely indifferent).93

Dante94

  • 94 On the general background to AWS’s Dante studies see Eva Hölter, ‘Der Dichter der Hölle und des Exi (...)
  • 95 Johann Nicolaus Meinhard in the 1760s published some specimen passages, including the Ugolino secti (...)
  • 96 Dispraised for instance by Jürgen von Stackelberg, Weltliteratur in deutscher Übersetzung. Vergleic (...)

51There were important differences between Dante and Shakespeare. In Germany, people had been writing about Shakespeare for most of the eighteenth century and there had been two major attempts at translation (Wieland and Eschenburg). Dante, by contrast, was hardly known. True, there had been prose versions in the 1760s—by Johann Nicolaus Meinhard and Leberecht Bachenschwanz95—but Schlegel was the first actually to put Dante into German verse. This deserves to be given its due, in the face of assertions that his translation is archaizing, uniformly elevated and stiff, where in fact it actually reads quite well.96 It is also correct; it matches line for line, even if it makes concessions, such as adopting for the rhyme scheme of his terza rima one different from Dante’s. He could show his contemporaries, Goethe among them, that this technically demanding verse was possible in German and worthy of creative imitation.

  • 97 Set out in detail by Emil Sulger-Gebing, ‘August Wilhelm Schlegel und Dante’, in: Andreas Heusler e (...)
  • 98 SW, III, 369.

52The Dante project was nevertheless terminated even as it was published. Its very publication seemed haphazard.97 The historical introduction had been written in Göttingen and had appeared in Bürger’s Akademie der schönen Redekünste in 1791 and Becker’s almanac in 1794; the main section, the Inferno translation, came out in Die Horen in 1795 and was welcome copy for Schiller; while sections from Purgatorio and Paradiso, of dwindling length, were again entrusted to the ever-enterprising Becker in 1795-97, first in a journal called Leipziger Monatsschrift für Damen, then in Erholungen, and finally in Taschenbuch zum geselligen Vergnügen, all titles that suggested pastimes remote from the sombre world of Dante. With that, the Dante project was forced out by his fellow-genius Shakespeare. We know that Caroline, the co-translator of Shakespeare, also helped to keep the guttering flame of Dante alight before its final extinction.98

  • 99 Ibid., 290f.

53Schlegel was not merely content to translate. Dante provided too good an opportunity for excursions. Thus readers of Die Horen could learn that Inferno was different from Paradise Lost or Der Messias, its characters human, its world restricted to Earth (in the centre of which was Hell), not domiciled in some extraterrestrial sphere. In Dante, our senses, reason and principles are not offended by the spectacle of ‘pure, absolute evil’ that Milton and Klopstock unfold.99 Here Schlegel was not merely denying legitimacy to these modern epics; he was finding fault with Protestant poetry as represented by his father’s generation. As yet, he did not postulate a Catholic alternative, but that would come soon enough in the pages of the Athenaeum.

  • 100 Ibid., 327.
  • 101 Ibid., 328.
  • 102 Ibid., 336.

54The terrible story of Ugolino, incarcerated with his sons and grandsons and left to starve to death, brought Schlegel hard up against the limits of his translation powers. So great was the ‘appalling truth’ of this story that the translator would rather be silent.100 Because Dante’s ‘unstinting humanity’ shone through all the horror,101 because there was heroism and virtue without which the atrocious would be merely gratuitous, he was able to complete the task. Schlegel, moving on to more congenial territory, cited Philoctetes and Laocoön as analogies, thereby stepping into the debate on the depiction of physical suffering in art that had been exercising critical minds since Winckelmann and Lessing in the 1760s. Dante had also inspired Michelangelo: Schlegel mentions a terracotta basrelief of Ugolino and his sons by the Renaissance master.102 This was an over-eager attribution, for the sculpture now hardly rates a mention by scholars: the art appreciation of this young Romantic generation was too often informed by enthusiasms (like Tieck and Wackenroder seeing a ‘Raphael’ in 1793). It was not, however, allowed to invalidate Schlegel’s general point that Laocoön or Ugolino in artistic representation impress us, take hold of us, not because of who they are (the legend or story) but for what they represent, the stoic acceptance of the inevitable.

  • 103 Ibid., 330f.

55We glimpse here nevertheless some of the inhibitions that later caused Schlegel to leave King Lear or Macbeth or Othello untranslated. For him horror in Greek tragedy was embedded in mythology and ancient beliefs; Dante’s Inferno displayed ‘an indestructible force’ for justice and virtue;103 but Shakespeare, rooted as he was in the irrationalities of human behaviour, never provided such a convenient conceptual basis. Schiller, more robust, wanted to see Macbeth and Othello performed on the Weimar stage, but Schlegel could not or would not supply them. Horror and cruelty did not feature in his later lectures on Classical and Romantic literature, either; already his account of Dante in the Athenaeum in 1799 was much blander, smoother, Hemsterhuisian, while his discomfort with the aesthetically compromising in Shakespeare was still evident in his Vienna Lectures in 1808. The selections from Purgatorio and Paradiso meanwhile brought Schlegel on to more familiar and acceptable ground: the Platonism employed by his mentor Hemsterhuis to demonstrate the existence of God in us.

The Shakespeare Translation

  • 104 Shakespeare’s dramatische Werke, übersetzt von August Wilhelm Schlegel, 9 vols (Berlin: Unger, 1797 (...)

56If Dante was edged aside by Shakespeare, if Shakespeare even had to compete with Homer, there was to be no doubt that these ‘great names’ were to exemplify a notion of poetry that the Romantics were to espouse, pristine, organic, originating in nature, rooted in the people or nation, in the widest sense mythological. Of course no-one had yet applied the term ‘Romantic’ to this great historical strand of poetry; the attribution would however not be long in coming. Much of what Schiller had called ‘naïve’ or Goethe ‘classical’ could be subsumed under it, but it would first have to enter the national consciousness through translation. Schlegel’s Shakespeare was to do no more nor less than that: by 1801, when nearly all of this translation was available,104 it could claim to align Shakespeare with the greatest in the national tradition, Goethe and Schiller. It provided the centrepiece of a German mythology that declared the Englishman ‘ours’, enshrined him, in the familiar phrase from Goethe’s Faust as ‘the third in the alliance’ [‘der Dritte im Bund’].

  • 105 SW, VII, 66f.
  • 106 The Plays of William Shakespeare. Accurately printed from the text of Mr Malone’s edition […] (Lond (...)
  • 107 Athenaeum. Eine Zeitschrift von August Wilhelm Schlegel und Friedrich Schlegel, 3 vols (Berlin: Vie (...)

57As is usual with such visions, the unreal mingled with the real; Schlegel’s name was lost in an ideological haze, and the true circumstances of his achievement became obscured. Meanwhile, for a German Shakespeare to come anywhere near the original, it needed an adequate language, an ‘answerable style’. Nearly fifty years of critical discussion of Shakespeare in Germany had been inhibited by the perceived failure of German as an adequate medium to convey ‘natural genius’. No-one had known this better than Schlegel’s own uncle Johann Elias when in 1741 he had found fault with a Julius Caesar in alexandrines that succeeded in confining any Shakespearean ‘extravagance’; or his other uncle, Johann Heinrich, in 1758 presenting his blank-verse translation of James Thomson’s Sophonisba and commending to the Germans this as yet untried verse form. True, Thomson’s verse was many removes from Shakespeare, but it did offer some freedom from the imprisonment of rhyme. A generation of translators, like Wieland or Eschenburg, would need to arise, or dramatists like Lessing, Goethe and Schiller, before blank verse could become established in German letters, and then often more Augustan than Shakespearean. In all this Schlegel acknowledged Schiller as a model or mentor, if only grudgingly, especially after their estrangement.105 Yet, even when one allows for the expanded lexis and the enhanced range of expression inherent in Shakespeare, Schlegel’s translation has a Schillerian ring to it, an echo of the 1790s that saw its origins. The Shakespeare project brought out most but not all sides of Schlegel: the translator, of course, the critic, the analyst, the historian rather less. In the writings devoted exclusively to Shakespeare, we have none of the historical background that informs his Dante, such as the circumstantial recounting of the true story of Ugolino; there is, for instance, only the briefest of information about the sources of Romeo and Juliet, and then not the crucial point that it is an early play. Schlegel was not a Shakespearean scholar of the stamp of Eschenburg or—even allowing for his sometimes freakish attributions—Ludwig Tieck. Unlike Tieck, who at the age of 20 owned the Fourth Folio, he had no significant collection (Eschenburg was a prodigious collector.) The editions that Schlegel is known to have used, Rivington’s printing of Malone, and Bell’s Johnson-Steevens, while containing the essential texts and commentary (Malone’s especially), were made-up sets and of no particular textual distinction;106 indeed in one of his few public defences of his translation, he reserved the right to set aside even Malone as a final authority.107 Unlike Eschenburg and later Tieck, he was not interested in a scholarly apparatus and was concerned, as he said, only ‘to present the poet in his true guise’.

  • 108 SW, VII, 281-291.
  • 109 KA, XXIII, 138.

58Late in life, surveying the Shakespeare project in a long letter to his publisher Reimer,108 not without its element of self-justification, Schlegel employed only the first person, conveniently overlooking the roles of two persons now dead, Friedrich and Caroline, whose part in the Shakespeare project had been considerable. There were, of course, personal reasons for their omission. Looking at the nine volumes of the Schlegel translation and assessing their significance, we may easily overlook the actual circumstances and the element of the haphazard and the adventitious that accompanied them and their occasionally cooperative origins. As we have seen, being a professional writer meant grasping every opportunity. Yet Shakespeare seems to have been the ‘main task’, the work that would establish Schlegel’s reputation once and for all, not, say, the ‘occasional’ work for Die Horen, the Dante essay, the letters on language. We know that he took with him to Holland his and Bürger’s version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream; in 1793 Friedrich had shown Caroline a draft translation of Hamlet and Romeo and Juliet that she found too archaic.109 That would suggest intensive work in Holland, competing with other projects there, including Dante.

  • 110 Probe einer neuen Uebersetzung von Shakespeare’s Werken’, Deutschland, II, v, 248-259.
  • 111 KA, XXIV, 364; Caroline, I, 426-432.

59By 1796, however, well into his working association with Schiller, he missed no chances, supplying sample passages of Romeo and Juliet and The Tempest for Die Horen, but also a passage from Romeo and Juliet to its hated rival, Reichardt’s Deutschland;110 in 1797 there were scenes from Julius Caesar for Schiller. In 1796 also, perhaps opportunistically, he published his major statement on translating Shakespeare, also in Die Horen, invoking Goethe’s Wilhelm Meister (just completed). He followed this in 1797 with his fine critical essay on Romeo and Juliet. Letters from this period suggest Friedrich’s close involvement with this play and Caroline’s hand in drafting the actual essay.111 But translation and criticism were to be kept apart, as two separate but complementary processes; the one was not to detract from the other. The choice of Romeo and Juliet and Julius Caesar as ‘tasters’ was no doubt influenced by a general sense around 1790 that these two plays were Shakespeare’s most accessible and had a long history of critical reception and adaptation to prove it. The sample from The Tempest in Die Horen, with ‘Full fathom five’, could show how much better Schlegel was than Wieland or Eschenburg (if in their debt) and superior to a recent anonymous version called Der Sturm, which Tieck had just published in Berlin. It would appeal to those for whom the ‘fairy way of writing’, not passion or statecraft, was their way of access into Shakespeare.

  • 112 Die Horen, Jg. 1796, 3. Stück, 92.
  • 113 Briefe, I, 33.
  • 114 Ibid., II, 17f.
  • 115 Ibid., I, 43
  • 116 As indeed is made clear in AWS’s letter to Eschenburg, Bernays, 255-259.
  • 117 Eschenburg responding with his new edition, Bernays, 259f.

60The first Shakespeare extract in Die Horen (Romeo and Juliet II, ii, i‑iii) called itself a ‘sample of a new metrical translation of this poet’,112 which suggested a translation already in being. In June of the same year, writing from Jena to the publisher Göschen in Leipzig, he could report that he had read the whole version to Goethe and had met with his approval.113 The question of a publisher had, however, not yet been clarified. He had negotiated with his brother Friedrich’s publisher, Salomon Heinrich Michaelis in Neustrelitz, setting his price at 150 talers per play, and even sent Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream to him.114 This was too high a price for Michaelis, who was in fact in the process of going bankrupt. Schlegel’s newly-won colleague in Weimar, Böttiger, was willing to use his good offices with Wieland, whose son-in‑law Gessner was a partner in the Zurich firm of Orell, Füssli.115 It was with this publisher that both Wieland and Eschenburg had brought out their respective translations. Wieland’s was long since out of print, but Eschenburg was thinking of revising his for a new edition.116 In the event, nothing came of this approach; in 1797, however, out of courtesy sending the first volume of his Shakespeare to Eschenburg, Schlegel wrote a long and not entirely sincere letter explaining the circumstances of his own enterprise.117 Eschenburg’s twenty-year-old version had been the best available hitherto, and here Schlegel was in the process of undermining it: he knew perfectly well what he was doing.

  • 118 Nicolai to Eschenburg 24 June, 1796. Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel, Cod. Guelf. 622 Novi.
  • 119 Johann Joachim Eschenburg, Ueber den vorgeblichen Fund Shakspearischer Handschriften (Leipzig: Somm (...)

61Eschenburg’s response was gracious, but he did not neglect to mention the forthcoming revision of his own translation, which duly appeared between 1798 and 1806. Not only that: his friend Friedrich Nicolai in Berlin, the particular abhorrence of Goethe and Schiller and soon of the young Romantics, had been supplying him with material for the updated apparatus to this edition, including information about Schlegel’s own extracts in Die Horen.118 The indefatigable Eschenburg even went on to write a whole book on the Ireland Shakespeare forgery; its preface is the proud statement of a Shakespeare scholar ‘whose annotations have never been bettered’, and who accepts the challenge of ‘another and more able hand’.119

  • 120 On this see Christine Roger, La Réception de Shakespeare en Allemagne de 1815 à 1850. Propagation e (...)

62It needs to be said that readers who wanted a complete Shakespeare were still dependent on Eschenburg’s prose version and made-up editions like that of the entrepreneur Carl Joseph Meyer, until the syndicate of Voss father and sons finished their verse translation in 1829.120 By then Schlegel had given up any idea of a whole version.

  • 121 Johann Gottfried Herder, Briefe. Gesamtausgabe, ed. Karl-Heinz Hahn et al. for Nationale Forschungs (...)

63Even if Schlegel’s emerges from all this ruck as better than those of his rivals, it is because time has dealt less kindly with them, who were once very present and active and vociferous. Pushing Eschenburg aside was one thing, and here Schiller was only too willing to abet Schlegel by publishing his extracts in Die Horen. Anything that suggested a new beginning, a Weimar-sponsored break with the past, was to be encouraged, while Eschenburg, in Schiller’s eyes, stood for ‘mediocrity’, mere ‘scholarship’ that failed to differentiate genius, that espoused parity and relativeness of esteem, comprehensiveness, not the high points of excellence. It was to know no mercy; only the creative forces of the century were to have recognition. The Schlegel brothers, the one exalting Lessing and Kant, the other extolling Shakespeare, both elevating Goethe, gladly joined in this chorus until they found a voice of their own. At no stage, however, did they admit how useful they had found the corpus of knowledge patiently collated by painstaking scholars like Eschenburg, whom Goethe and Schiller were in the process of excoriating. Herder was to write ruefully and resignedly to Eschenburg in 1799 that they both now belonged to a past era in literature and taste, and for the moment, that was true.121

  • 122 Georg Kurt Schauer, ‘Schrift und Typologie’, in: Ernst L. Hauswedell and Christian Voigt (eds), Buc (...)

64As it was, Schlegel turned to Johann Friedrich Unger in Berlin to publish Shakespeare’s dramatische Werke. Unger already had some interesting authors: Goethe had entrusted Wilhelm Meister to him, while two young men in Berlin, Tieck and Wackenroder, lightly disguised as a self-effacing and art‑oving friar, had brought out their Herzensergiessungen with him, a work that was to change the nature of art appreciation. Unger was also in the process of enshrining himself in the history of book production and printing, having developed a new clean and elegant face for the German black-letter type, known as ‘Unger-Fraktur’.122 These things mattered.

  • 123 Thomas Bürger, Aufklärung in Zürich. Die Verlagsbuchhandlung Orell, Gessner, Füssli & Comp. in der (...)

65When Eschenburg saw the first volume of Schlegel’s Shakespeare, he initially asked Orell, Füssli to use Roman type instead for his revised edition. Despite hesitations, it came out in ‘Fraktur’,123 and so it was two Shakespeare editions in black-letter type, Schlegel’s and Eschenburg’s, that were to vie for the reading public’s favour.

  • 124 SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd. e. 90, XXII, 1-14.
  • 125 Wieneke, 29.
  • 126 Die Horen, Jg. 1796, 6. Stück, 77f.
  • 127 The older text published by Frank Jolles, A. W. Schlegels Sommernachtstraum in der ersten Fassung v (...)

66The transition process from writing-desk to readable typeface was, however, seemingly chaotic and haphazard. The manuscripts of the twelve plays that have survived, tell their own tale.124 Schlegel folded down a margin on his manuscript sheet to allow for corrections, but the frenetic hatchings, scorings, overwritings (doodlings) speak of late vigils, candles burning low, the desperate hours spent in search of the right word (as he wrote to Schiller),125 the dissatisfactions and self-doubts as the Shakespeare text seemed to prove intractable. The creative process can be seen in the successive drafts. Attached to the manuscript of The Tempest is the version of 1796 printed in Die Horen.126 There, Schlegel does not even attempt a literal ‘Full fathom five’, and is content with the rather lame ‘Tief in Meeres Grund gefallen’, but for the ‘final’ version, the one published in 1798, he is more precise. Is ‘fathom’ German ‘Klafter’ (which can also mean ‘a cord of wood’)? ‘Faden’ is the nautical term (and the cognate of Shakespeare’s word). Yet the manuscript still shows the translator’s indecision: both words are left standing there, but it is ‘Faden’ that goes into the printed version. In King John, there are new sections pasted over. The two Midsummer Night’s Dream manuscripts reflect the heavy reworkings of the old Göttingen text now to emerge as Schlegel’s own in 1797.127 Romeo and Juliet, by contrast, is less heavily annotated or crossed out. Did the ‘ideal’ Shakespeare, that this play seemed to represent for Schlegel, also pose fewer linguistic problems? (In fact he left out some intractable punnings and some ruderies.) Caroline made a clean copy for the printer. We also recognize her hand on the manuscripts of As You Like It, Hamlet, The Merchant of Venice and Julius Caesar. Ludwig Tieck much later at least had the grace to admit that a ‘friend’ had helped him with his revision of Shakespeare (his daughter Dorothea): Schlegel never made even that concession. And so ‘Übersetzt [Translated] von August Wilhelm Schlegel’ on the title page should rightly read ‘Translated with Caroline Schlegel’s assistance’.

Fig. 5 Manuscript page of Schlegel’s and Caroline’s translation of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet (1797), in Caroline’s hand, open at Act 2, Scene 1 (‘O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?’).

Fig. 5 Manuscript page of Schlegel’s and Caroline’s translation of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet (1797), in Caroline’s hand, open at Act 2, Scene 1 (‘O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?’).

© SLUB Dresden, all rights reserved.

Fig. 6 Manuscript page of Schlegel’s translation of Shakespeare’s The Tempest (1798), open at Act 1, Scene 2 (‘Full fathom five’).

Fig. 6 Manuscript page of Schlegel’s translation of Shakespeare’s The Tempest (1798), open at Act 1, Scene 2 (‘Full fathom five’).

© SLUB Dresden, all rights reserved.

  • 128 KA, XXIV, 4f.
  • 129 Bernays, 173-216.
  • 130 Briefe, I, 61f., 65; Bernays, 254.
  • 131 Briefe, I, 74.

67Friedrich, too, had his part in this family enterprise. In Berlin from July 1797 until September 1799, he was sent the manuscript packages and passed them on to Unger. He seems even to have done the proof-reading.128 Or maybe there was none, for this historic translation is marred by printer’s errors.129 It is from Friedrich that we learn of the first enthusiastic reactions from leading figures in the Berlin cultural scene, Schleiermacher the preacher, Alois Hirt the classicist, Johann Gottfried Schadow the sculptor, Friedrich Fleck the actor. August Wilhelm, as well, had been assiduous in self-promotion. Putting first things first, he sent a copy of Volume One (Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream) to Duke Carl August in Weimar, but also to his fellow-Hanoverian, Karl August von Hardenberg, now Prussian minister in charge of Ansbach-Bayreuth and much later Prussian chancellor. Wieland, Herder and Böttiger in Weimar, Eschenburg in Brunswick, Heyne in Göttingen, were other ‘strategic’ recipients.130 In due course, another son of Hanover, the actor-producer Iffland, expressed his admiration.131 It was to begin Schlegel’s never trouble-free association with the theatre.

The Wilhelm Meister Essay

  • 132 Die Horen, Jg. 1796, 4. Stück, 57-112; SW, VII, 24-70.

68Schlegel nevertheless felt the need to establish his credentials beyond the scope of mere translation. He wished to set out his translation principles, not in any systematic way, but in the free flow of critical writing. If the Voss review had been closely argued, rigorous, stiff (pedantic, too), he would treat Shakespeare in more associative and accessible fashion. Schiller’s Die Horen, now less demanding after its taxing debut in 1795, provided the adequate forum. What better way to cause pleasure in both Jena and Weimar than by invoking Goethe himself? Thus came about Schlegel’s essay Etwas über William Shakespeare bei Gelegenheit Wilhelm Meisters [Some Remarks on William Shakespeare Occasioned by Wilhelm Meister], ‘classic’ for its stylistic elegance, its freedom from factual ballast, and its claims for both writer and translator.132 In the 1796 volume of Die Horen, it is nicely balanced between the continuation and conclusion of Schiller’s On Naïve and Sentimental Poetry and Schlegel’s own Letters on Poetry, both of them theoretical, occasionally abstract, and Schlegel’s own first sample of Romeo and Juliet, and his second example, from The Tempest. There is no evidence that Schiller, ever desirous of copy, had planned it this way, but it worked fortuitously to Schlegel’s advantage. Observers might also remark that the essay was interspersed between sections of Goethe’s version of Benvenuto Cellini’s life that had elicited Friedrich’s insolent remarks about the journal’s ‘translation phase’. Unlike Shakespeare, who could not be turned out to order, this was hackwork, if hackwork with Goethe’s own touch.

  • 133 SW, VII, 24f.
  • 134 Ibid., 24.
  • 135 Ibid., 31.
  • 136 Ibid., 30f.

69Like so many programmatic statements, especially those from the 1790s, the Wilhelm Meister essay dealt in absolutes and was short on nuances. There was Schlegel’s opening gambit: Wilhelm Meister had caused Shakespeare to ‘rise from the dead and walk among the living’.133 It was manifestly untrue, or at most half true, a formulation whose ultimate analogies may not have resonated well with Wieland or Eschenburg, neither of whom saw themselves in such salvific terms (and who in the essay were dealt with fairly perfunctorily). The assertion that Shakespeare was not a ‘mere episode’ in the novel was, to say the least, open to challenge,134 indeed it soon became clear that Schlegel was not primarily concerned with Wilhelm Meister or even with his obsession, Hamlet. The view that Hamlet was a ‘Gedankenschauspiel’ [‘thought play],135brought no incisively new insights to Shakespeare criticism. Rather, Schlegel was concerned with the nature of creative genius itself: he invoked that quasi-mystical language of ‘divine spark’, ‘deep waters’, ‘sounding depths’ that goes some way towards explaining the essence and mystery of genius.136 These processes Schlegel was concerned to align with the métier of criticism: it was not judgmental or atomising, not Johnsonian (and for Johnson read also Eschenburg):

  • 137 Ibid., 26.

What it best does is to seize and give meaning to the real sense that creative genius places in its works and which is there as they take body in their essential shape, in complete, untainted form, in sharp profile, and thus to raise beholders who are less acute, but are receptive, to a higher state of perception. But only rarely has it achieved this. And why? Because perceiving the essential make-up of others in close and direct contemplation, as if it were a very part of one’s own consciousness, is bound up as one with the capacity for creation itself.137

  • 138 Ibid., 30.
  • 139 Ibid., 36.

70There is here some of that distinction between mere ‘philological’ and ‘interpretative’ criticism, that informs the later Vienna Lectures, itself based on the opposites of ‘mechanical’ and ‘organic’. But in 1796 this proud formulation both defined limits, those of a finite mind like Wilhelm Meister’s, and opened up the limitless spaces of genius, the ‘forces’ (Herder’s favourite word, ‘Kräfte’) and secrets of nature.138 These could not be compromised. Thus, in an essay ostensibly devoted to Wilhelm Meister the man of the theatre, we learn that genius imparts itself through the integrated whole work of art, not through its ‘contaminated’ form on the stage.139

  • 140 Ibid., 38.
  • 141 Ibid., 62.

71Two thirds of the essay were devoted to the means of transferring to an alien medium the expressive powers of consummate genius. The Germans need have no fear, for Shakespeare was ‘completely ours’ (‘ganz unser’);140 no other nation had such a sense of identification with him, had studied and admired him in such depth. Intrinsic to the German language must therefore be the capacity to express this affinity through a translation that observed and respected the structures and nuances of the original, in verse where verse was required, not in a prose approximation; stretching to its limits the native tongue and its range and inner resources, but always within due limits (‘alles im Deutschen Thunliche’) [everything feasible in German].141 The translator would have to compromise and compensate, but he (or she: Caroline) would be motivated by what he could do, not discouraged by what ultimately eluded him.

  • 142 Anton Klette, Verzeichniss der von A. W. v. Schlegel nachgelassenen Briefsammlung (Bonn : [n.p.], 1 (...)
  • 143 Indische Bibliothek. Eine Zeitschrift von August Wilhelm von Schlegel, 3 vols (Bonn: Weber, 1820-30 (...)

72All this needed to be restated, for there were restraining and sceptical voices, such as Wilhelm von Humboldt’s, writing to Schlegel on 23 July 1796 from Berlin, having just read the two extracts in Die Horen, and counselling caution.142 Translationwas an elusive and ultimately impossible undertaking, and Schlegel should concentrate instead on an original work, not the mere transmission of the alien. In this matter, the two were never to see eye to eye, Humboldt never diverging from his conviction that translation (if one were to do it at all) must always contain a ‘tinge of the foreign’ (‘Farbe der Fremdheit’), Schlegel forever stressing the resources of the native language. Indeed Schlegel’s later view, stated with some nobility, that the translator is the ultimate ambassador and mediator between cultures, was written in response to Humboldt’s sceptical utterances in the Indische Bibliothek in 1827,143 when Shakespeare and his like were far from his mind.

  • 144 SW, XI, 19. In fact he translates it as ‘Erinnrung’. Shakespeare’s dramatische Werke, III, 57.
  • 145 SW, XI, 169f.

73Only the manuscripts of Schlegel’s translation reveal the struggles and agonizings over the alien text, with Caroline offering her voice, both discerning and reasonable. We must imagine them at a table strewn with the untidy harvest of a day’s or week’s work, scratching out and overwriting until the result sounded like the ‘nearest best’ that it would always be. The printed text was final, if the result of those compromises and accommodations, compensations and approximations. Only in critical reviews was Schlegel willing to pass on insights into the actual translation process. Reviewing Tieck’s version of The Tempest, he remarked that Tieck had translated ‘lord of weak remembrance’ with ‘Angedenken’, where it should be ‘Gedächtnis’ (both can mean ‘memory’). He knew this from translating Hamlet (but did not say so).144 There, the original’s word-play on ‘remember’ and ‘remembrance’ foundered on the preciser distinctions of its German equivalents, but for readers of German this was of course an added enrichment. In 1797, in a review of a periodical devoted to language,145 he rejected the linguistic purism that would not sanction in German the phrase ‘mein tiefstes Herz’ [‘my deepest heart’] and asked what the author would have made of Hamlet’s

In my heart’s core, ay, in my heart of heart

Schlegel had already translated this line as

  • 146 Shakespeare’s dramatische Werke, III, 243.

Im Herzensgrund, ja in des Herzens Herzen146

  • 147 Ibid., 140.

a more regular line that Shakespeare’s (as is often the case), but notable for that ‘Herzensgrund’ whose religious and mystical echoes opened up associations that the original did not. When on the other hand ‘Not a mouse stirring’ at the opening of Hamlet became ‘Alles mausestill’,147 with a commendable neatness and naturalness in the German, the omission of ‘stirring’ blurred the sense that another ‘Thing’ was on the move. But let Shakespeare scholars concern themselves with these nuances. The translation can still stand up to any kind of analysis, the most favourable and even the most stringent or unfriendly. Wherever translated poetry is recognized as poetry in its own right, Schlegel’s name must always be in the first rank, and with this translation he enters into the main stream of the German poetic tradition.

  • 148 Die Horen, Jg. 1797, 6. Stück, 18-48; SW, VII, 71-97 (where the title has ‘Shakspeares’).
  • 149 KA, XXIII, 366.
  • 150 Heinrich Huesmann, Shakespeare-Inszenierungen unter Goethe in Weimar, Österreichische Akademie der (...)

74Schlegel was, however, not content merely to postulate criticism as part of the creative process. He must deliver an example: it was Ueber Shakespeares Romeo und Julia [On Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet], the last contribution that he was to send to Die Horen.148 Everyone seemed to be reacting to Romeo and Juliet. Caroline had copied it out for the printer; it opened the first volume of the Shakespeare translation in 1797. August Wilhelm, temporarily in Dresden, asked his brother Friedrich to present Schiller with a copy.149 It was despatched in mid-May 1797, only a matter of days before Schiller’s terrible letter of the 30th of the same month. Schiller did not react, and his correspondence with Goethe did not mention it; it was also not one of the Shakespeare plays with which he felt a close bond. Goethe, who had known it from his formative years, noted it for a possible stage adaptation in 1797, but the death of the designated actress caused him to defer the idea, eventually until 1812.150

  • 151 KA, XXIII, 364.
  • 152 Novalis, Schriften. Die Werke Friedrich von Hardenbergs, ed. Paul Kluckhohn and Richard Samuel, 6 v (...)
  • 153 Caroline, I, 426-432.

75In May, Friedrich had sent his precious presentation copy of Romeo and Juliet to his friend Novalis in Tennstedt in Thuringia. It went accompanied by his intense feelings about the play, ‘like a lowering thunderstorm amid the splendours of the spring day’, full of antitheses: the ‘rose of life’ but also the thorn that goes to the quick.151 Re-reading it (he had Eschenburg among his books) Novalis confessed to Shakespeare’s ‘powers of divination’.152 Of greater interest were two letters from Caroline to August Wilhelm, that have survived only in a fragmentary state.153 Why she should be writing is unclear, and the dating is uncertain, but these letters were essentially a draft of his Horen essay, disposed differently and with other emphases, meaning that Caroline was not acting merely as an amanuensis, but as a co-author.

  • 154 Ibid., 429.
  • 155 SW, VII, 76.

76For her it was a play that broke with all modern notions of dramatic economy and overflowed in all directions, yet with study, one could uncover its inner harmony (what he calls its ‘inner unity’). It contained discords and dark melancholy154 (Schlegel saw instead ‘gentle enthusiasm’). His concern in the essay was a ‘creative criticism’ that ‘fathomed’ (German ‘ergründen’)155 the process of composition and laid down notions of the organic, unified whole that is the work of art, bringing out Shakespeare’s artistry, the conscious inventions that held everything in place. Where we see clashes and disharmonies, Shakespeare employs the contrasting ‘devices’ of romantic passion (Romeo) and innocent simplicity (Juliet), balancing one against the other. True, the tragic outcome was inevitable, but so was the resolution and reconciliation of the action beyond the grave.

  • 156 Ibid., 94.
  • 157 Ibid., 77.

77The ‘antitheses’ that had seized his brother Friedrich could not of course be wished away. August Wilhelm was, however, concerned to resolve them. One way was to place the lovers in some kind of capsule, emotionally, spiritually, linguistically set apart from the world and its conventions, even from the machinations of fate. Their language, which may strike others as mannered and self-indulgent, makes sense only to them; it is part of their fulfilled ‘white-hot passion’. For Schlegel, it was not the dark, wild, doom- ridden strand of the play that was in the foregound, rather ‘Love was the poetry of life’.156 He used Friedrich’s image of the thunderstorm, but left out the ‘thorn’ that went with it.157 Among their contemporaries, Ludwig Tieck had already acknowledged the play’s sombre aspect in notes made in Göttingen in 1792, while Coleridge was later to diverge radically from Schlegel’s interpretation.

  • 158 Caroline, I, 431, 429, 432.

78How much of this reading was informed by the desire to enter into the creative processes of composition through his newly-formulated ‘better criticism’, finding resolutions and hidden harmonies where others stressed ‘There never was a story of more woe’; and how much was motivated by the wish to believe in young, unadulterated and ideal love that lived in its own world and was oblivious to real circumstances? Seen in terms of their life together, his and Caroline’s, did it mean that despite the strand of practical realism in his relationship with her, he believed nevertheless in a romantic love that rose above actualities? Not just the use made of Caroline’s draft is interesting (or that Caroline took the initiative in writing it); it was also her sense that Romeo’s and Juliet’s love, which she defended, was subjected to ‘dissonances’ (‘Mislaute’ [sic]), even ‘asperities’ (‘Härten’) and yet emerged triumphant. She concluded: ‘You two [sc. presumably August Wilhelm and Friedrich] will have to decide whether or not Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy’.158 There could be no answer to all these questions. The fascination with Romeo and Juliet did not end with Die Horen.

  • 159 On AWS’s poetry see Klaus Manger, ‘Statt “Kotzebuesieen” nur Poesie? Zu den lyrischen Dichtungen Au (...)
  • 160 Wieneke, 42-48.
  • 161 SW, XI, 363-365; Friedrich Hölderlin, Stuttgarter Ausgabe, ed. Friedrich Beissner et al., 8 vols in (...)

79Schlegel, concurrently with his criticism and translation, had also been writing poetry. It was part of the professional writer’s métier, especially one who had gone through Bürger’s school. As already remarked, little of Schlegel’s poetry warms the heart, uplifts the senses, raises the hopes. Perhaps it is wrong in the first place to apply Wordsworthian (or Goethean) criteria to it. It was not just a question of the formal devices that he used: when Goethe used regular metrical verse like the classical elegy—a favoured form in the 1790s—he never abandoned the personal note, while Schlegel, in this and other metres, was correct, learned—and soulless.159 Where Schiller brought his own moral and philosophical energy to bear in didactic poetry, Schlegel lacked the other man’s essential dynamism. The correspondence with Schiller over the poem Prometheus—in the terza rima so recently displayed in the Dante translation—is not agreeable reading and shows Schlegel trying to worst Schiller with pedantry and pedagoguery.160 Schiller, who was also editing a Musenalmanach and needed copy, did eventually accept it, the same Schiller whose versification Schlegel had openly criticised. Schlegel the poet did not shine with general subjects, those so current in aesthetic and poetological debate, like the role of the artist as creator and shaper of higher truth. Occasional poems, those dedicated to a person or object, did however bring out the best of his poetic powers, as indeed translation also did. His poetic powers looked different to aspiring poets: the young Friedrich Hölderlin, after so much disparagement from Schiller, was greatly heartened by a few encouraging words by Schlegel in a review,161 and it may have been one spur among many for him to write some of the finest elegies in the language.

  • 162 SW, I, 35-37.

80It was verse directed at an object that found Schiller’s approval for his Musenalmanach for 1798 (issued in late 1797): Zueignung des Trauerspiels Romeo und Julia [Dedication of the Tragedy Romeo and Juliet], written in correct ottava rima—and actually a good poem:162

Zueignung des Trauerspiels Romeo und Julia

Nimm dieß Gedicht, gewebt aus Lieb’ und Leiden,
Und drück’ es sanft an deine zarte Brust.
Was
dich erschüttert, regt sich in uns beiden,
Was
du nicht sagst, es ist mir schon bewußt.
Unglücklich Paar ! und dennoch zu beneiden ;
Sie kannten ja des Daseins höchste Lust.
Laß süß und bitter denn uns Thränen mischen,
Und mit dem Thau der Treuen Grab erfrischen.

Den Sterblichen ward nur ein flüchtig Leben :
Dieß flücht’ge Leben, welch ein matter Traum !
Sie tappen, auch bei ihrem kühnsten Streben,
Im Dunkel hin, und kennen selbst sich kaum.
Das Schicksal mag sie drücken oder heben :
Wo findet ein unendlich Sehnen Raum ?
Nur Liebe kann den Erdenstaub beflügeln,
Nur sie allein der Himmel Thor entsiegeln.

Und ach ! sie selbst, die Königin der Seelen,
Wie oft erfährt sie des Geschickes Neid !
Manch liebend Paar zu trennen und zu quälen
Ist Haß und Stolz verschworen und bereit.
Sie müßen schlau die Augenblicke stehlen,
Und wachsam lauschen in der Trunkenheit,
Und, wie auf wilder Well’ in Ungewittern,
Vor Todesangst und Götterwonne zittern.

Doch der Gefahr kann Zagheit nur erliegen,
Der Liebe Muth erschwillt, je mehr sie droht.
Sich innig fest an den Geliebten schmiegen,
Sonst kennt sie keine Zuflucht in der Noth.
Entschloßen sterben, oder glücklich siegen
Ist ihr das erste, heiligste Gebot.
Sie fühlt, vereint, noch frei sich in den Ketten,
Und schaudert nicht bei Todten sich zu betten.

Ach ! schlimmer droh’n ihr lächelnde Gefahren,
Wenn sie des Zufalls Tücken überwand.
Vergänglichkeit muß jede Blüth’ erfahren :
Hat aller Blüthen Blüthe mehr Bestand ?
Die wie durch Zauber fest geschlungen waren,
Löst Glück und Ruh und Zeit mit leiser Hand,
Und, jedem fremden Widerstand entronnen,
Ertränkt sich Lieb’ im Becher eigner Wonnen.

Viel seliger, wenn seine schönste Habe
Das Herz mit sich in’s Land der Schatten reißt,
Wenn dem Befreier Tod zur Opfergabe
Der süße Kelch, noch kaum gekostet, fleußt.
Ein Tempel wird aus der Geliebten Grabe,
Der schimmernd ihren heil’gen Bund umschleußt.
Sie sterben, doch im letzten Athemzuge
Entschwingt die Liebe sich zu höherm Fluge.

Dieß mildert dir die gern erregte Trauer,
Die Dichtung führt uns in uns selbst zurück.
Wir fühlen beid’ in freudig stillem Schauer,
ir sagen es mit schnell begriffnem Blick :
W Wie unsers Werths ist unsers Bundes Dauer,
Ein schön Geheimniß sichert unser Glück.
Was auch die ferne Zukunft mag verschleiern,
Wir werden stets der Liebe Jugend feiern.

[Dedication of the Tragedy Romeo and Juliet

Receive this poem, woven of love and travail,
And press it gently to your tender breast.
What moves your soul is feeling that we share,
What you withhold, I know it all the same.
Unhappy pair ! And yet one to be envied ;
They knew the heights of joy that life can give.
Then let us mingle sweet and bitter tears,
And with this dew refresh these true ones’ grave.

These mortals’ portion was a fleeting life :
Their lives, they vanished like a soulless dream !
They feel their way, even in their boldest strivings,
In darkness, and themselves they hardly know.
Fate may oppress them or it may inspire them :
Can longing without end be once contained ?
Love can alone give wing to earthly dust,
And she alone unseal the door to heaven.

Alas, for her, the monarch of the souls,
How often is she prone to envious fate !
To part and to torment so many pairs
Hate and pride conspire time and again.
They must use stealth to seize a moment’s bliss,
When drunk with love be watchful and alert,
And, like on storm-tossed waves mid peals of thunder,
Tremble in deathly fear and heavenly joy.

Danger, though, the weak will overcomes,
While love is bold and full, when dangers press.
To nestle close in the beloved’s arms
Is the sole refuge when all else oppresses.
To will to die, or rise victorious,
Is love’s command, its first and its most sacred,
It feels, when joint, still free in fetters’ bonds,
And knows no terrors bedded in the grave.

But smiling dangers threaten her with worse,
When she has conquered all the wiles of chance,
And every flower learns of transience :
Is there a hope then for the flower of flowers ?
They, as by magic caught in soft embrace,
By fortune, peace and time are drawn apart,
And, slipping free when others bear them down,
Love drowns in bliss inside its very chalice

But greater joys, when what one treasures most
The heart tears with it to the realm of shades,
And like a sacrifice to all-releasing death,
The cup of joy, scarce touched, is poured away.
The lovers’ grave becomes their only temple
And is the shining tomb to sacred vows.
They die, but in their very dying breath
Love takes them up into the higher spheres.

All this may help you to assuage your sorrow,
The poem brings us back into ourselves.
We feel it both, the thrill and joy of love,
We speak it, knowing what the other kens :
Together, bonded, is our lasting worth,
A secret known to us secures our bliss.
May distant future hide behind its veil,
We celebrate forever love’s fair youth.]

81Is it because of the distinctly Goethean echoes, associations with a poem written in that same stanzaic form but not yet published, Warum gabst du uns die tiefen Blicke [Why did you gaze on us so deeply], Goethe’s confession of love to Frau von Stein from the 1770s, or with one not yet written, Urworte. Orphisch [Deep Orphic Words]? If so, it shows both poets operating within similar conventions, while at the same time transcending them. We recognize Schlegel’s own emphases. He could not resist the chance of transfiguring the Shakespearean lovers’ untimely deaths, but there is also an underlying antithesis between the erotic language of longing and ecstasy (‘Ertränkt sich Lieb’ im Becher eigner Wonnen’ [‘Love drowned in the chalice of its own bliss’], and the lexis of fate, chance, and transience. Schlegel was in reality dedicating this poem to Caroline: the final stanza told of their love, their union, their mystery, their youthful passion that would never die. The threefold anaphoric ‘We’ in the final stanza brings them, as it says, from the realm of poetry into the reality of their present lives. Professor Schlegel in love? It seems so. But Caroline? Of that we can be less certain.

The Jena Group

  • 163 Cf. Friedhelm Neidhardt, ‘Das innere System sozialer Gruppen’, Kölner Zeitschrift für Soziologie un (...)
  • 164 Alfred Schlagdenhauffen, Frédéric Schlegel et son groupe. La doctrine de l’Athenaeum, 1798- 1800, P (...)

82Conventional sociological wisdom informs us that groups are both cohesive and fissiparous entities, held together by a consensus and a common identity, but they are also fluid and fragile, subject to inner tensions and threats to unity.163 Often cliquish, they rarely speak in unison. A joint bond of sympathy and purpose unites them, but strong personalities can unfold and dominate the common endeavour. Does this describe the association in Jena from 1798 to 1800? Can one even legitimately speak of a ‘Jena group’? Older scholarship had no hesitation in positing (a French example) ‘Frédéric Schlegel et son groupe’, even ‘la doctrine de l’Athenaeum’.164 Today, we might wish rather to content ourselves with words like ‘circle’ or ‘association’ and might be less eager to identify a unifying ‘doctrine’, for even words such as this have their own problems. Yet what was it that enabled people of the most disparate backgrounds to coalesce; what was the cement that bonded them socially and intellectually: one a ribbon-weaver’s son (Fichte), another the son of a poor Silesian preacher (Schleiermacher), yet another an impoverished Thuringian aristocrat (Novalis), two of them sons of a Hanoverian superintendent and poet (the Schlegel brothers), another the product of a Swabian vicarage (Schelling), yet another the scion of a Berlin rope-maker, now embourgeoisé (Tieck), not to speak of a Göttingen professor’s daughter (Caroline Schlegel) or the daughter of the celebrated Berlin Jewish philosopher, Moses Mendelssohn (Dorothea Veit)? What was there that transcended this disparity of background, religion—Dorothea in 1799 still had to pay a ‘toll for Jews’ if she crossed from Prussia to Saxony— education, dialect even (think of Dorothea’s written Berlinisms or the thick Swabian that Schelling must have spoken)?

  • 165 Caroline, I, 453f., 481, 518.
  • 166 KA, II, 182f.
  • 167 Athenaeum, I, i, 86.

83On the intellectual level, there seemed to be a common meeting of minds. Friedrich Schlegel and Novalis favoured words prefixed by ‘sym-‘, ‘Symphilosophieren’, ‘Symbiblismen’, ‘Sympoesie’, ‘Symphysik’, ‘Sympraxis’, even ‘symfaulenzen’ (‘sym’‑lazing),165 that connoted not only some kind of togetherness but also a universal range of mind and spirit, bespeaking ‘community’ in its widest sense. As Novalis’s Athenaeum fragment put it, an intellectual association of persons of spirit.166 Indeed Friedrich’s famous 116th Athenaeum Fragment that sought to define ‘romantic poetry’ did this inclusively, in terms of the most audacious combinations, mixes, syntheses, extensions and linkings.167

  • 168 Theodore Ziolkowsi, German Romanticism and Its Institutions (Princeton UP, 1990), 27-63.

84The biographical facts, with which we are alone concerned here, suggest a much looser and more extemporised association. It is not even possible to bring all these characters together in one place (unless we use the convenient—if endearing—chronological liberties and rearrangements that Penelope Fitzgerald employs for Novalis in her novel The Blue Flower). Fichte had already been dismissed from his university post in Jena before the association had even begun to form and had moved to Berlin; Schleiermacher never left his post as preacher at the Charité hospital there. Novalis was based at the mining academy in Freiberg in Saxony, then the salt inspectorate in Weissenfels, and was only an occasional visitor in Jena. Moreover he knew practical science where Friedrich Schlegel wrote gaseously of ‘Chemie’ and ‘Physik’.168 Friedrich Schlegel and Dorothea Veit were resident in Berlin until the autumn of 1799, Ludwig Tieck similarly. Only August Wilhelm and Caroline Schlegel and Schelling were actually domiciled in Jena for the whole period of 1798 to 1800.

  • 169 AWS’s contributions to the Athenaeum were as follows (original titles): ‘Die Sprachen. Ein Gespräch (...)
  • 170 KA, II, lii-lxiv.
  • 171 Cf. KA, XXIV, 355.

85These dates, 1798 to 1800, are decisive, for they saw the production and publication of the enterprise that served as a focus and a common purpose for this circle: the periodical Athenaeum. Eine Zeitschrift von August Wilhelm und Friedrich Schlegel.169 Some words of caution are needed. Fichte, Tieck and Schelling actually wrote nothing for it, Schleiermacher and Dorothea Veit relatively little, Caroline contributed only anonymously, leaving Novalis and above all the brothers Schlegel as authors, with a few associated friends joining in towards the end. The original contexts and contiguities were soon lost sight of. In the course of publication history the three original octavo volumes of the Athenaeum were recontextualised and their contents scattered. Enshrined in editions of Novalis, Friedrich and August Wilhelm Schlegel, as we have them now, it is often hard to envisage the mixture of plan and improvisation that is the essence of a literary periodical. For all that, the Athenaeum concentrated the energies of the brothers and their closest associates and gave them a method and a tone and a way of seeing that, almost by accident, became known as ‘Romantic’. That word, meaning—depending on its context—‘Romance’ in the linguistic sense, therefore modern, post-medieval, ‘romantick’, fantastic, pertaining to the ‘romance’ of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, then to the novel (‘Roman’), became in the usage of the group a universal term for everything progressive, modern, inclusive, universal, poetic.170 The Athenaeum was not a mere general hold-all for Romantic writing; it defined itself primarily as a focal point for critical and creative forces. Readers searching for instance for a corpus of original poetry (as opposed to translation), narrative fiction or systematic philosophy, would have to look elsewhere, for there were only occasional glimpses of these, a notable example being Novalis’s poetic Hymnen an die Nacht [Hymns to the Night]. Friedrich Schlegel, apart from the calamitous interlude in Jena in the summer of 1796 to July 1797 that forfeited Schiller’s goodwill, was with short interruptions based on Berlin until the autumn of 1799. It was in Berlin that he had the oversight of the Shakespeare translation and where he negotiated with Unger, its publisher. In fact, he had more dealings with Unger’s wife, Friederike Helene, who featured in his letters under various disrespectful appellations.171 His initial task in Berlin was to assist Johann Friedrich Reichardt with his periodical Lyceum, and it was in that short-lived journal (1797) that his essays on Lessing and on Georg Forster appeared, as well as his first collection of ‘fragments’, the aphorisms that were to characterise him and his circle. Reichardt himself was persona non grata in Berlin, but his house at Giebichenstein near Halle, romantically overlooking the river Saale, was, as already mentioned, a meeting-place at various times for most of the Romantics. He doubtless gave Schlegel recommendations to various societies in Berlin, and Schlegel, gregarious and sociable by nature, would have taken them up. These contacts in themselves showed that Berlin was quite a different place from Jena or even Weimar: with its 170,000 inhabitants it was a royal capital, an administrative and cultural centre, and as such it put provincial Thuringian ducal residences in the shade.

  • 172 Bruford, Culture and Society, 380-388.
  • 173 KA, XXIV, 22.

86Where Jena had tea-parties and Weimar even small literary and philosophical societies, these were inevitably limited to, respectively, the university professors and their wives, and the senior court officials or prominent residents.172 Berlin, as yet without a university, still offered a wider range of intellectual and cultural circles. Some, like those restricted to the aristocracy, admitted only their own kind. The ‘Mittwochsgesellschaft’ [Wednesday Club] only received high state administrators or leading intellectuals. Yet to this last-named Schlegel secured an entrée. It was no doubt there that he met the redoubtable and influential Friedrich Nicolai, publisher and sturdy defender of the Enlightenment, ever on the lookout for young talent. When in October 1797 Friedrich reported that the ‘Mitwochsgesellschaft’ was reading his brother’s Shakespeare, we notice the name of Friedrich Schleiermacher. Schleiermacher had come from being an impoverished military chaplain’s son, then associated with the Moravian Brethren, to the position of preacher at the Charité hospital in Berlin. Schleiermacher and Schlegel found an immediate bond of companionship—indeed for a while they lived together in Schleiermacher’s quarters at the Charité near the Oranienburg Gate—and shared with each other questions of ethics, friendship and love, in their widest philosophical and moral connotations. Whereas Friedrich saw in Schleiermacher all ‘Sinn und Tiefe’ [depth of mind],173 this closeness of association was not shared by August Wilhelm, either in Jena or later in Berlin. The most one can say is that he was loyal to his brother’s friends.

  • 174 Peter Seibert, Der literarische Salon. Literatur und Gesellschaft zwischen Aufklärung und Vormärz ( (...)

87Berlin had at that time around 3,600 Jews, still subject to social restrictions and discriminations, but already dominant in the mercantile and banking life of the city. ‘Pluralist’ Berlin might be as a city, but it was not until two salons, or societies, were created by Jewish hostesses, that aristocrats, intellectuals, artists, writers and cognoscenti were able to meet on a basis of equality.174 These were the salons of Henriette Herz and Rahel Levin (later Varnhagen). At their soirees, respectively in the Neue Friedrichsstrasse and the Jägerstrasse, one could rub shoulders with Prince Louis Ferdinand of Prussia or the Humboldt brothers or the Swedish envoy Karl Gustav von Brinkman and the intellectual haute volée of the city. It was here that Friedrich Schlegel first met the three Tiecks, Ludwig, Sophie and Friedrich, who were to play a prominent part in the affairs of the extended Schlegel family. Ludwig, who was to survive them all, was also the closest associate of both Schlegel brothers, but Sophie the writer and Friedrich the sculptor would intervene disproportionately in the artistic and emotional life of August Wilhelm.

  • 175 KA, XXIV, 42.
  • 176 Ibid., 41.

88The Berlin salons were places of liberality and social ease, where barriers of class counted as little, and wit and soul and an ability to converse were all that mattered. Yet the tone in Friedrich’s letters to his brother in Jena is that of the clique or the conventicle, the ‘ecclesia pressa’ (his own phrase),175 turned inwards, satisfied, sometimes insufferably so, with its own resources and its own cleverness. Nowhere is this more noticeable than in his attitude to Ludwig Tieck, outwardly friendly, but in private letters condescending to an extreme (‘only half a gentleman’, ‘does not know Henriette Herz’ etc.).176 This may surprise, given that Tieck had been early initiated into social decorum by Reichardt when Kapellmeister in Berlin, and after study in Halle and Göttingen was now a young man very much talked about in Berlin literary circles. Of course only initiates would know that he was the author of the 800-page roman noir William Lovell, the ironically titled Volksmährchen [Folk Tales] that included the witty and satirical comedy Der gestiefelte Kater [Puss in Boots], was the co-author of those extraordinary effusions on art, the Herzensergiessungen, and had translated The Tempest. For all of these works appeared anonymously. It may be that Friedrich was too preoccupied with his intellectual exchange with Schleiermacher, or Tieck with his close friend and co-writer of those outpourings, Wilhelm Heinrich Wackenroder, soon to die tragically young and to be the first in that Romantic necrology.

  • 177 SW, X, 363-371; XI, 16-22, 136-146.
  • 178 Ibid., 136.
  • 179 Ludwig Tieck und die Brüder Schlegel. Briefe. Auf der Grundlage der von Henry Lüdeke besorgten Edit (...)
  • 180 Ibid. 23.

89August Wilhelm meanwhile had reviewed the Herzensergiessungen, Tieck’s Bluebeard adaptation (Ritter Blaubart), the Kater, and The Tempest, all for the Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung, their first serious publicity.177 The Herzensergiessungen he had greeted with an enthusiasm tempered with some misgivings about its religious tone. On Tieck’s version of The Tempest he was more severe, for this was a prose version in the style of Eschenburg and a competitor with his own, one moreover that took liberties with the text. But the author of the comedies—he did not know that it was Tieck— was a ‘poet among poets’ (‘ein dichtender Dichter’)178 equipped with wit and verve and a nice disrespect. Writing in 1828, Schlegel would claim that he was the first to draw attention to Tieck and give him his due, and this was largely true. A lively correspondence ensued between Tieck and August Wilhelm Schlegel, from December 1797. Tieck, who knew his Shakespeare at least as well as the older man, asked deferential questions about points of text or matters of authorship; while Schlegel, punctiliously ‘inaugurating’ their exchange on 11 December 1797,179 encouraged Tieck in his planned translation of Don Quixote. Tieck would have agreed with his correspondent that the English had no real idea of Shakespeare, but he may have been less prepared when Schlegel dropped his guard and asked: ‘How ever did he chance among the frigid and stupid souls on that brutal island?’180

  • 181 KA, XXIV, 85f.
  • 182 Ibid., 86.

90Friedrich’s view of Tieck de haut en bas (no ‘character’, ‘no intelligence or inner worth’)181 may also have been conditioned by his elevation of another person in the scale of his esteem and affections. This was Dorothea Veit, née Mendelssohn. He had met her in the summer of 1797 in the salon of Henriette Herz. Chafing under a loveless marriage—she had been married off to the banker Simon Veit and had two sons (both in their turn to become leading Romantic painters)—she had been attracted to this witty and brilliant younger man, while he, crushed since his teens under the weight of books, suddenly felt the forces of a belated youth bursting forth. Writing in February 1798, not to his brother, but to his sympathetic sister-in-law Caroline, he set out Dorothea’s qualities: simplicity, a heart and mind open to love, music, wit and philosophy (he was later to add: religion).182 That was as yet seeing her very much in his own terms. While nobody would call Dorothea a beauty, her bright dark eyes compensated for conventional good looks, and her conversation and letters betrayed a sharp mind, and a skill with words. One would expect no less from Moses Mendelssohn’s daughter. As yet there was no question of separation or even divorce. Friedrich and Dorothea lived in open liaison (not yet under one roof: even Berlin’s tolerance had its limits). If there were not enough scandal adhering to a relationship with a married woman seven years older than himself, her being Jewish added an extra element of piquancy.

The Genesis of the Athenaeum

  • 183 Ibid., 29-35.
  • 184 Ibid., 55.
  • 185 General strategy, ibid., 48-54, 72-76 ; ‘Herkules’, ‘Freya’, 37 ; ‘Dioskuren’, ‘Parzen’, 43 ; ‘Schl (...)

91It was clear that Friedrich would not long be content with writing for Reichardt or correcting his brother’s Shakespeare proofs. He needed an outlet for his own writings, now that Die Horen—to which he had no access as it was—had finally collapsed. In a long letter of 31 October, 1797 to August Wilhelm, he set out his views on a remedy to the situation. It was, he averred, a ‘sin and shame’ that people like them were reduced to writing for the Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung.183 What was needed was a periodical produced by themselves. It should run to six parts annually, each of twelve sheets (and at three Louisd’ors a sheet). He had a publisher in mind, Friedrich Vieweg in Berlin. That was the practical part. As for the content, the tone was to be one of ‘sublime insolence’, ‘open war’, establishing them as ‘critical dictators’ and working the destruction of the Literatur-Zeitung. Who were to be the contributors? Themselves of course, perhaps Fichte or Novalis or Schleiermacher; they were to ask Tieck and hoped for Goethe.184 What was it to be called? ‘Herkules’ perhaps (clubbing its adversaries or cleansing the Augean stable), or ‘Freya’ (with her chariot), ‘Dioskuren’ (the twins, now stars in the firmament) or ‘Parzen’ (the Fates dealing out life and death). ‘Schlegeleum’ was briefly considered,185 then finally rejected in favour of the eventual title ‘Athenaeum’, the ever-prudent August Wilhelm’s suggestion.

Fig. 7 Athenaeum. Eine Zeitschrift von August Wilhelm und Friedrich Schlegel (Berlin, 1798-1800). Title page of vol. 2.

Fig. 7 Athenaeum. Eine Zeitschrift von August Wilhelm und Friedrich Schlegel (Berlin, 1798-1800). Title page of vol. 2.

Image in the public domain.

  • 186 Ibid., 102-106.
  • 187 Ibid., 110.
  • 188 Athenaeum, I, [i and ii].

92By December of 1797, Friedrich was giving thought to the journal’s organisation. It was to represent the closest association, the union of two minds. There was to be an absolute consensus between them on matters of content (perhaps with Caroline mediating in cases of disagreement). No form or subject was in principle to be excluded, but the pieces accepted should be units in themselves, not extracts from some larger or more extensive ‘work in progress’. That would explain why even the groups of fragments that are a distinguishing feature of the Athenaeum, form entities in themselves, in the same way that the disparate items of criticism are marshalled into a coherent corpus. Above all—and this is crucial for our understanding of this extraordinary journal—it meant that August Wilhelm, whose style and approach tended rather towards the systematic and the critical, effectively placed his seal of approval on the more open, radical, experimental, ‘revolutionary’ contributions of his brother and his associates,186 and was prepared, even where it was not his personal preference, to sanction any combination of ideas, any synthesis, any extension of the intellect. It did not mean that the brothers put their all into this enterprise. There was clearly enough copy available for the 1798 number without the need for them to extend themselves.187 Soon it had to jostle in competition with Friedrich’s novel Lucinde (1799) or with August Wilhelm’s continued reviewing for the Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung (until late 1799), his Shakespeare translation, and his courses of lectures at the university in Jena. Whatever its claims, and the ‘Vorerinnerung’ [Preliminary Note] to the reader suggested that these were of the widest degree,188 it could only represent one side of a movement, many of whose representatives—Fichte, Schelling, Wackenroder, Tieck—never found their way into its pages and whose important works ran parallel with it. This might suggest a publication that took notice only of its own kind. There would however be plenty of references to contemporary literature, those ‘Notizen’, most of them disrespectful, it is true: Schiller was punished with total silence, Wieland was threatened with a ‘massacre’ (which in the event never happened), Voss was ridiculed, while Goethe was to be elevated at every possible opportunity.

  • 189 Ibid., I, i, 144-145.

93The proofs of the first part of the 1798 number were ready by the end of March of that year, containing August Wilhelm’s Die Sprachen [Languages], a critique of Klopstock’s theories on language, Novalis’s collection of aphorisms entitled Blütenstaub [Pollen], Friedrich and August Wilhelm’s translations of Greek elegies, and August Wilhelm’s conspectus of the latest literature, with its significant review of Tieck. There, August Wilhelm had stressed how different their own enterprise was from the run-of the- mill ‘critical institutes’ (Nicolai’s Allgemeine Deutsche Bibliothek or, by implication, the Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung), with their levelling ‘tone’.189 The ‘Vorerinnerung’ would in any case have made this clear.

  • 190 Thomas De Quincey, The Collected Writings, ed. David Masson, 14 vols (London: A. & C. Black, 1889-9 (...)
  • 191 KA, II, 198; Athenaeum, I, ii, 232.

94Ifonewere to apply to the Athenaeum the distinction later made by Thomas De Quincey between the ‘literature of knowledge’ (mere information) and ‘the literature of power’ (universal and timeless insights),190 one would find both, comments on an ephemeral contemporary literary scene, and—more prominently and memorably—wide-ranging statements about poetry, about art, about their relationship to philosophy. There would be much however that reminded one of Die Horen, of so recent expiry, the confident statements of intent, the bold opening forays—and the gradual loss of élan. In style, it used programmatically the same letters and conversations that characterised Schiller’s publication. It did not share his stated aim of breaking down the barriers between learned and literary discourse. Instead, readers must be ‘à la hauteur’ (one of Friedrich’s expressions) and expect ‘rhapsodic reflexions and aphoristic fragments’, the general and the particular, theory and history, national German aspirations and those of other nations, the present and the past, not least classical antiquity. The focus was to be on art and philosophy, not, by implication, on political affairs, history, or religion, although these might feature under different guises. There was no interdict on contemporary events such as Schiller had imposed, although the journal was in no direct sense political, either. Thus the famous aphorism 216 in the first part for 1798, ‘The French Revolution, Fichte’s Doctrine of Knowledge, and Goethe’s Wilhelm Meister are the major tendencies of our age’,191 that upset Friedrich Nicolai and so many others, challenged the reader to consider the meaning of the word ‘tendency’ itself, rather than merely summon up the recent cataclysm. The mention of the Revolution, here and in other fragments, even once or twice the naming of Robespierre or Bonaparte, was part of the desire to affront, to cock a snook, épater le bourgeois. There is much in the Athenaeum that is impudent, much that contemporaries did not like and said so, but nothing that is directly seditious.

  • 192 Stefan Matuschek, ‘Epochenschwelle und prozessuale Verknüpfung. Zur Position der Allgemeinen Litera (...)

95Above all, August Wilhelm’s prefatory statement made it clear that this was a journal BY August Wilhelm and Friedrich Schlegel, not merely edited by them. Thus it differed from Schiller’s Horen. It was also different from another periodical with the same dates and duration as Athenaeum, Propyläen, that came out in 1798-1800 under Goethe’s editorship. Unlike Goethe’s and Schiller’s journals, and notably unlike the Allgemeine Literatur- Zeitung, there was to be no anonymity; one was to know the identity of the contributors immediately from the contents page. The author no longer spoke for a collective, such as Schiller’s ‘Societät’ or Goethe’s ‘friends united’, but in his own name.192

  • 193 KA, XXIV, 141f.
  • 194 Schiller to Goethe 23 July, 1798; Gräf-Leitzmann, II, 120.
  • 195 Caroline, I, 455-462.

96At first there was general satisfaction with the Athenaeum on the brothers’ part. A copy of the first issue went of course to Goethe, then to Fichte, Schütz, Hufeland. The whole Jena establishment, Schiller even, received theirs.193 Whereas Schiller claimed to feel almost physically ill at the ‘over- clever, discriminatory, cutting and one-sided manner of the fragments’,194 Goethe had every reason to be pleased with it, as with subsequent parts.195 It was not merely that the Athenaeum, in its three yearly issues, plied him with gross flattery, Friedrich Schlegel reviewing Wilhelm Meister, August Wilhelm elevating him in verse to the successor of the ancient elegists (Die Kunst der Griechen [The Art of the Greeks]) and Friedrich offering a conspectus of Goethe’s poetic development; there was more to it than plurality of mention. By placing emphasis on the autonomy of art, on an ironic, worldly-wise ‘hovering’ above events, on the renewal in modern guise of ancient form, on Goethe’s protean recreations of his own self, the brothers, separately and jointly, were presenting Goethe as a universal manifestation. This was set out in 1798 in Friedrich’s Fragment 247:

  • 196 KA, II, 206; Athenaeum, I, ii, 244.

Dante’s prophetic poem is the sole system of transcendental poetry, still the highest of its kind. Shakespeare’s universality is the focal point of romantic art. Goethe’s purely poetic poetry is the utterest poetry of poetry. This is the great triad of modern poetry, the inmost and most sacred circle of the classics of modern poesy.196

  • 197 Lohner, 25.
  • 198 Sengle, Das Genie und sein Fürst, 147 ; Kurt Krolop, ‘Geteiltes Publikum, geteilte Publizität : “Wi (...)

97Here, Goethe was being elevated to one of those ‘archpoets’ (Tieck’s word)197 of the Romantic canon. He was not entirely averse to this odorous incense offering, displeased as he was at the otherwise unenthusiastic reception of Wilhelm Meister (which the Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung had taken no notice of). While the Schlegels furthered their ambitions of being Germany’s ‘kritische Dictatoren’, he believed that his Propyläen would dominate discourse in the arts.198

  • 199 KA, XXIV, 154; HKA, IV, 497.
  • 200 KA, XXIII, 159.
  • 201 Ibid., 186f., 193.

98None of them took to heart the recent warning example of Die Horen and its demise. For Friedrich was fast learning that running an avant- garde periodical involved not only the high ground of an elite and its intellectual risk-taking. One had to contend with more mundane matters, the tergiversations of a publisher, a diminishing stock of copy, and the hostility of the general public. The new king of Prussia, Frederick William III, nonplussed at the political manifesto, Glaube und Liebe [Faith and Love], that Novalis had dedicated to him, claimed that one of the Schlegels must have been the author, for ‘what a Schlegel writes is incomprehensible’.199 Friedrich complained of a ‘Berlin clique’ and the threat of stricter censorship there.200 The publisher Vieweg was causing trouble, having printed too many copies, not having enough of the right paper, and being under suspicion of sharp practice.201 By November, Friedrich was putting to August Wilhelm the possibility of changing publishers. The choice fell on Heinrich Frölich, also in Berlin.

  • 202 Ibid., 133.
  • 203 HKA, IV, 514.
  • 204 Propyläen. Eine periodische Schrift herausgegeben von Goethe, 3 vols (Tübingen : Cotta, 1798-1800), (...)

99Yet, with the appearance of Volume One of the Athenaeum, the brothers had every reason to be satisfied with the first products of their ‘Fraternität’.202 It could nevertheless be said of it that it was heavily— unrelievedly—literary, critical, philosophical, and its prefatory statement had promised nothing different. Volume Two, once the practical matters were sorted out, was to be more varied, with more poetry and a large section of art criticism. This criticism, the larger portion of which, Die Gemälde [The Paintings], was written by August Wilhelm and Caroline (if published under his name only), was ready by November 1798 but had to wait until quite late in 1799 to make its appearance.203 This had certain unexpected advantages: inside the Romantic camp, there was now Tieck’s novel Franz Sternbalds Wanderungen [Franz Sternbald’s Journeyings] that Unger in Berlin had brought out in the autumn of 1798. Written by the co-author of the Herzensergiessungen and of its sequel Phantasien über die Kunst, it concentrated on the development of a young painter living in the age of Raphael and Dürer, and stressed atmosphere, inner visions, the right religious frame of mind, rather than technicalities or historical frameworks. There was also Goethe’s periodical, Propyläen, appearing concurrently with the Athenaeum. Its message, set out stringently in the introduction (and in larger print, for emphasis) was mastery of the aesthetic and artistic basics, entering the temple forecourt (propylea), before proceeding to the inner sanctum of art, which could only be achieved by a proper study of ancients and moderns alike.204 The art criticism of the Athenaeum would stand somewhere between these two positions, the one consciously religious and Catholicizing, the other neo-classical and pagan. This would, as said, not become evident until late in 1799.

The Group Meets in Dresden

  • 205 Günter Jäckel (ed.), Dresden zur Goethezeit 1760-1815 (Hanau: Dausien, 1988), 234; KA, XXIV, 312; K (...)
  • 206 Ibid.
  • 207 Caroline, I, 723.

100There was meanwhile a general wish to look at works of painting and sculpture in situ. This led to the first Romantic gathering, not in Jena, but in Dresden, and it was to involve Caroline, August Wilhelm and Friedrich Schlegel, Johann Diederich Gries, Novalis, and Schelling. That the choice fell on Dresden comes as no surprise, for this ‘Florence on the Elbe’ held one of the finest art collections north of the Alps. It was also where the Schlegels’ sister lived, the hospitable and long-suffering Charlotte Ernst, with her husband, the court official, and their small daughter Auguste. Moving as they did between the main residence in Dresden and the summer palace at Pillnitz, a few miles upstream, the Ernsts somehow provided a base for their extended family.205 They knew the Dresden painters and academy professors;206 the inspector of the antique collection was the same Wilhelm Gottlieb Becker who in a different guise had published so much of August Wilhelm’s works. They knew the same aristocratic circle of friends that Novalis frequented. It was in such company that Caroline met Germany’s most popular novelist, Jean Paul Richter, and made polite conversation over dinner (his popularity did not extend to the Athenaeum). The group around Schiller’s friends, the Körners, kept their distance.207

  • 208 F. W. J. Schelling, Briefe und Dokumente, ed. Horst Fuhrmans, 3 vols (Bonn: Bouvier, 1962-75), I, 1 (...)

101First, however, August Wilhelm left in May for Berlin to spend five weeks in the Prussian capital. Passing through Leipzig, he met the young Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling who was successfully negotiating for a post as professor extrordinarius of philosophy at Jena.208 Schelling would discover that Schlegel, too, had been appointed to a similar position in literature and aesthetics and that from the winter semester of 1798‑99 they would be colleagues—and, as it turned out, much else besides.

  • 209 Lohner, 227.
  • 210 Krisenjahre, I, 6; III, 12, 211.
  • 211 SW, I, 160-162.
  • 212 Krisenjahre, III, 12.
  • 213 Caroline, I, 450, 452.
  • 214 15 October, 1799. See Ella Horn, ‘Zur Geschichte der ersten Aufführung von Schlegel’s Hamlet-Überse (...)
  • 215 KA, XXIV, 143-144.
  • 216 Caroline, I, 452.

102Schlegel was introduced to Dorothea Veit, meeting his brother’s friends Schleiermacher and especially Ludwig Tieck, now the author of Sternbald, with whom he had been corresponding for six months. As an experienced critic, he encouraged him to send a copy of the novel to Goethe.209 Cutting a figure in the salons,210 August Wilhelm allowed himself to be feted as the translator of Shakespeare and the co-editor of the Athenaeum. Sensing the historic moment of Frederick William III’s and Queen Louise’s accession to the throne, he produced the first of his several poems in homage to the Prussian royal house.211 It was also a necessary corrective to the reputation the Schlegels enjoyed. His main business in Berlin was, however, to negotiate with his fellow-Hanoverian and now famous actor-producer August Wilhelm Iffland. He had renewed his acquaintance with Iffland at a guest performance earlier that year in Weimar.212 Now, he sought to interest him in a stage performance of Hamlet, reading him his translation.213 It was another year, October 1799, before this came about and then without any success.214 Meanwhile, he had to make do with the present reality of the Berlin theatre, Gotter’s adaptation of The Tempest, with music by Reichardt.215 He paid court to and flirted with Friederike Unzelmann, the premier actress in Berlin: Caroline accepted these tendernesses for the ‘Diabolino’ (her soubriquet for Unzelmann)216 as part of the realistic view of their partnership.

  • 217 Fuhrmans, I, 155, 157.
  • 218 HKA, IV, 496.
  • 219 KA, XXIV, 161.
  • 220 HKA, II, 648-651.
  • 221 Fuhrmans, I, 155.
  • 222 KA, XXIV, 145.

103It was not until July that August Wilhelm arrived in Dresden for the gallery visit, bringing with him his brother Friedrich, without Dorothea. The moment for introductions was not yet opportune, and there was the ‘Jews’ tax’ to consider. At the beginning of August, Schelling announced his intention of coming,217 whereupon Friedrich wrote to Novalis, a day’s journey away at the mining academy in Freiberg.218 Caroline and Auguste had been accompanied to Dresden by Johann Diederich Gries, then a student at Jena but soon to be the standard translator of Ariosto, Tasso and Calderón. On 25 and 26 August, for just two days, the circle was united in Dresden. We only have Gries’s account of the hoped-for ‘philosophisches Convent’,219 but Novalis jotted down aphorisms on art that went beyond personal details.220 Friedrich and Novalis did not become converts overnight to Schelling’s notion of the ‘Weltseele’;221 while August Wilhelm and Caroline were more interested in art, indeed that was the primary reason for their coming.222

104Their visits to the Dresden gallery and their social life in general in the city differed somewhat from the later stylised art conversations in

  • 223 Dichtung und Wahrheit, Part 2, book 8. Goethe, Gedenkausgabe, X, 352f., 355.
  • 224 Carl Justi, Winckelmann und seine Zeitgenossen, 3rd edn, 3 vols (Leipzig : Vogel, 1923), I, 296.
  • 225 Goethe, Gedenkausgabe, XIII, 91-108.
  • 226 Jäckel, 191.

105Die Gemälde. There, as in so many reactions to the Dresden collections, the beholders saw only what seemed essential, what struck the senses, what seized and overpowered the beholder with awe and reverence and the frisson of religious devotion. Others’ reactions were no different, not least Goethe’s. Thirty years earlier, the Dresden gallery had been for him a ‘temple, a ‘house of God’. Such paintings as he had had ‘eyes to see’ had not been Italian,223 and although a young devotee of Winckelmann, he had not walked the mile or so to see the antique sculptures (until 1785 outhoused).224 Writing of this in 1813 in his autobiography, he was passing on the insight that young temple worshippers see only what they wish to see, and these remarks would be directed at the devotees of Romantic art appreciation. Still, it was clear that Goethe, in 1798 so wryly dismissive of youthful ardour and recommending those ‘forecourts’ (Propyläen), had himself not always been subject to the dictates of balanced maturity. Thus in 1793 Wackenroder and Tieck had in Dresden seen the Sistine Madonna: little else mattered. Again Goethe in 1794 made a long list of the Dresden paintings and included almost none that the Schlegel group was impressed by.225 Wilhelm von Humboldt in 1797 was struck by the contrast that the gallery afforded between ancient and modern, ‘ideal and individual’.226 Schiller, slightly later, felt more at home in the world of ancient sculpture than among the paintings.

  • 227 Ibid., 192f.; Lothar Müller in AWS, Die Gemählde. Gespräch, ed. Lothar Müller, Fundus- Bücher, 143 (...)
  • 228 Angelo Walter, ‘Die Hängung der Dresdner Gemäldegalerie zwischen 1765 und 1832’, Dresdner Kunstblät (...)

106The aesthetic arguments of the century—sculpture versus painting, repose versus movement, plasticity versus colour—were rehearsed, as it were, in front of the Dresden collections. The lighting could contribute. Inspecting the statuary by torchlight, as the Romantics and also Schiller did, softenedcontours and accentuated forms.227 One could overlook the physical surroundings, the so-called ‘stablings’ (‘Stallgebäude’, today’s Johanneum), where the paintings were hung according to a rough approximation of historical schools and where the jewel, the Sistine Madonna herself, was grouped among works from different Italian periods.228 If one was, like Schlegel, a pupil of Fiorillo in Göttingen, and had studied Caylus and Winckelmann (while not always acknowledging their authority), one knew what belonged where.

  • 229 Ibid., I, 359.
  • 230 Ibid., 323f.

107Did it really matter? The collection assembled by the Electors of Saxony, mainly up to 1763, was an eighteenth-century creation and as such suitably eclectic. It had benefited from the connoisseurship of Francesco Algarotti, known to so many courts in Europe; it was strong on colour, with not just Raphael’s masterpiece, but also Correggio, Veronese, Guido Reni, Palma, Maratta. There was much that the late eighteenth century had as yet no eye for—the Cranachs, the Dürers—or the Mannerists, or Velásquez or the French pastellists. There was little sense that the gallery formed part of a baroque residence, as captured by Bellotto’s famous panorama of 1748, where the court was Catholic, the citizenry Protestant, or that its most famous Catholic convert, Winckelmann, had written his epoch-making Gedanken, his thoughts on the works of the ancients, in this very city.229 Winckelmann had of course not converted out of spiritual considerations: his dogma was aesthetic, his longing for Rome pagan.230 Nevertheless, the visit of the Schlegel brothers did coincide with their renewed interest in religion. Die Gemälde is the most Catholicisizing (as opposed to religious) text in the Athenaeum. It coincided with August Wilhelm’s remarkable poem on the Union of the Church with the Arts, that came out in 1800. Yet it would be Friedrich, motivated by urges quite different from Winckelmann’s, who found his way to Rome, not August Wilhelm. The other convert from the Schlegel family was to be the daughter of the staunchly Protestant Ernsts in Dresden, Auguste von Buttlar. It was in Dresden that Friedrich died in 1829, in the arms of his niece, and it is here that he is buried.

Professor in Jena

  • 231 Caroline, I, 473f. ; HKA, IV, 505.
  • 232 Caroline, I, 459 ; Fuhrmans, I, 154f.

108The efficient team of August Wilhelm and Caroline had Die Gemälde ready by November of 1798.231 The Dresden circle had dispersed, Friedrich back to Berlin, Novalis to Freiberg, Gries to Göttingen. In Jena, there were August Wilhelm and Caroline—and Schelling. In a letter to Novalis, of some considerable frankness, Caroline dropped her guard and took stock of the situation. The Athenaeum had in her view come to a standstill. It had in any case been a mistake for the brothers to have got involved with a journal, and August Wilhelm should not have become a professor. Lecturing consumed his energies, so that there was little time for the journal, indeed, she would have been content to offer Die Gemälde to Goethe’s Propyläen (Goethe was, as always, at the centre of her admiration). There was also the ‘cussed’ [trotzig] Schelling. This young academic, whom Caroline a month earlier had characterised as an ‘Urnatur’ [a piece of primal nature], a ‘chip of granite’, was now their midday guest and needed, as she put it, ‘taking in hand’.232

  • 233 KA, XXIV, 199.
  • 234 See above.
  • 235 Historische literarische und unterhaltende Schriften von Horatio Walpole, übersetzt von A. W. Schle (...)

109Caroline had never been keen on what Friedrich called his brother’s ‘professorale Energie und Expansivität’,233 and it is hard not to share her point of view. The Athenaeum became more and more Friedrich’s concern, until he too found other and more pressing outlets for his restless energy, notably the novel Lucinde. Ultimately, all this was to cost August Wilhelm his health and his marriage. For even a free and tolerant association like theirs could not survive such multitudinousness, where one partner was translating Shakespeare, writing lectures, reviewing, editing his poems, never able to resist additional tasks on the side (such as helping Fiorillo with his proofs,234 or, most unnecessary of all, translating a selection of Horace Walpole’s writings).235 Where Caroline was increasingly being taken for granted as an amanuesis or even a ghost-writer (she wrote most of Die Gemälde), was it surprising that she sought ways of bringing about a chemical change in that ‘chip of granite’?

  • 236 Athenaeum, I, ii, 234.
  • 237 Ziolkowski, German Romanticism, 254.

110The Athenaeum, despite its declared universal scope, could never possibly provide more than ‘échappées de vue’, in one of Friedrich’s more famous formulations.236 It could never satisfy the urge to systematise knowledge, to expand encyclopaedically, to bring scholarly and scientific discourse alive, to broaden the limits of the academy. In August Wilhelm’s case, he could not easily shake off his Göttingen experience. There was something of Heyne, of Fiorillo, above all of Bürger, in his nature. It was Bürger, after all, who had provided the model of a professional writer with one foot in the university, Schiller likewise. Readers of the letters on language in Die Horen or of the Dante sections there, readers of Schlegel’s reviews, too, could sense that there was a corpus of knowledge kept in check only by the dictates of the journal medium, while much of Die Gemälde would need only to be systematised to take on the lineaments of a lecture. This expansiveness of communication, that reached its height in Berlin in 1801‑ 04 or in Vienna in 1808 and that went far beyond a student audience, sat perhaps uneasily with the polished and elegantly crafted essay—the Horen articles or the Bürger review of 1801—and it might be said that Schlegel only reconciled these two approaches later in his great reviews for the Heidelberger Jahrbücher. For all that, university lecturing was not merely a matter of holding forth. It involved a rapport with one’s hearers, something that Fichte and Schelling in Jena excelled at, using transcriptions of their lecture notes as a means of disseminating their ideas.237 They were of course not poets, or if so, only rarely. One did not go to their lectures, as one might to Schlegel’s, to hear a professional translator or the co-editor of an avant- garde journal discoursing on the history of German poetry or on aesthetics.

  • 238 Goethes Briefwechsel mit Christian Gottlob Voigt, 4 vols, Schriften der Goethe-Gesellschaft, 53-56 (...)
  • 239 Ibid, II, 80. Jena, Universitätsarchiv, A 621 ; Coburg, Staatsarchiv, Min K Nr. 35 and LA E Nr. 205 (...)
  • 240 Jena, Universitätsarchiv, A 621, M 208, 5-7, 18; also SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd. e. 90, VI (11).
  • 241 Jena, Universitätsarchiv A 621, M 208, 18; hand-written list of proposed lectures ibid., M 210, 75.
  • 242 Ibid., M 209, 23; SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd. e. 90, VI (12).

111It seems that Schlegel’s negotiations with the university began already in 1797, ultimately through the minister Voigt and always in consultation with Goethe.238 One learns here something of the creaking mechanisms of the eighteenth-century university. During the spring and summer of 1798 a series of florid communications went to and fro between the rector’s and dean’s offices and those Serenissimi nutritores in the Thuringian courts.239 Schlegel was well enough known in Saxe-Weimar, but perhaps not in Saxe- Meiningen, where he had to present his scholarly credentials. A warm testimonial on his behalf by Schütz stressed his mastery of German style as a poet and translator, his solidity as a classical scholar (De geographia Homerica), his ‘Genialität’ [touch of genius] and ‘Fleiß’ [studiousness].240 Although the subjects he hoped to profess in Jena were not new to the institution (German poetry, and aesthetics), he would stand in nicely for ‘Hofrat Schiller’ whose health no longer permitted him to lecture.241 There is an irony in that Schlegel was to quarrel spectacularly with Schütz in 1799, and that the imperial diploma (‘Auctoritate Sacrae Caesareae Maiestatis’) granting him the style of doctor of philosophy and professor extraordinarius was in the name of the pro-rector Eberhard Gottlob Paulus,242 later his father‑in‑law in his calamitous second marriage.

  • 243 Briefe, II, 31 ; I, 78-81 : Jena, Universitätsarchiv M 210, 75 ; Ute Fritsch, ‘Wohnorte der Dichter (...)
  • 244 Horst Neuper et al. (ed.), Das Vorlesungsangebot an der Universität Jena von 1749 bis 1854 (Weimar: (...)
  • 245 Ernst Behler, ‘August Wilhelm Schlegels Vorlesungen über philosophische Kunstlehre Jena 1798, 1799’ (...)
  • 246 Ibid., 219.
  • 247 Hölderlin, GStA, VII, i, 142.
  • 248 Stoll, I, 118f.
  • 249 Rudolf Haym, Die romantische Schule. Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte des deutschen Geistes (Berlin : Gae (...)
  • 250 These were published as: Aug. Wilhelm Schlegels Vorlesungen über Philosophische Kunstlehre [...], e (...)
  • 251 Heinrich Schmidt, Erinnerungen eines Weimarer Veteranen aus dem geselligen, literarischen und Theat (...)

112As was quite common at the time, Schlegel held his lectures in a colleague’s house, that of the jurist Gottlieb Hufeland (with whom he also fell out) in the ‘Döderlein house in the Leutragasse’, the same building in fact in which he and Caroline lived.243 Between the winter semester of 1798‑ 99 and the summer of 1801 he gave courses of lectures on the history of German poetry, German style, the history of Greek and Roman literature, Horace’s Epistles and satires, and on aesthetics, overlapping with other professors such as Schütz and Eichstädt and standing in as it were for the absent Schiller. When lecturing on aesthetics, he appeared on the lecture lists under philosophy with Fichte and Schelling.244 Yet Schlegel, unlike them, never seems to have had more than twelve listeners,245 and the effort he put into his lectures—they were said to be in publishable form—was out of all proportion to their intellectual or even financial benefits.246 Friedrich Hölderlin’s friend Friedrich Muhrbeck, writing in September, 1799, found Schlegel’s content ‘half intellect, half spirit, without emphasis and without feeling and life’.247 But two, possibly three, of his auditors later went on to greater things, the distinguished jurist Carl Friedrich von Savigny,248 Friedrich Ast, the Platonist and aesthetician,249 and most likely also August Klingemann, now agreed to be the anonymous author of the black and nihilistic Nachtwachen des Bonaventura [Bonaventura’s Night Watches]. Ast handed his notes over to Karl Christian Friedrich Krause, later a philosopher influential in the Hispanic world, and these are the only full transcripts to survive.250 Yet another, Heinrich Schmidt, left a disrespectful account of Schlegel proudly listing his poetic ancestors.251 Ast’s transcription of Schlegel’s lectures may not be verbatim, for comparing it with a short sample from Savigny we find agreement in subject-matter if not in formulation. Given Schlegel’s unwillingness to discard the merest scrap of paper, it is possible that he used the material of his Jena lectures on German poetry and Greek and Roman literature for similar lectures in Bonn after 1819, but of that we cannot be certain. The other lectures we must assume to be lost.

113It was Savigny, too, who noted Schlegel’s physical appearance. The ‘handsome young man’ was no more: one saw instead marked on his face ‘over‑exertion’ and its ‘destructive force’. Thus it comes as no surprise that once Die Gemälde and the closely related essay on Flaxman had been delivered to Friedrich, August Wilhelm’s contributions to the Athenaeum became more sparse and that the original resolve of fraternal collaboration had to undergo some accommodation. It is even fair to say that these two pieces of art criticism are what put his personal stamp on the periodical. It was small wonder, too, that Caroline complained to Novalis that she had hardly been out of her husband’s study since the beginning of the year, translating ‘the second play of Shakespeare’ (there were four, The Merchant of Venice, As You Like It, King John and King Richard II, that came out in 1799, not counting the reviews for the Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung).

The Fichte Affair

  • 252 Set out by Waldtraut Beyer, ‘Der Atheismusstreit um Fichte’, in: Dahnke and Leistner, II, 154-245; (...)
  • 253 As on another diploma granting AWS his honorary doctorate of philosophy, ‘Auctoritate Sacrae Caesar (...)

114A further distraction from the ‘main task’ came with the Fichte affair in 1799,252 the so-called ‘atheism controversy’ that demonstrated how much the University of Jena, despite the distinction of its professors—Schiller, Paulus, Hufeland, Schelling, above all Fichte himself—was an eighteenth-century institution and subject to the political will of its ruler, Duke Carl August of Saxe-Weimar. Of course this was not essentially to change under the so-called ‘reformed’ university of the nineteenth century, as Schlegel’s own agitated correspondence with the Prussian minister Altenstein over the Carlsbad Decrees attests, and as the ‘Göttingen Seven’ were to learn from hard experience. Officially, Carl August was subject to the authority of the Holy Roman Emperor (the last of his kind), whose name appeared at the top of the university’s decrees and diplomas,253 The ‘affair’ was, however, more about the issue of censorship and the right to publish, ultimately the question of academic freedom. Whereas academic freedom was something that the nineteenth-century universities had to fight hard to achieve, Fichte in the eighteenth believed it was already his by right. None of these was an issue to which the Schlegel brothers, one already a professor and the other aspiring to be one, could be indifferent.

  • 254 KA, XXIV, 271.

115It needs also to be said that Fichte had not always displayed prudence as a professor in Jena. The Weimar publisher Bertuch remarked in 1799 that those professing wisdom (‘Weltweise’, philosophers) were seldom worldly‑wise.254 It was all very well for Fichte to play the public intellectual and appeal to an audience of reasonable, enlightened and tolerant men and women beyond the university confines. Carl August had never been happy with his appointment, and Fichte’s debut in Jena, lecturing on a Sunday— and on the subject of the French Revolution—had required all of Goethe’s diplomatic skills to placate his blunt and forthright sovereign and master. This was only the beginning.

116The background, briefly, is this. Fichte had seized the opportunity of becoming co-editor of the Philosophisches Journal in 1797. In 1798 his former colleague Friedrich Karl Forberg sent him a contribution that seemed to postulate a moral and religious existence without the necessity of a belief in God. Alarmed at what seemed to be the reduction of faith to a mere incidental, but reluctant to stifle philosophical debate, Fichte decided to append an essay of his own, setting out the notion of a world order dependent on the idea of God.

  • 255 Briefe, I, 79.
  • 256 J. G. Fichte-Gesamtausgabe der Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, ed. Reinhard Lauth et al., (...)
  • 257 Ibid., 183f.

117The ideas set out here and their dependence (or not) on Kant are not the issue. No sooner had the journal appeared, than the Lutheran consistory in Dresden apprised the Elector of Saxony of the ‘irreligious’ nature of Forberg’s article and recommended not only the confiscation of the journal but the censure of those at the university in Jena responsible for teaching philosophy. Otherwise, Saxon students would be forbidden attendance at Jena. This was the main Saxon ducal house dictating to its Ernestine laterals in Thuringia. Like Tsar Paul’s similar decree recalling Russian students home from Germany’s ‘nest of sedition’,255 this was a provocative and even extortionate step, directed against a fellow ruler but also the material existence of the Jena academy. On hearing the words ‘Fichtean atheism’ being used, Fichte set out to justify and defend himself. In considerable haste, he penned a brochure, extending to 114 pages of print, his Appellation an das Publikum that came out in January 1799, in 2,500 copies and with a double impress, Jena and Leipzig. It appeared also in Tübingen, Fichte having brought the mighty South German publisher Cotta on to his side and thereby securing the widest possible dissemination in the German- speaking lands.256 To make his point, Fichte ensured that copies were sent to Germany’s rulers and to leading intellectuals, Goethe and Schiller among them. August Wilhelm and Caroline each received one, accompanied by a printed but hand-signed letter appealing to the ‘thinking public’ and alluding to the gravity of the issue.257

  • 258 Cf. Schiller to Goethe 14 June, 1799; Gräf-Leitzmann, II, 223.

118There is no record of any immediate action by Schlegel, but those more wary of the ways of courts, like Schiller,258 may have sensed that Fichte’s rhetoric had got somewhat out of hand. As it was, only Hanover followed the example of the Saxon and Thuringian courts. The ban on Hanoverian students studying in Jena, and the possible silencing of its star professor, would still have serious consequences for the university, the town, and the state at large. Above all, Fichte chose badly his time to appeal over the heads of rulers to some notional ‘Volk’, some popular mandate. In 1808, with his famous Speeches to the German Nation, events would be on his side, but not now.

  • 259 KA, XXIV, 278.
  • 260 Caroline, I, 535-538.
  • 261 KA, XVIII, 522-525.
  • 262 Caroline, I, 738.

119It was his political naivete that was to cost him his post in Jena. He wrote to the minister Voigt stating that he would rather seek dismissal than accept censure. Carl August, a dislike of intellectual demagoguery deep in his heart, found this a convenient means of being rid of a turbulent professor. And so, on 1 April 1799, having had 400 students in the previous semester, Fichte found himself dismissed, shunned and humiliated.259 Caroline divined correctly the duke’s hand in the affair and Voigt’s duplicity (he need not have treated Fichte’s letter as an official document), while Friedrich rightly noted Fichte’s general lack of political astuteness. He wondered, too, about Goethe’s role. As well he might, for Goethe, while not doing nothing, had done little and had effectively bowed to his ducal master’s will. It was, as Caroline averred, ‘bad for all friends of frank and courageous bearing’.260 Friedrich contemplated a counter-brochure, even wrote a few draft pages, but it was essentially too late.261 Friedrich and Dorothea could offer practical help. The authorities in late-Enlightenment Berlin saw no threat to church and state in Fichte’s writings and welcomed him in the Prussian capital. For a while, until he found suitable quarters for his family, Fichte actually shared lodgings with Dorothea in the Ziegelstrasse, an act of kindness but also of some forbearance, for Fichte held strongly anti-Semitic opinions.262

120Nobody emerged very well from the ‘atheism controversy’. Life returned to normal in Jena (and Weimar). Nobody resigned in protest, although Fichte’s dismissal was the first step towards the grand exodus from Jena that by 1803 saw most of the university’s luminaries—Paulus, Hufeland the medical professor, and Schelling among them—depart elsewhere. The Athenaeum circle’s adulation of Goethe was undiminished. They could conveniently separate out the ‘archpoet’ from the courtier and minister of state. Other pressing plans, of which part two of the Athenaeum was but one, crowded in. Schlegel took note of one thing. When in his later Berlin lectures on ‘encylopedia’ he cited Fichte as one of the models for his own approach to knowledge and its systematisation, he was referring not only to the other man’s metaphysical and epistemological system but also to his appeal beyond a purely academic audience to an imagined ‘nation’ of auditors.

The Scandal of Lucinde

121There was no direct connection between the ‘atheism affair’ and the continuing fortunes of the Athenaeum except in the sense that the unity of purpose that had given the original enterprise its nerve and energy and drive, was now sheering off in all directions. In August Wilhelm’s case, it had always been in competition with the multiform commitments of the professional writer, whereas Friedrich, charged with the energy of his intellectual friendships with Schleiermacher and Novalis, regenerated by his love for Dorothea, had put his heart and soul into the journal. Under different circumstances, this had also been the pattern of Die Horen. The problem was sustaining the élan, keeping the pace going. In the brothers’ letters from 1799, Friedrich’s especially, we see their minds already running ahead to projects that would mature in 1800 or even 1802, their collected essays, to be published as Charakteristiken und Kritiken, August Wilhelm’s edition of his own poems, and the Musen-Almanach, the tone and purport of which were to be transformed by the tragic events of the summer of 1800. Above all, for six months, the Athenaeum had to compete with Friedrich’s novel Lucinde.

  • 263 [Friedrich Schleiermacher], Vertraute Briefe über Friedrich Schlegels Lucinde (Lübeck and Leipzig: (...)
  • 264 Paul Kluckhohn, Die Auffassung der Liebe in der Literatur des 18. Jahrhunderts und in der deutschen (...)

122On a pragmatic level, Friedrich took advantage of the switch from Vieweg to Frölich to interest his new publisher in something quite different, what was to become the 300 pages of Lucinde. Ein Roman von Friedrich Schlegel. Intellectually, philosophically, the novel belongs in the world that Schleiermacher, Novalis and Friedrich Schlegel himself inhabited, where history, science and nature (Novalis), religion and morals (Schleiermacher) and love (Schlegel) were elevated to universals and absolutes. In one sense it is right to associate Lucinde with Schleiermacher’s Reden über die Religion [Discourses on Religion] that came out in the same year, in that Schleiermacher was seeking to free religion from rationalism and morals, from institutions, to present it as the ‘sense of the universal’, here and now, in the embrace of the eternal in an all-feeling sense of love and dependence. Such ideas were to the fore when Schleiermacher produced his defence of his friend’s novel in 1800, the Vertraute Briefe über Friedrich Schlegels Lucinde [Private Letters] and employed quasi-mystical language to express love growing into endlessness [wachsende Unendlichkeit].263 Similarly, if one reduced the novel to its philosophical import, it would propound a unity of spiritual and sensual love, a synthesis of these two main forces of existence, above human sanctions and conventional morals, the elevation of love to a religious as well as a physical experience; culturally, the breaking down of gender barriers, equal respect for the sexes.264

  • 265 Collected Letters of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, ed. Earl Leslie Griggs, 6 vols (Oxford: Clarendon, 19 (...)
  • 266 Caroline, I, 465; Friedrich Sengle, Wieland (Tübingen: Metzler, 1949), 510-513.

123Clearly this novel was not Wilhelm Meister or, closer to hand, even Tieck’s William Lovell, with its cold and cynical seductions, or Sternbald, ever aware of the perils to the artist of fleshly allurements. These novels had plots (of a sort), whereas Lucinde was episodic and unsequent. The reader might be drawn inexorably to scenes where the newly emancipated flesh and sportive sexual encounters caught the attention, not the philosophical and Intellectual arguments. Would it not, feared Novalis, remind readers of Ardinghello, Wilhelm Heinse’s novel of 1785, noted for its amorous high jinks (for the prudish Coleridge an ‘abomination’)?265 Did it not show up as hypocritical the Romantics’ moral indignation at the hetaerist world of Wieland—whom the Athenaeum circle vowed to ‘annihilate’266—or the lascivious Frenchmen Crébillon and Parny?

  • 267 KA, XXIV, 249.
  • 268 . Ibid., 202.
  • 269 Ibid., 215
  • 270 Ibid., 266; Caroline, I, 732; Lucinde ein Roman von Friedrich Schlegel (Berlin: Frölich, 1799), 23, (...)
  • 271 Schiller to Goethe, 19 July, 1799; Gräf-Leitzmann, II, 242.
  • 272 Kluckhohn, Auffassung der Liebe, 414-424.

124Above all, there was the autobiographical factor. It did not require much ingenuity to recognize Friedrich Schlegel and Dorothea Veit as the main protagonists, but the discerning would also spot Caroline, even little Auguste Ernst, Friedrich’s niece. Dorothea had given up everything for the man whom she adored and worshipped,267 her civil status, her reputation and her material security. Caught between her religion and his, she did not wish to affront further her family by baptism, the necessary step to marriage. Moreover her estranged husband demanded custody of both of their sons should she take this step.268 It was all very well for Friedrich to write to Novalis of her ‘religious nature’—she would choose Indian-style self-immolation if ever she lost him269—and then put this straight into the text of the novel. Both Caroline and Dorothea wished that the novel had never been published, setting out as it did what was intimate and private and beyond articulation.270 The eventual scandal that the novel produced—Schiller spoke for many in seeing ‘modern lack of form and contrary to nature’271—affected them personally and was easily transferred to the Athenaeum, involving the whole Romantic circle in polemics, libel and slander.272

  • 273 Caroline, I, 740.
  • 274 Thomas Pester, ‘Goethe und Jena. Eine Chronik seines Schaffens in der Universitätsstadt’, in: Strac (...)

125A common sense of purpose, the awareness of a ‘good cause’, a sharing in the fate of a journal to which no-one could be indifferent, putting on a bold front to charges of incomprehension or even immorality: all of these factors convinced the Athenaeum circle—the Romantics—that they should not merely form a coalition of the mind and spirit but should constitute a living community in one place, under one roof. This was the germ of the Jena circle. It was the Berlin fraction that was initially so much in favour of this togetherness, for they were already accepted in the circles that mattered to them and—not insignificantly—they were dealing with publishers there. Fichte even called for ‘one big family’ in Berlin,273 but of course he had by then shaken the dust of Jena off his feet; while Schleiermacher had his chaplain’s duties—and, a subject of some malicious comment—was involved in a platonic attachment with the Jewish salonnière Henriette Herz. Caroline, no doubt speaking for all in Jena, had no intention of removing to a city that she did not know, with her husband a professor in Jena, as was Schelling. They had their own circle of friends and acquaintances, the publisher Frommann and his open hospitality, or the Paulus family. In Jena, one could meet Goethe, usually over from Weimar on visits of two weeks at a time.274 Novalis, moving around in the course of his professional duties, was now in Weissenfels, but a short journey away.

Foregathering in Jena

  • 275 Peer Kösling, ‘Die Wohnungen der Gebrüder Schlegel in Jena’, Athenäum, 8 (1998), 97-110; KA, XXIV, (...)
  • 276 Henrich Steffens, Was ich erlebte, 10 vols (Breslau: Max, 1840-44), IV, 83.

126Thus it was agreed that they should foregather in Jena. Friedrich entrusted the Athenaeum to Schleiermacher, and it is in letters to him that we learn the most of events in Jena. Nearly all of the 1799 number was ready by July of that year, and the rest, for the remainder of its short existence, was effectively edited from a distance. Friedrich arrived in Jena on 2 September, Dorothea and her small son Philipp on 6 October, the Tieck family on 17 October, while Novalis was in Jena only from 11-14 November. Friedrich and Dorothea shared part of the house in the Leutragasse, while the Tiecks had quarters in the Fischergasse, and Schelling in the Fürstengraben, all short distances in a small university town like Jena.275 There was open house in the Leutragasse and meals were taken there. The young Norwegian nature philosopher Henrik Steffens moved in and out of this Romantic circle, sensing the ‘ferment of a new age’, although for him it was the galvanic experiments by the young physical chemist Johann Wilhelm Ritter, to whom Friedrich and Novalis were also drawn, that was the main attraction.276 For an impressionable young man at the outset of his scientific and literary career, it was still ‘bliss to be alive’.

  • 277 KA, XXIV, 273, 284.
  • 278 KA, XXV, 23.
  • 279 AWS, ‘Berichtigung einiger Mißdeutungen’, SW, VIII, 225.

127Doubtless that was true: one could hear Tieck reading from his own works or from Holberg (taking all the roles) or listen to one of the discourses on religion or poetry or galvanism (or all three) that dominated proceedings. Religion was to be the keynote of Jena. Already in May of that year Friedrich had told his brother August Wilhelm that the time had come to found a new religion.277 The years of travail that had brought forth the French Revolution would accomplish it. This, somewhat toned down, merged into his call for a new poetic mythology that the Gespräch über die Poesie [Conversation on Poetry] in the last part of the Athenaeum would adumbrate. Novalis’s much more radical rewriting of history, finished early in 1800 but held back from publication on Goethe’s advice, his Die Christenheit oder Europa [Christendom or Europe] demanded the emphatic reinstatement of the Christian Middle Ages into the historical narrative, with vast visions of a Golden Age to come.278 Like this religious homily by Novalis, two other overtly Catholicizing works by members of the circle did not appear in the journal: August Wilhelm’s Der Bund der Kirche mit den Künsten [The Church’s Alliance with the Arts], the long ottava rima poem that later caused him some embarrassment,279 and Tieck’s archly medievalising martyr tragedy on the life and death of St Genevieve, Leben und Tod der heiligen Genoveva, with its sophisticated religiosity. Two works that the journal did publish, the poems appended to Die Gemälde, harked back to times when religion and the arts had been under one hierarchical aegis, and the section of the Gespräch called Epochen der Dichtkunst [Periods of Poetry] placed Dante in a similar cultural context.

  • 280 KA, XXV, 23.
  • 281 Ibid., 71.
  • 282 Caroline, I, 564.
  • 283 Ibid., 569 ; KA, XXV, 18.
  • 284 Ibid., 17.
  • 285 Ibid., 23, 26.
  • 286 Caroline, I, 570.

128Dorothea Veit, her attention often drawn to more mundane matters, commented wryly to Schleiermacher: ‘Christianity is à l’ordre du jour; the gentlemen are slightly crazed’.280 With so many strong and productive personalities—a ‘Despoten Republik’281—it was not surprising that the Jena circle began to fray from its inception. The two ‘grandes dames’—the professor’s daughter and the philosopher’s daughter—at first sized each other up warily and were initially on their best behaviour.282 Both agreed that Tieck’s wife Amalia, the hapless ‘Mad. Tieck’, a pastor’s daughter, was not in their class.283 There were soon tensions between Friedrich and Caroline. Despite the loose bonds of Caroline’s and August Wilhelm’s marriage arrangements, it was evident that she was making advances to Schelling— ‘strong, rough, noble, intractable, like a French general’, in Dorothea’s words284—and that her husband either did not notice or chose not to notice. There were children milling around in the extended households, some to go on to greater things, like Philipp Veit, the Nazarene painter (and cousin of Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy) or Dorothea Tieck, the Shakespeare translator, some whose lives were tragic, like Sophie Paulus or short, like Caroline’s daughter Auguste Böhmer. There were compensations: Goethe, the god of their idolatry—‘die alte göttliche Excellenz’285—was gracious and gave sound advice to the editors of the Athenaeum. Ludwig Tieck in December of 1799 read his drama Genoveva to a spellbound Goethe who was still working on his Faust, in its way also a ‘romantic tragedy’. Schiller they did not visit, and they affected indifference to the first performance of his Wallenstein in Weimar, while the whole group fell out of their chairs with laughter at his Lied von der Glocke [Song of the Bell].286 Later, the group would add Schiller’s Macbeth translation to its objects of ridicule, for how could someone with so little English presume to such heights? Yet Schiller’s Macbeth has its moments, and it is at least better than the Macbeth that Schlegel never got round to doing.

  • 287 KA, XXV, 63.
  • 288 Kluckhohn, Auffassung, 465.
  • 289 Caroline, I, 755f.
  • 290 KA, XXV, 65.

129It was all very well to poke fun at Schiller’s old-fashioned and homespun views on the family and its traditional hierarchies (August Wilhelm had already parodied the even more crass Würde der Frauen [Women’s Worth]), considering that the same Schlegel was prepared to exalt the identical domestic virtues when they were formulated by Goethe, in his reverential review of Hermann und Dorothea. Were Fichte’s views on the role of women more progressive? Hardly. Was not Friedrich Schlegel luxuriating in Dorothea’s devoted submission (while not averse to a petite amie on the side), setting her to work as a translator (for that is what literate women did),287 even publishing her novel Florentin in his own name when it came out in 1801 (in many ways a better read than Lucinde)? What of Novalis’s, for his time, unexceptionable child bride, Sophie von Kühn,288 now mystically transformed with death fantasies and visions in Hymnen an die Nacht, the last major work in the Athenaeum? At her death she was hardly older than Caroline’s Auguste (fourteen), who the malicious believed was to be ‘procured’ for Schelling?289 At least Caroline knew what she wanted, a lustier man and one who would free her from the treadmill of being her husband’s secretary. Everyone seems to have known except August Wilhelm himself. He maintained excellent outward relations with Schelling, the man who was in reality cuckolding him.290

  • 291 Athenaeum, I, ii, 187f.
  • 292 Ibid., II, ii, 312f.
  • 293 Gotthold Klee, ‘Ein Brief Ludwig Tiecks aus Jena vom 6. Dezember 1799’, Euphorion, 3. Ergänzungshef (...)
  • 294 Josef Körner, ‘Romantiker unter sich. Ein Spottgedicht A. W. Schlegels auf L. Tieck’, Die Literatur (...)

130There would be those, like Goethe when later less well-disposed to the Romantics, who drew conclusions from the Athenaeum or from Lucinde about their views on love and marriage. What was one to expect when Friedrich Schlegel in a fragment declared nearly all marriages to be but concubinage?291 Yet that same journal found (qualified) praise for Mary Wollstonecraft, even (from Schleiermacher) a celebration of love in marriage.292 Clearly an experimental journal was not intended to establish guidelines for marital behaviour, any more than Schleiermacher’s important essay of 1799 on social decorum and the balance of discourse (Versuch einer Theorie des geselligen Betragens [An Essay on the Theory of Social Behaviour]) was a prescription for real gregarious behaviour. It said nothing about the realities of communal living, the debts that Friedrich and Dorothea had run up (selling their ‘meubles’ to Fichte), the real quarrels, the bitterly cold Jena winter that caused Ludwig Tieck to go down with a rheumatic complaint from which he never recovered, effectively ruining his health. In an alarmingly frank letter to his sister Sophie in Berlin he reduced the whole Jena circle to a ‘pigsty’.293 For his part, August Wilhelm wrote a poem lampooning Tieck’s ‘free-loading’ tendencies,294 for everyone was expected to contribute to a common exchequer and not all did.

The First Strains

  • 295 Heinrich Heine, Säkularausgabe, hg. von den Nationalen Forschungs- und Gedenkstätten der klassische (...)

131What now held the Athenaeum circle together intellectually and emotionally was less the celebration of a ‘good cause’ than an embattled gathering of ranks against an increasingly hostile reading public, both in Jena and outside. We need however to see all this in perspective. The literary feuds of the years 1795 to about 1803—and we are not concerned here with rehearsing all of their tiresome and repetitive details—were just that: literary. They were a Battle of the Books brought up to date. They bore only the most tenuous of links with those seditious political libelles that both scandalized and delighted pre-Revolutionary France or with the hurly-burly of Grub Street in London. Goethe and Schiller in their Horen had wanted to be above the political fray. The most political contribution to their journal, Goethe’s Literarischer Sansculottismus, used a word charged with political associations to make a point about literature and its national, classical status. The Xenien waged war inside the Republic of Letters, while the Athenaeum steered clear of politics altogether, at most wrapping its historical and social discourse in poetry and myth. This was all to change once the Romantics had dispersed, the Schlegel brothers to France, and especially after 1806, when poetry and art would be invoked to counter the humiliations visited by Napoleon on the German nation. But one is tempted to adapt Heinrich Heine’s later mot that the Xenien—and by extension the Romantics’ literary polemics—were but the ‘Kartoffelkrieg’ (the ‘potato war’, the popular name for the War of the Bavarian Succession, when the armies never fired a shot) before the great political events supervened.295

  • 296 Josef Körner, ‘Neues von August Wilhelm und Caroline Schlegel’, Zeitschrift für Bücherfreunde NF 17 (...)
  • 297 KA, XXV, 11, 377, 381.
  • 298 SW, II, 201; Friedrich Daniel Ernst Schleiermacher, Kritische Gesamtausgabe, ed. Hans- Joachim Birk (...)

132As it was, the case of Fichte showed what could happen when one was perceived to be a threat to church, state and public morals, and August Wilhelm, among all his literary attainments also a professor, had no wish to be thus tainted. His poem of homage to the royal house of Prussia was opportunistic enough, but writing a sonnet to Bonaparte in 1800 (and in Italian) for his friend Friedrich Tieck to hand to the First Consul in Paris, was keeping one’s political options very wide open indeed.296 It was in fact the threat of disapproval from on high that first nerved him into polemical action. The hack-writer Garlieb Merkel had spread a rumour that Duke Carl August had reprimanded the editors of the Athenaeum.297 August Wilhelm had sixty copies of a sonnet rushed off the press in which the originator of the canard found his name rhymed with ‘Ferkel’ [swine].298 Friedrich Nicolai’s roman à clef Vertraute Briefe von Adelheid B** an ihre Freundinn Julie S** [Private Letters of Adelheid B** to her Friend Julie S**] of 1799 was also one of the first anti-Romantic voices, but then again Nicolai had been writing satirical novels for decades about things that he did not like. Already in 1799 the Romantics in Jena and Berlin had a foretaste of more scurrilous lampoons when Daniel Jenisch in his Diogenes Laterne, with singular nastiness, caricatured Friedrich and Schleiermacher for their association with Jewish women (Dorothea and Henriette Herz, respectively).

  • 299 Athenaeum, II, ii, 321.
  • 300 Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Lectures 1808-1819 On Literature, ed. Reginald Foakes, 2 vols (The Collect (...)
  • 301 Rainer Schmitz (ed.), Die ästhetische Prügeley. Streitschriften der antiromantischen Bewegung (Gött (...)
  • 302 SW, XI, 427-430; Briefe, I, 99f.

133It was different when their opponent was August von Kotzebue, Germany’s—Europe’s—most-performed dramatist (the Athenaeum carried a report on a performance in Paris).299 He was also its most disliked. Unscrupulous, treacherous, servile to princes—the attributes which eventually earned him the assassin’s knife—Kotzebue captured Europe’s stages through a mixture of sentiment and dubious morality. It says much that the German Romantics’ aversion was also shared by Coleridge.300 August Wilhelm did not care much for Kotzebue’s nearest rival Iffland either, with the actor-producer’s well-attested penchant for young men; but Iffland was a Shakespearean actor and must be cultivated. Kotzebue had a history of calumniations, and to these he now added Friedrich Schlegel. It was Kotzebue in satirical and largely non-offensive mode, for his play, Der hyperboräische Esel [The Hyperboreal Ass] (1799) featured a young man who, to everyone’s consternation, quoted passages verbatim from the Athenaeum and from Lucinde. Friedrich Schlegel should of course never be quoted out of context, and this Kotzebue knew. It was not good for the Romantics’ self-esteem to know that this lampoon was being performed with some success in Leipzig; even worse to learn that Schütz, the editor of the Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung, had had it performed in his own house in Jena, but a few streets away.301 It led August Wilhelm abruptly to end his association with the Literatur-Zeitung, a relationship that had been strained to breaking-point more than once already. His swansong for it had been a review of Tieck’s translation of Don Quixote, an act of friendship but also part of the Romantics’ elevation of Cervantes to classical status.302 His response to Kotzebue, his piece of ‘devilment’ as he called it, would have to wait until the end of 1800.

  • 303 Athenaeum, III, i, [165-168].
  • 304 Stefan Matuschek, ‘Epochenschwelle und prozessuale Verknüpfung. Zur Position der Allgemeinen Litera (...)
  • 305 Caroline, I, 577-580.
  • 306 Goethes Briefwechsel mit Christian Gottlob Voigt, II, 452; KA, XXV, 459.

134Schlegel owed much to the Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung, and he had given much to it in his turn. At its best, it had a wide distribution (2,000 subscribers) and had maintained high standards of writing, as opposed to specialised scholarly discourse; and it had been a major force in the dissemination of Kant. For all Schlegel’s later strained relationship with the Allgemeine Literatur-Zeiltung, and his acrimonious correspondence with Schütz, its co‑editor, it had been Schiller’s anonymous review of Bürger in the journal that had first brought Schlegel’s name before a discerning reading public. He in his turn had taken over most of the journal’s belles- lettres reviewing, including the pieces on Voss and Hermann und Dorothea, and to make his point, he listed all of these reviews in the Athenaeum.303 It was time to free himself from the tutelage of editors and ‘house style’: the Athenaeum placed no such constraints upon its reviewers.304 Things were not helped when Ludwig Ferdinand Huber, Caroline’s erstwhile friend from Mainz days,305 did an unflattering anonymous review, first of the Athenaeum, then of Lucinde, in the Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung. Schlegel initially considered seeking redress from Schütz through the courts, only to be told by Goethe that such ‘public recriminations’ were forbidden by decree.306

  • 307 KA, XXV, 33-38, 58f., 419; SW, VIII, 50-57.

135As it was, Schlegel was no longer interested in piecemeal reviewing. Both he and Fichte came up with ideas, with slightly different emphases, for a so-called Kritisches Institut, a review journal that would reflect a more systematic ordering of knowledge and would accommodate the various encyclopaedic ambitions that the Jena circle entertained.307 These Jahrbücher der Wissenschaft und Kunst für Deutschland [Yearbooks of Science and the Arts] were without doubt the most ambitious plan to emanate from Jena. Its editorial board was to consist of both Schlegel brothers, Schleiermacher, Schelling, Tieck, and August Ferdinand Bernhardi, the Berlin schoolman and husband of Sophie Tieck, who was proving himself useful as an editor and reviewer. The break-up of the Jena circle put paid to the project. It would in any case have been difficult to tie some of its editorial board down, notably Tieck, who had promised contributions for the Athenaeum and had never delivered. Schlegel, for his part, was to find himself setting out the order and subdivisions of knowledge, not in a review journal, but in his lectures in Jena and Berlin.

  • 308 KA, XXV, 18.
  • 309 Ibid., 76.
  • 310 Ibid., 109.
  • 311 Ibid., 116.

136Dorothea Veit rightly sensed that the Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung affair simply consumed misspent energy.308 Even as the Jena circle began to dissolve, it was augmented by the young Clemens Brentano, a ‘witty scatterbrain’,309 caught between the study of medicine and his real avocation of poetry. The last part of the Athenaeum appeared in March of 1800. It was, as it turned out, a symbolic closure, if memorable for the Gespräch über die Poesie and the Hymnen an die Nacht. Caroline then fell seriously ill. Dorothea, a shrewd, although hardly objective observer of humanity and its frailties, tried to be even-handed towards her sister-in-law. Despite the differences in their personalities and backgrounds, Caroline had been the first to recognize Dorothea publicly and to ensure her acceptance in Jena circles. She conceded to Caroline wit and spirit, but no understanding of art (she had clearly not read Die Gemälde). August Wilhelm, she continued, had not been an easy partner to live with, but he loved Caroline after his own fashion and in a way that she never did in return. She had never been open about her relationship with Schelling, who had kept up a front of politeness to August Wilhelm while disliking him in private.310 Was August Wilhelm ‘surfeitet, preoccupied or blind? ‘All three’.311 What is more, he had been affectionate to his step-daughter Auguste in his own avuncular style while not noticing how little this was in reality reciprocated.

The Death of Auguste Böhmer

  • 312 Documentation in : Wulf Segebrecht et al., Romantische Liebe und romantischer Tod. Über den Bamberg (...)
  • 313 Cf. John Neubauer, ‘Dr. John Brown (1735-88) and Early German Romanticism’, Journal of the History (...)
  • 314 HKA, IV, 521f.

137The events of the spring and summer of 1800 throw light on human relationships and emotional entanglements, but also on the sheer precariousness of life itself at the turn of the eighteenth to the nineteenth century. Caroline’s illness,312 described as ‘Nervenfieber’, the catch-all name for dysenteric infections, refused to improve. Christoph Wilhelm Hufeland, the great Jena doctor and father of macrobiotics, treated her according to his tried and conventional methods, but Schelling, who in addition to the nature philosophy that he professed also had some knowledge of medicine, insisted that Hufeland try the fashionable therapeutics of the Brownian method. Brownism or Brunonism, named after the Scottish doctor John Brown,313 saw health as the median state of excitability, based on the fundamental doctrine of life as a state of excitation produced by external agents upon the body, and perceived disease as consisting in excess or deficiency of such stimulants. Novalis was also a Brownian. His recommendation to Tieck that he try ‘electricity, guaiacum, tafia, acids and mercurial substances’ for his rheumatism314 was essentially Brownist but also typical of the insouciance with which contemporaries passed on their patent cures, or doctors sent prescriptions without first having seen the patient.

138Caroline did not respond to counter-stimulants. It was agreed that she should take the waters in Bad Bocklet in Franconia, known for their curative qualities for women’s complaints; while Schelling, to acquaint himself further with Brownian medicine, should go to nearby Bamberg to study. An elaborate charade was set up, with Schelling leaving first for Saalfeld, a convenient half-way house. On May 5, Caroline and Auguste left, accompanied as far as Saalfeld by Schlegel, after which they were to proceed independently to Bamberg. Schlegel returned to Jena, taking a detour via Leipzig, while Schelling, of course, was waiting in Saalfeld and saw Caroline and Auguste to quarters in Bamberg. Early in July, all three of them were in Bocklet, the Paulus family from Jena also. There was no secrecy, for on 6 July Schelling wrote to Schlegel that Auguste had taken ill. The words ‘Ruhr’ and ‘Nervenfieber’ were used, indicating diarrhoea. Schelling apparently used Brownian methods, including the standard stimulant of opium, to try to bring her back to health. It was to no avail. On 12 July, 1800 she died, aged 15. She was buried in the churchyard at Bocklet. One will not find there either of the two monuments commissioned from sculptors of European rank in her memory and executed by both of them (Friedrich Tieck’s is in Copenhagen, Schadow’s is lost): she is only memorialised in poetry.

  • 315 Caroline, I, 606f.
  • 316 Oeuvres de M. Auguste-Guillaume de Schlegel écrites en français, ed. Édouard Böcking, 3 vols (Leipz (...)
  • 317 Ibid.
  • 318 SW, VIII, 220.

139Caroline had buried her sole surviving child. She returned to Bamberg with Schelling, Schlegel hurrying there as soon as he heard the news.315 He made a ‘pilgrimage’ to Auguste’s grave, today a remote and romantic spot, for him then merely a country churchyard, ‘narrow and mean’. It was in the territory of the prince-bishop of Würzburg and subject to Catholic jurisdiction. Very much later, at the distance of thirty-eight years, writing to Albertine de Broglie, Madame de Staël’s daughter, he recalled seeking solace ‘in an episcopal seat’316 (Bamberg) and finding some consolation in the high mass performed there. The accident of this Franconian journey, calamitous for all who took part in it, had brought him to the same South German cultural landscape that Wackenroder and Tieck had already experienced in 1793, both of them Berlin Protestants brought face to face with the aesthetic splendours of the rite. For Schlegel, if one excludes Mainz in 1793, when visits to cathedrals were far from his mind, this was effectively the first visit to a Catholic environment (Dresden was decidedly Protestant apart from the Catholic court) where he could see ‘religion majestically clad in its best finery, instead of the monotonous mourning that it wears in Protestant churches’.317 We have no reason to doubt the genuineness of these sentiments as here expressed, and it may be that the sound and pomp was a distraction for his thoughts, rather than the meditative silence that churches may also offer. It was however a far cry from this brief soul-enrichment to the flirtations with Catholicism that his poems, issued in April 1800, evidenced and which were later, to his indignation, to nourish his alleged reputation as ‘half-Catholic’.318

140He had known all three of Caroline’s children to various degrees. Therese Böhmer, who had died eleven years previously, he knew only at a distance. Poor little Julius Crancé had been briefly in his charge. Auguste he had loved as his own daughter and it was to him that the extended Jena circle expressed their condolences. Now was the time for his friends to recollect his genuine paternal affection, not to consider whether this had been on his side only. The brief notes to Auguste from her step-father and her step-uncle ‘Fritz’ that we have are documents of their time and as such are not safe indicators of feeling. Yet this stiff, formal, professorial man loved children and wished to have children of his own. It was the hope of founding a family after his années de pèlerinage with Madame de Staël that motivated his unhappy decision to marry in 1818. As it was, his affections had to be lavished on others’ children, Willem Muilman, the Staëls, the Colebrooke and Johnston boys in Bonn, his niece Auguste von Buttlar, even his unfortunate nephew Johann August Adolph, and there is no doubt that Auguste de Staël and Albertine de Broglie, née Staël, later saw him as a kind of second father.

  • 319 Lohner, 45.
  • 320 HKA, IV, 333.
  • 321 KA, XXV, 162.
  • 322 Ibid., 146, 162.

141To Ludwig Tieck, who had now advanced to a closeness and intimacy that not even his unreliability and dilatoriness could shatter, Schlegel wrote of ‘having saved up all his tears’.319 To a grieving step-father one could not express doubts or reservations, but they did arise nevertheless, in the privacy of the correspondence between Friedrich and Dorothea. Novalis, writing to Friedrich, wondered whether there was not some causal link between Caroline’s ‘affair’ and Auguste’s passing, her turning back, Eurydice-like, at the threshold of life.320 Dorothea, now making no secret of her detestation of Caroline, spelled this out, less poetically than Novalis, attributing the weakening of Auguste’s system to the onset of the menarche.321 Above all, she claimed, Schelling’s quack doctoring had been a contributory cause, and Dorothea was certainly the source of this persistent and malicious allegation.322

142Schelling returned alone to Jena. Caroline and Schlegel travelled to Gotha, where her close friend Luise Gotter took her in. From now on they journeyed together, even slept under the same roof. Their letters remained friendly and tolerant, as they had been all along; but the marriage was over.

143From Gotha, they went to Brunswick, to allow Caroline to see her mother and sister. The Jena circle was effectively at an end. The Tiecks had left in June; Schelling continued as a professor, not in any close association with the Schlegel brothers, but not estranged from them either. The ‘Kritisches Institut’ foundered on differences between Fichte and Schelling. Friedrich Schlegel was beginning his brief and ill-starred career as ‘Privatdozent’ in philosophy in Jena, while his brother August Wilhelm continued to lecture there until the summer of 1801. But Jena, as a metonymic association of minds as they had known it, was over. Its last symbolic act was perhaps the publication of August Wilhelm’s replique to Kotzebue, Ehrenpforte und Triumphbogen für den Theater-Präsidenten von Kotzebue [Gate of Honour and Triumphal Arch for the Theatre-Director von K.], printed, as the title page stated, ‘at the beginning of the new century’. Yet it was only as Schlegel shook off these idle polemics, the irksome attendants of the Jena association that he could turn, symbolically as well as in reality, to face the challenges of that new nineteenth century.

Elegies for the Dead and the Living

  • 323 Lohner, 45-49.
  • 324 Cornelia Bögel, ‘Fragment einer unbekannten autobiographischen Skizze aus dem Nachlass August Wilhe (...)

144Even as the tears were drying on the letter that Schlegel wrote to Tieck from Bamberg on 14 September 1800, he was full of literary plans.323 Ever aware that the emotional and the practical are two sides of the one person, he was in the same letter drafting a Musen-Almanach (with Cotta in Stuttgart, twelve sheets, at five Louisd’ors the sheet) that would eventually be the memorialisation of Auguste, so recently dead. He announced, also in the same letter, the Ehrenpforte, of which he was to be so inordinately proud and which would go on to take pride of place in his Poetische Werke in 1811. In a sense that had its justification, for it showed what he could do, and all in a comic vein: sonnets, ballads, romances, epigrams, plus the parody of a sentimental comedy, and what not. One senses his urge to display versatility and if need be virtuosity. It was part of a self-image that his autobiographical sketch of around 1811 sought to perpetuate. There, he characterized his poetic products by many-sided attainments, grace, lightness of touch, fire and emotion even, with virtuosic use of ‘Harmonien’.324 While still in the phase of co-writing the Athenaeum he had been already looking ahead to further critical endeavour, but in fact the Charakteristiken und Kritiken, as they were to become, were a restatement of what had been, brilliant some of it, it is true, rather than a fresh new venture. The only major new essay for that collection, the one on Bürger, was in so many ways a coming to terms with Schlegel’s own personal development, his own poetic and critical persona from 1786 to 1800, a critical self-examination through the guise of biography.

  • 325 First approaches August 1799. Briefe an Cotta. Das Zeitalter Goethes und Napoleons 1794- 1815, ed. (...)
  • 326 Wieneke, 101f.

145Given this penchant towards self‑projection (self‑monumentalisation) at the turn of the new century, it may be instructive to see what at this stage he considered could stand and what should be discarded. The Athenaeum, which, as we saw, was for August Wilhelm a joint enterprise and only one of several undertakings, contained some short and more ephemeral pieces of comment and criticism by him that had little sense outside of their original context, and these he never re-edited. The large and substantial contributions, like Die Gemälde, went on to have a separate existence inside his oeuvre. The lectures that he gave in Jena seemed to have served if anything as drafts for later series in Berlin; but most of this material was never edited in his lifetime. The edition of his poems was, however, different, those Gedichte von August Wilhelm Schlegel, that came out in April of 1800. For this edition, Schlegel had turned, not to Vieweg or Frölich—good enough for the Athenaeum—but to the mighty Cotta in Tübingen, Goethe’s and also Schiller’s publisher.325 This immediately gave him a certain cachet that his brother Friedrich’s disparate works did not possess, or Tieck’s, that is, if one took publisher’s impress as any guide to status. Publication by Cotta was however not synonymous with success, as the recent examples of Die Horen and Propyläen and their early termination would show. Although the Athenaeum did contain certain of his more important poems, there was evidence that he was also writing poetry for a different audience, one more generally receptive and perhaps less aesthetically discriminating than the readership of an avant-garde periodical. It may be significant that when his Gedichte first appeared in 1800, copies were immediately sent to Duke Carl August, Goethe, and Schiller. First things first.326

  • 327 Cf. Propyläen, I, ii, 66f.

146The reader of this quarto volume in roman type (Cotta’s house style) would remark that these poems were an unrepentant self-statement. Schlegel had not drawn a line under his youthful poems for the Göttingen Musen-Almanach, for they were here again in collected, edited form, the sonnet An Bürger, or the poem that had impertinently told Schiller to keep personalities out of his criticism; also more recent works, those long and ever so slightly dreary philosophical poems like Pygmalion or Prometheus, or that dedicatory poem to Romeo and Juliet, whose addressee, Caroline, had now left him, or a sonnet An Schelling (not an especially good one) that expressed Romantic solidarity rather than the non-poetic reality. Readers with some knowledge of the Athenaeum would have noted that the romance on St Luke, the patron saint of painting, that concluded Die Gemälde, was there, as well as the nine sonnets inspired by religious paintings in Dresden, but now augmented. The subject of one of these new poems, on St Sebastian, would hardly have qualified as a suitable subject for painting according to the criteria laid down in Propyläen by Goethe’s arch-classicist acolyte in art matters, Heinrich Meyer.327 Meyer would have been more affronted by that extraordinary hymn to the co-existence of the church and the arts, Der Bund der Kirche mit den Künsten, that here first saw the light of day. It would confirm the Catholicizing nature of those Gemälde conversations. The few hearers of Schlegel’s university lectures would recognise a similar emphasis there on the civilising force of religion, together with the feudal system, as a factor in bringing about the efflorescence of poetry in the European Middle Ages. The inclusion of a cycle of six sonnets on the great Italian poets and of a further six on Cervantes, was also in keeping with the thrust of the Athenaeum, with Schlegel’s own essay there on Flaxman’s Dante, the long passage of Ariosto in translation, his slating of Soltau’s version of Don Quixote, so different from his laudatory review of Tieck’s translation in the Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung.

  • 328 SW, I, 304.

147That was only one side. This was a Romantic canon set out in poetry, that Friedrich’s Gespräch über die Poesie was also adumbrating, here more formally and perhaps more accessibly. These poets, too, were the names that his Jena lectures were beginning to enshrine and that his Berlin lectures were to canonise. The sonnets were also, most of them, about fellow- sonneteers, and with them Schlegel was affirming but also extending widely his early discipleship of Bürger. There was even a sonnet called Das Sonett that was both a poetic and also a prosodic demonstration of the Petrarchan form.328 Not all sonneteers were treated even-handedly. Paul Fleming, the seventeenth-century sonnet writer, was celebrated as an ‘old German’ poet, as part of the nation’s heritage that the eighteenth century had wanted to deny and that was now beginning to be appreciated in terms of an organic continuity of poetry. Shakespeare’s sonnets—themselves the subject of a Petrarchan, not a Shakespearean, sonnet—Schlegel found deficient, early ‘mannered’ poetry compared with the dramatist who could both cause suffering and also resolve it. Here spoke the same Schlegel who so eloquently praised the ‘Petrarchan’ Romeo and Juliet but who also shared the eighteenth century’s indifference to Shakespeare’s poetry.

  • 329 Athenaeum, II, ii, 181-192.
  • 330 Manger in Mix/Strobel, 89-91.
  • 331 The poem is in SW, II, 13-20, ref. 15f.

148But what were readers to make of the two long elegies that seemed to take up a disproportionate amount of space in the collection, Neoptolemus an Diocles and Die Kunst der Griechen [The Art of the Greeks]? The second of these poems they might know if they were also readers of the Athenaeum,329 but the other one was new. Who was Neoptolemus? The classically educated would recognise that the ‘young warrior’ was another name for Pyrrhus, the son of Achilles. The reference to a long footnote made it clear that the Greek name stood for Schlegel’s own brother Carl,330 the Hanoverian lieutenant who had died in the service of the East India Company—the hated British— in 1789. Carl addresses his surviving younger brother, classical-style, from the land of the dead. One may guess at its motivation: the desire to commemorate the brother whom he had last seen as a schoolboy of fifteen. Also perhaps the wish to show the world that the Schlegels were not all bookmen, but men of action as well. For the generally elegiac tone of the poem does not exclude a certain expansiveness of detail, the raising of the Hanoverian regiment, the touching farewell scene, with his only mention of both of his parents:331

Aber ich stürmte hinein, den letzten Moment zu verkürzen,
     Heiß geschäftig, wo schon alle sie meiner geharrt.
Brünstig segnete mich der fromm ehrwürdige Vater,
     Schwestern hiengen an mir, Brüder umarmten mich fest.
Aber vor allem die Mutter, die liebende Mutter! an ihrem
     Herzen zerfloß ich, und wand, kaum noch besonnen, mich los.
Wie ich mich innerlich schalt, mir sagte die ahnende Seele:
     Nie mehr soll ich mit euch tauschen den innigen Gruß.
Doch die Mutter ergriff ein unwiderstehliches Drängen,
     Einmal ihn nur, den Sohn, noch den geliebten zu sehn.
Und sie machte sich auf, von bangenden Töchtern begleitet,
     Schaute vom Fenster am Platz, wo sich die Schaaren gereiht.
Bei den Gefährten stand ich, und, ob ich gleich sie bemerkte,
     Hob ich den Blick nicht auf, mich zu erweichen besorgt.
Viel durchlief ich die Reih’n beschleunigend, brachte Befehle
     Hin vom Führer und her, auf das Geschäft nur bedacht.
Schwang dann schnell mich zu Pferd, voreilend dem Zug, der begonnen,
     Und erst außen am Tor wandt’ ich die Blicke noch heim.
Alles Trauren erstickte das muntere Spiel der Hoboen,
     Und der Morgengesang männlicher Kehlen darein.

[But I rushed inside, to shorten the time of leave-taking,
Found things to do, with everyone waiting for me.
My good pious father gave me his heartfelt blessing,
Sisters crowded around, brothers embracing me.
But our so loving mother, I broke down in tears on her bosom,
Only just tearing myself from her arms in confusion.
How I reproached myself later, for a sixth sense foretold me
Never again would I answer your dearest greetings.
But our mother could not hold back the urge that possessed her
Just to see her beloved son this once more.
She made her way, her daughters came with her,
Looked down on the square from the window, the ranks all assembled,
I stood with my brothers in arms, and though I could see her,
I never raised an eye, to preserve my composure.
I went through the lines and hurried them on, took orders,
Passed them on, immersing myself in military business,
Mounted my horse, taking the lead of the marching column,
And only looked homeward when we were outside the gate.
The fifes and drums drowned out any sad thoughts that I might have
And the song of the men who were greeting the morning.]

149Then came the long ocean haul via Trinidad to pick up the trade winds for India, regimental service, explorations (facing down tigers), the study of Indian customs and religion, then Carl Schlegel’s dishonouring, rehabilitation and death. All this in 198 verses of elegiac couplets. It is a good poem, almost the only one by him that breathes genuine feeling.

  • 332 AWS, Poetische Werke, 2 parts (Heidelberg: Mohr und Zimmer, 1811), II, 293-295.

150He may perhaps have sensed the need to compete with his ultimate rival. Goethe’s elegy Euphrosyne of 1798 (and one of those that Goethe asked Schlegel to ‘correct’ metrically), more varied in structure than this poem, had also used the device of an address to the speaker by the commemorated dead. Above all it had combined the poetic with the real and autobiographical. Schlegel could not resist inserting a further link with the times, the ‘Zeitgeist’. Carl Schlegel had died in the symbolic year 1789, and Neoptolemus in the elegy recalled how the political turmoil and chaos of the revolutionary years had brought ever more dead to join him in the realm of the shades. This, at least, would be a sentiment that could appeal to the Goethe of Hermann und Dorothea. It is not safe to see this poem as pointing to Schlegel the later Sanskrit scholar except in the sense that both Friedrich and August Wilhelm later were to cite their brother’s name as part of their credentials, so to speak, their only real link with a country that never directly revealed its mysteries to them. In 1811, in its reissue in his re-named Poetische Werke. Schlegel separated his documentation (Carl’s posthumous papers are lost) from his elegy and let it stand on its own poetic merits, leaving to the reader,332 as Goethe did in Euphrosyne, to distinguish poetic truth from a more mundane reality. Schlegel of course would never have begun an elegy seemingly in mid-sentence, as Euphrosyne does. That was the privilege of genius.

  • 333 Schiller to Countess Schimmelmann 23 November 1800, Friedrich Schilller, Werke. Nationalausgabe, ed (...)
  • 334 Schmitz, Die ästhetische Prügeley, 274f.

151Die Kunst der Griechen was but one of several testimonies from the Athenaeum years of 1798 to 1800 to the sedulous Romantic cult of Goethe. Even he knew that they were laying it on thickly, disingenuously assuring Schiller that it was ‘only a literary relationship and not one of friendship’.333 To other contemporaries in or visiting Weimar, like Herder or Wieland or Jean Paul, it seemed that the Romantics had subsumed modern German literature under the one sole name of Goethe (and themselves, of course).334 The Athenaeum would have done little to disabuse them of that impression. Goethe was pleased with Schlegel’s review of Hermann und Dorothea in the Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung in 1798, a journal that had not seen fit to review Wilhelm Meister. It enshrined Goethe’s work as the legitimate successor to the Homeric epic and applied the same categories and epithets to it: pure, perfect, simple, harmonious, natural. Like Homer’s it was based on reality, it reflected the needs and concerns of its day (the background of revolutionary war and turmoil), and was thus truly national, close to the needs and aspirations of the people. Following the Odyssey (the Iliad rather less), it was also private and domestic, with characters who displayed a heart-warming sincerity and directness. As a renewal of Homer, it had an unforced epic tone, and its rhythm was unconstrained by any too punctilious adaptation of the ancient hexameter. Hermann und Dorothea was ‘vaterländisch’, and with that word Schlegel said more for Goethe’s standing than the more abstract formulations of his brother.

152This was the background to August Wilhelm’s poem Die Kunst der Griechen that appeared in the second volume of the Athenaeum. It is as much a didactic poem in distichs as an elegy proper, for it rehearses at some considerable length the now lost world of Greece—mythology, art, poetry— with Goethe, ‘the devotee of the Hellenic muse’, as the consecrated high priest of its renewal. As such, it could apply equally to Goethe the reviver of Greek poetry and to the editor of the Propyläen. It is the same lost ancient world that Hölderlin’s elegies of 1799‑1800 summoned up, but without Schlegel’s parade of knowledge or his systematic insistence on learning— and with infinitely more poetic power. At most one can say that Hölderlin’s sense of loss leads to the hymnic visions of his late poetry, Schlegel’s to the historical pessimism that informs his elegy Rom of 1805.

  • 335 SW, X, 62.
  • 336 Athenaeum, I, i, 107-112.
  • 337 Ibid., 108-110, ref. 110.
  • 338 Ibid. 111f.
  • 339 ‘virtuelle Altphilologen’. Joachim Wohlleben, ‘Beobachtungen über eine Nicht- Begegnung Welcker und (...)
  • 340 Cf. Friedrich Beissner, Geschichte der deutschen Elegie, 3rd edn, Grundriss der germanischen Philol (...)

153When reviewing Die Horen in 1796 August Wilhelm had already praised Goethe as the renewer of the Roman elegy.335 Friedrich Schlegel, in his preface to Elegien aus dem Griechischen [Elegies from the Greek], their joint effort in the opening volume of the Athenaeum,336 had reiterated this in fulsome terms that echoed his brother’s vision of Shakespeare: ‘dwelling amongst us’. Goethe’s elegies had helped to redefine the genre: his renewal of Propertius did not involve the ‘klagende Empfindsamkeit’ [soulful complaint]337 that Schiller had recently claimed for the elegy in general (in keeping with Athenaeum practice, Schiller’s name was not mentioned). Goethe’s Roman Elegies, by contrast, had celebrated fulfilment in the here and now, as had his classical models, the old Latin ‘triumvirs’ (Propertius, Tibullus and Ovid). They did not however represent the sum of the elegiac tradition, and so Friedrich Schlegel reminded him of the thematic variety of the much less-known and imperfectly edited Greek elegy (all in extracts translated by August Wilhelm). A fragment of Phanokles, for instance, could show the ‘naturalness’ of Greek boy‑love,338 or Hermesianax the universal and not always auspicious power of Eros, or Callimachus a florid celebration of Pallas Athene bathing. These poems were learned and replete with allusions: both Schlegels were very much at home in this world, classical philologists in effect,339 ever so slightly parading their knowledge.340 Goethe was distinctly less au fait. It was that philological, learned side of the Schlegel brothers that has travelled rather less well. Nevertheless it formed part of their sense of poetic continuities, their ultimately Herderian awareness of the historical rhythms and patterns of rise and fall, efflorescence and decay, that record the Alexandrian desiccations (as here) as well as the new risings of sap. Such an exercise also appealed to August Wilhelm’s prosodic punctiliousness as a translator from ancient languages.

  • 341 SW, X, 59-90, ref. 62.
  • 342 Ibid., 337-346.
  • 343 KAV, I, 33-46.

154It was one thing to exalt Goethe, but quite another to presume to correct his verse. It has always mildly scandalised Goethe scholarship that in 1799‑1800 he allowed Schlegel to approach his epic and elegiac verse with a critical eye and permitted him to treat this poetry, not as a monument already cast, but (to adapt one of Schlegel’s most famous images) as clay in the mass still being formed. It is also fair to say that Schlegel’s reputation was at its lowest point when the extent of his ‘interventions’ became known in 1887 with the publication of the first volume of the Weimar edition. Goethe had an explanation. Reflecting over twenty years later, in Campagne in Frankreich (1822), he recalled the general laxity in the writing of hexameters when, as a distraction from the Revolutionary Wars of 1793, he first sat down to retell the story of Reynard the Fox in classical verse, as Reineke Fuchs. Schlegel, when in 1796 praising the first number of Die Horen and Goethe’s Roman Elegies especially, had not hesitated to express some doubts about the verse and had even appended ‘remarks of a prosodic nature’ to his section on Schiller.341 When Goethe’s thoughts first turned seriously to revising his classical verse and making it metrically more correct, Schlegel immediately sprang to mind. Schlegel’s review of the Propertius translation by Knebel (a close friend of Goethe) in the Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung was a further reminder.342 Schlegel had the added advantage of being on the spot; moreover the new professor in Jena included ‘prosody’ in his lectures on language and poetics.343 During his visits to Jena in February, March to April, and September 1799, Goethe discussed with Schlegel his ‘metrical doubts’; they took hour-long walks, a good stimulus for measuring rhythmical feet.

  • 344 For these see John William Scholl, ‘August Wilhelm Schlegel and Goethe’s Epic and Elegiac Verse’, J (...)
  • 345 Scholl, iv, 80.
  • 346 SW, X, 184.

155We are not concerned here with recording the full extent of Schlegel’s suggestions, nor their details.344 Goethe submitted for the other man’s scrutiny his substantive poetic oeuvre from the 1790’s, his three verse epics, Reineke Fuchs, Hermann und Dorothea and Achilleis, and all of the long elegies, including Alexis und Dora and Euphrosyne. The point has been made that, whether or not Goethe acted upon Schlegel’s suggestions—on incorrect caesuras, spondees versus trochees, impure dactyls and the like— his revisions, where made, were done in the spirit of Schlegel’s advice, if perhaps not always to the letter. It is also certain that they disagreed on the extent to which metre may have priority over sense. Goethe where possible allowed himself to be guided by the natural rhythm of the language rather than its purely metrical patterns.345 All this needs to be said, as the later cooling of relations between the two men—their two schools of thought— did not make for objective comment. Goethe’s later disrespectful remark about ‘strict-observance metricists’ came after the fiasco in Weimar with Schlegel’s overly neoclassical verse play Ion and after Schlegel himself had seen his own protégé Wilhelm von Schütz descend into extreme areas of Graecizing verse. It is symptomatic of the low temperature between Goethe and Schlegel that Schlegel, when reissuing his review of Voss in 1828, could say openly in print that both Goethe and Schiller had been ‘lax and negligent’ in matters of metre and quantity.346 Goethe’s response was to publish the whole of his correspondence with Schiller—with all their remarks about Schlegel.

Schlegel’s Contributions to the Athenaeum

156All this might suggest a Schlegel grappling with a many-headed hydra of poetry, criticism, academic discourse and much else besides, grasping here metrics, there Renaissance painting, in another place a history of poetics, in yet another the contemporary literary scene. He himself saw none of these activities in isolation. He never put himself into compartments. All areas of endeavour had their place but were also interdependent: philology and antiquarian scholarship, the creative use of language in translation, art appreciation, the writing of poetry (yes, even this). It was a style that he had developed earlier in the decade: his lecture-like letters to Friedrich, for instance, replete with prosodic detail, were intended in the last analysis to raise his brother’s awareness of the subtleties of the Greek language and its poetry.

  • 347 Manger in Mix/Strobel, 85-90.
  • 348 KAV, I, i, 128f.

157There were underlying principles that linked and combined and gave mutual enlightenment to the different strands of endeavour. They could be expressed as a philosophical principle, referring all art forms to an original ideal or model, from which all else emanated, a neo-platonic (or Hemsterhuisian) notion of beauty, the outward manifestation seen as but a mirror image of the inner. These notions informed the staid verses of those didactic or poetological poems, Prometheus or Pygmalion, of which Schlegel was so proud.347 Or, drawing on Fichte’s more recent philosophy, he could advance the hypothesis that notions of beauty and art do not exist outside of the human mind (‘Geist’).348 It is there, in humankind, that the absolute is posited, and it follows that if art is an absolute purpose of mankind, it is in the mind of man or woman that we should seek it. This, too, would guarantee its autonomy and also the validity and truthfulness of human feelings.

  • 349 Jesinghaus, 24-36.
  • 350 KAV, I, i, 109f.

158Thus one could underwrite central tenets of the Athenaeum: the unity of the art forms in time and space, never seen in isolation, the interdependence of their functions, whether simultaneous (like the plastic arts) or successive (like poetry or music); or their ‘progressive’ quality, seen in terms of the development of human speech and gesture into rhythm, then musical expression, and finally into myth;349 or in the more modern sense of a freedom from notions of achieved perfection (‘classical’) and a shift to notions of process, a striving towards new forms of expression with a new mythology undergirding them (‘modern’).350 All this need not be expressed abstractly: that ‘ideological’ poem about the unity of the arts under the aegis of the church, for instance, was historically anchored in the Middle Ages but it also had an inner dynamic that linked past, present and future. Schlegel had formulated these ideas in the lectures that he gave at Jena.

  • 351 Ibid., 113f.

159They were not however generally available outside of that narrow academic circle. His hearers may in any case not have been aware of the extent of his borrowings from existing material. An example was his use of his Horen essay as the source for his notions on language, not substantially altered. His ideas on euphony and musicality in language drew on his opening contribution to the Athenaeum, Die Sprachen [The Languages]. Sections on Greek poetry had been copied straight from his brother Friedrich. The passage on Shakespeare was little advance on Eschenburg. He did refer by name to his brother’s essay on Wilhelm Meister, but he had Don Quixote in mind when he identified ‘situation’ (Friedrich’s key term) as the structural principle behind that novel.351

  • 352 Athenaeum, III, ii, 252-268; SW, XII, 92-106.

160It means, as said, that we cannot easily subdivide the output of the Athenaeum years into poetry, journalistic discourse and criticism, and systematic statements of knowledge. All contain elements of the others. Take poetry. A didactic poem like Die Kunst der Griechen [The Art of the Greeks] was both a threnody for a lost past and also a statement positing the centrality of Greek culture for a post-classical age. It could also point beyond all this to the living, present and ‘progressive’ example of Goethe. The sonnets in Die Gemälde were miniature analyses of paintings in their own right and extended the canon of what the viewer endowed with modern sensitivities must see. Or criticism. Schlegel’s review of Parny’s mock-heroic epic La Guerre des dieux [The War of the Gods] in the Athenaeum in 1799352 indulged the by now ritual denigration of things French and was as such a step towards its ‘classic’ formulation in Comparaison entre la Phèdre de Racine et celle d’Euripide of 1807. It also prefigured Schlegel’s remarks on Aristophanes, his ‘brawling chaos’ or ‘absolute subjective freedom’, that he set out in his lectures in Jena, Berlin and Vienna.

161He never further developed the seemingly ‘throw-away’ remark that the clash of mythologies would provide an excellent subject for a Romantic tragedy, but two dramatists who deferred to him, Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué and Zacharias Werner, were later to seize on it. His translation of the eleventh canto of Ariosto’s Orlando Furioso in the 1799 issue of the Athenaeum, so agreeable to read and in such impeccable ottava rima, was a reminder of his linguistic versatility but also of the sheer hard grind of translating (one canto was enough). At the same time he was linking the art of good translation—his own, Tieck’s of Don Quixote and eventually Gries’s of Ariosto—to the notion of a Romance, ‘Romantic’ canon of poetry, equal, in some respects superior, to the ancients, from a golden age when chivalry and legend, folk tradition and piety blended into a national literature. Friedrich Schlegel, too, while editing the 1799 and 1800 numbers of the Athenaeum, had privately been catching up on his reading of the sixteenth and seventeenth-century Italian and Spanish classics. His brother meanwhile in his university lectures in Jena was setting out the notion of a modern, ‘Romantic’ literature that was not fixed in the past like its classical forebears, but was ‘progressive’, active, self-renewing.

  • 353 Athenaeum, I, i, 3-69; SW, VII, 197-268.

162If one were nevertheless to select Schlegel’s major achievements from the Athenaeum years that were also contributions to the periodical itself, the choice must fall on the piece that inaugurated the whole enterprise in 1798, Die Sprachen, and the two pieces of art criticism that provided the substantial copy for 1799, Die Gemälde [The Paintings] and Über Zeichnungen zu Gedichten und John Flaxmans Umrisse [On Drawings for Poems and John Flaxman’s Outlines]. Both Die Sprachen and Die Gemälde were cast in the form of conversations, the ‘causerie’, the social exchange that set positions one against each other, while a lightness of touch avoided all too learned and technical details or too dogmatic conclusions. That at least was the theory: not all eighteenth-century ‘entretiens’ achieved it. One knew it from Lessing, from Hemsterhuis, from Die Horen—and now from Klopstock. For the full title of Die Sprachen was Ein Gespräch über Klopstocks grammatische Gespräche [A Conversation About Klopstock’s Conversations on Grammar] (later altered, more aggressively, to Der Wettstreit der Sprachen [The Contest of the Languages]).353

  • 354 Briefe, I, 75.

163Klopstock, whose Der Messias [The Messiah] in twenty cantos had once ranked just below the Bible in general esteem, had seen a slump in his reputation in the 1790s. In the old days, as Schlegel’s old mentor Heyne wrote to him in 1798, one would have been in serious trouble if had one written about Klopstock in the disrespectful tone now adopted a younger generation.354 It needs to be said that these young people were generally allergic to Klopstock, the ‘sacred singer’. There was an element of rivalry in all this, a break with paternal authority, challenging their father Johann Adolf’s old friend but also those avid Klopstockians Bürger and Voss. For August Wilhelm, Dante had seemed preferable, despite his eccentric theology. At least the characters in the Inferno had flesh and blood. True, much offended the sensitivities (Ugolino, for instance), but it was preferable to the exsangious creations of Der Messias (and by extension, his model, Milton).

  • 355 Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock, Werke und Briefe. Historisch-kritische Ausgabe, ed. Horst Gronemeyer (...)
  • 356 SW, VII, 244.
  • 357 Schlegel nevertheless later (1827) compares versions of Aeneid VI, 847-853 (‘Excudent alii spiranti (...)

164Klopstock had once had a revolutionary effect on the German poetic language—that could not be denied—but now he was using his authority as a divine bard to pronounce on the qualities of the German language in general. For in 1794 Klopstock had surprised everyone by issuing his various ideas on language, as Grammatische Gespräche. Its two major reviewers were, not surprisingly, Schlegel and Voss. Some would have feared the worst, for Klopstock was emerging from a ‘Bardic’ phase, de‑Graecising some of his best poems while re-germanising them (including the hymn in which Johann Adolf Schlegel had made his brief appearance, now translating him to the ‘grove of Thuiskon’) and celebrating the exploits of Hermann/Arminius.355 The tone of the Grammatische Gespräche was stridently anti-French (that is, against Frederick the Great’s French-language hegemony), and Klopstock was contorting the German language to create Germanic grammatical terms, as opposed to Latin ones. There was therefore much that Schlegel did not like: Klopstock’s ‘permissive’ use in the hexameter of trochees instead of spondees; his idée fixe with brevity (‘Kürze’) as the chief virtue of the poetic language, not least of German.356 German for him in many ways ‘outdid’ Greek. Much of the Grammatische Gespräche was devoted to sample translations from the Greek and Latin to prove this very point.357

165Schlegel, of course, could also do that sort of thing when pressed, but unlike Klopstock he never set up hypotheses—on language of all things— without the necessary philological and historical foundation. For there were absurdities in Klopstock, not least his imagined link between Greek and German (fanciful ideas involving the Thracian Getae). This Schlegel could easily rectify. If one wanted brevity, better examples could be found in Aeschylus rather than in Homer, on whom Klopstock seemed to be fixated. Above all he challenged Klopstock’s one-sided patriotism, setting against it the general point that all languages have the potential for melody and poetic utterance. True, English and French had their limits as poetic languages, but Italian certainly did not.

  • 358 SW, XII, 383-426.
  • 359 Indische Bibliothek, I (1820), 40-46, esp. 42f.

166Reissuing this conversation in 1828, over a generation later, Schlegel was inclined to conciliation. Himself now aware of the status of his own critical writings as monuments of good style, he praised Klopstock as one of the great German prose writers, nowhere better than in the Grammatische Gespräche. He could now see much in perspective: Klopstock’s xenophobia had been but a passing phase, quite different from his genuine patriotism. Klopstock had also lived in an age unfazed by manifest improbabilities, happily linking druids and bards, German and Celt, Greek and Goth as one linguistic community. We (1828) knew better, especially since the appearance of Jacob Grimm’s comparative grammar. This in its turn was an olive branch to the same Grimm whom Schlegel had exquisitely torn to pieces in his massive review of 1815.358 Klopstock’s main fault had been to set aside the rules of Greek and Latin prosody and their quantitative system and to base classical verse in German on the accent, not on the quantity. He would now learn that the great mother language, Sanskrit, followed Greek, Gothic perhaps as well (had its poetry survived). In 1820, but addressing the specialist audience of his fellow-Sanskritists and linguisticians in his Indische Bibliothek,359 Schlegel had been yet more even-handed towards Klopstock, to Goethe and Schiller also, knowing that neither Klopstock nor Schiller were alive to appreciate this irenic gesture. Seen in these terms, Die Sprachen of 1798 came at the beginning of a long process of learning and assimilation of knowledge that was to eventually occupy much of his time in Madame de Staël’s household and form the basis of his later career as a university professor in Bonn.

The Essays on Art

  • 360 Athenaeum, II, i, 39-151; SW, IX, 3-101 (minus the poems). For remarks of relevance on Die Gemälde (...)

167Caroline had seen no reason why Die Gemälde,360 that conversation on painting, should not go to Goethe’s Propyläen. It was both a shrewd and a naïve remark. The objections to youthful enthusiasms raised in that periodical’s prologue had not been directed against the Schlegel brothers, who as yet had no art criticism to show for themselves, but at Wackenroder and Tieck, who did. It was at their door—and much later at Friedrich Schlegel’s—that Goethe was to lay the blame for the ‘Catholicizing, neo- germanising’ art that so displeased him in the first decade and a half of the nineteenth century. His outburst in 1817 (or rather, Heinrich Meyer’s) only made brief mention of August Wilhelm and then only of those slightly compromising poems on Christian art. Die Gemälde was different: it was not like Wackenroder and Tieck, writing uncritically and even hagiographically about artists. It still had its gaze firmly fixed on the works of art themselves and the things to be observed as one stood in front of them. Only after this necessary analysis did the discourse merge into poetic utterance. Whether Die Gemälde could be accommodated in Propyläen, a periodical whose aim was to bring some system, some order, some terminological clarity, into matters of artistic taste and practice, was to say the least questionable.

168There were of course agreements here and there. They had similar views on the Laocoön group, and both accorded faint praise to Diderot’s discursive Salon. They all accepted Winckelmann’s position on Greek statuary: that one must penetrate beyond the outer surface to its ‘heart’ and essential inner ‘repose’. But there were also immediate differences between the Romantics and Goethe. Die Gemälde placed painting, not sculpture, in the centre and thus reversed Winckelmann’s order of priorities. There were disparaging remarks on neo-classical landscape, Claude and Poussin, especially on Philipp Hackert, Goethe’s much-revered colleague from Italian days. Moreover it is worth noting that Die Gemälde had much to say about schools of Italian painting (Venetian, Bolognese, Tuscan) about which Goethe when a traveller in Italy had not been universally enthusiastic (or so he was later to aver).

  • 361 Sulger-Gebing, Die Brüder Schlegel, 59; Wilhelm Waetzoldt, ‘August Wilhelm und Friedrich Schlegel’, (...)
  • 362 Stoljar, 67.

169Above all, Die Gemälde was cast around a gallery walk by informed— highly informed—cognoscenti361 who knew their Vasari and their Fiorillo, who were nevertheless not art historians (insofar as this term existed), whose eyes were caught by what they related to, and that was the power in a painting to produce emotion and to give that emotion poetic expression. Their remarks reflected existing hierarchies within art discourse or engaged with these. Historical painting ranked as superior to landscape or seascape, genre or still life. Venetian, Bolognese, and French schools stood in that order of esteem. Generally these connoisseurs followed their own dictates and looked or overlooked as they chose. If that meant more Venetians and almost no Dutch, well and good. They were dependent on eighteenth-century attributions, so that praise was lavished on a Holbein that was but a copy or on a ‘Leonardo’, even then considered dubious, that is now certainly a Holbein.362

  • 363 AWS, Kritische Schriften, 2 vols (Berlin: Reimer, 1828), I, xviii.
  • 364 HKA, II, 648.

170Who actually wrote Die Gemälde? The question of authorship arose in 1828 when Schlegel finally admitted that a large part had been written by ‘a clever woman’. The dialogue and the poems he had written, the descriptions of paintings were by the said lady.363 That had been the division of labour over the Romeo and Juliet essay of 1797. One can draw inferences from the respective contributions of the three interlocutors in the conversation: Louise, generally accepted as being Caroline herself, Waller, who is August Wilhelm, and Reinhold, a kind of collective figure for the remaining friends. Certainly Louise’s participations bulk large in the general scheme of the work. Of course Friedrich, Schelling and Novalis had their own views, Novalis noting that ‘The art gallery is a storehouse of all kinds of indirect stimuli for the poet’.364 They all shared the conversations’ general emphasis on the interrelation and interdependence of the art forms, the ability of language adequately to express the ‘spirit’ of the work of art (not mere description), the power of a piece of sculpture or a painting to collapse the borders between poetry and music, to produce ‘Übergänge’ (transitions, transgressions).

  • 365 KAV, I, 122-124.

171First, there was a brief look at sculpture. Waller summed up the general consensus—quoting Herder or Hemsterhuis in all but name—that statuary was not a mere question of shape or contour or mass or repose. It was also ‘in movement’, ‘organic’, a ‘beseelte Einheit’ [a unity with life and soul], and that was almost to a word what August Wilhelm would be telling his student audience in Jena in 1799‑1800.365 It was also related to Goethe’s remarks in Propyläen about the ‘dynamism’ of the Laocoön group. The whole conversation was, however, called The Paintings, and so the visitors walked on towards the painting galleries, their real goal.

172Their movements did not reflect the traditional subject rankings in art discourse, for instead of heading directly for the religious or mythological subjects, the ‘historical paintings’, the group halted at a section of landscapes. These were in reality scattered, but the essay conveniently assembled them, one Italian (Salvator Rosa), one French (Claude), one Dutch (Ruysdael). Total coverage was not their aim. Where Goethe later discussed Dresden’s three Ruysdaels, they were content with one. Nor were they interested in rehearsing the century’s notions on landscape (questions of ‘factual’ or ‘ideal’ or ‘horror and immensity’). They were content to dispraise a Claudesque painting by Hackert as being essentially lifeless if it suited them. Instead they attempted a close, sometimes quite technical, analysis of the three paintings. In their view, the painter’s art and sense of proportion reduce the huge scale of nature to humanly accessible form. He puts his ‘soul’ into it as his personal impress. Faced with the measurelessness of nature, he can only select and group, but in the process he restores a sense of nature’s original unity. If—they concluded—painting is the art of appearance (‘Schein’) the painter gives substance and body to appearance and confers on it its own legitimate existence. The Romantics’ enhancement of landscape had two aspects. It used specific examples, as here, to validate aesthetic categories, whereas in Tieck’s novel Sternbald of 1798 it postulated a symbolic, ‘hieroglyphic’ landscape, not based so much on seeing as on imagining. It was to be Tieck’s approach that would lead directly to the painters Philipp Otto Runge or Caspar David Friedrich or the poet Joseph von Eichendorff envisioning their respective landscapes in paint or word.

173Once within the Dresden gallery’s collection of ‘historical’ and portrait paintings—Holbein, Andrea del Sarto, Correggio, Paolo Veronese, Annibale Carracci and the crowning glory of Raphael’s Sistine Madonna— the tone and the language of the conversation changed. They sought inner qualities such as ‘stillness’, ‘nobility’, ‘grace’ or ‘inner beauty’, the common-currency Winckelmannian language of the late eighteenth century, but always in combination with an analysis of technique or colour or positioning of figures. It was never supercharged, as in Wackenroder, so as to crowd out these technical features as mere ‘incidentals’. This could be seen increasingly in the accounts of Correggio, who was beginning here his advance in Romantic esteem to become the equal of Raphael. There were outright condemnations, too, that amounted to blanket rejections of schools or centuries: the Flemish (Rubens), French neo-classicism (Poussin), the eighteenth century in general (Batoni, Mengs).

  • 366 Stoljar, 71; Becker (1998), 153.

174It is therefore interesting to find them invoking briefly the ideal Renaissance categories of beauty, as applied to the male features,366 in their discussion of Annibale Carracci’s head of Christ. Waller listed them: technically, the right balance of facial details formed a harmonious whole (he never mentions the crown of thorns); aesthetically, it produced repose, dignity, greatness, and serenity. Above all it led the discussion to the question of the highest in (Christian) art, the ultimate icon of Raphael’s Sistine Madonna. Was one (like Wackenroder) simply to ‘take the shoes from off one’s feet’ and declare critical language, any kind of language, redundant? Or was one to make the attempt nevertheless to describe ‘the divine in child-like guise’, the commingling of the two natures, godlike and human, the Madonna standing (or rather floating on a cloud) before us, the handmaid of the divine and above all earthly functions? Louise confessed to tears. Was she in danger of becoming Catholic? But art never lost its autonomy. It was not so suffused with feeling as to become something vague and indefinable. It did not inhibit further analysis (of the supporting figures), but it raised two important issues. The first was the close relationship of the fine arts to poetry. The other was the inner attitude that must accompany the account of sacred art, the need to reinstall the ‘mythological order’ (‘mythologischer Kreis’) that is the basis of all religious veneration, the reinstatement of that old devotion, of all of those venerable Christian legends that the Reformation had banished. These were also to be the sentiments that Friedrich’s ‘mythology speech’ in the last number of the Athenaeum in 1800 was to express even more eloquently.

  • 367 Such as the poem ‘Johannes in der Wüste’, based on the painting, once attributed to Raphael, now in (...)
  • 368 Oeuvres, I, 191; Sulger-Gebing, 56.
  • 369 Athenaeum, II, ii, 193-246; SW, IX, 102-157.

175By way of demonstrating these points, the conversation ceased to be a discussion and became instead poetry: eight sonnets that traced the life of the Virgin. Formally always contained and ordered (they were by Schlegel, after all), their subject matter went beyond what was available in Dresden and invoked a ‘musée imaginaire’ that involved memories (presumably from 1793) of the Düsseldorf collection.367 The concluding ‘legend’, a romance reliving St Luke’s vision of the Virgin and his consecration as the patron saint of painters, brought together the Madonna, St Luke and Raphael. For the later Nazarene painters in Rome, the ‘brotherhood of St Luke’ (that included Schlegel’s step-nephew Philipp Veit) this was ‘all ye need to know’. August Wilhelm saw the matter less extravagantly. In a much later letter to Albertine de Broglie he sought to explain it in terms of ‘artist’s predilection’:368 ‘Catholic’ subjects and an awareness of the patronage of the arts by the church were second nature to the artist and did not require any accompanying affirmation of faith, let alone conversion. This was also the uncle of Auguste von Buttlar speaking, displeased at her embrace of Rome. Schlegel’s contribution to the art appreciation of the Athenaeum did not however end there. There was his Flaxman essay as well.369 It linked up with Die Gemälde by reiterating the notion of a mutual interrelation of the arts. The artist ‘gives us a new perceptory sense for appreciating the poet’ and the poet creates a new language of ‘ciphers’ or ‘hieroglyphs’ that acts on the imagination and stimulates it to further creative insights (‘plastisches Dichtergefühl’). This was not achieved by conventional engravings, Hogarth (Schlegel’s special bête noire) or Boydell’s Shakespeare Gallery (Tieck had already reviewed its singular horrors) or Chodowiecki’s illustrations of modern German literature. One needed a radical approach, and this was furnished by John Flaxman’s outline engravings to Dante, Homer and Aeschylus.

Fig. 8 John Flaxman: illustration of Dante, Inferno, Canto 33 (Rome[?], 1802), showing Ugolino and his sons.

Fig. 8 John Flaxman: illustration of Dante, Inferno, Canto 33 (Rome[?], 1802), showing Ugolino and his sons.

© and by kind permission of the Master and Fellows of Trinity College, Cambridge, CC BY-NC 4.0.

  • 370 Sulger-Gebing, 62-67.
  • 371 Ibid., 63f.
  • 372 Goethe, Gedenkausgabe, XIII, 183-188.
  • 373 Werner Hofmann (ed.), Runge in seiner Zeit, exhibition catalogue Hamburg Kunsthalle, Kunst um 1800 (...)
  • 374 William Vaughan, German Romantic Painting (New Haven and London: Yale UP, 1980), 46f.
  • 375 Cf. Klaus-Peter Schuster, ‘“Flaxman der Abgott aller Dilettanten”. Zu einem Dilemma des klassisch (...)
  • 376 Caroline, II, 213.

176Flaxman had not yet begun his triumphant progress through the academies or his conquest of European art taste. The engravings, first produced by Tommaso Piroli in Rome in 1793, were expensive and copies were initially hard to come by.370 Schlegel borrowed his from the librarian in Dresden, Johann August Heine, who seems to have been planning a German edition under Böttiger’s guidance and who had not completely given up the hope of Schlegel producing a work on Dante.371 Goethe’s first (unpublished) note on Flaxman also dated from 1799.372 Indeed, it was not until reissues were made available and artists were beginning to copy and adapt the ‘outline style’ that Flaxman’s advance began in earnest. It was not long in coming: Runge’s Hamburg teacher Gerdt Hardorff, for instance, was already encouraging his pupil, now in Copenhagen, in this direction.373 Goethe’s ‘friends of art in Weimar’, at least as far as Homeric subjects were concerned, were for the time being advocating the full-bodied sculptural approach to drawing, as evidenced by the competitions for young artists on motifs from the Iliad, that were one of the less auspicious things to be announced in the Propyläen.374 Goethe, despite misgivings, could not be indifferent to Flaxman. How far Schlegel’s essay had a part in all of these processes is hard to say;375 there is no evidence that Runge read it (with the original Flaxman, or copies from it, he hardly needed to), but Friedrich Tieck in Weimar, soon to depart for Louis David’s studio in Paris, certainly did.376

177Goethe, who up to this time had shown no great interest in Dante, expressed himself in cautiously neo-classical terms about Flaxman’s Dante engravings (‘simplicity’, ‘serenity’). He noted, too, their proximity to the ‘innocence, naivety and naturalness’ of the old Italian pre-Raphaelite schools. All this one could read in Schlegel as well, but charged with a veneration for Dante, the ‘great prophet of Catholicism’, the ‘Raphael and Michelangelo of poetry’. Gone were the reservations that he had expressed but a few years ago. This may have had to do with Flaxman’s handling of situation, figure and costume, as for instance in the second Ugolino engraving, where the grouping and positioning mitigated some of the horror of the original. Schlegel could be more open about Dante’s mysticism. In those sections where Dante went beyond the powers of human expression, Flaxman used geometrical figures (circle, triangle), themselves mystical symbols of the godhead, and passed beyond mere representation. There was Flaxman’s title page to Purgatorio, with its representation of the triumph of the church and its saints. Schlegel praised it in neo-classical vocabulary, but also in language where ‘simplicity’ became ‘simple-heartedness’, ‘naivety’ was coupled with ‘humility’, and all of these virtues with ‘piety’. Friedrich Schlegel was to take up this strain in 1804‑05 when his periodical Europa made the same connections with the Italian and Flemish primitives. In that sense, this Athenaeum essay was entering regions where Goethe already had reservations and later was to see merely superstition.

  • 377 Hofmann, Flaxman, 24.
  • 378 SW, IX, 156f.
  • 379 SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd. e. 90, IX (IV)b. AWS’s own account of this visit in Kritische Schriften, (...)

178Schlegel’s further remarks, on Homer, stressing as they did the special suitability of Flaxman’s reductive outline technique for the expression of what was quintessentially ancient and Greek, its symmetry, its repose, would have elicited Goethe’s qualifications, his doubts perhaps, but not his disapproval. For Schlegel’s essay ended with an appeal to German artists to make this style their own. Both Goethe and Schlegel were in their own ways to be astonished by Runge’s Flaxmanian Times of Day.377 When reissuing this essay in 1828, Schlegel drew attention to two other highly accomplished sets of outline engravings, by Peter Cornelius,378 the one, of Faust (1810), which could claim Goethe as its ultimate inspiration, the other, of the Nibelungenlied (1822), had as its originating influence Schlegel himself. It is worth recording that when Schlegel visited London in 1823, he made no attempt to visit Lawrence or Haydon or any other members of the English art establishment, but sought out ‘Mr Flaxman Buckingham St Portland Place’.379 It was an act of loyalty to Flaxman and also to himself, although by then Flaxman’s reputation was firmly established as a sculptor, rather less as an engraver.

Schlegel’s Lectures in Jena

  • 380 Friedrich Ast’s transcripts were passed on to Karl Christian Friedrich Krause and published by Aug. (...)

179There remain the lectures that Schlegel delivered in Jena from the autumn of 1798380 and which, as we have seen, overlapped in many respects with his other writings and with the Athenaeum in particular. Their effect was of necessity limited, for students did not flock to Schlegel as they did to Schelling and as they had done to Fichte, and it is only through the initiatives of two promising and intelligent young men, Ast and Savigny, that we have any record at all. Even then they have only handed down to us those lectures now called Philosophische Kunstlehre [Philosophical Art Theory]. These contain sections dealing with German literature, but they are presumably different from the lectures on the history of German poetry (now lost) that he also announced. From the examples of German literature cited there we may infer that Klopstock and Goethe commanded the greatest esteem, Klopstock the author of the Grammatische Gespräche, but also (with Goethe) the renewer of modern German poetic expression. Such coverage of the older stages of German/Germanic literature as there was, in the account of poetic genres and in the remarkable section on ‘romantische Poesie’, suggested that Otfrîd (whom both Schlegels read as their token Old High German text), the Nibelungenlied, the Heldenbuch and Minnesang featured. Of Schlegel’s lectures on Horace we know nothing.

  • 381 H. S. Reiss, ‘The Naturalisation of the Term “Ästhetik” in Eighteenth-Century German: Alexander Got (...)

180We saw that Schlegel’s lectures ranged in the university calendar between ‘Philologie’ and ‘Philosophie’, with his course on aesthetics falling into the second category. If this brought him into a proximity with Schiller, who had ceased lecturing but who nevertheless still featured in the university’s programme, or with Fichte, who had now left, or with Schelling, very definitely present, it should not be forgotten that he was also a colleague of lesser figures like Schütz (of the Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung), or Eichstädt. In keeping with other German universities,381 Jena had been offering lectures on aesthetics (not necessarily under this exact title) for decades. Schlegel could therefore be seen as a versatile and reliable colleague in both classical and modern literatures and was also the man best suited to inject the central tenets of transcendental idealism into the academic teaching of aesthetics.

  • 382 Jesinghaus, 25.

181As such, the lectures did two things. They posited absolute statements and manifest, ‘incontrovertible’, truths while also explaining the processes by which these ideas achieved their incontrovertibility. Aesthetics, as the philosophical study of human awareness of art and beauty, dealt with such absolutes, themselves the absolute aims of humanity. A sense of beauty is innate to humankind, does not exist outside of the human mind, and is mankind’s absolute aim.382 As part of original human nature and the destination of mankind, the aesthetic sense is postulated as a given, it is ‘to be’. As man becomes aware of his ultimate purpose, so he grows in his awareness of art and beauty. Art is by this definition no mere accessory, has no ancillary function, is no frill or furbelow. These are ideas firmly rooted in Schiller or Fichte.

182Schlegel was also concerned to show how man came to this awareness and what manifestations it took as a historical process. On one level, this meant setting out the history of aesthetics from Plato and Aristotle to Baumgarten, Winckelmann and Kant. On a more general plane, it involved a history of humanity—Schlegel used roughly Herder’s scheme but differed as to where the march of history was leading—which was co-terminous with the natural history of art. Unlike his Horen essay of 1795‑96, his lectures were less concerned with rehearsing theories of language than with linking the speech act to the first beginnings of poetry, with ‘Naturpoesie’. We study Homer, he said, because he was closest to this primeval poetry before it became the preserve of a chosen few and was changed into art. Although climate and physical or phonetic differences lead to disparity, all language is by nature rhythmical, musical or image-laden. Image is the essential of myth, and myth is the product of the powers of human expression. Here Schlegel first developed the basically anthropological ideas (human figure, oracle, fate, belief in life after death, the golden age) that were to form part of his Romantic mythology but also informed his later Bonn lectures on ancient history.

183From there, it was a logical step to an historical account of the various forms of poetic expression, the literary genres (epic, lyric, dramatic). Again, there were many prefigurations here of his later Berlin and Vienna lectures. Surely the part that could make the greatest claim to being a new approach was the section on ‘modern poetic forms’, where he developed first his view of the Middle Ages as a fusion of religion, chivalry and feudalism, both morally upright (courtly love) but also prone to fantasy and play with the imagination (Arthurian romance, fairy tale). The ‘Romantic’ genres were therefore the romance and ballad, the novella, the novel and the ‘romantic drama’ and as such they overthrew old neoclassical hierarchies and scales of esteem. Here for the first time Schlegel set out a general view of Shakespeare in a wider context (as indeed before him Wieland, Herder and Eschenburg had done); but with the reference to Śakuntalâ and Goethe it now contained the germ of a suggestion that a dramatic form that mixed and commingled the poetic styles, that was both comic and tragic, loved complexities but was ‘open’ in form, might not have ceased with Shakespeare but could be creatively revived in Germany in their own day.

2.2 Berlin (1801-1804)

The End of Jena: Controversies and Polemics

184The death of Auguste Böhmer in the summer of 1800 marked in real and in symbolic terms the end of the Romantics’ association in Jena. A personal tragedy for her mother Caroline, but also for her step-father August Wilhelm, Auguste’s loss had the effect of awakening old enmities and shaking existing relationships. It was to be followed by another gap in the Romantic ranks when early in 1801 Novalis succumbed to the tuberculosis that had been undermining his frail constitution. These were not ‘romantic’ deaths, certainly not for the sufferers:Auguste dosed with opium against the diarrhoea that was killing her (her mother was to die in identical circumstances nine years later); Novalis, a Keatsian phthisic, not in Rome but in wintry Weissenfels. Yet here was a Romantic necrology—in Jena, Wackenroder’s early death in 1798 went largely unnoticed—that would also furnish an instant Romantic mythology, the creation of a semblance of unity in mourning and memorialisation where the real edifice showed cracks and fissures. In the case of Novalis it provided a convenient hagiography that could later compete with Goethe’s elevation of Winckelmann and Schiller.

185As already recounted, poor Auguste never had the grave monument designed for her that might have become a tiny neo-classical enclave in a corner of Catholic Franconia. Tieck and August Wilhelm quarrelled over Novalis’s ‘sacred relics’ (their term), over the abhorrent thought of ‘continuing’ his unfinished novel Heinrich von Offterdingen. August Wilhelm, never especially close to Novalis, allowed Tieck and Friedrich Schlegel to issue Novalis’s works. Significantly, they did not include his radical Die Christenheit oder Europa [Christendom or Europe], a vision of history too controversial for readers in the new nineteenth century. Despite differences, personal between Caroline and Dorothea, ideological between Friedrich Schlegel and Schelling, the former Romantic circle was nevertheless able to show a united front when it suited, as in the two volumes called Charakteristiken und Kritiken in 1801. These assembled the Schlegel brothers’ best works of criticism. Or the Musen-Almanach für das Jahr 1802 (issued late in 1801) edited by Tieck and August Wilhelm, that commemorated the recent and early Romantic dead.

  • 383 Caroline, II, 90-93.

186The circle’s letters now reflect much more of current events than before. During the Athenaeum years one would hardly have known that the map of Europe was being redrawn or that tumultuous events were happening, in the far-off Mediterranean or Egypt, so absorbed had these men and women of letters been with matters of the mind or wars with literary rivals. These were now the times of Marengo and Hohenlinden, of the occupation of Hanover, of the peace treaties of Lunéville and Amiens, then of the division of the German lands themselves. We hear much more now of the threats, real or imagined, of armies on the move, of real captures and quarterings imposed on the civil population. In 1801, Caroline experienced the political repercussions of the times at first hand in Harburg, with the cession of the Hanoverian lands to Prussia.383 Caroline’s and August Wilhelm’s mothers were directly affected. Yet the postal service still functioned. During the peace interludes Friedrich and Dorothea travelled unhindered to Paris and set themselves up there, relying on the diligence to get letters, proofs and packets of books from one land to another. Indeed it had been Bonaparte’s pillages in the Near East and in Italy (later in Germany) that had made Paris so attractive as a place in which to study the arts.

  • 384 SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd. App. 2712, B17, 25 and 26.
  • 385 Bernhard Maaz, Christian Friedrich Tieck 1776-1851. Leben und Werk unter besonderer Berücksichtigun (...)

187Caroline needed to regain her health and recuperate, first in Bocklet and then with Schelling and August Wilhelm in Bamberg. Artists were commissioned to do a drawing of Auguste (with halo), then a portrait in oils (only Johann Friedrich August Tischbein’s portrait of 1798 survives). The sculptors, Gottfried Schadow, then Friedrich Tieck, the latter due back imminently from Louis David’s studio in Paris, were to produce a memorial, of which only Tieck’s drawing384 and a plaster bust by him are extant.385 Thus Auguste, at the edge of a circle that was discovering Renaissance and Catholic portraiture, is commemorated in a bust of neo-classical lineaments, her eyes left blank, her plaited hair tied up with a ribbon, her shoulders covered with the barest outline of a Greek cloak, a young Iphigenia perhaps, or even a Persephone.

  • 386 Caroline, II, 3f.
  • 387 Ibid., 4.
  • 388 Ibid., 75.
  • 389 Ibid., 138-147.
  • 390 Ibid., 152.

188Once restored, Caroline set out to visit her mother and sister in Göttingen. It was in more ways than one a repetition of the journey in the same direction she had once made from Mainz. She was, as then, accompanied by August Wilhelm, now as ever linked by bonds of friendship and respect, devotion even. Once more, she found herself subject to the same decree as then banning her from the Hanoverian university town (the ‘immoral’ Friedrich Schlegel was subject to the same interdict).386 Yet again, they had to opt for Brunswick, the more tolerant ducal residence that also had a French theatre. August Wilhelm, not affected, had visited his mother in Hanover, no doubt to reassure her that her sons’ marital affairs were not leading them to perdition. Their marriage was over. There remained still a strong residue of the affection, solicitude and camaraderie that had once been the mainstay of their relationship. They used the intimate ‘Du’ form until their formal separation and divorce. Schelling in Jena could read in a letter from Caroline ‘Mein Herz, mein Leben’ [My heart, my life],387 Schlegel in Berlin might note ‘O wie sehr fehltest Du mir’ [How much I need you],388 when things were really earnest and she needed his succour and support. He was still helping her financially. She, as before, could still be relied upon to pass on her critical and practical insights and her encouragement, as Schlegel sought to forge for himself a career as a dramatist and as a public lecturer in Berlin. It was she who advised him not to break with his publisher Unger over a breach of contract with the Shakespeare edition, shrewdly noting that no-one else would take on this enterprise with a litigious translator.389 He should keep out of business affairs and concentrate on the task in hand, consider whether he wanted to make a name as a dramatist or earn a useful income from Shakespeare. On the last-named subject, she asked the pertinent question why he was still dashing off the Histories when he could have done Macbeth, Othello and Lear, where Schiller had produced a Macbeth well below Schlegel’s standards.390 As in 1801 the two quarto volumes of Charakteristiken und Kritiken appeared, with the Schlegel brothers’ best critical offerings, she may have reflected that August Wilhelm’s essay on Bürger contained much of herself (she had known Bürger longer than he had). When the final volumes of Shakespeare appeared in 1801‑02, she knew that the whole undertaking was a part‑monument to her own skills.

  • 391 Leuper, Vorlesungsangebot, I, 326, 328.
  • 392 Ibid., 328.

189For a publisher for Charakteristiken und Kritiken they had gone to one of Friedrich’s contacts, Friedrich Nicolovius in Königsberg, a sign that the Romantics still had to ‘shop around’ to sell even their best wares. It also represented a leave-taking from Jena and its associations. Friedrich had become ‘habilitiert’ in the university in 1800; ‘Dr. Schlegel’ could be heard in the winter semester of 1800-01 lecturing on ‘Transcendentalphilosophie’ (in competition with Schelling) and on ‘Principles of Philosophy’ in the summer of 1801.391 August Wilhelm, although still officially on the lecture list offering aesthetics and Horace,392 never in fact returned as a professor to Jena after Caroline’s departure, now setting his sights on greater things in Berlin. Friedrich’s academic career was brief and inauspicious, part of the general break-up that hastened his and Dorothea’s departure for Paris in 1802.

The Essay on Bürger

  • 393 KA, XXV, 250f.

190The brothers talked desultorily of continuing the Athenaeum.393 It was not to be: the original élan was no longer there. Charakteristiken und Kritiken reprinted only one piece from that earlier periodical, Friedrich’s essay on Wilhelm Meister.

Fig. 9 August Wilhelm and Friedrich Schlegel, Charakteristiken und Kritiken (Königsberg, 1801), Title page of vol. 1.

Fig. 9 August Wilhelm and Friedrich Schlegel, Charakteristiken und Kritiken (Königsberg, 1801), Title page of vol. 1.

© and by kind permission of the Master and Fellows of Trinity College, Cambridge, CC BY-NC 4.0.

191August Wilhelm republished his essay on Romeo and Juliet—his set piece of critical analysis—and his Horen dialogue on language, his stated position on the inner link between language, rhythm, poetry and mythology, to be reiterated in Berlin. Of his reviews he reprinted those of Voss (somewhat toned down), of Goethe’s Roman Elegies and Hermann und Dorothea, of Wackenroder and Tieck’s Herzensergiessungen, and of Tieck’s Don Quixote. Here one could read a continuing solidarity with the Romantic movement’s main living poet, Ludwig Tieck, and with the spiritus rector, patron and idol of their endeavours, Goethe.

192There were two new contributions, Friedrich’s essay on Boccaccio, and August Wilhelm’s on Bürger. The Schlegel brothers wrote no novellas, but they knew that Goethe had consciously revived this Renaissance narrative form in 1795, and they were to see its explosive expansion during their own lifetime. August Wilhelm’s remarks on the genre in his Berlin lectures remained unpublished, but in Friedrich’s essay readers could learn of the link between the novella’s ‘subjective’ story matter and the ‘objective’ brevity of its form, how a mere anecdote could achieve mastery in the hands of a Boccaccio or a Cervantes. The essay is part of the Romantic discovery and rehabilitation of Italian and Spanish literature as sources of original, vital poetry, that saw Cervantes placed on the same scale of esteem as Dante and Shakespeare.

  • 394 Ueber Bürgers Werke’. Charakteristiken und Kritiken. Von August Wilhelm Schlegel und Friedrich Sch (...)

193Unlike Friedrich’s on the novella, August Wilhelm’s Bürger essay394 was not forward-looking. It harked back to Gottfried August Bürger, the man who had first opened up these realms of gold, the long shadow over his work and career whose influence he now needed to exorcise. It was a leave-taking from his poetic childhood, the infantilisms of Bürger’s circle, as the seriousness of maturity became his tone. While going through the requisite rites of mourning he emancipated himself once and for all from mentoring and tutoring. It is surely no coincidence that Schlegel performed this deed of stringent filial piety just as he was about to step out in to the wide stage in Berlin and become a public persona untrammelled by the narrow provincialities of Göttingen or Jena. As a now established critic and poet, he could also savour the opportunity of delivering a delayed riposte to Schiller’s attack of 1791.

194Had the circumstances and the subjects not been widely different, the essay was the nearest that the long eighteenth century in Germany came to Samuel Johnson’s famous Life of Richard Savage (1744). Johnson was of course defending the memory of a poète maudit whose unfortunate and dissolute circumstances had prevented his unfolding as an artist. In Johnson’s eyes, he nevertheless deserved sympathy and understanding from posterity. This Johnson did with some nobility. The Germans, it seems, had been less generous to their downtrodden artists. Schiller knew that Bürger’s private circumstances were unedifying when in 1791 he had kicked him down for not conforming to his own notion of the poetic office. There had been voices during the eighteenth century raised in defence of Johann Christian Günther, the nearest German equivalent to Savage, but Goethe’s autobiography of 1811‑14 concentrated on Günther’s perceived inadequacies, not his brief achievements, and Goethe was to compound this with an ungracious account of his slightly younger contemporary Johann Reinhold Michael Lenz, a poor fish in real life but an innovator and frondeur nevertheless.

  • 395 Zudem ist es eine vergebliche Hoffnung, einem menschlichen Werke durch Verschweigung der Mängel ei (...)
  • 396 Shakespeare’s dramatische Werke, I, [iiif.].

195By the same token, there were in the same elongated century also hagiographies, with improbable attributions and equations, Schink’s of Lessing, Friedrich Schlegel’s of Georg Forster, Goethe’s of Winckelmann, raising their subjects to the heights of mythological enshrinement and quasi- religious apotheosis. Friedrich Schlegel, as seen, put into his Forster essay many of his own aspirations and strivings, and some of that is true also for August Wilhelm’s account of Bürger. Schlegel clearly did not wish to kick a fallen man, but neither did he wish to write a hagiography. He did not strive to overpraise his subject, as if to compensate for Schiller’s inclemency and ungenerousness. ‘It is a forlorn hope’, he says’, to accord more fame to a man’s work than it deserves, by withholding its faults’.395 This was his stringent judgment on Bürger and the extent of his compensating generosity. His aim was to be fair, even if fairness involved the occasional severity. Schlegel’s later calumniator Heinrich Heine was to accuse him of committing parricide, but Heine, himself adept at the black arts of character assassination, must have known that this was not true. Yet Schlegel did not wish to be too closely associated with Bürger’s reputation, either. His few scattered defences of his mentor during the 1790s had not amounted to a rehabilitation of his memory, although one or two reviews (notably those of Salomon Gessner and the Éloges) had shown him pondering the essential structures of a poet’s life, the approach that is needed to do justice to the private and public sides of artistic existence. Lest he might be seen as merely following leads or initiatives proceeding from Bürger, he was quick to press his own independence. The short preface to the first volume of the Shakespeare translation in 1797 stressed that it contained ‘not a word’ of Bürger.396 His own sonnets consciously followed the high models of the Renaissance, not Bürger’s. The unfinished romance Tristan, on which he was working at the time, aligned itself with medieval subject-matter, not with the pseudo-folksy subjects in which Bürger indulged in his less vigilant moments.

  • 397 Kritische Schriften, II, 1-80.

196Schlegel made it clear that he had no wish to concentrate on a life that was in many ways unfulfilled and hemmed about with adversities. Thus his essay should not be read as a direct reply to the points raised by Schiller. Instead he singled out Bürger’s absolute dedication to poetry and his essential fulfilment in that avocation, although his was a satisfaction won only amid life-threatening tensions and the constant struggle against pressing circumstances. The times had not been favourable to him, says Schlegel, in that the period of his greatest influence was the immediate aftermath of the Sturm und Drang, in the 1780s, not the high-pitched turbulence of the 1770s. Here Schlegel was overlooking Bürger’s decisive role in the brotherhood of the Göttingen ‘Hain’ [Grove]; and he was situating Bürger, for strategic reasons, in the years of his own early poetic development and of his association with the older man. In characterising the 1780s as ‘lethargic’ and not conducive to the higher aspirations of poetry, he was thinking too much of Goethe’s silences during that period, but was by implication also describing the formative years of Schiller, Bürger’s later nemesis. Schlegel was at pains never to compare Bürger directly with Goethe. Similarly, although he spoke of the ‘cruelty’ of Schiller’s review, he maintained a diplomatic silence about the ‘reviewer’. He was after all still close to Weimar. In 1828, when reissuing the essay,397 he marred its generally even-handed tone with querulous and carping comments on Schiller, who was no longer able to answer.

197Thus it happened, says Schlegel, that Bürger, most of whose best poems were written in the 1770s, returned in the 1780s to revise many of them, forfeiting in the process much of their original freshness and at most imbibing the spirit of the later, less ‘poetic’ decade. This suggested by implication that the 1790s, after Bürger’s death, were the real years of fulfilment, a view since vindicated by history. Bürger was not (like, say, Goethe, although Schlegel mentions no names) ‘one favoured by nature’. He sought for two things that in many ways cancelled each other out: popularity and correctness. Popularity was fine, but it could have the effect of depressing the level of quality, of being poetically all things to all men. The great names of Romantic poetry (this is the Schlegel of the Athenaeum and the later Berlin lectures speaking), from the Troubadours to Shakespeare, had never been in any sense ‘popular’. Bürger strove to be both a folk poet and a correct one at that. This paradox also contained a fatal contradiction. On the one hand, it was Bürger who rediscovered the old ballads and romances, many of English, Scottish and Scandinavian provenance, and made them accessible in creative recastings. This service to poetry, says Schlegel the historian of the romance form, cannot be praised too highly. Yet these modernisations had often gone against the spirit of the seemingly naïve and unsophisticated originals, had been often too explicit, too crude, too mannered (‘Manier’ was not a term of praise in Schlegel’s— or Goethe’s—terminology). There had been great poetry nevertheless, such as that ballad Lenore, that Schlegel could not praise enough, that had taken the English by storm. Bürger’s attempts at Minnesang were laudable, and contained fine musical poetry. Still, Bürger could not let well alone: he would ‘correct’ his own poetry and forfeit some of its freshness and originality. All the same, Schlegel found some kind words for Bürger’s love poetry and for his sonnets, even for his fragmentary versification of Homer (Voss was not to have all the credit). He totally rejected Bürger’s prose Macbeth. Even if he never himself attempted a translation of this play, he was not willing to compromise the standards of Shakespearean rendition that he himself had established in theory and even more so in practice.

198Schlegel’s envoi made some amends for the severity of his judgments. He accorded Bürger ‘freshness’, ‘power’, ‘clarity’, ‘elegance’, even a ‘rare greatness’. He had reviewed Bürger’s works on their merits, not confusing the work with the man, and had avoided all moral strictures except those relating to poetry itself. He had not attempted to raise Bürger to any kind of canonical status. He was clearly no ‘archpoet’ in the spirit of the Athenaeum. One could not apply to him the high standards that the Berlin lectures were to require of great and lasting poetry, but he was accorded a place, more modest but not without its own honour, in the national literature. Yet one senses that Schlegel with this essay had not quite got Bürger out of his system. How else can one explain the sonnet of 1810 called An Bürgers Schatten [To Bürger’s Shade] that went into his Poetische Werke of 1811:

An Bürgers Schatten

Mein erster Meister in der Kunst der Lieder,
      Der über mich, als meiner Jugend Morgen
      Noch meinen Namen schüchtern hielt verborgen,
      Der Weihung Wort sprach, väterlich und bieder!

Den deutschen Volksgesang erschufst du wieder,
      Und durftest nicht gelehrte Weisen borgen;
      Doch Müh, verworrne Leidenschaften, Sorgen,
      Sie drückten früh dein krankend Leben nieder.

Zürnst du, daß ich zu männlich strenger Sichtung
      Des reinen Golds von minder edlen Erzen
      An deines Geists Gepräge mich entschloßen?

  • 398 AWS, Poetische Werke, 2 parts (Heidelberg: Mohr und Zimmer, 1811), I, 334 (as here); SW, I, 375.

In dumpfen Tagen schien der Quell der Dichtung
      Dir schon versiegt; er hat sich neu ergossen,
      Doch tragen wir dein wackres Thun im Herzen.
398

     [My early master in the art of song,
      Who in the first morning of my youth,
      When shyness did not let me name my name,
      Blessed me as father, spoke kind words to me.

      You brought the German folksong back to life
      And did not need to borrow learned tones;
      But travail, cares and passion’s ravages
      Oppressed you and made your heart sick.

      Do you resent that my stern critic’s eye
       Is sifting the pure gold from baser ores
      And doing this on your own spirit’s coin?

      On dark dull days you felt the wells of song
      Dried up in you; but now they flow again,
      And in our hearts we bear your deeds and worth.]

  • 399 KA, XXV, 308.
  • 400 Ibid., 296f.
  • 401 Ibid., 331.

199In February of 1801, Schlegel went to Berlin. It was to be his base until 1804. A short exception was the brief return visit to Jena in the late summer of 1801. It was troubled by recriminations between Caroline and Dorothea over ‘meubles’, also over Dorothea’s alleged rumour-mongering about Auguste. Friedrich and Dorothea were in debt, borrowing from any forthcoming lenders, Friedrich already showing the ‘embonpoint’ produced by his compulsive eating.399 The subject of Auguste was always sensitive. August Wilhelm had rejected a poem of Friedrich’s, Der welke Kranz [The Wilted Wreath] for inclusion in the Musen-Almanach, allegedly at Caroline’s prompting.400 Friedrich in his turn had also been reading the proofs of Schleiermacher’s translation of Plato, and he had written the tragedy Alarcos, the failure of which in Weimar was to hasten their departure for Paris in 1802. He had managed to reach an agreement with Ludwig Tieck—no easy task—over the edition of Novalis’s works. After a final journey to Berlin and Dresden (where his sister Charlotte Ernst unwisely lent them money), Friedrich and Dorothea left in stages for Paris. There was, he said, no chance of earning a living in Germany, with them constantly on the move—a wanderlust occasioned by his creditors, one might add. He would be able to use his writings in Paris and work from that base. The much-admired Georg Forster had existed in this fashion,401 an analogy that even Friedrich must have known to be unfortunate in all of its associations. Yet the Schlegel brothers, while never agreeing on the subject of their respective partners or spouses, could in many ways not live without each other. When Friedrich’s periodical Europa, the only substantial product of his Paris years, began to appear in 1803, it contained a major input from August Wilhelm.

  • 402 Cf. Julius Petersen, Wesensbestimmung der deutschen Romantik. Eine Einführung in die moderne Litera (...)
  • 403 ‘Ein schön kurzweilig Fastnachtspiel vom alten und neuen Jahrhundert’, Musen- Almanach für das Jahr (...)

200Thus Jena now ceased to be the base of their literary association. Does that validate the thesis, advanced in the 1920s,402 that Jena stood for ‘literary Romanticism’ while the newly reformed and reconstituted (1802) University of Heidelberg represented its ‘religious’ (thus ideological) side? A kind of exodus from Jena to Heidelberg did take place. Overtures were made to Tieck; Paulus eventually went there; Schelling at one stage showed interest (the Schlegel brothers never). It might instead be fair to say that the content of the Athenaeum had been determined, dictated even, by the arguments of the 1790s, by associations, like those with Fichte, Schleiermacher or Novalis, that no longer held in the new century. Or that Goethe, and the desire to please him, had absorbed a disproportionate amount of its attention. If anything, we could say that the dissolution of the Jena circle did paradoxically produce in the Schlegel brothers the desire to systematize the achievement of Jena, to give it a historical foundation, a firm basis in fact, and this one could see, not in Heidelberg, but in August Wilhelm’s Berlin lectures and the private course which Friedrich gave in Paris. If one were searching for a manifesto of things new, as opposed to the old order, one would not look to the artificial divide between Jena and Heidelberg, but to the works of the circle itself. The last poem of the Musen-Almanach für das Jahr 1802—a year late—contained August Wilhelm’s Shrovetide parody on the old and new centuries.403 It was an unrepentant credo to the new spirit of the new age, young, disrespectful of mediocrity, intolerant of mere enlightenment, open to the glories of the past, great deeds martial and spiritual. The ‘new century’ stood in effect for the Athenaeum, whether one felt its influence in Jena, Heidelberg or Berlin. This was where the future lay.

  • 404 Briefe, I, 137.

201Leaving Jena for Berlin did not mean August Wilhelm cutting off his ties with Weimar. His début as a writer for the stage was made there, not in Berlin, and Goethe’s patronage and benevolence was something that he could not easily forfeit. Yet as other Romantics, his brother Friedrich, Schleiermacher, Ludwig Tieck among them, were removing themselves from Berlin, it seemed as if August Wilhelm was trying to reconstitute the Prusssian capital as a focal point for the movement. In this he also found himself being drawn into the turbulent affairs of the Tieck family, the three siblings, Ludwig, Sophie, and Friedrich. It could be said that all three possessed to a degree the charm, the ease of movement and conversation, the affability and savoir-vivre that came from early contact with Berlin culture and its salons (August Wilhelm spoke of Friedrich Tieck’s ‘tournure’).404 But all three were subject variously to mood swings, dilatoriness, frenetic bursts of creative energy followed by torpor and lassitude, which may be symptomatic of a manic-depressive condition. In fairness, Ludwig’s health had been ruined in that Jena winter of 1799‑1800, while Sophie had to contend with three difficult pregnancies and the loss of her second child Ludwig. Friedrich, in his turn, not always through his own fault, was at times reduced to a hand-to-mouth existence.

  • 405 See generally Roger Paulin, ‘Der Musen-Almanach für das Jahr 1802. Herausgegeben von A. W. Schlegel (...)
  • 406 Lohner, 49f., 65; York-Gothart Mix, ‘Kunstreligion und Geld. Ludwig Tieck, die Brüder Schlegel und (...)
  • 407 Lohner, 49-95.

202Take Ludwig first. He was no longer in Berlin, having spent himself in polemics and controversies directed at the anti-Romantic clique there. Now he was in Dresden, but in 1802 he was to move even further east to a friend’s estates beyond the Oder. He and August Wilhelm had agreed soon after Auguste Böhmer’s death that there should be a kind of poetic memorial, a ‘Todten‑Opfer’.405 Sacred memory did not rule out very business-like calculations. It would fill the gap in the market that Schiller’s Musenalmanach usually took up (Schiller had now given up this kind of literary work), would become the ‘Musenalmanach par excellence’, amounting to thirteen to fourteen duodecimo sheets of Romantic poetry. August Wilhelm, now an author with Johann Friedrich Cotta, also publisher to Goethe and Schiller, had negotiated terms: an almanac of 1,500 copies at a basic royalty of 60 Louisd’ors, authors to be paid for their contributions.406 From Dresden and Berlin, Tieck and Schlegel were to use their influence in their respective circles to produce a volume of verse in keeping with its appointed task. With the death of Novalis in March 1801, a double memorialisation seemed called for. Novalis’s Geistliche Lieder [Devotional Hymns] were to provide its centre, together with Schlegel’s sonnet cycle on Auguste. Tieck and both Schlegel brothers were to be the main contributors, but anyone capable of acceptable verse and of the right disposition might also be invited. Thus we find in the almanac an array of major and minor names, Schelling (as ‘Bonaventura’), Sophie Tieck, Karl von Hardenberg (Novalis’s brother), Wilhelm von Schütz, briefly August Wilhelm’s protégé, and others. An engraving of Goethe by the neo-classical painter Friedrich Bury, one of Schlegel’s new Berlin friends, was to form the frontispiece, in the forlorn hope that the great man might also contribute (the almanac appeared plate-less). Despite dealing with sacred remains, the editors quarrelled over Tieck’s tardiness. As usual, it was Schlegel who saw the little volume through the press.407

Fig. 10 A. W. Schlegel and L. Tieck, Musenalmanach auf das Jahr 1802 (Tübingen, 1802). Title page.

Fig. 10 A. W. Schlegel and L. Tieck, Musenalmanach auf das Jahr 1802 (Tübingen, 1802). Title page.

© and by kind permission of the Master and Fellows of Trinity College, Cambridge, CC BY-NC 4.0.

  • 408 Schelling (pseud. Bonaventura), ‘Die letzten Worte des Pfarrers zu Drottning auf Seeland’, Musen-Al (...)

203If the Athenaeum’s verse offerings had not been typical of the movement’s capabilities, the Musen-Almanach was to make good this deficiency. It was ‘Romantic’ to a fault, in that Romance verse forms (sonnet, canzone, terza rima, ottava rima) were to the fore. Ballads or religious verse stanzas from different traditions, Catholic and Protestant, were also prominent. Religious the almanac certainly was, with those extraordinary poems by Novalis as its centrepiece, a kind of ecumenical religiosity that took in elements of whatever provenance and reflected the sense, formulated by Schleiermacher, that all facets of intellectual and cultural life were subject to a spiritual dimension. Thus even Schelling’s ballad (rather good) and Tieck’s romance (less good) had religious themes.408 One could find the theosophical imagery of the old mystagogue Jacob Böhme in both Tieck’s and Novalis’s verse. The Schlegels translated the swooning cadences of the medieval hymn and the devotional verse of the Spanish Baroque. Yet few readers would have been receptive to the daring eucharistic eroticism of Novalis’s communion hymn that draws on the mystical imagery of the Moravian Brethren among whom he was nurtured:

  • 409 Musen-Almanach, 203; HKA, I, 167 (with different stanza pattern).

Einst ist alles Leib,
Ein Leib,
In himmlischem Blute
Schwimmt das selige Paar.—
O! daß das Weltmeer
Schon erröthete,
Und in duftiges Fleisch
Aufquölle der Fels!
Nie endet das süße Mahl
Nie sättigt die Liebe sich.
409

[Once all is body,
One body,
In heavenly blood
Swim the two blissful ones.—
O that the ocean
Were already red
And as sweet-scented flesh
The rock were to spring up!
The blessed feast never ends,
Love is never sated.]

204August Wilhelm’s nine sonnets of ‘Todten-Opfer’, his offering to the dead, was altogether more decorous and eclectic in its mythology. A classicizing element was rarely absent from any of Schlegel’s enterprises. In one sonnet, Auguste is likened to Eurydice, in another she is safe in the Virgin’s arms.

Sophie Tieck‑Bernhardi

  • 410 Lohner, 137-147.
  • 411 Cf. Ewa Eschler, Sophie Tieck-Bernhardi-Knorring (1775-1833). Das Wanderleben und das vergessene We (...)

205Ludwig Tieck and Schlegel made up their quarrel and returned to exchanging letters about more congenial things, about Shakespeare, about the Middle Ages. Tieck’s modernising anthology of Minnesang, Minnelieder aus dem Schwäbischen Zeitalter [Love Songs from the Swabian Era] of 1803 was an influential authority for Schlegel’s Berlin lectures. Still, it is noticeable, when at the end of 1803 Tieck showed all the signs of crisis and nervous collapse, that it was Friedrich Schlegel to whom he wrote a great confessional letter, not August Wilhelm.410 Sophie Tieck411 had contributed both to the Athenaeum and to the Musen-Almanach, a short essay for the one and two poems for the other. In fact, she had been included anonymously in publications by her brother and her husband August Ferdinand Bernhardi since at least 1795, mostly as ‘Sophie B.’. Whereas the Schlegels did not go in for sibling rivalry, with the Tiecks it assumed textbook dimensions. At first together in Berlin, then separated by study or marriage, they repulsed each other and yet became inextricably implicated in each others’ fates and misfortunes. Those who defend Sophie (mostly women) point to her invidious position as the middle sibling between two brothers, hemmed in by domesticity, marriage and childbearing, disparaged and exploited by writers in her immediate entourage. A woman writer unappreciated, even compared with her contemporaries Caroline von Wolzogen, Therese Huber, Sophie Mereau or Karoline von Günderode, with whom she bears equal rank, her publications were mainly anonymous: her full name appeared but once on a title page (Dorothea Schlegel’s never did). Those who do not defend her (largely men) find her neurotic, exploitative, rapacious, vampiric even, and these are the terms that one tends to hear in the Schlegel narrative (not of course from August Wilhelm himself). In that context, she did not possess Caroline’s strength of character, Dorothea’s devotion, or Madame de Staël’s sheer hugeness of personality. Yet in 1801‑02, she and Schlegel were lovers.

206He had met her on his previous visit to Berlin, as Ludwig Tieck’s sister and as Bernhardi’s wife. Bernhardi, a classicist and schoolmaster at the Friedrichswerder Gymnasium in Berlin, was a friend of her brother Ludwig, and his marriage to Sophie in 1799 seemed a natural consequence. Their first child, Wilhelm, was born in 1800, but the marriage failed. Bernhardi had few friends. He may have had an unpleasant and unattractive personality, but he surely does not deserve the demonisation visited on him by the Tieck-Schlegel circle. It was easy to overlook that he had contributed to the Athenaeum (Tieck had not) and that he had been drawn into the various plans for a ‘Kritisches Institut’. Schlegel was to do a long review of his important handbook on language for Europa. Yet a messy divorce and court cases over custody of his children seem to be Bernhardi’s personal legacy.

  • 412 Location described in Friedrich Nicolai, Wegweiser für Fremde und Einheimische durch die Königl. Re (...)
  • 413 As in SW, I, 235-243, II, 37-38, IX, 227-230.
  • 414 These letters SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd. App. 2712, IVe, 1-33.

207Bernhardi could also be generous, gregarious (he went drinking with Fichte) and hospitable. When Schlegel arrived in Berlin, the Bernhardis took him in for the duration of his lectures, in their quarters in the Oberwasserstrasse (or Jungfernbrücke),412 on the Kupfergraben canal and not far from the Tieck family home. The Bernhardis, with their wide circle of friends, did all they could to assist Schlegel’s adjustment to the capital city. He needed no introductions to the world of the theatre: Madame Unzelmann was very glad of his company, more than glad, some alleged. He commemorated her acting in prose and verse.413 Relations with Iffland, the director of the Royal Theatre, were cooler. He did not care for Schlegel’s particular brand of neo-classical drama, his verse play Ion, and did nothing for its success in Berlin. Through the Bernhardis, Schlegel found a lawyer willing to take the publisher Unger to court (unsuccessfully, as it turned out). Thus the Shakespeare project, one of the few great things still associated with Schlegel’s name, so proudly inaugurated in 1797, ended in litigation and recrimination, and in a truncated state, with most of the great tragedies and the ‘problem plays’ untranslated. Only in 1810 did he give in to Madame Unger’s importunings414 and finish King Richard III.

208Above all, the Bernhardis were assiduous in finding a venue and drumming up an audience for the lectures that Schlegel was to give in Berlin from the end of 1801 until the winter of 1804. Almost at the same time as Schlegel was ‘brouillirt’ with her brother Ludwig over literary matters, he fell in love with Sophie. No doubt it began with friendship, doubtless also with Schlegel’s chivalrous concern for her condition—her second child, Ludwig, was born in August, 1801. Perhaps also solicitude when this little mite died the following February. The letters that they exchanged from the period of his absence in Jena, from August until October 1801, are, however, full of passion.

  • 415 SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd. App. 2712, B15, 1 and 2. He adds in German ‘S. T. nach meinem Tod uneröf (...)
  • 416 Krisenjahre, I, 17, 19.
  • 417 Ibid., 17.
  • 418 Ibid., III, 29f.

209In 1811, sorting through his papers before his imminent and hasty departure from Coppet, Schlegel placed a double seal on the packet of letters to and from Sophie, with the instruction ‘à bruler [sic] après ma mort sans ouvrir le paquet’ [to be burned unopened after my death].415 Her letters, in a spidery hand and in uncertain spelling, speak of passion and longing, his of devotion. Using lovers’ ruses, hers alternate between ‘Du’ and ‘Sie’, intimate when Bernhardi was absent, formal and factual when Bernhardi was at home and could surprise her at her writing- desk.416 The frequent allusions to pain and melancholy, the mention of opium-taking, that punctuate her letters, now and later, may be real. They may also be manipulative, self-stylisation, as when she compares herself with Aurelie, Goethe’s neurotic heroine in Wilhelm Meister.417 One can but guess. Bernhardi was of course to be kept in the dark. So was Caroline: Schlegel still had too much affection for her. In the autumn of 1802 Schlegel waxed lyrical in a poem to Sophie with perhaps a veiled reference to a child that she was carrying,418 and when in November 1802 Felix Theodor Bernhardi was born, Schlegel had reason to believe that he was the father. That conflicted with Bernhardi’s justified belief in his own paternity, but also with a second rival, Karl Gregor von Knorring. Knorring, a Baltic nobleman, had been taking private Greek lessons with Bernhardi, perhaps a little more than that. Schlegel, together with the two Tieck brothers, was one of Felix Theodor’s godparents. Yet it was in Knorring’s company that Sophie, in the summer of 1803, fled to Dresden from her loveless marriage, then a year later finally abandoned her husband and began a wandering existence that took her first to Weimar and then eventually to Rome, to separation and divorce. Schlegel, it hardly needs to be said, made regular contributions to her exchequer.

  • 419 Maaz, 23-26.
  • 420 Briefe, II, 55.
  • 421 SW, II, 37.
  • 422 Maaz, 26-30.
  • 423 Lohner, 109.
  • 424 Bögel (2015), 143-152.
  • 425 Caroline, II, 212.
  • 426 Georg Reichard, August Wilhelm Schlegels ‘Ion’. Das Schauspiel und die Aufführungen unter der Leitu (...)

210Schlegel had at this stage not met the third Tieck sibling, Friedrich the sculptor. Friedrich had been absent from Berlin since 1797. His travelling scholarship to Rome fell victim to Bonaparte’s campaign in Italy and was taken up instead in the studio of Louis David in Paris.419 Wilhelm von Humboldt had kept a benevolent eye on him there and had reported favourably to Goethe on his progress.420 The Weimar ducal palace had been destroyed by fire in 1774, and its replacement, a neo-classical building of impressive dimensions, had been coming along gradually since 1789. Tieck’s return in the summer of 1801 coincided very nicely with the latest phase, and through Goethe’s good offices he was entrusted with the basreliefs on the main staircase. Tieck also did busts of Goethe (commemorated in a distich by Schlegel)421 and of members of the ducal house and court.422 Commissions also came in from Berlin, indeed there was talk of him doing the queen’s portrait,423 ahead of Johann Gottfried Schadow, his nearest rival. Had Tieck possessed the determination of Schadow or Christian Daniel Rauch, his work would be more widely known. He did not, suffering as he did from the Tiecks’ more than occasional fecklessness and lack of staying- power. Yet it was not entirely his fault that the monument to Auguste Böhmer never came to fruition: the plans kept changing.424 In Weimar, he did a portrait drawing of Schelling425 and did the costume designs for Schlegel’s play Ion. These showed the five main characters in different forms of Greek dress, the royal figures, the priestess, the old man, each in a symbolic colour relating to rank and status.426

The Ion Fiasco

  • 427 SW, II, 35.
  • 428 As he points out in his own review in Zeitung für die elegante Welt, 6 January 1802, 322-325. Carol (...)

211Ion. Schauspiel in fünf Aufzügen [Play in Five Acts] is not one of Schlegel’s more memorable or even readable works. But for him it was his only serious dramatic product, the testimony that he need not be ashamed in the company of Goethe’s Iphigenie auf Tauris or Schiller’s Die Braut von Messina, the high points of German neo-classicism on the stage. Of course it is but one further example of those classicizing adaptations for which in the eighteenth century the English, the Italians, the French—and now the Germans—had such a weakness and in which those Schlegel uncles, Johann Elias and Johann Heinrich, had had a minor part, a footnote in the family chronicle. There were no incompatibilities between neo-classicism and Romanticism, as Schlegel’s admiration for Flaxman had shown, indeed as Friedrich Tieck’s career was to demonstrate. As for neo-classical dramas, the Romantic generation felt no inhibitions: Tieck was writing a Niobe (unfinished), while Schlegel’s acolyte Wilhelm von Schütz actually finished one of the same name in 1807, and the genre proved resilient enough to withstand Kleist’s Penthesilea of 1810, his ferocious reworking of the Bacchae. Of course one could not confuse this kind of dramatic writing with the French drame classique, for which Schlegel had only contempt (except when declaimed by Madame de Staël). He could hardly conceal his dismay that Goethe had translated Voltaire and was having him staged in Weimar, in order to train his actors in proper declamation and harmonious unity of movement, the kind of thing that Schlegel himself so admired in Friederike Unzelmann in Berlin. Nor was there any question of his own Ion being merely another adaptation of Euripides, whom he had called a ‘chattering rhetorician’427 and whose achievements his lectures in Berlin sought to disparage as against those of Aeschylus or Sophocles. Schlegel did not wish to come over as a mere professor passing on insights, a kind of Euripides at the lectern, if one will. When his audience in Berlin heard about Greek drama, they were to know that Schlegel himself had attempted a completely new creation in the Greek style, a ‘neues Original-Schauspiel’ [new original play], not some Euripidean pastiche.428 The man who was lecturing was therefore a poet in his own right, a translator too, a critic, but not least a poet. The two forums of public performance, the stage and the rostrum, therefore complemented each other.

  • 429 Reichard (1987), 34-55.

212No‑one could be unaware that Schlegel was following Goethe’s lead when he had ‘sanitized’ Euripides’ Iphigenia in Tauris of those elements of Greek culture that remained problematic to eighteenth-century taste: deceit, blood sacrifice, the malevolence of the gods, and suchlike.429 Thus, too, Schlegel tones down Euripides’ Ion. Apollo’s rape of Kreusa becomes a mere passing incontinence; he removes the lie by which Xuthus believes Ion to be his own son; he humanizes, and creates bonds of sympathy where Euripides has none, awakening pity for the wronged Kreusa and for her female fragility. There is recognition and reconciliation; Ion’s divine parentage is no obstacle to family harmony (he allows Xuthus to adopt him); Apollo’s appearance at the end removes all doubt about the validity of oracles. As in Goethe’s play, the main formal vehicle is blank verse, but Schlegel cannot resist the occasional opportunity to display his skills with trimeters and other classical metres. Like Goethe, Schlegel has no chorus, but Ion sings a song (the music by Johann Friedrich Reichardt) to be accompanied by that most un-Greek of instruments, the pianoforte. The style was uniformly elevated, reinforced by the use of masks. If there were concessions to sentiment, they were not couched in the vaguely Christian sensibility that marks Goethe’s first neo-classical drama.

  • 430 W. H. Bruford, Theatre, Drama and Audience in Goethe’s Germany (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 195 (...)
  • 431 Their account in Caroline, II, 248-262.

213Goethe—perhaps against his better judgment—was not merely prepared to countenance Schlegel’s play. He was willing to have it performed in Weimar as part of the new regimen of ‘anti-naturalistic’ acting style that he was seeking to enforce.430 Schlegel kept Goethe posted on its progress, from February 1801 until its completion in October, and he read it to Goethe in Weimar before his return to Berlin. He was therefore not present when it was duly performed on 2 January 1802. Caroline and Schelling were, and they even enjoyed the privilege of sharing Goethe’s own box.431 They had a good view of the audience. It was a full house, the stalls packed with students, the boxes taken by Weimar notabilities, Herder and his wife Caroline, Bertuch the publisher, Schütz and Hufeland from Jena, Meyer the art connoisseur, Böttiger. Even Schiller attended, despite his perennial illness.

  • 432 The source for this anecdote Eduard Genast, Aus Weimars klassischer und nachklassischer Zeit, Memoi (...)

214Schiller’s instincts, warning Goethe against this production, proved to be accurate. True, the great Weimar actress Karoline Jagemann was praised in the title role. There were however elements in the audience inimical to both Goethe and Schlegel. These centred on Kotzebue, and they planned mischief. There were titters and whisperings, then jeers. Goethe had to rise in his box, Jupiter-like, and command ‘Man lache nicht!’ [No laughing].432 For the Herders it had been no laughing matter: they were shocked at the explicit terms used by Kreusa to recall her encounter with the god Apollo. A second performance on 4 January was a failure, although the play had some success later in the year at the summer theatre at Bad Lauchstädt near Leipzig.

  • 433 Sondermann, Karl August Böttiger (1983), 200.

215There was a conspiracy of silence over the identity of the author. So strong was the anti-Goethe and anti-Romantic faction in both Weimar and Berlin that Schlegel wished to preserve his anonymity, at least until the play was performed in Berlin. Friedrich Schlegel unwisely told Dorothea, and then the secret was out. Kotzebue knew, Böttiger knew.433 Böttiger, who had not forgiven the editors of the Athenaeum for their unflattering remarks about him, planned a disrespectful review in Bertuch’s periodical Journal des Luxus und der Moden. Hearing of this, Goethe confronted Bertuch, threatening to go to the duke with his resignation as director of the court theatre if he proceeded. Bertuch backed down. It was remarkable what one could achieve if one was the major name in a minor ducal residence.

  • 434 Published in Caroline, II, 585-590.
  • 435 One published in Caroline, II, 590-592, one in SW, IX, 193-209. Also in Zeitung für die elegante We (...)

216Caroline wrote a very positive anonymous review for the Zeitung für die elegante Welt in Berlin.434 Schlegel did not find it sufficiently accurate and by August of 1802 had written a total of three ‘correctives’ to the newspaper’s editor,435 a record even for someone as concerned with his self-image as he was. Iffland had shown far less enthusiasm for the play than Goethe. He did nevertheless have it performed twice in May, taking himself the role of Xuthus, with the celebrated Friederike Unzelmann in the title role. The neo- classical architect Hans Christian Genelli, a member of Schlegel’s Berlin circle, had designed the décor. Iffland’s acting style was less formal than Weimar’s, but even it could not capture the hearts of the Berlin audience. Nor could the book edition of 1803 rescue its reputation; printing the play in his poetic works in 1811 did not help either. Ion remained a dismal flop.

Polemics, Caricatures and Lampoons

  • 436 Briefe, I, 123.
  • 437 Ludwig Geiger, Dichter und Frauen. Abhandlungen und Mittheilungen. Neue Sammlung (Berlin: Paetel, 1 (...)
  • 438 The whole dismal story available in the documentation to Friedrich Schlegel, Alarcos. Ein Trauerspi (...)
  • 439 KA, XXV, 338-339.
  • 440 Der Briefwechsel zwischen Friedrich Nicolai und Carl August Böttiger, ed. Bernd Maurach (Berne, etc (...)

217In 1800, Schlegel’s wise sister Charlotte Ernst had written: why waste your time on pointless controversies when you could be writing poetry.436 Over three years later, Madame de Staël could inform a visitor to Coppet that she had achieved the sacrifice of his polemics’.437 What of the time in between? It is fair to say that in this intervening period those Romantics still actively involved were subjected to a barrage of polemics—lampoons, parodies, caricatures—that threatened to consume their energies. Both sides spoke of ‘warfare’. Ludwig Tieck had actually withdrawn from Berlin to Dresden and then to remotest Ziebingen partially to escape from this tiresome business. Friedrich Schlegel had not helped matters by persuading Goethe to have his tragedy Alarcos performed in Weimar in April, 1802. There were scenes similar to the Ion fiasco, Goethe as then prompted to Olympian pronouncements. There are those who defend Alarcos in preference to Ion, but the choice is essentially one between two evils.438 Like his brother with Ion, if surely with even less justification, Friedrich was inordinately proud of his dramatic and poetic achievements, sending copies to all who mattered.439 It is also fair to say that his and Dorothea’s departure for Paris was in some measure hastened by the dismal Alarcos affair. The Weimar audience took itself less seriously than its authors. Already in February 1801 there had been a masque performed in honour of the duchess’s birthday, with Harlequin travestying Lucinde and all of the ‘new aesthetics’. The duke had had a good laugh.440

  • 441 Listed by Wolfgang Pfeiffer-Belli, ‘Antiromantische Streitschriften und Pasquille (1798- 1804)’, Eu (...)
  • 442 For which he supplied the preface. SW, VIII, 140f.
  • 443 Sondermann (1985), 238f.

218Until his removal to Switzerland in 1804, Schlegel had to contend with a background noise of controversy involving the same tedious array of minor names that had begun to harry the Jena circle in 1799-1800: Nicolai, Böttiger, Merkel, Kotzebue, Falk, and others. Were one even to list the titles of all the anti-Romantic ephemera and squibs (many of them damp) from 1798 to 1804 one would fill several pages.441 It could be said that Schlegel provoked some of this with his ‘Gate of Honour’ and ‘Triumphal Arch’ for Kotzebue, when silence would have been the preferable option. He had not refrained from adding his name to Fichte’s polemic against Friedrich Nicolai (1801).442 At least no-one broke up his Berlin lectures: entry was by ticket only. There were, as said, burlesques and parodies, but also deliberate and malicious disinformation, at which the Schlegels’ old adversary Karl August Böttiger was a past master. His links with the English literary scene enabled him to achieve an even wider circle of dissemination. The Monthly Review in London purveyed Böttiger’s version of the German literary scene and was talking freely of the ‘lubricities’ of Ion and the ‘ridiculo-horrid monster’ that was Alarcos.443 Goethe was brought in by association, for by no means everyone found to their taste his protection of the Jena ‘clique’ and their contingent gross flattery of him. One did not however spoil with Goethe; besides he was quite capable of delivering his own brand of polemics, witness his treatment of Nicolai and Böttiger in the first part of Faust.

  • 444 Schmitz, Die ästhetische Prügeley, 428.
  • 445 Helmut Sembdner, Schütz-Lacrimas. Das Leben des Romantikerfreundes, Poeten und Literaturkritikers W (...)
  • 446 See Robert Darnton, The Great Cat Massacre and Other Episodes in French Cultural History (Harmondsw (...)

219Perhaps it is the pictorial polemics, the caricatures, that have emerged best from all of this frenzied activity. The artists involved were no Gillrays or Rowlandsons, nor would German censorship have permitted such excesses. It was entertaining when an artist of Gottfried Schadow’s standing did a rough private sketch444 depicting Goethe on his Olympian throne, the Schlegels standing on a pile of books (where else?), Novalis on stilts, and Schelling as a barking dog. Novalis also appears on the published broadsheet Versuch auf den Parnass zu gelangen [Attempt to Reach Parnassus], again on stilts, and as the author of those eucharistic hymns, hanging with chalices, while Schlegel, armed to the teeth, brandishes a crucifix, Tieck, astride Puss in Boots, similarly, Wilhelm von Schütz (whose name means ‘archer’) is taking aim with bow and arrow445 (and poor hunchbacked little Schleiermacher has his nose in a book). On Parnassus itself Kotzebue, modishly dressed in the new pantalon, is wielding a flail in defence. But Die neuere Aesthetik [The New Aesthetics] is altogether more entertaining, not least for having affinities with a French carnival print.446 On a triumphal chariot are to be seen a corpulent Friedrich Schlegel, with papal tiara, while leaning against a close stool is a harridan Caroline, between them a partially-veiled female figure, revealing bosom and buttocks, who is of course Lucinde. The artist knew his stuff, for the car, drawn by asses, is crushing under its wheels the works of Wieland, Klopstock, Milton, Euripides, Voltaire, but also Kotzebue and Böttiger, while in a corner, August Wilhelm and Tieck are crowning each other with laurels and Jacob Böhme is emerging from the mystical depths. These engravings have maintained their wit, which cannot be said for the other polemical ephemera of the period. The Romantics could not respond in kind.

Fig. 11 ‘Schlegel and Tieck Crowning Each Other With Laurels’.

Fig. 11 ‘Schlegel and Tieck Crowning Each Other With Laurels’.

Extract from the caricature ‘Die neuere Ästhetik’ (1803). Courtesy of Wallstein Verlag, image in the public domain.

Friedrich Schlegel’s Europa

Fig. 12 Europa. Eine Zeitschrift. Herausgegeben von Friedrich Schlegel (Frankfurt am Main, 1803, 1805). Frontispiece and title page.

Fig. 12 Europa. Eine Zeitschrift. Herausgegeben von Friedrich Schlegel (Frankfurt am Main, 1803, 1805). Frontispiece and title page.

© And by kind permission of the Master and Fellows of Trinity College, Cambridge, CC BY-NC 4.0.

  • 447 SW, I, 244-250.
  • 448 The poem, ‘An A. W. Schlegel’, ibid., 250-253.

220All this may have prompted the Schlegel brothers to detach themselves spiritually but also physically from their German homeland. As said, by late 1802, Friedrich and Dorothea were in Paris. It was in some measure a parting of the ways for the two brothers. Of course there were enough protestations of solidarity: August Wilhelm’s poem An Friedrich Schlegel. Im Herbst 1802 [To Friedrich Schlegel. In the Autumn of 1802], but not published until 1808 when the brothers were together for a brief time in Vienna,447 seemed to suggest a common purpose, a conjoint effort, but with a division of labour. Friedrich was to pursue Oriental studies in Paris, August Wilhelm Spanish translations in Berlin. The poetic images speak of one brother (Friedrich) putting down roots, steering the course, delving in the innermost parts of the earth, the other (August Wilhelm) as rising sap, trimming the sails, tending the products of the soil. Both, in the terms of the poem, would return to their homeland to enjoy the fruits of their labours. It was not to be. Does this poem not confirm what so many have since maintained: that the younger brother had the ideas (mined the ores) while the elder merely gave them formulation (reaped the harvest), the one a thinker, the other a mere translator (in all senses of that word)? These are ultimately sterile debates, and above all they do not reflect what the brothers thought. Let each one pursue his sphere of the intellect and of poetry, was Friedrich’s response in 1808. In an image reminiscent of Goethe, he saw himself as the unruly element, the wild stream, his brother the broad reflecting surface of the lake into which it flows.448

  • 449 Krisenjahre, I, 42-45; Doris Reimer, Passion & Kalkül. Der Verleger Georg Andreas Reimer (1776-1842 (...)
  • 450 Krisenjahre, I, 70f., III, 58.
  • 451 Friedrich Schlegels Briefe an seinen Bruder August Wilhelm, ed. Oskar F. Walzel [Walzel] (Berlin: S (...)
  • 452 On Hamilton see Rosane Rocher, ‘Alexander Hamilton (1762-1824). A Chapter in the Early History of S (...)
  • 453 Walzel, 518.
  • 454 Ibid., 510-518.
  • 455 Rocher (1968), 54.

221Putting first things first, Friedrich had by April of 1803 set up a periodical, Europa, published by Friedrich Wilmans in Frankfurt, the first of the three that he was eventually to edit. Needing money and seeing publishers somewhat grandly as mere commodity suppliers, he harried Wilmans for cash on the nail.449 It was not until a year later that Dorothea was baptised in the Protestant rite and the two were married—in the chapel of the Swedish envoy, the same sanctuary where in 1786 Germaine Necker had entered into her union with Baron de Staël-Holstein.450 There had simply been too much else to do for an ‘idealist or poet in partibus infidelium’,451 as Friedrich described himself. There was a Provençal project that would investigate the roots of Romance poetry. He was learning Persian with the orientalist Antoine-Léonard de Chézy. Alexander Hamilton,452 a Scotsman formerly in the employ of the East India Company and caught by the accident of war in Paris, was teaching him Sanskrit. ‘Encyclopädie’ was in the air.453 There were plans to use Paris as a stepping-stone to the south of France, to Spain, to Italy. Would August Wilhelm not join them? Of course money was the problem. Were someone to give him a thousand francs per annum for two or three years, all would be well. Not that they were living in straitened circumstances—they never did—but at the edge of town, in the rue Clichy, in an elegant hôtel with garden.454 To ease the exchequer, they took in a number of paying guests, the said Alexander Hamilton, presiding over the beginnings of German Sanskrit studies, in addition the young Hanoverian Gottfried Hagemann, another student of Sanskrit,455 but also three young sons of Cologne patricians, Sulpiz and Melchior Boisserée, later under Friedrich’s guidance to be the revivers of German medieval art and architecture, and their friend Johann Baptist Bertram. These three young gentlemen were receiving private lectures from Schlegel on the history of literature and art (and paying well), balancing in some respect the public lecture course that August Wilhelm was delivering in Berlin.

  • 456 Ingrid Oesterle, ‘Paris—das moderne Rom?’, in: Conrad Wiedemann (ed.), Rom-Paris- London. Erfahrung (...)

222All this would seem to indicate that Paris, the cosmopolitan metropolis of the Consulate, was about to become the centre of German Romanticism. There was of course nothing new in Germans coming to terms with themselves and their culture in a great foreign city, be it Rome or London or Paris. Already a cohort loosely associated with the Romantic circle had been to Paris: Wilhelm von Humboldt, the Tiecks’ schoolfriend Wilhelm von Burgsdorff, who had reported back on the Paris theatre scene, and Friedrich Tieck himself, in the centre of French neo-classicism. The painter Gottlieb Schick, whose work in Rome Schlegel was to praise, had also studied with David. And the year 1804 would see the most famous German of his time—Alexander von Humboldt—fresh from his epoch- making journeys to the ‘equinoctial regions’ of America, choosing Paris as his place of abode for the next nearly twenty years. The loot and plunder from French military successes in Italy was rolling in—already in 1798 the bronze horses of St Mark’s in Venice had bowed to Bonaparte’s yoke—and by 1803, when Europa was appearing, the greatest assemblage of Western art ever seen was being put together by courtesy of the First Consul.456

  • 457 Europa. Eine Zeitschrift. Herausgegeben von Friedrich Schlegel (Frankfurt: Wilmans, 1803, 1805) I, (...)
  • 458 Ibid., 105.

223Thus it is that the art criticism of Europa could draw on, among others, the Lucien Bonaparte collection457 and a far greater array of excellence than the Athenaeum had been able to cite. While not caring for French neo- classical painting itself, Friedrich Schlegel had to admit that the lack of a ‘Central-Stadt’458 in Germany was an inhibiting factor for German artists’ development. Berlin, where his brother was lecturing, was, despite being a major city, only A capital, not THE capital.

  • 459 Ibid., I, ii, 107-16.
  • 460 Ibid., 124.
  • 461 Ibid., 132f.

224And so Europa was to do two things. It was to report on the sheer richness, vibrancy, plenitude of Paris in all areas of the mind and the arts, the advances in archaeology since the Egyptian campaign, those in the physical sciences, or in philology, the république des lettres gathered in Paris,459 while a name like Cuvier460 indicated a focal point in the sciences. Producing grand syntheses and unities was however something given to the Germans, not the French, ‘Ganzes’, ‘Einheit’, not a mere conglomerate of various branches of knowledge.461 If this was consciously overlooking the Encyclopédie or Buffon, it was also part of a general disparagement of French literary culture, past and present.

  • 462 Ibid., I, i, 5-40.

225With this, Friedrich Schlegel struck the other dominant note in Europa, the one that echoed with his brother in Berlin. First, there was the theme of loss that formed the immediate historical background to Europa. France, with Paris as its centre, was a nation forged by the French Revolution. Germany by contrast, lay in ruin: the Principal Resolution of the Imperial Deputation (Reichsdeputationshauptschluss) of 1803, spelled formally the end of the old Holy Roman Empire, the final push that Bonaparte had given to the tottering edifice. The emphasis was therefore on Europe, but on the Europe that once was. In the important introductory section, Friedrich recorded his real and symbolic journey from Berlin to Paris.462 He had seen past greatness only in medieval vestiges and remains in Germany, like the Wartburg, like the Rhine and its castles, evidence of a time that had once enjoyed political and spiritual unity, a Europe that had once embraced North and South, German and Romance. Thus on the one hand the discourse was one of decay, déchéance and disunity. What had held Europe together at the time of its greatness (the Middle Ages) had been the union of the church and the arts (quoting August Wilhelm’s poem on this subject with approval) within the culture of chivalry. The subsequent interruptions and losses of continuity, whether caused by the downfall of the old Holy Roman Empire or by the Reformation, or the much-hated Enlightenment and its child, the French Revolution, had left the Germans with a past and its poetry and painting, an uncertain present, and an even more dubious future.

226But that was only one side. The tone was also aggressive, adversarial and triumphant. The frontispiece, an engraving by Lips based on Raphael’s archangel Michael vanquishing Satan, made that clear. There could be no discourse with those who were ‘not for us’, let alone those against us. The one-sided deference to Goethe was now a thing of the past, and there was much in Europa that Goethe would find unappealing (Schiller, predictably, was mentioned just once). Europa was nevertheless also a prophetic text: in the present state of separation the seeds of a unity—yet to be regained— might be discerned. The spur to higher endeavours, to a real revelation, were the literatures and cultures of the North and South that in the past had provided us with inspiration, and their cultural representatives— Boccaccio, Cervantes, Calderón, Shakespeare, Raphael, Correggio, Dürer, the civilisation of India. Cultural and artistic manifestations—in France or Germany—that did not measure up to these standards were to be exposed and identified.

  • 463 Walzel, 509.
  • 464 The author of Erzählungen von Schauspielen in Europa, I, ii, 140-192.
  • 465 The author of Der gehörnte Siegfried an der Schmiede in Europa, II, i, 82-91 and Der alte Held an d (...)
  • 466 These comprise KA, XI.
  • 467 Europa, I, ii, 193-204 ; SW, XII, 141-153.
  • 468 KAV, I, 394-429 ; Jesinghaus, 36-42.

227If Friedrich Schlegel furnished most of the ideological—and prophetic— statements for Europa, his brother August Wilhelm was also an active contributor to the journal, in fact over a hundred pages of the second number were by him. It was to him that Friedrich wrote, urging the widest possible distribution of Europa: to Copenhagen, to Stockholm, to St Petersburg.463 It was a forum, too, for younger talents who were later to disseminate Romanticism through their own poetry, not through theoretical pronouncements, the young Achim von Arnim,464 fresh from his grand tour, or August Wilhelm’s protégé Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué.465 Friedrich’s articles reflected in unsystematic fashion the more ordered discourse that his pupils the Boisserées and Bertram were receiving in Paris, to be continued in Cologne, but the private nature of these lectures prevented their publication in his lifetime.466 August Wilhelm by contrast sent to his brother what are in effect discrete sections from his much-publicised Berlin lectures. His review of Bernhardi’s treatise on language, Sprachlehre (1801, 1803),467 covered very largely the same points as his remarks on language in his first lecture cycle. There, his discussion of the theories of the origin of language was intended to merge into an account of the human urge for rhythm and poetry and the different manifestations, historical and cultural, that these may take. Reviewing Bernhardi, he examined the latter’s views on an inner language structure that was, as it were, part of the human intellect, that referred back to the origins of mankind but also looked forward to communication among a community. It is in the discussion of poetry’s origins that Berlin and Europa have most in common:468 poetry evolved through separating itself from quotidian matters, by evolving a mathematically determined accent and a rhythmical unity. In the ancient world prosody, metre, and verse were kept severely distinct: in the modern they are subject to ‘mixtures’. The Vienna Lectures in 1808 were to elevate this to a principle determining and distinguishing the ‘Classical’ and the ‘Romantic’.

  • 469 Europa, I, ii, 3-95 ; KAV, II, i, 195-253.
  • 470 Europa, I, i, 41-63.

228The other extract from Berlin struck a more sombre note, contrasting with the generally positive and forward-looking tone of Europa. Ueber Litteratur, Kunst und Geist des Zeitalters [On Literature, Art and the Spirit of the Age] repeated very largely what his second course of 1802-3 had said469 and anticipated some of the tone of the final set, the Enzyclopädie of 1803. Whereas the first part of the periodical had contained a generally upbeat account by Friedrich, simply called Literatur,470 essentially setting out the achievements in poetry, philosophy and science of the Romantic school (not forgetting Goethe or even Schiller), August Wilhelm offered a tabula rasa of the century that had so recently ended. Apart from a few notable exceptions—and they, Winckelmann, Lessing, Hemsterhuis and Goethe, were very few indeed—Schlegel found no modern literature to speak of and—not surprisingly—no satisfactory national traditions of poetry or criticism. As against the mere indifferentism, tolerance, utilitarianism and general ‘enlightenment’ of his own day, he harked back instead to a past unity of religion, philosophy and morals, held together by mythology, now lost in this age; the religious nature of culture, the ‘wonder’ of scientific discovery, the sense of magic, of the chaotic and ever-changing nature of originary being. But like Friedrich, August Wilhelm also perceived signs of regenerating processes, mostly among the like-minded Romantic poets to whom he belonged. The context was important: the remarks made by August Wilhelm in Berlin prefaced a general account of the poetry of the Greeks and Romans; his general catalogue of German non-achievement and ‘Nullität’ for Paris came after Friedrich’s generally positive account of German achievements.

  • 471 Europa, I, ii, 72-87.

229August Wilhelm’s other major contribution to Europa, Ueber das spanische Theater,471 actually supplied what his third Berlin cycle did not say. For the account of Spanish drama there was scrappy, to say the least, whereas here was an informative survey of plays by Cervantes, Lope de Vega and Calderón, patterns of development, the general structures that he was to fill out in detail in Vienna. Spain had what many other literatures (French and German among them) no longer had: the magical and imaginary, the fiercely patriotic, the deeply religious. Schlegel picked up the common eighteenth-century cliché that saw the drama of the Spanish and the English as a valid alternative to the neo-classicism and French bienséances that had dominated other literary cultures, a point that would become the structuring principle of his Vienna lectures.

Calderón

  • 472 Part 1 published as: Spanisches Theater. Herausgegeben von August Wilhelm Schlegel (Berlin: Reimer, (...)
  • 473 There were pirate editions of El princípe constante (Der standhafte Prinz) in Vienna 1813, 1826, an (...)
  • 474 SW, IV, 169-171. Wilhelm Schwartz, August Wilhelm Schlegels Verhältnis zur spanischen und portugies (...)

230Schlegel had also been in the process of translating Calderón.472 The perfunctoriness of his remarks on Calderón in the Berlin lectures, but also on Shakespeare, may be another way of saying: read my translations, they contain all you need to know. If today Schlegel’s Spanisches Theater is less well‑known than his Shakespeare, this may have to do with the diverging paths the two dramatists were to take in their subsequent reception in Germany. Unlike Shakespeare, Calderón was never ‘ganz unser’. But it is also true to say that no other single work by Schlegel went through so many later editions (but with different publishers), including three different Viennese pirates.473 Yet stage adaptations of Calderón in the eighteenth century had made him better known than Shakespeare; similar ‘big names’ (Voltaire, Lessing) had had significant things to say about him. Göttingen in Schlegel’s student days had been a centre of German Hispanism, and he, like the Humboldt brothers and Ludwig Tieck, knew both the basics of Spanish and also its refinements before he left university, indeed there had been those three metrical renderings of Spanish romances by him in the Göttingen Musenalmanach for 1792, another part of Bürger’s legacy.474 As yet there was no reference to sources: these he would supply in Vienna, even acknowledging his debt to the dry-as-dust Göttingen professor Friedrich Bouterwek, whose compendious account of Spanish literature also appeared in 1804.

  • 475 Reimer, 62, 119.
  • 476 Schlegel translated La devoción de la Cruz (as Die Andacht zum Kreuze), El mayor encanto Amor (as Ü (...)

231For the translation enterprise itself, Schlegel showed again some of that hard-headedness that the Romantics often displayed in publishing matters. He transferred his loyalties from Cotta to Georg Andreas Reimer in Berlin, who used the impress ‘Realschulbuchhandlung’. Still based on the premises at the corner of Kochstrasse and Friedrichstrasse (‘Checkpoint Charlie’ in less happy times) and before he moved to a grand palais in the Wilhelmstrasse,475 Reimer counted most of the prominent Romantics (Fichte, Schleiermacher, Tieck, later Arnim) among his authors, and now added Schlegel. Not for long, as the story of their slightly stormy relationship was to show. Reimer attended Schlegel’s lectures and may have spotted the need for a Calderón translation. It did not sell well (although Schlegel received over 300 talers for it), and the whole enterprise ended in acrimony.476 Schlegel’s Calderón had also to compete with other versions and adaptations, beginning in 1815 with that by Johann Diederich Gries, his Jena pupil.

  • 477 For the following see the useful article by Hans-Jürgen Lüsebrink, ‘Pedro Calderón de la Barca’, in (...)

232In the process, however, Schlegel had introduced Goethe to Calderón,477 sending him his version of La devoción de la cruz [The Devotion of the Cross] in manuscript in September of 1802. This was almost the last area in which their interests fully coincided before irreconcilable differences obtruded. Goethe was delighted, amazed; Schiller, despite his dislike of Schlegel, similarly. Of El princípe constante [The Constant Prince] Goethe wrote in 1804 that ‘if poetry were to be temporarily lost, one could restore it from this play’. High praise indeed. Goethe, the Weimar theatre director, immediately saw possibilities here: the formality, ‘artificiality’, splendour of Calderón’s verse, the religious ceremonial, the conflict of cultures (Christianity versus paganism) stood in marked contrast to Shakespeare’s unruliness and lack of religion (Goethe had had to rewrite almost a third of Romeo and Juliet to make it acceptable for the Weimar audience, indeed he was inclining more and more to the view that Shakespeare was not a dramatist for the theatre at all). Calderón appealed to his interest in the Orient: he cited him in the same breath as Hafiz. There were even fragments of a religious drama in the Calderonian style. At the first Weimar performance of El princípe constante, in 1811, Goethe was moved to tears, as never with Shakespeare. Of course later—much later—he would say that both Calderón and Shakespeare were ‘will o’ the wisps’, leading the unwary into uncharted perils, but who could deny the influence of both of them on the second part of Faust?

  • 478 [Wilhelm von Schütz], Lacrimas, ein Schauspiel. Herausgegeben von August Wilhelm Schlegel (Berlin: (...)
  • 479 Sullivan (1983), 174f.

233Of course no-one was more enthusiastic about Calderón than the Romantics themselves. Tieck’s huge, sprawling, kaleidoscopic dramas Genoveva and Kaiser Octavianus fairly luxuriated in the poetic forms to be found in the Spanish dramatist, redondillas, silvas, octavas reales, the glosas. Zacharias Werner, whose bizarre paths were to cross with Schlegel’s in Coppet, found Calderonian inspiration for the religious and mythological pageants of his plays and their lush and varied versification. Even the unhappy Alarcos was also a misbegotten child of Calderón’s, and Wilhelm von Schütz, a friend of Tieck’s and then of Schlegel’s, issued—with Schlegel’s misguided encouragement (his name appears as ‘editor’ on the title page)—his tragedy Lacrimas in 1803,478 all orientally odorous but without Calderón’s religious substance. There were to be later recantations (notably by Tieck himself). The genie was however well and truly out of the bottle, and the mode for Calderonian drama in the nineteenth century stems from this generation. For Schlegel, the chance of showing his mastery of rhyming verse was too good to be missed: his verse technique in the Calderón translations has been described as virtuosic,479 and it was he who introduced into German dramatic versification the trochaic tetrameter that has not always been his best legacy.

  • 480 Swana L. Hardy, Goethe, Calderon und die romantische Theorie des Dramas, Heidelberger Forschungen, (...)
  • 481 Ibid., 61-76.

234If Schegel’s Shakespeare translation was originally planned to take in all thirty-six plays (or forty and more, according to some adventuresome Romantic attributions) there was no question of him rendering over two hundred by Calderón. Some have said that the sheer quality of Schlegel’s Shakespeare deterred nineteenth-century dramatists and inhibited the unfolding of the genre. That certainly could not be claimed for his Calderón. On the contrary, his preference for La devoción de la cruz may well have led unwittingly to a rash of so-called ‘fate dramas’480 whose loss would not be a great impoverishment for German letters. It was all too easy for dramatists, Tieck, Friedrich Schlegel and Wilhelm von Schütz among them, to apply a formal sheen and create a vaguely Catholicizing or chivalric atmosphere, allegedly Calderonian, without an understanding of the courtly and aristocratic culture out of which Calderón had emerged and in which he operated. For all that, the plays that Schlegel actually chose for translation481 encompassed the drama of fate and redemption (La devoción de la cruz), an allegorical Festspiel displaying the ‘types’ of virtue (Ulysses) in conflict with its opposite (Circe) (El mayor encanto amor), a comedia de capa y espada [cloak and dagger] on the theme of love and honour (with homage to the ruler) (La banda y la flor) and the great baroque drama of constancy and magnanimity, its action both ‘historical’ and exemplary (El princípe constante).

  • 482 Ibid., 21.
  • 483 Wieneke, 157.
  • 484 Geiger, Dichter und Frauen, 125.
  • 485 This drama criticism, written for the Zeitung für die elegante Welt, is in SW, IX, 181-230.

235If Schlegel can be said to have inaugurated a ‘Spanish decade’482 with his advocacy of Calderón, it is equally clear why—apart from purely pragmatic factors—the Shakespeare translation could not flourish in his scheme of things. With Schlegel in 1811 still writing of himself to Goethe—not in all seriousness—as a ‘missionary’ for Calderón483 and the Vienna lectures having stressed the southern Catholicism of the great Spanish dramatist, it was evident that not even Madame de Staël’s Swiss Protestantism could effect a cure overnight. ‘He inclines towards Catholicism and talks nonsense on the subject of religion’ was her assessment in 1804.484 It was, as we shall see, only one side, but it was his public aspect. It also meant that Schlegel, as a drama critic in Berlin in the years 1802‑3, was even more impatient than before with the fare on the stage,485 with the things that Shakespeare or Calderón would have done so much better, further signs of that ‘Nullität’ of which Europa had so eloquently spoken. Madame Unzelmann’s acting would be excepted from these strictures, but that was another matter.

2.3 The Berlin Lectures

  • 486 The publication history of the Berlin lectures is complex and is set out as follows. The first cycl (...)
  • 487 Minor, I, viif.
  • 488 Nicolai, Wegweiser, 132-133.
  • 489 Minor, I, xiii. The later educator Heinrich Friedrich Theodor Kohlrausch states that Fichte lecture (...)

236Which brings us to the principal reason for Schlegel being in Berlin in the first place, his so-called Berlin Lectures (1801‑04).486 He had had no salary in Jena. Public lectures were a source of emolument, and an independent writer and scholar had to be both astute and versatile. They saw him, although billed as ‘Herr Professor A.W. Schlegel aus Jena’,487 breaking out of that enclosed academic world into the public sphere, where the audience was now drawn from the widest circles of educated and literate society, the monde of a capital city, with its court, its salons, its diplomatic corps, its institutions of higher learning. With Berlin still without a university, and with few German universities situated in large towns, there was a need for this form of public discourse. The academy lectures on classical antiquity by Karl Philipp Moritz that Tieck and Wackenroder had attended in Berlin from 1789 to 1792 before they went off to university, are an example, indeed Friedrich Nicolai’s vademecum, his Wegweiser of 1793, lists nearly thirty lecture series.488 Fichte’s later Addresses to the German Nation in 1808 with their message not just for Berlin but for all who called themselves German, are another instance. It has even been suggested that Schlegel’s lectures attracted some competition in Berlin itself during the period 1802‑5, not least from Fichte himself and from Gall the phrenologist.489 Dresden, also a royal capital but not a university city, was the venue for several important lecture series in this decade, and Karl August Böttiger, now taking sides against the Romantics, was to inaugurate them in 1806. There was an international aspect to this desire for public lectures. Cuvier was to give cycles in Paris, Coleridge and Humphry Davy in London, Alexander von Humboldt in Berlin—and of course August Wilhelm Schlegel himself in Vienna.

  • 490 Untypically, Reimer miscalculated the print runs and had 1,600 copies done, leaving 358 remaining. (...)
  • 491 SW, IX, 158-179.

237There was much that overlapped with the other great projects on which he was as ever working concurrently. They coincided with his last burst of poetic writing, up to 1805, when he was still seeking to demonstrate an undiminished belief in his own poetic powers (or his powers of versification), whether in original form or in translation. Hence his remarks on Euripides, in the second cycle of lectures in 1802‑3, coincided with his own Ion. His comments on Romantic poetry in the third cycle interlocked with his own versions of Dante’s Vita nuova, Petrarch and others in his volume Blumensträuße italienischer, spanischer und portugiesischer Poesie [Nosegays of Flowers from Italian, Spanish and Portuguese Poetry] of 1804 (another ill-starred enterprise with Reimer),490 and these are most likely the poems that he read out to his audience. When they heard the section on sculpture in the first series, the audience might know that the lecturer had also reviewed the latest art exhibition in Berlin and had discussed the respective merits of Schadow and Friedrich Tieck.491 In some cases, the Berlin Lectures took their place in a discourse that extended from the 1790s into the second decade of the nineteenth century (his medieval studies are a good instance); in other cases, they contained the only definitive remarks ever made by him on certain themes, on the novella, for example. All this is by way of saying that the Berlin Lectures should ideally be read as a continuum with Die Horen, the Athenaeum and, to some extent, the Jena lectures, for these are often the spoken or unspoken authorities to which he refers. They stand for attitudes that he presupposed even as the audience changed from students in Jena, who were supposed to be learning something, to a Berlin monde, generally receptive to literature and culture, but who wanted their instruction admixed with a little pleasure.

238It is important to grasp that these lectures, despite the enormous effort of study and formulation and the frequent incisiveness of utterance, were not always final and definitive statements. From the Berlin cycle he selected only relatively small extracts for publication, proof that they were in his eyes not yet ready for wider distribution. Their inner relationship with the later series in Vienna is complex and will occupy us in due course. In some cases—the fine arts are one—he went on to frame things more systematically in a different context. In others—Dante for instance—different and more pressing needs crowded in and caused a project to be left effectively in an abandoned state. The historical model that he used to reinstate the Middle Ages (third cycle) as a force for political, social and cultural cohesion, was to recur in variations, first formulated in the lectures on Encylopädie, then in Vienna. Yet we also see him moving away from this eurocentric view and seeking increasingly to accommodate Sanskrit into his general scheme of things.

  • 492 Kohlrausch, 72f.
  • 493 Caspar Voght und sein Hamburger Freundeskreis. Briefe aus einem tätigen Leben, ed. Kurt Detlev Möll (...)
  • 494 Caspar Voght, for one, did not enjoy the Pindar renditions. Ibid., 107.
  • 495 Kohlrausch, 72f.

239Even as we have them, these lectures, with a sophistication of formulation over long sections, must have tested his Berlin audience, much as his earlier ones had extended his students in Jena. Where Fichte’s lectures were rhetorically sustained, Schlegel’s style was uneven and he did not always hold his hearers.492 Some even nodded off.493 His notes can also tail off into keywords and jottings, suggesting a more off-the- cuff, extemporised approach. The aides-mémoire referring to passages to be read aloud suggest that he frequently interrupted his technical or historical explication to give the audience an opportunity to savour his own renditions of texts from Homer, Aeschylus, Sophocles, or the Nibelungenlied. These readings—we unfortunately no longer have all of his versions494— were a concession to a more popular, non-academic style. One hearer even remarked that Schlegel’s own lecturing style flagged when he was dealing with material that he found of lesser interest.495 Despite bold and challenging forays into aesthetics and the philosophy of history and even a scheme for a systematic organisation of knowledge on art and poetry, the private series called Encyclopädie, the overall impression is also increasingly one of fragmentation, of leads and approaches that are severed, almost in mid-sentence.

  • 496 Briefe von und an Friedrich von Gentz, ed. Friedrich Carl Wittichen, 3 vols in 4 (Munich and Berlin (...)

240As said, most of this corpus of material was not published in Schlegel’s own lifetime: it was left to others to pass on its insights. Only very selected extracts in Seckendorf’s periodical Prometheus and his brother’s Deutsches Museum reached an immediate readership, limited of course to subscribers. Unlike the Vienna cycle of 1808, which were followed almost immediately by publication (and translation into French and English), the Berlin Lectures had their greatest effect on those who were actually there. This could apply even to seminal sections, like his remarks on the Middle Ages: the rightly famous section Über das Mittelalter, delivered in 1803, was not published until 1812, and then in one of his brother’s short‑lived periodicals. Much had happened by then to bring the Middle Ages to a wider national consciousness, not least the humiliations wrought by Napoleon and the perceived need for a revival of the nation’s cultural heritage. Schlegel’s was by then only one voice (if one with authority), along with Tieck’s more accessible selection Minnelieder aus dem Schwäbischen Zeitalter [Love-Songs from the Swabian Period] of 1803 (to which Schlegel frequently refers) or Arnim and Brentano’s popularising anthology Des Knaben Wunderhorn [Youth’s Magic Horn] of 1806. Antiquarian endeavours by others, too, played their part in evoking and rediscovering this past poetic age, its magic and charm and its occasional barbarities. It is doubtful whether his unflattering conspectus of the contemporary literary scene in Germany, Allgemeine Übersicht des gegenwärtigen Zustandes der deutschen Literatur [General Overview of the Contemporary State of German Literature], which was the opening blast of his 1802-03 series and which was inserted in Europa under a different title and with some reformulation, actually reached the wider audience in Copenhagen or St Petersburg that his brother Friedrich hoped for (although Friedrich Gentz read it in Vienna).496

241As said, the lectures often hark back to earlier criticism and translations and also refer forward to plans yet to be realised. One example: his remarks on the history and theory of language in two of the Berlin cycles (and in Europa) draw heavily on material from Die Horen and the Jena lectures and have a certain finality. Then there are nearly two decades of silence on the subject until he starts corresponding with Wilhelm von Humboldt in the 1820s. Sometimes the emphasis in Berlin is different from what went before. His successive remarks on Dante in the 1790s had been a semi-biographical account, then translations in extract (mainly from Inferno), with his remarks in the Athenaeum tending more towards the religious content. Now, in Berlin, Dante was to be enshrined as the pivotal figure of a ‘Romantic’ Middle Ages and a central witness in Catholic mysticism (mainly drawing on Purgatorio and Paradiso). For all that, there was never to be a linked-up account of the great Italian poet, nor did he ever reissue any of his earlier writing on Dante (or Calderón).

242Certain major figures of Romantic poetry he chose not to treat in lecture form at all, leaving his own translations, or those by others whom he trusted (Gries, Tieck) to make the essential statement. Thus these lectures contain very little about Shakespeare, whom he was (just) still translating, or Calderón, whose translation appeared more or less to coincide with his remarks, or Cervantes, Tieck’s version of Don Quixote having already been the subject of Schlegel’s very favourable review. Shakespeare and Calderón would have to wait until Vienna in 1808 for a fuller treatment, for the times in Vienna required emphases different from those in Berlin, when these poets’ respective religious and national messages would have more direct relevance than in 1802‑03. Aristophanes, deftly characterised in the Parny review in the Athenaeum, but perfunctorily dealt with in Berlin, would similarly have to wait until Vienna for a fuller treatment. Euripides, dispraised both in Berlin and in Vienna, would be used for different ideological purposes in the Comparaison entre la Phèdre de Racine et celle d’Euripide of 1807.

  • 497 Minor, I, v.
  • 498 An entrance ticket for the Lectures is reproduced at Krisenjahre, III, 19.
  • 499 Briefe, II, 60; Karl Ende, ‘Beitrag zu den Briefen an Schiller aus dem Kestner Museum’, Euphorion, (...)
  • 500 Wilhelm Schoof, ‘Briefwechsel der Brüder Grimm mit Ernst v. d. Malsburg’, Zeitschrift für deutsche (...)
  • 501 Caroline, II, 225.
  • 502 Reimer, 31.

243Where were the lectures held, and who came? With his accustomed meticulousness, Schlegel planned his four lecture cycles, three in public and one in private, well in advance. The public lectures were billed for Sundays and Wednesdays in the winters of 1801‑02, 1802‑03, and 1803‑04, the private one for May, 1803, roughly to coincide with the long academic winter semester (November-Easter), but also with the ball season and the opera and theatre, when people would be ‘in town’. These were not idle considerations, for Schlegel went to considerable pains to make his offerings rather better than those of some professor or other from a Gymnasium or academy.497 What he called the ‘junta’ of his Berlin friends (Schleiermacher, both Bernhardis, Schütz) received exact instructions about the invitation cards to be printed, the paper, the form of words.498 The lectures seem to have taken place at various venues: the printed invitations for the first cycle request the audience’s presence in the Luisenstrasse, then newly formed and newly named, of easy access to those living in the elegant private palais in the Wilhelmstrasse. But we also hear of a lecture hall in the Französische Strasse,499 more central, and then the Hôtel de Paris in the Brüderstrasse, near the royal palace.500 It may have been where the Berlin jurist Karl Wilhelm Grattenauer lived: he is mentioned as making himself generally useful. The Brüderstrasse was also right under the nose of its other prominent denizen, Friedrich Nicolai. Thus these Berlin lecture cycles were ‘set up’ carefully, like the later ones in Vienna, even those in Bonn that elicited Heine’s malicious comments. Entrance cost two Friedrichsd’or: Caroline said in jest that the queen herself might have come had the price (expensive enough) been double!501 As it was, Schlegel had to defer the start from November to December 1801 until he had the necessary audience of forty to fifty to make the whole effort viable. The takings from the first three lectures, at, say, 100 Friedrichsd’or per lecture, would have been in the vicinity of 1,500 talers, even then somewhat short of the 2,000 talers that one needed annually to live comfortably in Berlin.502

  • 503 Krisenjahre, I, 28.
  • 504 Rahel-Bibliothek. Rahel Varnhagen. Gesammelte Werke, ed. Konrad Feilchenfeldt, Uwe Schweikert and R (...)
  • 505 Renata Buzzo Màrgari, ‘Schriftliche Konversation im Hörsaal. “Rahels und Anderer Bemerkungen in A. (...)
  • 506 Otto Brandt, August Wilhelm Schlegel. Der Romantiker und die Politik (Stuttgart, Berlin: Deutsche V (...)
  • 507 Krisenjahre, I, 20.
  • 508 Lohner, 149; Goldmann (1981), 27f.
  • 509 Voght, II, 95-138. He reports on the lectures on epic (95f.), lyric (100), Anacreon (103), Pindar ( (...)
  • 510 SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd. e. 90. XXXIII. 1-2. Minor, I, xvii-xviii.
  • 511 Gentz, Briefe, II, 85, 89.
  • 512 Adam Müller, Lebenszeugnisse, ed. Jakob Baxa, 2 vols (Munich etc. : Schöningh, 1966), I, 63.
  • 513 Reimer (1999), 83.

244To achieve those numbers, the doors were open to women. If the queen did not attend, at least ladies from the court did,503 certainly also those Jewish salonnières Henriette Herz and Rahel Levin (later Varnhagen).504 Not only did Rahel attend the first series: she came in grand company, with one of her salon habitués, Prince Louis Ferdinand of Prussia, Frederick the Great’s nephew, composer, and general. With him and Friedrich Gentz, Rahel whiled away the time with the written equivalent of noughts and crosses, but when alone she jotted down key words and phrases from Schlegel’s first cycle (she seems not to have attended the rest).505 There would have been some fine carriages at the door: the young Prince August of Prussia came, Louis Ferdinand’s brother and later a general,506 members of the diplomatic corps also, not least Karl Friedrich von Brinkman, Swedish envoy, friend of the Romantics and of Madame de Staël and sometime contributor to the Athenaeum. We hear of two Polish counts.507 The young Danish-German Count Wolf Heinrich von Baudissin, still accompanied by his tutor, attended the later cycle.508 Baron Caspar von Voght, the cultivated Hamburg merchant, philanthropist and traveller, managed to find time from his duties and diversions in high society to attend these lectures from January to March of 1803 and hear the section on Greek poetry.509 Wilhelm Körte, a young literary historian with time on his hands, even transcribed Schlegel’s text for possible publication.510 Two young men who were to make a fast career in the Austrian state service, converted and ennobled, dropped in occasionally: Friedrich Gentz,511 already the translator of Edmund Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution in France, and Adam Müller.512 Wilhelm von Humboldt may have come in the brief interval between his time in Paris and his appointment as Prussian envoy in Rome. The publisher Reimer attended.513

  • 514 He most likely attended the second and third cycles, if his remarks on the Nibelungenlied and Dante (...)
  • 515 Johann Gottlieb Fichte’s Leben und litterarischer Briefwechsel, ed. I. H. Fichte, 2 parts (Sulzbach (...)

245Some members of a group of young cadets in the Prussian civil service, fresh from university—who, is not always clear—could be seen: Karl August Varnhagen von Ense, diplomat, writer, gossip, Karl Wilhelm Ferdinand Solger, later to review Schlegel’s Vienna lectures,514 Friedrich von Raumer, Friedrich Heinrich von der Hagen, Johann Gustav Büsching. All of these were later to play larger or smaller roles in Schlegel’s life. Of course one could rely on most of Schlegel’s Berlin circle: Schütz, Genelli, Bernhardi, Buri; the assiduous Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué came over from his estate at Nennhausen in the Mark of Brandenburg; Wilhelm von Burgsdorff from distant Ziebingen when ‘in town’. Fichte and Schleiermacher were notable absentees, the former no longer close to Schlegel and working on his own series of lectures (which, it is claimed, both Schlegel and Kotzebue attended),515 the latter, now a pastor in Stolpe in Pomerania, morally disapproving of Schlegel’s liaison with Sophie Bernhardi. Schlegel sent a transcript of his first lecture cycle to Schelling in Jena, who used it for his own lectures on the philosophy of art in 1802.

  • 516 Clémence Couturier-Heinrich, ‘Die Schriften Rousseaus als musikgeschichtliche Quelle für A. W. Schl (...)

246For all that his audience included names later prominent in political and intellectual life in Germany, Schlegel was also lecturing to a general public, not to specialists. No-one would have expected absolute originality from his remarks (his section on music is largely taken from Rousseau, for instance).516 Why should he, so eminent a critic and translator, not indulge in self-references and self-quotations? Still, it is not too fanciful to imagine some of those present having implanted in them the first germ of their later avocations and professions of political faith: those three young men who later became professors at the University of Berlin, Solger the aesthetician and translator of Sophocles, Raumer the historian of the Middle Ages, von der Hagen the medieval antiquarian and editor of the Nibelungenlied; Gentz and Müller confirmed in their restorative conservatism by Schlegel’s remarks on the Middle Ages; even a royal prince hearing of the Gothic style that would flourish in Berlin under his cousin, King Frederick William

247III. Two young men may even have been confirmed in their later literary careers: Wolf von Baudissin as the translator who put into German verse most of the Shakespeare plays that Schlegel had not tackled; and Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué, already featuring in Europa and, under Schlegel’s guidance, an important disseminator of Germanic mythology through his plays and prose works.

  • 517 KAV, I, 181.
  • 518 Darnton, Cat Massacre, 191-218.
  • 519 Jean le Rond d’Alembert, Discours préliminaire de l’Encyclopédie, ed. Michel Malherbe (Paris: Vrin, (...)

248Yet, despite their appeal to some future university figures, these were not academic lectures in the strict sense. Non-academic listeners might have to strain at times, but the elegance of Schlegel’s prose, his frequent citation of poetic examples, helped to make them more generally accessible. The more academically inclined were also catered for. The first cycle, of 1801-02, announced the ‘theory, history, and criticism of the fine arts’,517 and a systematic ordering of knowledge [‘geordnetes Ganzes, System’]. The initiated were reminded of those systematisations of ‘science’ (in the widest sense), those ‘trees of knowledge’ of the French Enlightenment,518 Herder’s macrohistorical accounts (or even Friedrich August Wolf’s lectures on ‘Enzyklopädie der Altertumswissenschaft’ [classical scholarship] that some of them had so recently heard in Halle). Readers of the writings of the Romantics would be aware that Fichte, Friedrich Schlegel, Novalis, Schelling were aiming at an encyclopaedic encompassment of knowledge. There were of course differences. Where the Enlightenment narratives were predicated on progress, from the ‘long intervalle d’ignorance’ that for d’Alembert was the Middle Ages,519 Schlegel reversed this forward time- flow and placed the Middle Ages in the centre of his historical account.

  • 520 KAV, I, i, 441.

249Without a sense of history there could be no survey of the various art forms and their development or of the national cultures that nurtured them. Schlegel is concerned that theory (what should be) is always linked with history (what was). It is history that imposes a system on the chaos of individual manifestations. This is central to his approach, breaking down the traditional classifications in aesthetics and finding mixtures, syntheses, overlaps between the art forms, ‘medial’ combinations involving the different senses: sculpture, for instance, ‘caught’ between the fluid and the solid, architecture that combines organic geometrical form with art, painting that needs our sense of proportion and distance, dance which combines poetry and music. Above all, poetry—the real subject of these lectures—cannot exist unless language and imagination come together in mythology,520 that state where reality is suspended and human intuition recreates a new unity of nature and mind, a sense of the essential and ultimate truths of human existence. Without mythology—and each lecture cycle states this categorically—there can be no poetry. The Greeks had it, the Middle Ages knew it, we must recapture it through the creative imagination in poetry. For poetry in its true sense brings together in a synthesis philosophy, moral awareness and religion.

250All this was not to be seen in the abstract or couched in generalities. There were clear examples to be cited and distinctions to be made. When he spoke of the pure and ultimate forms of art, unattainable in imitation, he invoked the ancient world of the Greeks, their language showing the highest development, their mythology predicated on the noblest ideals of humanity. Their art forms had each a distinct purpose, without admixture or contamination. The Moderns, by contrast, those whom Schlegel defined as ‘Romantic’ (essentially the Middle Ages and what we now call the Renaissance) started from a position of loss and inferiority—the threnody of this Classical and Romantic generation—the attenuation of language, the suppression of the senses. The Moderns’ portion is striving for ‘mystery’, especially in the Catholic Middle Ages, the mixing of all poetic elements as an expression of a longing for the infinite, the hope of some fulfilment in distant and imperceptible time. It is the statement that comes near the end of the first cycle, before it abruptly ends, and it is one that Schlegel develops into a principle in his Vienna Lectures.

  • 521 Ibid., 537-540.

251True, Schlegel briefly resumed those points as he took up the next cycle in November, 1802: ‘homogeneous’ (ancient) versus ‘heterogeneous’ (modern). All was not lost: translations, properly conceived, especially those into German, might retrieve some of the texture of past cultures. Here Schlegel breaks off and launches into that philippic on modern German literature, a version of which was to feature so prominently in Europa. One can only guess at the motives behind the scission of his lecture course into two disjunct sections. The past winter had seen the Ion fiasco in Weimar and Berlin; 1802‑03 was also the climax of the ‘literary war’ with the opponents of all things Romantic. It was time to tell some home truths, to set out positions, to distinguish the excellent from the mediocre. But Schlegel also reminded his hearers that there were, and always had been, higher universal principles of renewal,521 the phoenix arising from the ashes, ebb and flow, expansion and contraction, and that is why he could end this section with the names of Winckelmann, Lessing, Hemsterhuis, and Goethe.

  • 522 These in SW, III, 101-102, 129-153.

252Compared with the extended corpus of criticism by Schlegel up to 1800, not least his writings on Homer, the second section of this lecture, on ‘Greek Poetry’ (which also includes Latin), may disappoint those looking for a definitive statement. It should not be forgotten that he was also reading out extracts in translation to his audience,522 not all of whom would be conversant with Greek. Thus his relatively short section on Aeschylus presupposes his quoting aloud of a passage from the Eumenides. When explicating Greek metres, he could read his own examples. He had of course already stated unequivocally in the previous cycle that the Greeks were unsurpassable, so that when he went through their achievement, genre by genre, and compared it with what had come since, no further elucidation was necessary. By excluding oratory, rhetoric and historiography, he may have been unfair to the Romans. Only Horace and Propertius emerge really unscathed. By contrast, he had praise for their didactic poetry, but of course he was himself a practitioner of the genre. Homer, emerging from a dark ‘Urzeit’ of priestly song and referring back to it, remained the pinnacle of epic poetry for all time. There was little hope for Virgil, not to speak of later aberrations like Milton or Der Messias.

253For the author of Ion, however, Greek tragedy had to be of primary interest. Even it was not a ‘pure’ genre, rising as it did out of the congruence of myth (as in the epic) and human subjectivity (as in the lyric). Tragedy is based on the conflict of these principles, but—here again the recreator of Ion speaks—it need not end in unhappiness. Simlarly, the theatre of the Greeks is an ‘organic whole’ made up of the interconnecting elements of music, dance and architecture.

  • 523 KAV, I, i, 744.
  • 524 Ibid., 770.

254From here on, the text becomes more shorthand than fully formulated expository prose. The essentials were, however, there. Greek mythology expressed the force of higher necessity; it involved human sacrifice; its beginnings were darkly orgiastic. It was this mythology that informed Greek tragedy, in conflict with human striving. The section on Sophocles makes it clear where his preferences in tragedy lie. The renewer of Ion does not see only starkness and bleakness. When discussing the Oedipus cycle, he opts for Oedipus in Colonos, with its ‘mildness of humanity’,523 where the Furies lead the hero away from the horror into a blissful Grecian grove. With the tragic effect of Sophocles thus diminished—as indeed Schelling was to do in his lectures on the philosophy of art—there was little to stress in Euripides except his decadence, gratuitous terror, and sophistry, which of course also applied to the Ion which Schlegel had sought to ‘improve’. There are some brief remarks on comedy, on Aristophanes, who breaks down all the barriers raised by the mind and presents us in our animal or ‘democratic’ aspect,524 a point that his review of Parny in 1800 had made at greater length. The brief survey of modern comedy that follows mentions the Spaniards briefly, without a word on Shakespeare: it reflects Schlegel’s preoccupations at the time.

  • 525 See AWS, Blumensträuße italiänischer, spanischer und portugiesischer Poesie. Nach dem Erstdruck [18 (...)

255The third cycle, from 1803 to 1804, was also in some respect an account of the priorities of his Berlin years. As a statement of ‘modern’ European poetry, it had its deficiencies. We have already noted the effective absence of Calderón and Shakespeare and the one-sided etherealities of the Dante section. The things that he was doing as a sideline to the lectures now found their way into his general definition of Romanticism in the preamble of 1803. Romantic poetry arose out of the fusion of the Romance and the Germanic, the interaction of the North and South (pagan and Christian, if one will). It reflected his interest in both the Nordic and Germanic and the southern Romance. His correspondence with Tieck in these Berlin years speaks of studies of the Nibelungenlied—Tieck was preparing an edition—and the need to procure copies of Icelandic sagas for comparison and collation, or of the Latin Waltharius epic. Schlegel himself was working on a ‘romance’, simply called Tristan (to remain unpublished until 1811), his own retelling of Gottfried von Strassburg, and evidence of his lively interest in the Grail and Lancelot cycles. As yet, Schlegel could not learn enough about the ‘Matter of Britain’: his scepticism towards anything Celtic would come later. The autumn of 1803 saw the publication of the work that was in a sense conceived as the poetic accompaniment to his remarks on Romance poetry, those Blumensträuße [Nosegays]525 from Italian, Spanish and Portuguese, that showed—yet again—his virtuosic command of the various verse and stanza forms. This time his emphasis was as much on the cadences of lyrical and pastoral poetry (Dante’s Rime, Tasso’s Amyntas, Guarini’s Pastor Fido) as on the narrative (selections from Ariosto’s Orlando Furioso or Camões’ Lusiadas). Readers of this duodecimo volume could enjoy Friedrich Tieck’s Flaxman-like vignettes and note the easy conexistence of neo-classicism and Romance poetry.

  • 526 Lohner, 151.

256Whereas the two earlier cycles could draw confidently on centuries of classical scholarship and decades of codifications of aesthetics, the lectures on Romantic literature represented in part ‘work in progress’ or accounts of texts in the process of discovery. Schlegel was much more dependent on other authorities, eighteenth-century pioneers like Thomas Warton or Jean-Baptiste de La Curne de Sainte-Palaye. He mentions in a letter to Tieck having met the Swiss historian Johannes von Müller, one of the originators of the comparison of the Nibelungenlied with Homer.526 Above all, one recognises the influence of Herder, those chains of historical events, those ‘Kräfte’ [forces] bringing about ferment and change, indeed he is indebted to Herder’s insights on the meeting of Orient and Occident in the poetry of the Spanish romance. His remarks on the Nibelungenlied, kept accessible to the needs of the audience, were to be backed up privately by a battery of notes and collations towards the establishment of a definitive text. It was yet another project that was destined eventually to fall by the wayside.

257And so this cycle is not a grand, systematic, encompassing, definitive statement of Romantic literature. Rather it is disjunct and often repetitive, overlapping with earlier sections. Romantic poetry did not emerge as some gathered, phalanx-like entity, somemasswith but a few national divergences. Its terms of reference were still very wide. It encompassed the Middle Ages. That was itself a period of time that extended from the migrations and Late Latin until (in Germany at least) the late sixteenth century. It was subject to all manner of incursions and influences and coincidences. Dante’s position in thirteenth-century Europe provided a prime example; the continuation of medieval themes in the Italian Renaissance or in Shakespeare would be another. There were different strands—Nordic, Celtic, Provençal— whose influence irradiated in the different language areas. Genres, like the romance and the chap book, extended beyond any linguistic barriers. The Middle Ages, as Schlegel conceived them, were the synthesis of many disparate forces. They were Christian, chivalrous, monastic. The Crusades brought in the Orient. The feudal system fostered a code of honour, of courtly love, of pious devotion to the Virgin. It was as if those Herderian ‘Kräfte’ enabled assimilations to a general religious mentality, extracting poetry wherever their influence held sway.

258Schlegel must nevertheless account for certain developments in later national literary cultures. It brings him to the first formulations of a project that would recur at various later stages in his life (and engender masses of unpublished papers), one that pursued him into the 1830s: Provençal. The Provençal lyric represents for Schlegel the highest development of any Romance language and is the mother of all modern poetry and versification. It is crucial for the later development of Italian and Spanish (and to some extent Middle High German). It must not be confused with French, an ‘aberrant’ Romance culture. Thus the lecture on Provençal serves as a kind of general preamble to his remarks on the great Italians, Dante and Boccaccio, and indeed what he might have gone on to say about the Italian and Spanish Renaissance.

259Where did that leave Germanic and the Germans? In contrast with the querulous tone of his previous cycle, Schlegel is prepared, in this his last one, to be more conciliatory and more even-handed. In his short conspectus of older German literature, he already retracts the assertion, made in 1802, that German literature as such is hardly more than seventy years old. For he now gives an account of older figures who in 1803 would not be household names (if indeed they ever were). Those who did know of Hans Sachs and Dürer would learn that they represented the last extensions of the Middle Ages, the end of the age of chivalry. There then ensued a period of ‘learned poetry’, for which Schlegel, not surprisingly, has some sympathy. Like his brother Friedrich in another context, he is mapping out lines of continuity in German poetry, not registering its breaks (such as the Reformation). Thus his audience could hear praise for the old poeta doctus Martin Opitz, the founder of modern German poetics, and would note less familiar names like Weckherlin, Fleming, Hofmannswaldau, Lohenstein, even the Jesuit poet Spee, for the Romantics are among the first to point out that German religious poetry is not all Protestant. What follows in the next century can be subsumed under ‘bürgerlich’ [civic, middle-class], with praise for Klopstock and dispraise for Wieland. If only, Schlegel perorates, we could renew all of these forces and bring them together—learned, chivalric, ‘bürgerlich’—we would achieve that universality of the mind and intellect that is the aim of a poetic culture.

  • 527 Edith Höltenschmidt, Die Mittelalter-Rezeption der Brüder Schlegel (Paderborn, etc. : Schöningh, 20 (...)

260Where did the German Middle Ages stand in relation to other linguistic cultures? The answer to this is to be found in the important lecture on the Nibelungenlied.527 This national epic fulfils all the criteria set up in the lectures on Classical and Romantic poetry. It is mythical, Christianising older myths and legends and weaving several historical strands into one. It is ancient, drawn from a putative Latin original, linguistically archaic (possibly translated from older sources); like Homer, it is co-authored. It combines the moral sense of justice done and the Christian notion of divine retribution. Schlegel is content to add his voice to the current view, already advancing to cliché status, that this was an epic commensurate with Homer, indeed his Germanic counterpart. This was heady ideology indeed, significant when but a few years ahead cultural rallying-points were needed amid national downfall and national renewal. Schlegel is still, perhaps faute de mieux, prepared to praise the Heldenbuch, for these attenuated heroic lays did not yet have to face the competition of Wolfram von Eschenbach, Hartmann von Aue or Gottfried von Strassburg, whose Grail cycles were far less known at the turn of the century.

261Schlegel was clearly running out of time when he came at last to Italian ‘Romantic’ literature. Dante was supremely the Christian, Catholic poet, ethereal, mystical, arcanely symbolic. The Inferno, like Greek tragedy at its starkest, no longer formed part of the narrative. The name of Petrarch gave him the opportunity for a highly technical discussion of the sonnet and its ‘architectural’ form, and while he was at it, the canzone, the ode, even the entwined complexities of the sestina. In the rather perfunctory account of Boccaccio’s Decameron we find his excellent working definition of the novella. It is fair to say that, had this text been available during the nineteenth century (the twentieth took almost no notice of it), we might have been spared much idle theorizing and symbol-hunting. For Schlegel restates what the Italian, Spanish and French Renaissance knew, what Goethe and Wieland knew, what Tieck knew. The novella recounts a real happening, factual, everyday, but also out of the ordinary, tragic even. It is also companionable, chatty, but it needs a central episode (‘something has to happen’) and a turn of events that makes it extraordinary. No more is necessary.

262Much of this lecture material was confusing and unsystematic, but who expected Romantic doctrine to adhere to a system? How many of his audience sat it out to the very end, attended every lecture, we do not know (Bernhardi springs to mind). And yet this being the Schlegel that he was, he could not leave these matters hanging in the air, unjoined and unconnected. For those willing to hear lectures that were altogether much harder going— and we have little idea who that audience was—he gave another series, on ‘Enzyclopädie’, this time in private, at a venue not specified, in May of 1803. It has taken over two hundred years for them to be edited: establishing their relationship to the ‘Romantic’ series was not a priority for Schlegel’s nineteenth-century editors. They point, not to Vienna, as the main Berlin cycle does, but much further forward in time, to Bonn, to the professor who seemed to have put so much of Romanticism behind him. They are not for the uninitiated or the faint-hearted, which is not to say that everything that they contained was original—far from it—but there were no concessions made for those not prepared for a heavy dose of philosophy, history, and philology.

  • 528 Cf. ‘schwerfällige Polymathie’, Justi, I, 5.

263His audience needed first of all to be disabused of the common associations of ‘encyclopedia’ or ‘encyclopedic’. It was not the polymath laboriousness of eighteenth-century German scholarship that had once oppressed the young Winckelmann;528 it was not an ‘aggregate’, a mere accumulation of facts such as in his own Göttingen days Heeren and Tychsen’s Bibliothek der alten Literatur und Kunst had offered. Instead,

  • 529 Darnton, 212.
  • 530 Comtesse Jean de Pange, née Broglie, Auguste-Guillaume Schlegel et Madame de Staël. D’après des doc (...)

264Schlegel moves from compendiousness to a system, one that takes in all the disciplines. He comes closest to Bacon’s ‘tree of knowledge’529 (with an unacknowledged side glance at d’Alembert) in positing a triad of history, poetry and philosophy, ‘observation’ and ‘classification’, where ‘language’ and ‘grammar’ mediate between philosophy and history. Philosophy is the basis of the truth that reveals itself in art and poetry; history needs cognition (‘Wahrnehmung’) through observation and classification. Extending the tree to its side branches, Schlegel places mythology as the mediating factor between philosophy and poetry, that which produces ‘nationaler Geist’. ‘Nation’ is in its turn to be understood as an original geographical and political unity, the ‘motherland’ of a linguistic culture. (When later writing in French, Schlegel used ‘nationalité’ in this sense, indeed he is credited with having introduced the word into that language.)530

  • 531 See R. Rocher, ‘The Knowledge of Sanskrit in Europe Until 1800’, in: Sylvain Auroux et al., The His (...)

265The history of Europe was in these terms one of growing disparity, as it moved away from Asia, its natural ‘heartland’, the area of primeval unity. This notion—a scattered Europe versus a monolithic Asia—may not be Schlegel’s first borrowing from Herder’s Ideen, following as they do the commonplaces of eighteenth-century orientalism.531 In the light of his later development, it is a significant one, as India in these lectures achieves the status of the mother culture, the originator of myth, the cradle of mankind, the space of a language even more venerable than Greek.

  • 532 Dorota Masiakowska-Osses, ‘August Wilhelm Schlegel und Polen: Gegenseitige Rezeption’, in: Mix/Stro (...)

266Turning to history proper, Schlegel rejects the traditional ‘universal historiography’ that had tried vainly to encompass the history of mankind. A much more useful mode of explanation for the processes in history can be found in nature, in antagonism and cohesion, pull and thrust, forces that produce an inner unity. More concretely: only nations that combine mythology and poetry with their oral traditions deserve that name in its full sense. The history of Germany, for instance, shows the gradual loss of those unifying factors (enshrined in the narrative of the Middle Ages and the feudal system) down to our present ‘Nullität’ and lack of a sense of national community. Few other nations have achieved it either, not Austria, not France, not England or Italy (perhaps only Spain under the Inquisition), not the Slavic nations (an anti-Slavonic parti pris that will become a regular theme),532 at most Prussia, with its concern for a ‘national confederation’ (he did not say that it was swallowing his native Hanover). A name does however occur which will later enshrine his ideal of national history: Johannes von Müller, the historiographer of the Swiss. When it comes to the creation of historical narrative, Schlegel invokes the principles that will later dominate his thinking, the history of the earth (geology, physics) and the ‘sense of the divine’, the two forces that rise above the mere recounting of empirical fact.

  • 533 KAV, III, 336.
  • 534 Georg Forster, Werke. Sämtliche Schriften, Tagebücher, Briefe, ed. Deutsche Akademie der Wissenscha (...)

267On language (the section on philology), Schlegel stresses the centrality of ‘families’, not least that confederation of ‘Indo-European’ languages that Charles de Brosses and above all Sir William Jones had demonstrated and that his brother Friedrich would soon be expounding. Greek, of course, enjoys a superiority above all others in this family. Yet German, once similarly pristine and pure, stands out from all other modern European languages for its syncretism, its adaptability, the ‘universality’ by which it is capable of taking the good features of the other nations, to ‘enter into their thought processes and feelings and thus create a cosmopolitan focus for the human spirit’.533 Georg Forster had said something similar in 1791, in the preface to his German translation of Sir William Jones’s version of the Śakuntalâ.534 Friedrich Schlegel’s Europa was articulating analogous sentiments. Before such notions could become reality, there must be criticism, grammatical study, hermeneutic endeavours, the processes that Winckelmann once had used for the study of art, and in our day Friedrich Schlegel was applying to poetry.

  • 535 On the links between AWS’s lecture series see Frank Jolles, ‘August Wilhelm Schlegel und Berlin: Se (...)
  • 536 KAV, III, 371.

268It is not by chance that the trajectory of many of these ideas points them a decade, sometimes nearly two decades, forward in time, to the life of a celibate professor in Bonn.535 In what was clearly the envoi to these lectures, Schlegel postulated the ideal life in which such studies might flourish.536 He invoked the philosophical asceticism of the ancient Stoics (or their neo-stoic descendants in the seventeenth century), their minds lifted above material concerns, passions or pleasures, their bodies subjected to moderation, cleanliness and order. It was not unlike the culture of the Brahmins that he was later so to admire. Berlin had not been conducive to such self-abnegation, such anchorite retreat from the real world, nor could it be said that the next decade and a half were any more amenable to this ideal life of scholarly contemplation.

Notes

1 SW, VII, xxxi.

2 Kritische Friedrich-Schlegel-Ausgabe [KA], ed. Ernst Behler et al., 30 vols (Paderborn, Munich, Vienna: Schöningh; Zurich: Thomas, 1958-in progress), XXIII, 247.

3 Adolf Stoll, Der junge Savigny. Kinderjahre, Marburger und Landshuter Zeit Friedrich Karl von Savignys. Zugleich ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der Romantik (Berlin: Heymann, 1927), 118.

4 Die Horen eine Monatsschrift herausgegeben von Schiller (Tübingen: Cotta, 1795-97). AWS’s contributions are: ‘Dante’s Hölle’, 1. Bd., Jg. 1795, 3. Stück, 22-69, 2. Bd. Jg. 1795, 4. Stück, 1-13, Bd. 3, Jg. 1795, 7. Stück, 31-49, Jg. 1795, 8. Stück, 35-74; ‘Briefe über Poesie, Silbenmaaß und Sprache’, Jg. 1795, 11. Stück, 77-103, Bd. 5, Jg. 1796, 1. Stück, 54-74, Jg. 1796, 2. Stück, 56-73; ‘Scenen aus Romeo und Julie von Shakespeare’, Jg. 1796, 3. Stück, 92-104; ‘Etwas über William Shakespeare bey Gelegenheit Wilhelm Meisters’, Jg. 1796, 4. Stück, 57-112; ‘Szenen aus Shakespeare. Der Sturm’, Jg. 1796, 6. Stück, 61-82; ‘Aus Shakespeares Julius Cäsar’, Jg. 1797, 4. Stück, 17-42; ‘Ueber Shakespeare’s Romeo und Julia’, Jg. 1797, 6. Stück, 18-48.

5 SW, VII, xxxi.

6 KA, XXIII, 252.

7 Ibid., 260.

8 Caroline. Briefe aus der Frühromantik. Nach Georg Waitz hg. von Erich Schmidt, 2 vols (Leipzig : Insel, 1913), I, 704, 708 ; KA, XXIII, 469.

9 August Wilhelm und Friedrich Schlegel im Briefwechsel mit Schiller und Goethe, ed. Josef Körner and Ernst Wieneke [Wieneke] (Leipzig: Insel, 1926), 192.

10 Briefe von und an August Wilhelm Schlegel, ed. Josef Körner [Briefe], 2 vols (Zurich, Leipzig, Vienna: Amalthea, 1930), I, 24-26, ref. 25.

11 Ibid., 28f.

12 Ibid., 27f.

13 Caroline, I, 374; KA, XXIII, 469.

14 Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre. Johann Wolfgang Goethe, Gedenkausgabe der Werke, Briefe und Gespräche, ed. Ernst Beutler, 3rd edn, 27 vols (Zurich: Artemis, 1986 [1949]), VII, 464.

15 Caroline, I, 376.

16 Ibid., 378.

17 SW, VII, xxxi.

18 Wieneke, 19 ; KA, XXIII, 211.

19 Caroline, I, 712.

20 Ibid., 662-664.

21 Ibid., 382.

22 Ernst Borkowsky, Das alte Jena und seine Universität. Eine Jubiläumsgabe zur Universitätsfeier (Jena: Diederichs, 1908), 129-131; W. H. Bruford, Culture and Society in Classical Weimar 1775-1806 (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1962), 377f.

23 Caroline, I, 397.

24 Christoph Wilhelm Hufeland, Die Kunst das menschliche Leben zu verlängern, 2 parts (Vienna and Prague: Haas, 1797), I, 153, 155.

25 Friedrich Sengle, Das Genie und sein Fürst. Die Geschichte der Lebensgemeinschaft Goethes mit dem Herzog Carl August von Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach. Ein Beitrag zum Spätfeudalismus und zu einem vernachlässigten Thema der Goetheforschung (Stuttgart, Weimar: Metzler, 1993), 142-152.

26 Theodore Ziolkowski, Das Wunderjahr in Jena. Geist und Gesellschaft (Stuttgart: Klett- Cotta, 1998), 40-61.

27 Bruford, Culture and Society, 297-308.

28 KA, XXIII, 376.

29 SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd. e. 90, II (9) (the actual document is now lost); Briefe, II, 14.

30 Caroline, I, 419.

31 Briefe, I, 28; Briefwechsel zwischen Schiller und Wilhelm v. Humboldt. Mit einer Vorerinnerung über Schiller und den Gang seiner Geistesentwicklung von W. von Humboldt (Stuttgart and Tübingen: Cotta, 1830), 312, 347.

32 Raymond Heitz, ‘Publizistik, Politik und die Weimarer Klassik. Die Horen im Kreuzfeuer von Schillers Zeitgenossen’, in: Raymond Heitz and Roland Krebs (eds), Schiller publiciste/Schiller als Publizist, Convergences, 42 (Berne, etc.: Peter Lang, 2007), 357-384, ref. 362f.

33 SW, X, 59-90.

34 Ibid., XI, 185-221.

35 Ibid., 16-22.

36 Ibid., 136-146.

37 Ibid., X, 363-371.

38 Die Horen, 1. Bd., 1. Stück (1795), ix.

39 Helmut Koopmann, ‘Schillers Horen und das Ende der Kunstperiode’, in: Schiller publiciste, 219-230, ref. 223.

40 Die Horen, v.

41 Wieneke, 12.

42 SW, VII, 25.

43 As established by Peer Kösling, ‘Die Wohnungen der Gebrüder Schlegel in Jena’, Athenäum, 8 (1998), 97-110.

44 Caroline, I, 389.

45 Wieneke, 37.

46 Caroline, I, 712.

47 KA, XXIII, 320f.

48 Deutschland, 4 parts (Berlin: Unger, 1796), I, i, 55-90.

49 18 June, 1796. Gräf-Leitzmann, I, 164.

50 Caroline, I, 710.

51 KA, XXIII, 482.

52 Sengle, Das Genie und sein Fürst, 147-164.

53 Caroline, I, 391.

54 Ibid., 408-413.

55 As Friedrich Schlegel later puts it. Caroline, I, 465; KA, XXIV, 185.

56 AWS’s correspondence with Böttiger in Briefe, I, 35-37, 48-52, 55f., 58-60, 63-67.

57 Schiller to Goethe 1 November, 1795. Der Briefwechsel zwischen Schiller und Goethe, ed. Hans Gerhard Gräf and Albert Leitzmann, 3 vols (Leipzig: Insel, 1955), 112.

58 Die Horen, Jg. 1795, 5. Stück, 50-56.

59 Goethe, Gedenkausgabe, II, 486.

60 Caroline, I, 401-404.

61 KA, XXIII, 344.

62 Deutschland, III, 74-97.

63 Goethe in vertraulichen Briefen seiner Zeitgenossen, ed. Wilhelm Bode, 3 vols (Berlin, Weimar : Aufbau, 1979), II, 81 ; Sengle, Das Genie und sein Fürst, 144f.

64 Wieneke, 38.

65 Ibid., 38-40, ref. 39.

66 Ibid., 40; Caroline, I, 420.

67 Josef Körner, Romantiker und Klassiker. Die Brüder Schlegel in ihren Beziehungen zu Schiller und Goethe (Berlin: Askanischer Verlag, 1924), 40f.

68 SW, II, 172.

69 Wieneke, 44-48.

70 Friedrich Schlegel, ‘Georg Forster. Fragment einer Karakteristik der deutschen Klassiker’, Lyceum der schönen Künste (Berlin : Unger, 1797), I, i, 32-78.

71 Deutschland, III, ix, 326-336 ref. 326.

72 SW, X, 376-413.

73 KA, XXIII, 247.

74 Die Horen, Jg. 1795, 11. Stück, 43-76; 12. Stück, 1-55; Jg. 1796, 1. Stück, 75-122.

75 As for instance SW, X, 232f., 284, 354.

76 SW, VII, 98-154.

77 Cf. Klaus Hammacher, ‘Hemsterhuis und seine Rezeption in der deutschen Philosophie und Literatur des ausgehenden achtzehnten Jahrhunderts’, in : Marcel F. Fresco et al. (ed.), Frans Hemsterhuis (1721-1790). Quellen, Philosophie und Rezeption […], Niederlande- Studien, 9 (Münster, Hamburg : LIT, 1995), 405-432, ref. 412 ; Heinz Moenckemeyer, François Hemsterhuis, Twayne’s World Author Series, 277 (Boston : Twayne, 1975), 28.

78 Cf. Walter Jesinghaus, ‘August Wilhelm von Schlegels Meinungen über die Ursprache’, doctoral dissertation University of Leipzig (Düsseldorf : C. Jesinghaus, 1913), 5-24.

79 KA, XXIII, 263-267, ref. 265.

80 SW, VII, 155-196.

81 Ibid., 175f.

82 SW, X, 115-195.

83 Bruford, Culture and Society, 386; Ernst Friedrich Sondermann, Karl August Böttiger. Literarischer Journalist der Goethezeit in Weimar, Mitteilungen zur Theatergeschichte der Goethezeit, 7 (Bonn: Bouvier, 1983), 188f.

84 SW, X, 185.

85 Ibid., 182.

86 There is a nice irony in the fact that Schlegel’s later father-in-law, the appalling Heinrich Eberhard Gottlob Paulus, spoke the funeral address for Voss in 1826. Lebens- und Todeskunden über Johann Heinrich Voß. Am Begräbnisstage gesammelt für Freunde von Dr. H. E. G. Paulus (Heidelberg: Winter, 1826), 34-65.

87 Briefe, I, 57.

88 SW, X, 186.

89 Ibid., 117, 122.

90 Ibid., 149f.

91 Ibid., 186.

92 Wieneke, 5.

93 Emil Sulger-Gebing, Goethe und Dante. Studien zur vergleichenden Literaturgeschichte, Forschungen zur neueren Literaturgeschichte, 32 (Berlin: Muncker, 1907), 50.

94 On the general background to AWS’s Dante studies see Eva Hölter, ‘Der Dichter der Hölle und des Exils’. Historische und systematische Profile der deutschsprachigen Dante- Rezeption, Epistemata, 382 (Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann, 2002), 27-59.

95 Johann Nicolaus Meinhard in the 1760s published some specimen passages, including the Ugolino section, commending Dante as one with Homer, the Greek tragedians, and Shakespeare. Leberecht Bachenschwanz, following the practice of the times, had even translated the whole Divine Comedy into prose (1769). See Weltliteratur. Die Lust am Übersetzen im Jahrhundert Goethes, ed. Reinhard Tgahrt et al., Marbacher Kataloge, 17 (Munich: Kösel, 1982), 563f.

96 Dispraised for instance by Jürgen von Stackelberg, Weltliteratur in deutscher Übersetzung. Vergleichende Analysen (Munich: Fink, 1978), 10-19, 20-29.

97 Set out in detail by Emil Sulger-Gebing, ‘August Wilhelm Schlegel und Dante’, in: Andreas Heusler et al., Germanistische Abhandlungen Hermann Paul zum 17. März 1902 dargebracht (Strasbourg: Trübner, 1902), 99-134 and esp. 107f. Complete text in SW, III, 169-381.

98 SW, III, 369.

99 Ibid., 290f.

100 Ibid., 327.

101 Ibid., 328.

102 Ibid., 336.

103 Ibid., 330f.

104 Shakespeare’s dramatische Werke, übersetzt von August Wilhelm Schlegel, 9 vols (Berlin: Unger, 1797-1810). The plays translated by Schlegel, in order of volumes, are: I: Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1797); II: Julius Caesar, Twelfth Night (1797); III: The Tempest, Hamlet (1798); IV: The Merchant of Venice, As You Like It (1799); V: King John, King Richard II (1799); VI: King Henry IV, 1 and 2 (1800); VII: King Henry V, King Henry VI, 1 (1801), VIII: King Henry VI, 2 and 3; IX: King Richard III (1810).

105 SW, VII, 66f.

106 The Plays of William Shakespeare. Accurately printed from the text of Mr Malone’s edition […] (London: J. Rivington, vol. 1 [1790], vols 2-7 [1786]) and The Dramatick Writings of Will. Shakspere, With the notes of all the various Commentators […] ed. Sam. Johnson and Geo. Steevens, 20 vols (London: J. Bell, 1788) (two odd vols dated 1785 [17] and 1786 [15]). Michael Bernays, Zur Entstehungsgeschichte des Schlegelschen Shakespeare (Leipzig: Hirzel, 1872), 217f.

107 Athenaeum. Eine Zeitschrift von August Wilhelm Schlegel und Friedrich Schlegel, 3 vols (Berlin: Vieweg, 1798; Frölich, 1799-1800), III, 335.

108 SW, VII, 281-291.

109 KA, XXIII, 138.

110 Probe einer neuen Uebersetzung von Shakespeare’s Werken’, Deutschland, II, v, 248-259.

111 KA, XXIV, 364; Caroline, I, 426-432.

112 Die Horen, Jg. 1796, 3. Stück, 92.

113 Briefe, I, 33.

114 Ibid., II, 17f.

115 Ibid., I, 43

116 As indeed is made clear in AWS’s letter to Eschenburg, Bernays, 255-259.

117 Eschenburg responding with his new edition, Bernays, 259f.

118 Nicolai to Eschenburg 24 June, 1796. Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel, Cod. Guelf. 622 Novi.

119 Johann Joachim Eschenburg, Ueber den vorgeblichen Fund Shakspearischer Handschriften (Leipzig: Sommer, 1797), 3.

120 On this see Christine Roger, La Réception de Shakespeare en Allemagne de 1815 à 1850. Propagation et assimilation de la référence étrangère, Theatrica, 24 (Berne, etc. : Peter Lang, 2008), esp. 363-369.

121 Johann Gottfried Herder, Briefe. Gesamtausgabe, ed. Karl-Heinz Hahn et al. for Nationale Forschungs- und Gedenkstätten der Klassischen Deutschen Literatur in Weimar (Goethe- und Schiller-Archiv), 16 vols (Weimar: Böhlau, 1977- in progress), VIII, 51.

122 Georg Kurt Schauer, ‘Schrift und Typologie’, in: Ernst L. Hauswedell and Christian Voigt (eds), Buchkunst und Litteratur, 1750 bis 1850, 2 vols (Hamburg: Maximilian- Gesellschaft, 1977), I, 7-57, esp. 29.

123 Thomas Bürger, Aufklärung in Zürich. Die Verlagsbuchhandlung Orell, Gessner, Füssli & Comp. in der zweiten Hälfte des 18. Jahrhunderts, Mit einer Bibliographie der Verlagswerke 1761-1798 (Frankfurt am Main: Buchhändler-Vereinigung GmbH, 1997), 74.

124 SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd. e. 90, XXII, 1-14.

125 Wieneke, 29.

126 Die Horen, Jg. 1796, 6. Stück, 77f.

127 The older text published by Frank Jolles, A. W. Schlegels Sommernachtstraum in der ersten Fassung vom Jahre 1798 nach den Handschriften herausgegeben, Palaestra, 244 (Göttingen: Vandenhoek & Ruprecht, 1967), 55-135.

128 KA, XXIV, 4f.

129 Bernays, 173-216.

130 Briefe, I, 61f., 65; Bernays, 254.

131 Briefe, I, 74.

132 Die Horen, Jg. 1796, 4. Stück, 57-112; SW, VII, 24-70.

133 SW, VII, 24f.

134 Ibid., 24.

135 Ibid., 31.

136 Ibid., 30f.

137 Ibid., 26.

138 Ibid., 30.

139 Ibid., 36.

140 Ibid., 38.

141 Ibid., 62.

142 Anton Klette, Verzeichniss der von A. W. v. Schlegel nachgelassenen Briefsammlung (Bonn : [n.p.], 1868), vf.

143 Indische Bibliothek. Eine Zeitschrift von August Wilhelm von Schlegel, 3 vols (Bonn: Weber, 1820-30), II, 254f.

144 SW, XI, 19. In fact he translates it as ‘Erinnrung’. Shakespeare’s dramatische Werke, III, 57.

145 SW, XI, 169f.

146 Shakespeare’s dramatische Werke, III, 243.

147 Ibid., 140.

148 Die Horen, Jg. 1797, 6. Stück, 18-48; SW, VII, 71-97 (where the title has ‘Shakspeares’).

149 KA, XXIII, 366.

150 Heinrich Huesmann, Shakespeare-Inszenierungen unter Goethe in Weimar, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Phil.-hist. Klasse, Sitzungsberichte, 258, Bd. 2, 2. Abh. (Vienna: Böhlau, 1968), 148-154.

151 KA, XXIII, 364.

152 Novalis, Schriften. Die Werke Friedrich von Hardenbergs, ed. Paul Kluckhohn and Richard Samuel, 6 vols in 7 [HKA] (Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 1960-2006), IV, 227f.

153 Caroline, I, 426-432.

154 Ibid., 429.

155 SW, VII, 76.

156 Ibid., 94.

157 Ibid., 77.

158 Caroline, I, 431, 429, 432.

159 On AWS’s poetry see Klaus Manger, ‘Statt “Kotzebuesieen” nur Poesie? Zu den lyrischen Dichtungen August Wilhelm Schlegels’, in: York-Gothart Mix and Jochen Strobel (eds), Der Europäer August Wilhelm Schlegel. Romantischer Kulturtransfer— romantische Wissenswelten, Quellen und Forschungen, 62 (296) (Berlin, New York: de Gruyter, 2010), 77-92.

160 Wieneke, 42-48.

161 SW, XI, 363-365; Friedrich Hölderlin, Stuttgarter Ausgabe, ed. Friedrich Beissner et al., 8 vols in 15 (Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 1946-85), XI, 11-13.

162 SW, I, 35-37.

163 Cf. Friedhelm Neidhardt, ‘Das innere System sozialer Gruppen’, Kölner Zeitschrift für Soziologie und Sozialpsychologie 31 (1979), 639-660, esp. 642, 644, 649.

164 Alfred Schlagdenhauffen, Frédéric Schlegel et son groupe. La doctrine de l’Athenaeum, 1798- 1800, Publications de la Faculté des Lettres de l’Université de Strasbourg, 64 (Paris : Les Belles Lettres, 1934).

165 Caroline, I, 453f., 481, 518.

166 KA, II, 182f.

167 Athenaeum, I, i, 86.

168 Theodore Ziolkowsi, German Romanticism and Its Institutions (Princeton UP, 1990), 27-63.

169 AWS’s contributions to the Athenaeum were as follows (original titles): ‘Die Sprachen. Ein Gespräch über Klopstocks grammatische Gespräche’ (I, i, 3-69), ‘Elegien aus dem Griechischen’ (with Friedrich Schegel) (I, i, 107-140), ‘Beyträge zur Kritik der neuesten Sprachen’ (I, i, 141-177), ‘Fragmente’ (with Friedrich Schlegel and Friedrich Schleiermacher) (I, ii, 179-322), ‘Die Gemählde. Gespräch’ (with Caroline Schlegel) (II, i, 39-151), ‘Die Kunst der Griechen. An Goethe. Elegie’ (II, ii, 181-192), ‘Ueber Zeichnungen zu Gedichten und John Flaxman’s Umrisse’ (II, ii, 193-246), ‘Der rasende Roland. Eilfter Gesang’ (II, ii, 247-284), ‘Notizen’ (with Friedrich Schlegel, Friedrich Schleiermacher, Dorothea Veit, Karl Gustav von Brinkman) (II, ii, 285-327), ‘Literarischer Reichsanzeiger oder Archiv der Zeit und ihres Geschmacks’ (II, ii, 328- 340), [Matthisson, Voss und Schmidt] (III, i, 139-164), ‘Vollständiges Verzeichniß meiner zur Allg. Lit. Zeit. beygetragenen Rezensionen’ (III, i, [165-168]), ‘Idyllen aus dem Griechischen’ (with Friedrich Schlegel) (III, ii, 216-232), ‘Sonette, Von A. W. Schlegel’ (III, ii, 233-237), ‘Notizen’ (with Dorothea Veit, Friedrich Schleiermacher, August Ferdinand Bernhardi) [AWS did ‘Parny’s Guerre des Dieux’], 252-268, [‘Soltau’s Don Quixote’], 297-329, [‘Notiz’], 329- 336).

170 KA, II, lii-lxiv.

171 Cf. KA, XXIV, 355.

172 Bruford, Culture and Society, 380-388.

173 KA, XXIV, 22.

174 Peter Seibert, Der literarische Salon. Literatur und Gesellschaft zwischen Aufklärung und Vormärz (Stuttgart, Weimar : Metzler, 1993), 151-161 ; Petra Wilhelmy, Der Berliner Salon im 19. Jahrhundert (1780-1914), Veröffentlichungen der Historischen Kommission zu Berlin, 73 (Berlin: de Gruyter, 1989), 868-873.

175 KA, XXIV, 42.

176 Ibid., 41.

177 SW, X, 363-371; XI, 16-22, 136-146.

178 Ibid., 136.

179 Ludwig Tieck und die Brüder Schlegel. Briefe. Auf der Grundlage der von Henry Lüdeke besorgten Edition neu herausgegeben und kommentiert von Edgar Lohner (Munich: Winkler, 1972), 22.

180 Ibid. 23.

181 KA, XXIV, 85f.

182 Ibid., 86.

183 Ibid., 29-35.

184 Ibid., 55.

185 General strategy, ibid., 48-54, 72-76 ; ‘Herkules’, ‘Freya’, 37 ; ‘Dioskuren’, ‘Parzen’, 43 ; ‘Schlegeleum’, ‘Athenaeum’, 53.

186 Ibid., 102-106.

187 Ibid., 110.

188 Athenaeum, I, [i and ii].

189 Ibid., I, i, 144-145.

190 Thomas De Quincey, The Collected Writings, ed. David Masson, 14 vols (London: A. & C. Black, 1889-90), XI, 59.

191 KA, II, 198; Athenaeum, I, ii, 232.

192 Stefan Matuschek, ‘Epochenschwelle und prozessuale Verknüpfung. Zur Position der Allgemeinen Literatur-Zeitung zwischen Aufklärung und Frühromantik’, in: Stefan Matuschek (ed.), Organisation der Kritik. Die Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung in Jena 1785- 1803 (Heidelberg: Winter, 2004), 7-21.

193 KA, XXIV, 141f.

194 Schiller to Goethe 23 July, 1798; Gräf-Leitzmann, II, 120.

195 Caroline, I, 455-462.

196 KA, II, 206; Athenaeum, I, ii, 244.

197 Lohner, 25.

198 Sengle, Das Genie und sein Fürst, 147 ; Kurt Krolop, ‘Geteiltes Publikum, geteilte Publizität : “Wilhelm Meisters” Aufnahme im Vorfeld des “Athenaeums” (1795-1797)’, in : Hans-Dieter Dahnke and Bernd Leistner (eds), Debatten und Kontroversen. Literarische Auseinandersetzungen in Deutschland am Ende des 18. Jahrhunderts, 2 vols (Berlin, Weimar: Aufbau, 1989), I, 270-384.

199 KA, XXIV, 154; HKA, IV, 497.

200 KA, XXIII, 159.

201 Ibid., 186f., 193.

202 Ibid., 133.

203 HKA, IV, 514.

204 Propyläen. Eine periodische Schrift herausgegeben von Goethe, 3 vols (Tübingen : Cotta, 1798-1800), I, iii-xxxviii ; Richard Benz, Goethe und die romantische Kunst (Munich : Piper, 1940), 69. A full documentation of the respective views on art of Goethe and the Romantics in: Christoph Perels (ed.), ‘Ein Dichter hatte uns alle geweckt’. Goethe und die literarische Romantik, exhibition catalogue (Frankfurt am Main: Freies Deutsches Hochstift Frankfurter Goethe-Museum, 1999), esp. 72-103.

205 Günter Jäckel (ed.), Dresden zur Goethezeit 1760-1815 (Hanau: Dausien, 1988), 234; KA, XXIV, 312; Krisenjahre der Frühromantik. Briefe aus dem Schlegelkreis, ed. Josef Körner, 3 vols (Brno, Vienna, Leipzig: Röhrer, 1936-37; Berne: Francke, 1958), III, 12.

206 Ibid.

207 Caroline, I, 723.

208 F. W. J. Schelling, Briefe und Dokumente, ed. Horst Fuhrmans, 3 vols (Bonn: Bouvier, 1962-75), I, 154.

209 Lohner, 227.

210 Krisenjahre, I, 6; III, 12, 211.

211 SW, I, 160-162.

212 Krisenjahre, III, 12.

213 Caroline, I, 450, 452.

214 15 October, 1799. See Ella Horn, ‘Zur Geschichte der ersten Aufführung von Schlegel’s Hamlet-Übersetzung auf dem Kgl. Nationaltheater zu Berlin. Mit unveröffentlichten Briefen Ifflands und seiner Frau an A. W. Schlegel’, Jahrbuch der Deutschen Shakespeare- Gesellschaft, 51 (1915), 34-52. AWS also issued Hamlet separately, with Iffland’s needs in mind. Shakspeare’s Hamlet. Übersetzt von A. W. Schlegel (Berlin: Unger, 1800).

215 KA, XXIV, 143-144.

216 Caroline, I, 452.

217 Fuhrmans, I, 155, 157.

218 HKA, IV, 496.

219 KA, XXIV, 161.

220 HKA, II, 648-651.

221 Fuhrmans, I, 155.

222 KA, XXIV, 145.

223 Dichtung und Wahrheit, Part 2, book 8. Goethe, Gedenkausgabe, X, 352f., 355.

224 Carl Justi, Winckelmann und seine Zeitgenossen, 3rd edn, 3 vols (Leipzig : Vogel, 1923), I, 296.

225 Goethe, Gedenkausgabe, XIII, 91-108.

226 Jäckel, 191.

227 Ibid., 192f.; Lothar Müller in AWS, Die Gemählde. Gespräch, ed. Lothar Müller, Fundus- Bücher, 143 (Dresden: Verlag der Kunst, 1996), 176.

228 Angelo Walter, ‘Die Hängung der Dresdner Gemäldegalerie zwischen 1765 und 1832’, Dresdner Kunstblätter 29 (1981), 76-87, ref. 78; Justi, III, 89-103.

229 Ibid., I, 359.

230 Ibid., 323f.

231 Caroline, I, 473f. ; HKA, IV, 505.

232 Caroline, I, 459 ; Fuhrmans, I, 154f.

233 KA, XXIV, 199.

234 See above.

235 Historische literarische und unterhaltende Schriften von Horatio Walpole, übersetzt von A. W. Schlegel (Leipzig : Hartknoch, 1800). The preface is in SW, VIII, 58-63. See Briefe, II, 33. The Hartknoch edition is a one-volume selection based on the five-volume folio edition, The Works of Horatio Walpole, Earl of Orford, 5 vols (London: C. G. & J. Robertson, & J. Edwards, 1798). AWS’s main interest in Walpole seems to have been in his remarks on garden design.

236 Athenaeum, I, ii, 234.

237 Ziolkowski, German Romanticism, 254.

238 Goethes Briefwechsel mit Christian Gottlob Voigt, 4 vols, Schriften der Goethe-Gesellschaft, 53-56 (Weimar: Böhlau, 1949-62). I, 353.

239 Ibid, II, 80. Jena, Universitätsarchiv, A 621 ; Coburg, Staatsarchiv, Min K Nr. 35 and LA E Nr. 2059.

240 Jena, Universitätsarchiv, A 621, M 208, 5-7, 18; also SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd. e. 90, VI (11).

241 Jena, Universitätsarchiv A 621, M 208, 18; hand-written list of proposed lectures ibid., M 210, 75.

242 Ibid., M 209, 23; SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd. e. 90, VI (12).

243 Briefe, II, 31 ; I, 78-81 : Jena, Universitätsarchiv M 210, 75 ; Ute Fritsch, ‘Wohnorte der Dichter und Gelehrten in Jena um 1800’, in : Friedrich Strack (ed.), Evolution des Geistes : Jena um 1800. Natur und Kunst, Philosophie und Wissenschaft im Spannungsfeld der Geschichte, Deutscher Idealismus, 17 (Stuttgart: Klett-Cotta, 1994), 689-717.

244 Horst Neuper et al. (ed.), Das Vorlesungsangebot an der Universität Jena von 1749 bis 1854 (Weimar: Verlag und Datenbank für Geisteswissenschaften, 2003), I, 312-328.

245 Ernst Behler, ‘August Wilhelm Schlegels Vorlesungen über philosophische Kunstlehre Jena 1798, 1799’, in: Strack, 412-433.

246 Ibid., 219.

247 Hölderlin, GStA, VII, i, 142.

248 Stoll, I, 118f.

249 Rudolf Haym, Die romantische Schule. Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte des deutschen Geistes (Berlin : Gaertner, 1870), 764-768 ; Briefe, II, 35 ; KA, XXV, 484 ; Hugo Burath, August Klingemann und die deutsche Romantik (Braunschweig : Vieweg, 1948), 55-61 ; Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie, ed. Historische Kommission der Königl. Akademie der Wissenschaften, 56 vols (Leipzig : Duncker & Humblot, 1875-1912), XVI, 187.

250 These were published as: Aug. Wilhelm Schlegels Vorlesungen über Philosophische Kunstlehre [...], ed. Aug. Wünsche (Leipzig: Dieterich, 1911), then AWS, Kritische Ausgabe der Vorlesungen [KAV], ed. Ernst Behler et al., 3 vols (Paderborn, Munich, Vienna, Zurich: Schöningh, 1989- in progress), I (Vorlesungen über Ästhetik, I), 3-177.

251 Heinrich Schmidt, Erinnerungen eines Weimarer Veteranen aus dem geselligen, literarischen und Theater-Leben [...] (Leipzig: Brockhaus, 1856), 53f.

252 Set out by Waldtraut Beyer, ‘Der Atheismusstreit um Fichte’, in: Dahnke and Leistner, II, 154-245; Sengle (1993), 168-175.

253 As on another diploma granting AWS his honorary doctorate of philosophy, ‘Auctoritate Sacrae Caesareae Maiestatis Francisci II. Imperatoris Romano-Germanici’. Jena, Universitätsarchiv, M 213, 7.

254 KA, XXIV, 271.

255 Briefe, I, 79.

256 J. G. Fichte-Gesamtausgabe der Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, ed. Reinhard Lauth et al., 42 vols in 4 sections (Stuttgart-Bad Canstatt: Frommann, 1962-2012), III, iii, 174f.

257 Ibid., 183f.

258 Cf. Schiller to Goethe 14 June, 1799; Gräf-Leitzmann, II, 223.

259 KA, XXIV, 278.

260 Caroline, I, 535-538.

261 KA, XVIII, 522-525.

262 Caroline, I, 738.

263 [Friedrich Schleiermacher], Vertraute Briefe über Friedrich Schlegels Lucinde (Lübeck and Leipzig: Bohn, 1800), 141.

264 Paul Kluckhohn, Die Auffassung der Liebe in der Literatur des 18. Jahrhunderts und in der deutschen Romantik, 3rd edn (Halle: Niemeyer 1966), 362-365.

265 Collected Letters of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, ed. Earl Leslie Griggs, 6 vols (Oxford: Clarendon, 1956-71), IV, 793.

266 Caroline, I, 465; Friedrich Sengle, Wieland (Tübingen: Metzler, 1949), 510-513.

267 KA, XXIV, 249.

268 . Ibid., 202.

269 Ibid., 215

270 Ibid., 266; Caroline, I, 732; Lucinde ein Roman von Friedrich Schlegel (Berlin: Frölich, 1799), 23, 26.

271 Schiller to Goethe, 19 July, 1799; Gräf-Leitzmann, II, 242.

272 Kluckhohn, Auffassung der Liebe, 414-424.

273 Caroline, I, 740.

274 Thomas Pester, ‘Goethe und Jena. Eine Chronik seines Schaffens in der Universitätsstadt’, in: Strack (1994), 663-688, esp. 672f.

275 Peer Kösling, ‘Die Wohnungen der Gebrüder Schlegel in Jena’, Athenäum, 8 (1998), 97-110; KA, XXIV, 300f.

276 Henrich Steffens, Was ich erlebte, 10 vols (Breslau: Max, 1840-44), IV, 83.

277 KA, XXIV, 273, 284.

278 KA, XXV, 23.

279 AWS, ‘Berichtigung einiger Mißdeutungen’, SW, VIII, 225.

280 KA, XXV, 23.

281 Ibid., 71.

282 Caroline, I, 564.

283 Ibid., 569 ; KA, XXV, 18.

284 Ibid., 17.

285 Ibid., 23, 26.

286 Caroline, I, 570.

287 KA, XXV, 63.

288 Kluckhohn, Auffassung, 465.

289 Caroline, I, 755f.

290 KA, XXV, 65.

291 Athenaeum, I, ii, 187f.

292 Ibid., II, ii, 312f.

293 Gotthold Klee, ‘Ein Brief Ludwig Tiecks aus Jena vom 6. Dezember 1799’, Euphorion, 3. Ergänzungsheft (1897), 211-215, ref. 212.

294 Josef Körner, ‘Romantiker unter sich. Ein Spottgedicht A. W. Schlegels auf L. Tieck’, Die Literatur 26 (1923), 271-273, ref. 272.

295 Heinrich Heine, Säkularausgabe, hg. von den Nationalen Forschungs- und Gedenkstätten der klassischen deutschen Literatur in Weimar und dem Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in Paris, 27 vols (Berlin : Akademie-Verlag ; Paris : Éditions du CNRS, 1970-), XX, 385.

296 Josef Körner, ‘Neues von August Wilhelm und Caroline Schlegel’, Zeitschrift für Bücherfreunde NF 17 (1925), 143-145, ref. 144 ; Barbara Besslich, Der deutsche Napoleon-Mythos. Literatur und Erinnerung 1800-1945 (Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 2007), 52f.

297 KA, XXV, 11, 377, 381.

298 SW, II, 201; Friedrich Daniel Ernst Schleiermacher, Kritische Gesamtausgabe, ed. Hans- Joachim Birkner and Gerhard Ebeling, 22 vols in 5 sections (Berlin, New York: de Gruyter, 1980- in progress), V, iii, 227.

299 Athenaeum, II, ii, 321.

300 Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Lectures 1808-1819 On Literature, ed. Reginald Foakes, 2 vols (The Collected Works of STC, Bollingen Series, LXXV, 5) (Princeton: Princeton UP; London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1987), I, 514.

301 Rainer Schmitz (ed.), Die ästhetische Prügeley. Streitschriften der antiromantischen Bewegung (Göttingen: Wallstein, 1992), 318; Heinz Härtl, ‘“Athenaeum”-Polemiken’, in: Dahnke and Leistner, I, esp. 292-357; Steffens, Was ich erlebte, IV, 264; Caroline, I, 577-580, 749f.

302 SW, XI, 427-430; Briefe, I, 99f.

303 Athenaeum, III, i, [165-168].

304 Stefan Matuschek, ‘Epochenschwelle und prozessuale Verknüpfung. Zur Position der Allgemeinen Literatur-Zeitung zwischen Aufklärung und Frühromantik’, in: Stefan Matuschek (ed.), Organisation der Kritik. Die Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung in Jena 1785- 1803 (Heidelberg: Winter, 2004) 9-11.

305 Caroline, I, 577-580.

306 Goethes Briefwechsel mit Christian Gottlob Voigt, II, 452; KA, XXV, 459.

307 KA, XXV, 33-38, 58f., 419; SW, VIII, 50-57.

308 KA, XXV, 18.

309 Ibid., 76.

310 Ibid., 109.

311 Ibid., 116.

312 Documentation in : Wulf Segebrecht et al., Romantische Liebe und romantischer Tod. Über den Bamberger Aufenthalt von Caroline Schlegel, Auguste Böhmer, August Wilhelm Schlegel und Friedrich Wilhelm Schelling im Jahre 1800, Fussnoten zur Literatur, 48 (Bamberg : Universität Bamberg, 2001).

313 Cf. John Neubauer, ‘Dr. John Brown (1735-88) and Early German Romanticism’, Journal of the History of Ideas 28 (1967), 367-382, esp. 372f.

314 HKA, IV, 521f.

315 Caroline, I, 606f.

316 Oeuvres de M. Auguste-Guillaume de Schlegel écrites en français, ed. Édouard Böcking, 3 vols (Leipzig: Weidmann, 1846), I, 191.

317 Ibid.

318 SW, VIII, 220.

319 Lohner, 45.

320 HKA, IV, 333.

321 KA, XXV, 162.

322 Ibid., 146, 162.

323 Lohner, 45-49.

324 Cornelia Bögel, ‘Fragment einer unbekannten autobiographischen Skizze aus dem Nachlass August Wilhelm Schlegels’, Athenäum, 22 (2012), 165-180, ref. 173

325 First approaches August 1799. Briefe an Cotta. Das Zeitalter Goethes und Napoleons 1794- 1815, ed. Maria Fehling (Stuttgart, Berlin: Cotta, 1925), 256.

326 Wieneke, 101f.

327 Cf. Propyläen, I, ii, 66f.

328 SW, I, 304.

329 Athenaeum, II, ii, 181-192.

330 Manger in Mix/Strobel, 89-91.

331 The poem is in SW, II, 13-20, ref. 15f.

332 AWS, Poetische Werke, 2 parts (Heidelberg: Mohr und Zimmer, 1811), II, 293-295.

333 Schiller to Countess Schimmelmann 23 November 1800, Friedrich Schilller, Werke. Nationalausgabe, ed. Julius Petersen et al., 42 vols (Weimar: Böhlau, 1943- in progress), XXX, 214.

334 Schmitz, Die ästhetische Prügeley, 274f.

335 SW, X, 62.

336 Athenaeum, I, i, 107-112.

337 Ibid., 108-110, ref. 110.

338 Ibid. 111f.

339 ‘virtuelle Altphilologen’. Joachim Wohlleben, ‘Beobachtungen über eine Nicht- Begegnung Welcker und Goethe’, in : William M. Calder III et al., Friedrich Gottlieb Welcker. Werk und Wirkung [...], Hermes Einzelschriften, 49 (Stuttgart: Franz Steiner, 1986), 3-34, ref. 16.

340 Cf. Friedrich Beissner, Geschichte der deutschen Elegie, 3rd edn, Grundriss der germanischen Philologie, 14 (Berlin : de Gruyter, 1965), 162.

341 SW, X, 59-90, ref. 62.

342 Ibid., 337-346.

343 KAV, I, 33-46.

344 For these see John William Scholl, ‘August Wilhelm Schlegel and Goethe’s Epic and Elegiac Verse’, Journal of English and Germanic Philology 7, iii (1907-08), 61-98, iv, 54-86

345 Scholl, iv, 80.

346 SW, X, 184.

347 Manger in Mix/Strobel, 85-90.

348 KAV, I, i, 128f.

349 Jesinghaus, 24-36.

350 KAV, I, i, 109f.

351 Ibid., 113f.

352 Athenaeum, III, ii, 252-268; SW, XII, 92-106.

353 Athenaeum, I, i, 3-69; SW, VII, 197-268.

354 Briefe, I, 75.

355 Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock, Werke und Briefe. Historisch-kritische Ausgabe, ed. Horst Gronemeyer et al., 21 vols in 25 (Berlin: de Gruyter, 1974- in progress), I, i, 29.

356 SW, VII, 244.

357 Schlegel nevertheless later (1827) compares versions of Aeneid VI, 847-853 (‘Excudent alii spirantia mollius aera […]’) by Klopstock, Voss, and himself. It hardly needs saying that all three manage these seven verses in seven German hexameters.

358 SW, XII, 383-426.

359 Indische Bibliothek, I (1820), 40-46, esp. 42f.

360 Athenaeum, II, i, 39-151; SW, IX, 3-101 (minus the poems). For remarks of relevance on Die Gemälde see Margaret Stoljar, Athenaeum: A Critical Commentary, Australian and New Zealand Studies in German Language and Literature, 4 (Berne and Frankfurt am Main: Herbert Lang, 1973), 53-76; Claudia Becker, ‘Bilder einer Ausstellung. Literarische Bildkunstkritik in A. W. Schlegels Gemälde-Gespräch’, in: Paul Gerhard Klussmann et al. (eds), Das Wagnis der Moderne. Festschrift für Marianne Kesting (Frankfurt am Main etc.: Peter Lang, 1993), 143-155; Lothar Müller in Die Gemählde (1996), 165-196.

361 Sulger-Gebing, Die Brüder Schlegel, 59; Wilhelm Waetzoldt, ‘August Wilhelm und Friedrich Schlegel’, in: WW, Deutsche Kunsthistoriker, 2 vols (Berlin: Spiess, 1986 [1921, 1924]), I, 233-241.

362 Stoljar, 67.

363 AWS, Kritische Schriften, 2 vols (Berlin: Reimer, 1828), I, xviii.

364 HKA, II, 648.

365 KAV, I, 122-124.

366 Stoljar, 71; Becker (1998), 153.

367 Such as the poem ‘Johannes in der Wüste’, based on the painting, once attributed to Raphael, now in the Alte Pinakothek in Munich but still in Düsseldorf when AWS presumably saw it. Most recently described in 1791 by Friedrich von Stolberg, Reise in Deutschland, der Schweiz, Italien und Sizilien in den Jahren 1791-92, Gesammelte Werke der Brüder Christian und Friedrich Leopold Grafen zu Stolberg, 20 vols (Hamburg: Perthes u. Besser, 1820-25), VI, 11f.

368 Oeuvres, I, 191; Sulger-Gebing, 56.

369 Athenaeum, II, ii, 193-246; SW, IX, 102-157.

370 Sulger-Gebing, 62-67.

371 Ibid., 63f.

372 Goethe, Gedenkausgabe, XIII, 183-188.

373 Werner Hofmann (ed.), Runge in seiner Zeit, exhibition catalogue Hamburg Kunsthalle, Kunst um 1800 (Munich : Prestel, 1977), 21, 99.

374 William Vaughan, German Romantic Painting (New Haven and London: Yale UP, 1980), 46f.

375 Cf. Klaus-Peter Schuster, ‘“Flaxman der Abgott aller Dilettanten”. Zu einem Dilemma des klassischen Goethe und den Folgen’, in: Werner Hofmann (ed.), John Flaxman. Mythologie und Industrie, exhibition catalogue Hamburg Kunsthalle, Kunst um 1800 (Munich : Prestel, 1979) 32-35, esp. 33f.

376 Caroline, II, 213.

377 Hofmann, Flaxman, 24.

378 SW, IX, 156f.

379 SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd. e. 90, IX (IV)b. AWS’s own account of this visit in Kritische Schriften, II, 306.

380 Friedrich Ast’s transcripts were passed on to Karl Christian Friedrich Krause and published by Aug. Wünsche in 1911, then KAV, I, 3-177. See Behler, ‘A. W. Schlegels Vorlesungen über philosophische Kunstlehre’ (1994); Claudia Becker, ‘Naturgeschichte der Kunst’. August Wilhelm Schlegels ästhetischer Ansatz im Schnittpunkt zwischen Aufklärung und Frühromantik (Munich: Fink, 1998), 93-107.

381 H. S. Reiss, ‘The Naturalisation of the Term “Ästhetik” in Eighteenth-Century German: Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten and his Impact’, Modern Language Review 89 (1994), 645-658.

382 Jesinghaus, 25.

383 Caroline, II, 90-93.

384 SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd. App. 2712, B17, 25 and 26.

385 Bernhard Maaz, Christian Friedrich Tieck 1776-1851. Leben und Werk unter besonderer Berücksichtigung seines Bildnisschaffens, mit einem Werkverzeichnis, Bildhauer des 19. Jahrhunderts (Berlin: Gebr. Mann, 1995), 270f; Cornelia Bögel, ‘Geliebter Freund und Bruder’. Der Briefwechsel zwischen Christian Friedrich Tieck und August Wilhelm Schlegel in den Jahren 1804 bis 1811, Tieck Studien 1 (Dresden: Thelem, 2015), 143-152.

386 Caroline, II, 3f.

387 Ibid., 4.

388 Ibid., 75.

389 Ibid., 138-147.

390 Ibid., 152.

391 Leuper, Vorlesungsangebot, I, 326, 328.

392 Ibid., 328.

393 KA, XXV, 250f.

394 Ueber Bürgers Werke’. Charakteristiken und Kritiken. Von August Wilhelm Schlegel und Friedrich Schlegel, 2 vols (Königsberg: Nicolovius, 1801), II, 3-96; as ‘Bürger’, in AWS, Kritische Schriften, II, 1-81 and SW, VIII, 64-139.

395 Zudem ist es eine vergebliche Hoffnung, einem menschlichen Werke durch Verschweigung der Mängel einen höheren Ruhm fristen zu wollen, als der ihm zukommt’. SW, VIII, 73.

396 Shakespeare’s dramatische Werke, I, [iiif.].

397 Kritische Schriften, II, 1-80.

398 AWS, Poetische Werke, 2 parts (Heidelberg: Mohr und Zimmer, 1811), I, 334 (as here); SW, I, 375.

399 KA, XXV, 308.

400 Ibid., 296f.

401 Ibid., 331.

402 Cf. Julius Petersen, Wesensbestimmung der deutschen Romantik. Eine Einführung in die moderne Literaturwissenschaft (Leipzig: Quelle & Meyer, 1926), 134f.

403 ‘Ein schön kurzweilig Fastnachtspiel vom alten und neuen Jahrhundert’, Musen- Almanach für das Jahr 1802. Herausgegeben von A. W. Schlegel und L. Tieck (Tübingen: Cotta, 1802), 274-295; SW, II, 149-162.

404 Briefe, I, 137.

405 See generally Roger Paulin, ‘Der Musen-Almanach für das Jahr 1802. Herausgegeben von A. W. Schlegel und L. Tieck’, in: York-Gothart Mix (ed.), Kalender? Ey, wie viel Kalender! Literarische Almanache zwischen Rokoko und Klassizismus, exhibition catalogue (Wolfenbüttel: Herzog August Bibliothek, 1986), 179-183.

406 Lohner, 49f., 65; York-Gothart Mix, ‘Kunstreligion und Geld. Ludwig Tieck, die Brüder Schlegel und die Konkurrenz auf dem literarischen Markt um 1800’, in: Heidrun Markert et al. (eds), ‘lasst uns, da es uns vergönnt ist, vernüftig seyn!’—Ludwig Tieck (1773- 1853), Publikationen zur Zeitschrift für Germanistik NF, 9 (Berne etc.: Peter Lang, 2004), 241-258, ref. 244f.

407 Lohner, 49-95.

408 Schelling (pseud. Bonaventura), ‘Die letzten Worte des Pfarrers zu Drottning auf Seeland’, Musen-Almanach, 218-228 ; Tieck, ‘Die Zeichen im Walde’, ibid., 2-24.

409 Musen-Almanach, 203; HKA, I, 167 (with different stanza pattern).

410 Lohner, 137-147.

411 Cf. Ewa Eschler, Sophie Tieck-Bernhardi-Knorring (1775-1833). Das Wanderleben und das vergessene Werk (Berlin: trafo, 2005), 111-123.

412 Location described in Friedrich Nicolai, Wegweiser für Fremde und Einheimische durch die Königl. Residenzstädte Berlin und Potsdam […] (1793), Gesammelte Werke, ed Bernhard Fabian et al., vol. 6 (Hildesheim, etc.: Olms, 1987), 32; Caroline, II, 177.

413 As in SW, I, 235-243, II, 37-38, IX, 227-230.

414 These letters SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd. App. 2712, IVe, 1-33.

415 SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd. App. 2712, B15, 1 and 2. He adds in German ‘S. T. nach meinem Tod uneröffnet zu verbrennen’.

416 Krisenjahre, I, 17, 19.

417 Ibid., 17.

418 Ibid., III, 29f.

419 Maaz, 23-26.

420 Briefe, II, 55.

421 SW, II, 37.

422 Maaz, 26-30.

423 Lohner, 109.

424 Bögel (2015), 143-152.

425 Caroline, II, 212.

426 Georg Reichard, August Wilhelm Schlegels ‘Ion’. Das Schauspiel und die Aufführungen unter der Leitung von Goethe und Iffland, Mitteilungen zur Theatergeschichte der Goethezeit, 9 (Bonn: Bouvier, 1987), 176, and for subsequent remarks on Ion.

427 SW, II, 35.

428 As he points out in his own review in Zeitung für die elegante Welt, 6 January 1802, 322-325. Caroline, II, 590-592.

429 Reichard (1987), 34-55.

430 W. H. Bruford, Theatre, Drama and Audience in Goethe’s Germany (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1950), 288-319.

431 Their account in Caroline, II, 248-262.

432 The source for this anecdote Eduard Genast, Aus Weimars klassischer und nachklassischer Zeit, Memoirenbibliothek, 5 (Stuttgart: Lutz, 1905), 76-78.

433 Sondermann, Karl August Böttiger (1983), 200.

434 Published in Caroline, II, 585-590.

435 One published in Caroline, II, 590-592, one in SW, IX, 193-209. Also in Zeitung für die elegante Welt, 21 and 24 August, 1802. Reichard, 263-269.

436 Briefe, I, 123.

437 Ludwig Geiger, Dichter und Frauen. Abhandlungen und Mittheilungen. Neue Sammlung (Berlin: Paetel, 1899), 124.

438 The whole dismal story available in the documentation to Friedrich Schlegel, Alarcos. Ein Trauerspiel. Historisch-kritische Edition mit Dokumenten, ed. Mark-Georg Dehrmann et al. (Hanover: Wehrhahn, 2013), 103-185.

439 KA, XXV, 338-339.

440 Der Briefwechsel zwischen Friedrich Nicolai und Carl August Böttiger, ed. Bernd Maurach (Berne, etc.: Peter Lang, 1996), 28-31, 39.

441 Listed by Wolfgang Pfeiffer-Belli, ‘Antiromantische Streitschriften und Pasquille (1798- 1804)’, Euphorion, 26 (1925), 602-630.

442 For which he supplied the preface. SW, VIII, 140f.

443 Sondermann (1985), 238f.

444 Schmitz, Die ästhetische Prügeley, 428.

445 Helmut Sembdner, Schütz-Lacrimas. Das Leben des Romantikerfreundes, Poeten und Literaturkritikers Wilhelm von Schütz (1776-1847) (Berlin : Erich Schmidt, 1974), 26f.

446 See Robert Darnton, The Great Cat Massacre and Other Episodes in French Cultural History (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 2001 [1984]), ill. 84. Revolutionary prints are another possible source.

447 SW, I, 244-250.

448 The poem, ‘An A. W. Schlegel’, ibid., 250-253.

449 Krisenjahre, I, 42-45; Doris Reimer, Passion & Kalkül. Der Verleger Georg Andreas Reimer (1776-1842) (Berlin, New York: de Gruyter, 1999), 259.

450 Krisenjahre, I, 70f., III, 58.

451 Friedrich Schlegels Briefe an seinen Bruder August Wilhelm, ed. Oskar F. Walzel [Walzel] (Berlin: Speyer & Peters, 1890), 498-510, ref. 501.

452 On Hamilton see Rosane Rocher, ‘Alexander Hamilton (1762-1824). A Chapter in the Early History of Sanskrit Philology’, American Oriental Series, 51 (New Haven: American Oriental Society, 1968), 44-52; Chen Tzoref-Ashkenazi, Der romantische Mythos vom Ursprung der Deutschen. Friedrich Schlegels Suche nach der indogermanischen Verbindung, trans. Markus Lemke, Schriftenreihe des Minerva Instituts für deutsche Geschichte der Universität Tel Aviv, 29 (Göttingen: Wallstein, 2009), 117-120.

453 Walzel, 518.

454 Ibid., 510-518.

455 Rocher (1968), 54.

456 Ingrid Oesterle, ‘Paris—das moderne Rom?’, in: Conrad Wiedemann (ed.), Rom-Paris- London. Erfahrung und Selbsterfahrung deutscher Schriftsteller und Künstler in den fremden Metropolen. Ein Symposion, Germanistische Symposien. Berichtsbände, 8 (Stuttgart: Metzler, 1988), 375-419, ref. 388; Thomas W. Gaehtgens, ‘Das Musée Napoléon und sein Einfluß auf die Kunstgeschichte’, in: Antje Middeldorf Kosegarten (ed.), Johann Dominicus Fiorillo und die romantische Bewegung um 1800 (Göttingen: Wallstein, 1997), 339-369.

457 Europa. Eine Zeitschrift. Herausgegeben von Friedrich Schlegel (Frankfurt: Wilmans, 1803, 1805) I, i, 112.

458 Ibid., 105.

459 Ibid., I, ii, 107-16.

460 Ibid., 124.

461 Ibid., 132f.

462 Ibid., I, i, 5-40.

463 Walzel, 509.

464 The author of Erzählungen von Schauspielen in Europa, I, ii, 140-192.

465 The author of Der gehörnte Siegfried an der Schmiede in Europa, II, i, 82-91 and Der alte Held an der Schmiede, ibid., 91-94.

466 These comprise KA, XI.

467 Europa, I, ii, 193-204 ; SW, XII, 141-153.

468 KAV, I, 394-429 ; Jesinghaus, 36-42.

469 Europa, I, ii, 3-95 ; KAV, II, i, 195-253.

470 Europa, I, i, 41-63.

471 Europa, I, ii, 72-87.

472 Part 1 published as: Spanisches Theater. Herausgegeben von August Wilhelm Schlegel (Berlin: Reimer, 1803), part 2 (with a reprint of part 1) as: Schauspiele von Don Pedro Calderon de la Barca. Übersetzt von August Wilhelm Schlegel (Berlin: Hitzig, 1809). See in general Henry W. Sullivan, Calderón in the German Lands and the Low Countries: His Reception and Influence, 1654-1980 (Cambridge, etc.: Cambridge UP, 1983), esp. 169-183; Christoph Strosetzki, ‘August Wilhelm Schlegels Rezeption spanischer Literatur’, in: Mix/Strobel (2010), 144-157.

473 There were pirate editions of El princípe constante (Der standhafte Prinz) in Vienna 1813, 1826, and 1828, and in Leipzig 1845. Information in Sullivan (1983), 438.

474 SW, IV, 169-171. Wilhelm Schwartz, August Wilhelm Schlegels Verhältnis zur spanischen und portugiesischen Literatur, Romanistische Arbeiten, 3 (Halle : Niemeyer 1914), 6f.

475 Reimer, 62, 119.

476 Schlegel translated La devoción de la Cruz (as Die Andacht zum Kreuze), El mayor encanto Amor (as Über allen Zauber Liebe), La Vanda y la flor (as Die Schärpe und die Blume) for the Spanisches Theater (Berlin 1803). A further two plays appeared in the second volume of the reuissue, Schauspiele des Don Pedro Calderon de la Barca (Berlin 1809) : El princípe constante (as Der standhafte Prinz), La puente de Mantible (as Die Brücke von Mantible). On the relationship with Reimer and the publication history see Reimer (1999), 62, 74, 81, 278-292. A poem by Gries on the tribulations of translating Spanish for the book market in Reinhard Tgarht (1983), 532-534.

477 For the following see the useful article by Hans-Jürgen Lüsebrink, ‘Pedro Calderón de la Barca’, in: Bernd Witte et al., Goethe-Handbuch, 4 vols in 5 (Stuttgart, Weimar: Metzler, 1996-98), IV, i, 149-150.

478 [Wilhelm von Schütz], Lacrimas, ein Schauspiel. Herausgegeben von August Wilhelm Schlegel (Berlin: Realschulbuchhandlung, 1803); Sembdner, Schütz-Lacrimas, 21-31.

479 Sullivan (1983), 174f.

480 Swana L. Hardy, Goethe, Calderon und die romantische Theorie des Dramas, Heidelberger Forschungen, 10 (Heidelberg: Winter, 1965), 53f.

481 Ibid., 61-76.

482 Ibid., 21.

483 Wieneke, 157.

484 Geiger, Dichter und Frauen, 125.

485 This drama criticism, written for the Zeitung für die elegante Welt, is in SW, IX, 181-230.

486 The publication history of the Berlin lectures is complex and is set out as follows. The first cycle (1801-02) remained unpublished during Schlegel’s lifetime and was published as: A. W. Schlegels Vorlesungen über schöne Litteratur und Kunst. Erster Teil (1801-1802). Die Kunstlehre [ed. Jakob Minor], Deutsche Litteraturdenkmale des 18. und 19 Jahrhunderts, 17 [DLD] (Heilbronn: Henninger, 1884) [Minor I]; (KAV, I, 179- 472), except that sections on art had been incorporated into the later Vorlesungen über Theorie und Geschichte der bildenden Künste, given in Berlin in 1827 (KAV, II, i, 289-348), variants and extensions to the original lectures set out in Minor, I, xxxi-lxxi. A small section, called Ueber das Verhältniß der schönen Künste zur Natur; über Täuschung und Wahrscheinlichkeit; über Stil und Manier. Aus Vorlesungen, gehalten in Berlin im Jahre 1802, was published in 1808 in Seckendorf’s and Stoll’s periodical Prometheus (5.-6. Heft, 1-28; SW, IX, 295-319) (variants set out in Minor, I, xxvii-xxxi).
The second cycle (1802-03) was published as:
A. W. Schlegels Vorlesungen über schöne Litteratur und Kunst. Zweiter Teil (1802-03), Geschichte der klassischen Literatur, DLD, 18 (Heilbronn: Henninger, 1884) [Minor, II]; (KAV, I, 472-781), except that the section Allgemeine Übersicht des gegenwärtigen Zustandes der deutschen Literatur had been published separately in Europa II, i (1803), 3-95 as Ueber Litteratur, Kunst und Geist des Zeitalters. Einige Vorlesungen in Berlin, zu Ende des J. 1802, gehalten von A. W. Schlegel (KAV, II, i, 197-253), the variants set out in Minor, II, xvi-xx.

The third cycle (1803-04) was published as: A. W. Schlegels Vorlesungen über schöne Literatur und Kunst. Dritter Teil (1803-04) Geschichte der romantischen Litteratur, DLD, 19 (Heilbronn: Henninger, 1884) [(Minor, III]; (KAV, II, i, 1-194), except that the section Ueber das Mittelalter, Eine Vorlesung, gehalten 1803, von A. W. Schlegel, had been published in Friedrich Schlegel’s Deutsches Museum in 1812 (II, 11, 432-462), variants in Minor III, xii-xvi, the whole text in KAV, II, i, 256-288.
A fourth lecture, held privately and not part of the other series,
Vorlesungen über Encyclopädie (1803), remained unpublished until 2006 (KAV, III).

487 Minor, I, viif.

488 Nicolai, Wegweiser, 132-133.

489 Minor, I, xiii. The later educator Heinrich Friedrich Theodor Kohlrausch states that Fichte lectured to an audience not dissimilar to Schlegel’s (but without women), on ‘Wisssenschaftslehre’, in the winter of 1802-03, on ‘Anweisung zum seligen Leben’ the following winter, and ‘Grundzüge des gegenwärtigen Zeitalters’ the winter after that. Gall was lecturing on craniology. Fr. Kohlrausch, Erinnerungen aus meinem Leben (Hanover: Hahn, 1863), 65-69, 74. Kohlrausch was joined by Wolf von Baudissin and others. Bernd Goldmann, Wolf Heinrich von Baudissin. Leben und Werk eines großen Übersetzers (Hildesheim: Gerstenberg, 1981), 28.

490 Untypically, Reimer miscalculated the print runs and had 1,600 copies done, leaving 358 remaining. Schlegel received 40 Friedrichsd’or. Reimer (1999), 74, 279

491 SW, IX, 158-179.

492 Kohlrausch, 72f.

493 Caspar Voght und sein Hamburger Freundeskreis. Briefe aus einem tätigen Leben, ed. Kurt Detlev Möller and Anneliese Tecke, 3 vols, Veröffentlichung des Vereins für Hamburgische Geschichte, 15, i-iii (Hamburg: Christians, 1959-67), II, 123.

494 Caspar Voght, for one, did not enjoy the Pindar renditions. Ibid., 107.

495 Kohlrausch, 72f.

496 Briefe von und an Friedrich von Gentz, ed. Friedrich Carl Wittichen, 3 vols in 4 (Munich and Berlin: Oldenbourg, 1909-13), II, 121.

497 Minor, I, v.

498 An entrance ticket for the Lectures is reproduced at Krisenjahre, III, 19.

499 Briefe, II, 60; Karl Ende, ‘Beitrag zu den Briefen an Schiller aus dem Kestner Museum’, Euphorion, 12 (1905), 364-402, ref. 397.

500 Wilhelm Schoof, ‘Briefwechsel der Brüder Grimm mit Ernst v. d. Malsburg’, Zeitschrift für deutsche Philologie 36 (1904), 173-232, ref. 214; Krisenjahre, III, 25 opts (inconsistently) for the venue in the Französische Strasse.

501 Caroline, II, 225.

502 Reimer, 31.

503 Krisenjahre, I, 28.

504 Rahel-Bibliothek. Rahel Varnhagen. Gesammelte Werke, ed. Konrad Feilchenfeldt, Uwe Schweikert and Rahel E. Steiner, 10 vols (Munich: Matthes & Seitz, 1983), I, 257.

505 Renata Buzzo Màrgari, ‘Schriftliche Konversation im Hörsaal. “Rahels und Anderer Bemerkungen in A. W. Schlegels Vorlesungen zu Berlin 1802”’, in: Barbara Hahn and Ursula Isselstein (eds), Rahel Levin Varnhagen. Die Wiederentdeckung einer Schriftstellerin, Zeitschrift für Literaturwissenschaft und Linguistik, Beiheft, 14 (Göttingen: Vandenhoek & Ruprecht, 1987), 104-127.

506 Otto Brandt, August Wilhelm Schlegel. Der Romantiker und die Politik (Stuttgart, Berlin: Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, 1919), 37.

507 Krisenjahre, I, 20.

508 Lohner, 149; Goldmann (1981), 27f.

509 Voght, II, 95-138. He reports on the lectures on epic (95f.), lyric (100), Anacreon (103), Pindar (107), elegy (117), Aeschylus (123), Sophocles (130), Euripides (132), the three versions of Elektra (133) and Aristophanes (138).

510 SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd. e. 90. XXXIII. 1-2. Minor, I, xvii-xviii.

511 Gentz, Briefe, II, 85, 89.

512 Adam Müller, Lebenszeugnisse, ed. Jakob Baxa, 2 vols (Munich etc. : Schöningh, 1966), I, 63.

513 Reimer (1999), 83.

514 He most likely attended the second and third cycles, if his remarks on the Nibelungenlied and Dante may be cited as evidence. Solger’s nachgelassene Schriften und Briefwechsel, ed. Ludwig Tieck and Friedrich von Raumer, 2 vols (Leipzig, 1826), I, 97, 124.

515 Johann Gottlieb Fichte’s Leben und litterarischer Briefwechsel, ed. I. H. Fichte, 2 parts (Sulzbach: Seidel, 1830-31), I, 448. Kohlrausch vouches for Kotzebue. Erinnerungen aus meinem Leben, 66.

516 Clémence Couturier-Heinrich, ‘Die Schriften Rousseaus als musikgeschichtliche Quelle für A. W. Schlegels Jenaer und Berliner Ästhetik-Vorlesungen’, in : Mix/Strobel (2010), 185-197.

517 KAV, I, 181.

518 Darnton, Cat Massacre, 191-218.

519 Jean le Rond d’Alembert, Discours préliminaire de l’Encyclopédie, ed. Michel Malherbe (Paris: Vrin, 2000), 117.

520 KAV, I, i, 441.

521 Ibid., 537-540.

522 These in SW, III, 101-102, 129-153.

523 KAV, I, i, 744.

524 Ibid., 770.

525 See AWS, Blumensträuße italiänischer, spanischer und portugiesischer Poesie. Nach dem Erstdruck [1803] neu hg. von Jochen Strobel (Dresden: Thelem, 2007), with introduction and commentary.

526 Lohner, 151.

527 Edith Höltenschmidt, Die Mittelalter-Rezeption der Brüder Schlegel (Paderborn, etc. : Schöningh, 2000), 46-53, 172-186 ; ibid., ‘Homer, Shakespeare und die Nibelungen. Aspekte romantischer Synthese in A. W. Schlegels Interpretation des Nibelungenliedes in den Berliner Vorlesungen’, in: Mix/Strobel (2010), 215-235.

528 Cf. ‘schwerfällige Polymathie’, Justi, I, 5.

529 Darnton, 212.

530 Comtesse Jean de Pange, née Broglie, Auguste-Guillaume Schlegel et Madame de Staël. D’après des documents inédits, doctoral dissertation University of Paris (Paris : Albert, 1938), 234.

531 See R. Rocher, ‘The Knowledge of Sanskrit in Europe Until 1800’, in: Sylvain Auroux et al., The History of the Language Sciences […], 3 vols, Handbücher zur Sprach- und Kommunikationswissenschaft, 18, 1-3 (Berlin, New York: de Gruyter, 2000), II, 1156- 1163; Tzoref-Ashkenazi (2009), 66-71.

532 Dorota Masiakowska-Osses, ‘August Wilhelm Schlegel und Polen: Gegenseitige Rezeption’, in: Mix/Strobel (2010), 199-213.

533 KAV, III, 336.

534 Georg Forster, Werke. Sämtliche Schriften, Tagebücher, Briefe, ed. Deutsche Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Berlin, 16 vols in 20 (Berlin: Akademie, 1958-85), VII, 285.

535 On the links between AWS’s lecture series see Frank Jolles, ‘August Wilhelm Schlegel und Berlin: Sein Weg von den Berliner Vorlesungen von 1801-04 zu denen vom Jahre 1827’, in: Otto Pöggeler et al. (eds), Kunsterfahrung und Kulturpolitik im Berlin Hegels, Hegel-Studien, Beiheft 22 (Bonn: Bouvier, 1983), 153-173 plus [2].

536 KAV, III, 371.

Table des illustrations

Titre Fig. 4 Die Horen eine Monatsschrift herausgegeben von Schiller (Tübingen, 1795-98). Title page of vol. 1.
Crédits Image in the public domain.
URL http://books.openedition.org/obp/docannexe/image/2931/img-1.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 100k
Titre Fig. 5 Manuscript page of Schlegel’s and Caroline’s translation of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet (1797), in Caroline’s hand, open at Act 2, Scene 1 (‘O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?’).
Crédits © SLUB Dresden, all rights reserved.
URL http://books.openedition.org/obp/docannexe/image/2931/img-2.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 360k
Titre Fig. 6 Manuscript page of Schlegel’s translation of Shakespeare’s The Tempest (1798), open at Act 1, Scene 2 (‘Full fathom five’).
Crédits © SLUB Dresden, all rights reserved.
URL http://books.openedition.org/obp/docannexe/image/2931/img-3.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 404k
Titre Fig. 7 Athenaeum. Eine Zeitschrift von August Wilhelm und Friedrich Schlegel (Berlin, 1798-1800). Title page of vol. 2.
Crédits Image in the public domain.
URL http://books.openedition.org/obp/docannexe/image/2931/img-4.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 96k
Titre Fig. 8 John Flaxman: illustration of Dante, Inferno, Canto 33 (Rome[?], 1802), showing Ugolino and his sons.
Crédits © and by kind permission of the Master and Fellows of Trinity College, Cambridge, CC BY-NC 4.0.
URL http://books.openedition.org/obp/docannexe/image/2931/img-5.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 220k
Titre Fig. 9 August Wilhelm and Friedrich Schlegel, Charakteristiken und Kritiken (Königsberg, 1801), Title page of vol. 1.
Crédits © and by kind permission of the Master and Fellows of Trinity College, Cambridge, CC BY-NC 4.0.
URL http://books.openedition.org/obp/docannexe/image/2931/img-6.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 116k
Titre Fig. 10 A. W. Schlegel and L. Tieck, Musenalmanach auf das Jahr 1802 (Tübingen, 1802). Title page.
Crédits © and by kind permission of the Master and Fellows of Trinity College, Cambridge, CC BY-NC 4.0.
URL http://books.openedition.org/obp/docannexe/image/2931/img-7.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 128k
Titre Fig. 11 ‘Schlegel and Tieck Crowning Each Other With Laurels’.
Crédits Extract from the caricature ‘Die neuere Ästhetik’ (1803). Courtesy of Wallstein Verlag, image in the public domain.
URL http://books.openedition.org/obp/docannexe/image/2931/img-8.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 156k
Titre Fig. 12 Europa. Eine Zeitschrift. Herausgegeben von Friedrich Schlegel (Frankfurt am Main, 1803, 1805). Frontispiece and title page.
Crédits © And by kind permission of the Master and Fellows of Trinity College, Cambridge, CC BY-NC 4.0.
URL http://books.openedition.org/obp/docannexe/image/2931/img-9.jpg
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