The first is a detailed examination of Winterreise. A more straightforward historical survey is presented in The Nineteenth-Century German Lied by Lorraine Gorrell, which begins with general chapters and continues with a survey of the major Lieder composers from Beethoven to Strauss. Hoffmann is one figure around whom both music scholars and German literary specialists often join hands. Today he is, of course, remembered mainly for his literary writings — both literary fiction and critical writings on music — but during his life he was extremely active as a composer and Kapellmeister.
Hoffmann studies in English, German, and French are flourishing, but a substantial proportion of the huge literature in German on Hoffmann is still not well-known to Englishlanguage writers. The volume opens with a section on German Romantic Music Aesthetics. This was the first Romantic music novella.
Through the mouthpiece of Berglinger, Wackenroder and Tieck expose the Janus-face, or paradoxical nature, of music: its divine and demonic potential, its capacity to redeem and to condemn. A contemporary of Novalis and greatly admired by him and other Romantic poets is Johann Wilhelm Ritter — , an established figure in the field of Romantic science Naturphilosophie. The final paper in the section, by Jeanne Riou, on music and non-verbal reason in Hoffmann, is primarily concerned with the acoustic character of imagination in Hoffmann. For Hoffmann, music has a utopian dimension that challenges bourgeois subjectivity: unlike either Adorno or Hegel, whose work is characterized by a dialectical approach, Hoffmann and the Romantics do not shy away from the expectation that aesthetic experience — especially music — can transform reality.
The second section of the volume brings together papers on the Romantic reception musical and literary of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Byrne debunks the traditional myth that places the two artists in opposition to each other, showing Goethe to be more musical than hitherto assumed, and concluding that their ideas on the nineteenth-century Lied are quite similar. In any discussion of German writers and their inspiration for Romantic composition, it is fair to say that one towers above the rest — Goethe. The energetic heroism of the music thus seems incongruous. A detailed study of both works and the conditions surrounding their composition shows the striking extent of this fruitful collaboration.
Thus, for Brentano, music is a transcendent aesthetic force. This Romantic ideal of sound, however, finds its realization in the sine tones produced by the early twentieth-century electronic instrument, the theremin or aetherophone. The two papers on art song in the section on Lieder offer critical readings of single Lieder using different methodological approaches.
By contrast, Natasha Loges takes an interpretative approach to a Brahms love-song, which has implications for performance. His analysis draws on the features of Romantic literary discourse on music with particular reference to Novalis and Hoffmann, and demonstrates that, while the novel is indebted to the Romantic tradition in its themes, intertextuality, and concepts of music, it also plays with or even trivializes the Romantic myth of the musical genius, thus revealing its unmistakable postmodern imprint.
It is hoped that the essays in this volume will take another step in drawing attention to the musico-literary relations that flourished during German Romanticism. John Daverio draws specific attention to the early writings of Friedrich Schlegel as a motivating force for German Romantic music.
Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, , Hoffmann, Schriften zur Musik: Nachlese, ed. As is well known, Hoffmann reworked the Beethoven-review where the reference is to instrumental music for the Kreisleriana. Werner Keil Hildesheim: Olms, The secondary literature on the literary treatment of music in narrative prose is vast. Helmut Bachmaier Stuttgart: Reclam, , — Jahrhundert, ed. Suzanne M. Lodato, Suzanne Aspden, and Walter Bernhart, vol. Brown in Memoriam, ed. Jean-Louis Cupers and Ulrich Weisstein, vol.
Walter Bernhart et al. Carl Dahlhaus, Egon Voss, et al. Gerald Chapple et al. James M. McGlathery, vol. William W. Marx, and Schiller in addition to those covered in the earlier volume. Carl Dahlhaus and Ruth Katz, 4 vols. Stuyvesant, NY: Pendragon Press, — The volumes are divided by subject matter rather than by time period.
See also the anthology of German excerpts in translation: German Essays on Music, ed. Jost Hermand and Michael Gilbert, vol. Giovanni Dotoli Fasano: Schena editore, Hedwig Walwei-Wiegelmann Frankfurt a. Thomas Daniel Schlee Laaber: Laaber, Youens also provided an introduction for the facsimile edition of the autograph score New York: Dover Publications, This composition cleverly presents in musical terms some of the same ideas on cultural memory, originality, and intertextuality that Kramer explores in the book.
For a recent survey of this topic see Suzanne G. Specifically on the Lied see Marcia J. Wackenroder und E. Hoffmann Frankfurt a. Murray Schafer, E. David Charlton, trans. The conference volume E. Hoffmann et la musique. Actes du colloque international de Clermont-Ferrand, ed. Hoffmanns, Heinses, Wackenroders, ed. Werner Keil and Charis Goer, vol. In this context see Judith Rohr, E. Hoffmanns Theorie des musikalischen Dramas, vol. Steven Paul Scher, Yet these images betray significant assumptions about music. All of them imply that music has some kind of autonomous existence independent of those human beings who participate in its individual manifestations.
Music is not merely a human activity engaged in by composers, performers, and their audience; it exists as a force or phenomenon in its own right. Romantic writers do not normally present the other arts in this way. However, they do not suggest that it has an objective reality, a being, which could be characterized figuratively in animal or topographical terms.
Even the remote island, fairy-tale-like, represents a presocietal idyll that cannot be replicated in the empirical human community. Yet there is an even more significant feature of these images. The superhuman force of music is, so to speak, ethically neutral. The phoenix impresses the onlooker, but is its indestructibility divine or uncanny? The disembodied soul of the child experiences eternal bliss, but the heaven it inhabits is conspicuously not identified with a state of explicitly Christian redemption.
The sensual delights of the island are at best amoral, and at worst, orgiastic. Music is, then, a morally indeterminate power beyond rational control: it may astonish or delight the human recipient, but it is ultimately incomprehensible and ambiguous. Nowhere does this speaker say expressly that the miracles of music derive from the Christian god or, indeed, from any sort of benevolent godhead, however defined. At this point it is necessary to clarify the not uncomplicated question of the authorship and genesis of these texts.
I shall argue here, however, that this alleged harmony at best exists in some of the contributions and certainly does not prevail in this half of the Phantasien as a whole. It is now recognized that this text does not, as was supposed for at least years, advocate an art based exclusively on Christian, let alone narrowly Catholic faith. Metaphorical because — despite the narrative voice of the fictional Klosterbruder — there is no evidence to suggest that the authors of the text themselves suppose that artistic inspiration derives directly from a numinous being.
Gerhard Sauder points out that the Klosterbruder is a stock figure in the literature of Empfindsamkeit sensibility and, as such, without specifically religious significance. The concept of a religious vision has been secularized. Only in the case of artists who are congenitally unstable or neurotic, such as Piero di Cosimo — or possibly Joseph Berglinger — does divine inspiration operate destructively.
Critics have sometimes yielded to the temptation to assume that the same positive view of artistic experience prevails in the Phantasien. Yet, as has already been indicated in outline, the effect of music on the individual is here presented with some ambiguity. The hermit, driven by the delusion that he must rotate the wheel of time in perpetuity, is released from his obsession by the ethereal music and song generated by passing lovers, and his soul ascends to heaven. The very first note of this harmonious music ended the nightmare of the wheel of time W—4.
At the same time, however, it is a practicing musician, Joseph Berglinger, the ostensible author of these essays in praise of the curative benefits of music, who imagines the suffering of the hermit and thus appears all too aware of the nightmare of futile, repetitive, but also psychotic and even homicidal activity. But such indifference is, in fact, living death. The arts, and music in particular, release us from this condition.
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For here the point that absorption in music may lead to voluptuous egocentricity is taken up and driven home with bitter emphasis. Those musicians like him who gain this insight cannot but feel intense guilt and seek some form of masochistic punishment to atone for it. Figuratively at least, music induces disease. Here music is portrayed in a predominantly positive fashion. It is a means by which human feelings can be articulated and reproduced with a profundity, subtlety, and complexity that could never be achieved through reason and speech.
The flow of music is the only suitable medium in which to convey the constant flux of human emotions. He imagines or anticipates the course of one such drama. It moves from the spontaneous joy of childhood to the audacity of youth, plunges into reckless abandon and thence into depression and suffering, struggles in vain against misfortune and despair, and finally recalls its early innocence nostalgically before disintegrating into oblivion.
What is striking in this vision of the emotions embodied in symphonic music is their violence and their sheer intensity. From conventional portrayals of bland sentiment, music has moved up a gear to an intense and overwhelming melodrama of extreme and often terrifying sensations that is new, disturbing — in a word, Romantic.
If music is uniquely mysterious and irrational, if its effect defies description and definition, then it may possess not only redemptive power, but equally, as in the imaginary symphony evoked in this section, disquieting and ultimately traumatic potential. It is this realization of the dangerous ambiguity of music that concerns Berglinger towards the end of his rhapsodic essay W— In the earlier text, painting is regarded in an unequivocally positive light, as the repository of spiritual truth and the vehicle for inspired human creativity.
In the Phantasien music appears as an ambiguous force that may have either a beneficial or a destructive impact on its recipient. That is not to say that the position of the author or authors changed between and As pointed out in the lucidly argued but neglected dissertation by Rose Kahnt,16 it is rather that in particular Wackenroder had throughout a concept of painting that differed from his view of music. The interpretation of music in the two texts remains consistent. Wackenroder and through him Tieck were still indebted to the eighteenthcentury Affektenlehre, the doctrine that music exists to reflect and portray specific human feelings.
However, this doctrine is supplemented and overlaid by the notion of immersion in the emotions stimulated by music, a view which Wackenroder may have found prefigured in the musical writings of Johann Friedrich Reichardt, to whose personal influence he had been exposed since the late s. To abandon oneself to this ambiguous force is to surrender self-direction and risk possession by an alien power offering aesthetic blandishments that are beyond ethical restraint and ultimately destabilizing. Consider, for example, the torments suffered by E.
In the metaphor of the first two poems, all artists, poetic and musical, sail the boat of their psyche into uncharted and turbulent waters, and the danger of shipwreck is inevitable. In fact, as the third poem suggests, the artist who does not run the risk of possession by daemonic inspiration is not a true artist at all. Berglinger compares his soul to an Aeolian harp. The image offers a perfect characterization of the new Romantic conception of the experience of music: subjection to the afflatus literally , being played upon by a strange and incomprehensible power that at its own whim agitates the soul of its victim, causing it to vibrate with exquisite poignancy, but at the same time perturbing it to the point of trauma.
Silvio Vietta, vol. The full title is misleading too: it is an arbitrary conflation of the titles of the two original texts. Silvio Vietta Stuttgart: Metzler, , — Wackenroder Marburg: Elwert, , esp. Michael Neumann also argues that for Wackenroder art may be simultaneously both divine and daemonic: Unterwegs zu den Inseln des Scheins: Kunstbegriff und literarische Form in der Romantik von Novalis bis Nietzsche Frankfurt a.
In calling for language to become song again, Novalis appears to offer us a prescription for transforming the way in which we as individuals speak and write. In this discussion, however, I will move on to look at other theoretical models of music that had a bearing on Novalis, suggesting that music also plays a vital role in defining a conception of intersubjective discourse.
The very fact that the subject must self-define was, for Novalis, proof of its inability to define or capture the essence of itself. An act of definition occurring within the finite structure of reflection cannot enclose or fix the absolute nature of identity, but merely figure its possibility. This is defined in the Logologische Fragmente Logological Fragments, The logical system relating words or thoughts is in itself a form of language, but remains inherent in the relationships between signs. The order of logic does not always prevail. Ultimately, neither the scholastic nor the poet can ever entirely succeed in their respective tasks of fixing language absolutely, or rendering it entirely arbitrary.
Thus the poet proper engages in the proposition of structures of meaning and identity, but also, ironically, in the attempt to excite change experimentally within them. Within music, it is rhythm that allows for the points of transition between differing melodic and harmonic structures and which thus constitutes the speculative dimension of the medium. Und das ist die NaturSprache, daraus iedes Dings aus seiner Eigenschaft redet, und sich immer selber offenbaret und darstellet [. It is God who orchestrates the divine ensemble of the cosmos: Indeed, God is seen in this extract as a universally composite instrument, of which individuals are merely the strings or subordinate parts.
In Novalis, however, things are different. This appears to generate a tension. For Novalis, there is some form of universal whole governing the discursive activity of the individuals comprising it, yet also allowing for the free discursive agency of those individuals. An entry in the Fichte-Studien prefigures this apparent contradiction within a quite different thematic context. Die Belebung selbst aber betreffend, so ist sie nichts anderes, als eine Zueignung, eine Identification. On the other hand, the tension prevents the polyphony from degenerating into cacophony.
If the inclusion of all voices is to grow from such recognition and respect, then polyphony must be dependent on some degree of external determination of the individual by the whole, on a loss of his or her absolute freedom. Ultimately, though, Novalis strikes a balance. It is this combination of this philosophy of intersubjectivity and musical allegorical models of the self within a multitude of other voices that makes for a sense of genuinely egalitarian polyphony in Novalis.
The text opens with a single narrative voice describing the multiple paths men follow in speculating upon nature. Thus, in approaching the truths implied by the signs of nature, the poet finds that these dissolve before his eyes at the crucial moment SN Thus the language of nature is like music, because it is internally selfreferential.
Whilst traveling, he recognizes that natural phenomena hitherto unknown to him are, in fact, merely combinations of familiar phenomena. The image of nature speculation as the striking of chords is reminiscent of the passage above — chords are drawn from the whole of the cosmic symphony. The text goes on to realize this polyphony formally: the central narrative voice, apparently omnipresent and omniscient, is, in fact, neither and is slowly decentered by the emergence of the other voices.
The novices argue about individual interpretations of natural phenomena, as well as the methodologies by which these can be reached. Herbert Uerlings has shown this to be, amongst other things, a tale about initiation into the poetic cognition of nature. The individual must be prepared to revise his conception of the world and seek insight from sources beyond himself.
Having heard this tale, the novices embrace each other and the nature of the polyphony becomes more harmonious: Die Lehrlinge umarmten sich und gingen fort. SN This is not monotone, but rather harmonious polyphony. This arises from the fact that each speaker relinquishes the notion that he can speak one truth which invalidates all others, with each speaker retaining the right to speak, whilst recognizing the rights of others and no longer speaking over them. The text is successful in realizing the idea of music as ideal discourse, but not wholly successful in realizing music as a polyphonic discursive system.
The cosmic symphony thus remains unfinished. The case is different, however, for the unfinished novel Heinrich von Ofterdingen. The main torso of the text was composed between the end of November and September We might, then, expect a more fully developed and inclusive treatment of the issue in this later work. This text has already been shown to be inclusive of female voices and discourses, though not in the context of musical polyphony. Whilst Heinrich does go on a journey, the purely linear and subject-centered dynamic is finally halted.
The opening of the novel, the famous dream of the blue flower, marks the beginnings of this process. Within the dream, Heinrich emerges from having bathed in the springs of the cavern, only to encounter the blue flower. Through a process of self-transformation, the flower reveals itself — and, in the process, all of nature — as a sentient being that demands a discursive space for self-representation. As well as developing his own poetic voice, part of his education is about being silent, learning to listen and to assimilate himself into this multitude of songs. Heinrich hears a number of tales on his journey.
The chorus represents a musical multitude of voices, but it is exclusively patriarchal. Woman, in the shape of the princess, is again marginalized. But things do not remain thus. When she strays from the palace, we witness her birth as a subject in her own right. The point of narrative focalization shifts to her perspective and we are given insight into her thoughts and feelings. Upon meeting her young lover in the forest, himself a fledgling poet, she is allowed to unfold her own creative talents. Whilst her apparently spiritual utterance again raises suspicions that Novalis intended her as an otherworldly muse, one can equally contend she is merely demonstrating that musicality evokes a sense of transcendent wholeness.
More significant is her emergence from silence into song, whereby she fulfils the promise of universal polyphony, making the transition from muse to musician. When the couple return to the palace a year later with their newborn child, however, it is the young poet rather than the poetess who sings his songs in the presence of the court. When the court poets sing their final song of thanks, she appears to have taken on the Romantic, neo-Rousseauian role of the demure and silent mother. It represents an imperfect attempt at depicting a model of perfection. Both the child Fabel and the priestess figure Sophie achieve this.
Strange pictures emerge from the vapor. In the fourth chapter Heinrich encounters the Christian crusaders, who also sing their own songs. Their songs appear to allow no space for the voices of other religions or ethnic groups. Heinrich withdraws from their company to meet this slave, Zulima. Like the young poet in the previous chapter, Heinrich is very receptive and opens a space into which she can sing her song, the words of which tell of her homeland and abduction from it by the knights. Thus, Zulima also teaches Heinrich about polyphonic poetics, about allowing others to sing alongside him.
This lesson he learns well, as ultimately he refuses to silence her songs. In parting, Heinrich will not accept her lute as a gift, insisting that she keep the means by which she accompanies her song. In Augsburg Heinrich meets his future lover, Mathilde. From the outset she says little. Sie ist der sichtbare Geist des Gesangs. Here Mathilde is in danger, like the princess in Atlantis, of becoming muse rather than musician. Here, music in both senses is realized. On the one hand, the figures of the text re-figure their own identities through strange metamorphoses, applying the method of speculative rhythm to their own identities.
On the other hand, Mathilde returns to take command of the process by which Heinrich reinvents himself. Although she works with pre-existing fragments of songs, the act of re-combining them is her own; she re-designs him. Her act demonstrates that she is a musician and her inclusion in this ideal discursive system represents the final realization of the universal musical polyphony. Novalis appears to have experimented with often musical models of polyphony from onwards. Paul Kluckhohn et al.
Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, ff. My discussion of these facts was also informed by the even more lucid discussion written by Bowie for the second edition of this work Manchester UP, I am indebted to him for access to the pre-publication manuscript. Novalis believed that all sciences or systems of formal study and discourse ought to be practiced rhythmically.
Peuckert, 11 vols. Padilla believes the male subject conflates his fantasy of woman with his earthly love. Elsewhere I have attempted to move beyond this standpoint, showing that women need not merely serve as a template for male development. I show that the novel allegorizes genius as a process of quasi-mystical transformation and, given that the male subject is displaced from the center position and relinquishes its monopoly over discourse, women can partake in this allegory and themselves become poetic subjects and geniuses. This does not, of course, explain the problematic fate of the mother who is burned alive by the scribe, yet kept alive symbolically through a rite of Romantic Holy Communion.
He is considered the prototype of the Romantic natural scientist who was in revolt against the omnipotent Newtonian system of physics. Ritter tends to be mentioned, if at all, only in a biographical context, as he was on friendly terms not only with Romantic poets such as Novalis, the Schlegels, and Achim von Arnim, but also with Goethe12 and Herder.
Not least, Ritter was held in high esteem by Goethe, who once called him an amazing apparition, a veritable giant of knowledge. Questions relating to the aesthetics of music are not of primary concern to Ritter in this work, and, as with Novalis, there is no biographical evidence for any kind of musical activity, nor does Ritter undertake any examination of a specific composer or composition. In contrast to the general neglect of his work in the humanities, Ritter received a distinguished endorsement from Walter Benjamin in the tradition of literary criticism.
In a letter to Gershom Scholem dated 5 March , Benjamin outlines his plans for a treatise on the origin of the German mourning play. In other words, objects of representation are, in a manner of speaking, set in a state of oscillation. Hence the relationship between music and language appears to be to a great extent intrinsic rather than merely complementary. The referential relationship between music and language can only be understood against the background of Romantic Science Naturphilosophie , whose most characteristic element is perhaps the presupposition of the original identity of Natur and Geist.
Chladni and Oersted had experimented with so-called Klangfiguren sound-figures , attempting to make intelligible the silent, inner processes of nature,26 above all with respect to electricity. As a physicist, Ritter had, of course, a natural interest in such experiments, and he was in close contact with Oersted, who studied with him for a while.
Here Ritter is obviously, albeit very tentatively and vaguely, trying to penetrate beyond mere externality. Ein gutes physicalisches Experiment kann zum Muster eines innern Experiments dienen und ist selbst ein gutes innres subj[ectives] Experiment mit. Ritters Experimente WTBH—18 29 In a more detailed comment, he focuses specifically on Ritter, maintaining that all external processes are to be seen symbolically as internal processes: Ritter sucht durchaus die eigentliche Weltseele der Natur auf. WTBH2: —17 In fact, the search for the anima mundi — the Weltseele, as Novalis terms it, in allusion to its prominent use by Schelling — involves an approach to nature, which, thanks to the supposed identity of Natur and Geist, unavoidably veers towards an investigation of the self.
It is in this context that he introduces the term Lichtfigur, an introspective analog to Klangfigur. Furthermore, in this fundamental respect light is comparable only to tone. Ritter recalls to an extent the classical notion of musica mundana when he describes the cosmos and rotation of the planets in terms of music, maintaining that all objects are oscillating and that our music is allegorical with respect to the cosmological music: Die Umdrehung der Erde um ihre Axe z.
Ton und Leben werden hier Eins. Der Sonne ist das ganze Planetensystem Ein musikalisches Instrument. The meditations on the internal representation of tone, therefore, coalesce to form a speculative view of nature that approximates it to a musical instrument. Hence, music is the medium that allows nature to be apprehended from the inside. Bey der Oscillation, Vibration, u. Alles wirkt nach Einem Schema sammt und sonders zugleich. Es gilt keine Ansicht des Universums ganz und unbedingt, als die akustische —.
R—24  As music is inherent in nature and tone is the expression of inner quality, hearing enables the most intimate knowledge of nature. It is therefore seen as the most immanent and inward mode of perception. This is also due to the essential structure of musical phenomena as Ritter conceives of them. Accord wird Bild von Geistergemeinschaft, Liebe, Freundschaft, u.
Harmonie Bild und Ideal der Gesellschaft. R In this sense, musical structures acquire an allegorical status with respect to humanity: a chord, for example, stands for intellectual affinity, love, and friendship. Thanks to the influence of tone on nature, natural things transpose their oscillations directly into Klangfiguren, thus revealing their true essence. Thus, hearing is conceived as an inward seeing directed towards the Lichtfigur.
According to Ritter, referentiality has two preconditions: that the signified world expresses itself in terms of music and that the act of signification absorbs oscillation. Language is considered a direct transformation of the inner condition of nature, and the letter — the basic component of script — is oscillating, as oscillation is script. Finally, let us return to Walter Benjamin.
His letter to Scholem of quoted above anticipates a more extensive examination of Ritter in the investigation of the Ursprung des deutschen Trauerspiels. In the quotation Benjamin tries above all to relate thesis, synthesis, and antithesis to spoken and written language, and music. There is no biographical evidence that Benjamin examined Ritter before Notes 1 See, for instance, Walter D. Richard Brinkmann Stuttgart: Metzler, , —74 here, Rothschuh Stuttgart: G.
Tausch, M. Woock, and A. Physik : 26— Armin Hermann Frankfurt a. Jonas and W. Dilthey Berlin: G. Reimer, —63 , Arthur Henkel with an afterword by Heinrich Schipperges, 2 vols. Juni bis zum 9. Mai , ed. Volker C. Karl Eibl Frankfurt a. For the esteem in which Ritter was held by Romantic contemporaries such as the Schlegels, Achim von Arnim, Oersted, etc. Frankfurt a. Tillman Rexroth, — This quotation is taken from a compilation of letters entitled Deutsche Menschen, in which Benjamin included a letter by Johann Wilhelm Ritter to Franz von Baader and prefaced it with a brief portrait of the former.
Cunningham and Jardine as note 1 , 82—98 here, Elinor S. In the history of thought it is argued that Kepler passed on the classical idea of a musically structured cosmos to subsequent generations. Siegfried Unseld Frankfurt a. Music and Non-Verbal Reason in E. Music is a libidinally driven and dangerous experience in Hoffmann, holding the promise of transcendence in the Romantic sense, which is partially a protest against the rationalizations of modern life.
While the disruption of rational identity is a feature of almost all Romantic writing, it is intensified in Hoffmann and takes on a psychological character that is absent in, for instance, Novalis. This contribution will argue that parallel to the Romantic motif of art leading to madness is the narration of an aesthetic subjectivity that is not so much irrational as governed by sensations that are inadmissible in a strictly rational sense, because they are not capable of being translated into either verbal reasoning or visible messages.
By this, I refer to auditory sensations and, more specifically, the experience of music, which seems, in the instance of Kreisler, to be far from irrational in itself. Kreisler does not hover on the verges of sanity simply because he is a composer, but because something about composition pushes him towards a sense of longing that draws him into conflict with his mercenary environment.
It should be noted at the outset, however, that Hoffmann is one of the least theoretically motivated of the Romantic authors and would have had little interest in using music to challenge the framework of Enlightenment reason. However, it is possible to find in his literary renditions of musical experience some clarification of his thoughts about music. This is followed by a discussion of the rationality of art and how Adorno treats its utopian potential. The final section, returning to Romantic hermeneutics, examines the idea of music as non-verbal reason.
Art, Kreisler comments, is purely about entertainment. Paintings are harmless, since as soon as the beholder realizes what a painting represents, he or she has lost all interest. Music, Kreisler concludes, is nevertheless the most harmless of all art forms, since, providing it is fairly simple, people can carry on conversations while listening FN, The Kreisleriana end on a characteristic note of dual identity. Ritter asks whether there could possibly be such a thing as a thought or an idea without its particular medium and sign.
His work and artistic subjectivity are inherently shifting between the different media of experience. He embodies the eighteenth-century musical debate on the merits of melody or harmony: Rameau, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, or Rousseau. Although Hoffmann in his musical essay, Alte und neue Kirchenmusik Ancient and Modern Church Music, , claims that the musical voice is the ultimate triumph of expression over the ambivalence of construction, this is not borne out by the experience of Johannes Kreisler in the novel Lebens-Ansichten des Katers Murr The Life and Opinions of the Tomcat Murr, — On a theoretical level, Hoffmann may write of the operatic voice and its promise of transcendence, but there is no escaping the problem that this cannot bypass society.
If music awakens a longing for the archaic or for something that has been lost in the process of civilization, the question is: what status may we ascribe to this? Is music, therefore, a private experience, solipsistic in its essence, transcendent of time itself, and a disavowal of modernity? He is an emblem of artistry, which is ambivalent in the bourgeois world. The Kreisler of Kater Murr can find neither total expression nor the pure sound to which he aspires. The closest he comes is the momentary promise of transcendence when he hears Julia singing.
This turns into an erotic fixation. It is ironic that Julia becomes the object of physical desire, as Kreisler and Julia embody different types of expression: Julia represents unmediated expression, as opposed to Kreisler, who must accommodate himself within the rules of composition. In this early incident Kreisler throws away his guitar in despair because he cannot tune it.
By contrast to the male composer or musician who has to struggle with the principles of composition, the female singer embodies music as something that is not only pre-reflexive, but defies all need for a reflexive consciousness. As the embodiment of a pure sound, Julia, unlike Kreisler, is able to express her innermost self. The criterion for her spontaneous expression is that she should be outside language.
Another form of transmitter is the Romantic symbol of the Aeolian harp. Aber bald wurde der Ton zu Worten. KM, On one level this is a metaphor for the Romantic imagination. Klaus-Dieter Dobat argues that Novalis treats music as a container for a poetic idea, whereas for Hoffmann, musical form is itself the transcendent force. In the above example Hoffmann allows Abraham to imagine the musical notes becoming words. What then happens, however, is that the medium does not transcend itself. These words remain medium rather than discarding their materiality.
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They are not made transparent. Meister Abraham does, of course, interpret the words that ensue from the notes, but in so doing he constructs rather than deciphers a meaning. Abraham himself, therefore, is a clear identity only between music and its transition into language, between language and its interpretation. That this depends on a certain level of unfulfillment comes as no surprise to the reader of Romanticism; what is nevertheless uncertain is the status of the attempt to transcend the terms of modern individuality.
In the aftermath of Descartes and in the tradition of Scientific Rationalism, the individual is defined by its capacity for cognitive reasoning. Identity is linked to rational understanding and communication takes place between discrete, unconnected intelligences. Clearly, whatever Kreisler may compose is not capable of answering the reasons from Descartes onwards for conceiving of individual consciousness as an end in itself.
In several cases throughout E. In particular, the fictional composer Kreisler is struggling for a form of connection that is impossible; try as he may to achieve this through music, it is not quite attainable. That human experience is fundamentally solitary is one of the central premises of modern aesthetics, from Cartesian rationalism to German Idealism. Within this paradigm, art is a form of communication, but also a longing to cross the boundaries between two monadic existences. In conceptions of the Absolute — an imaginative ideal of poetry and a level of consciousness beyond philosophical reflection — these writers endeavored to conceptualize aesthetic subjectivity as a less solitary way of being.
Schelling is convinced that these aspects are accessible, and faces the philosophical consequences of showing how this is the case. Where Hegel chooses to construe the present as a moment in the dialectical progress towards the Ideal, Adorno points to the work of art as something that discredits such premises by showing the very things that they have had to repress.
Art, as far as Adorno is concerned, has to be able to nullify the circular arguments of an ethical practice that has its roots in ideas that do not account for what they have repressed in arriving at their respective representations. Rhythm is a form of reflection. Whether the emphasis is on articulation or on the ultimate limits of self-knowledge, art is conceived of here in relation to individuality.
It is also capable of being more ethically accountable than a form of rationality that is limited to the concept, as is that of Kant and Hegel. While this is a subtle argument, it nevertheless decouples Romantic subjectivity from the historical and cultural matrix within which, as Michel Foucault shows, the object of knowledge is produced. German Romanticism, including E. This partially leads in the direction of Adorno, who emphasized music in particular as the zenith of aesthetic autonomy. Romanticism could be read in the context of aesthetic autonomy, albeit departing then from Adorno, as a means of preserving subjectivity.
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Bearing this in mind, it is far from inconceivable that Hoffmann, despite his lack of interest in philosophy, should have understood that music as a form of expression may be a different but no less viable source of individual and cultural identity. The ghostly appearance of the composer Gluck and his trance-like immersion in music links the question of identity to the form of expression. The first addition of sound to the picture is localized.
As the people begin to talk and argue at their tables, we become aware of sound as a separate dimension to the pictures in which they had first been presented. As soon as this has been established, sound dominates the narrative in the form of an untuned harp, two discordant violins, a flute, and a bassoon. With this proclamation we are introduced at an early stage to the tension between interior and exterior, profane reality and the Romantic transcendent imagination. The narrator is at pains to point out his imaginative autonomy.
Already there is no reconciliation. Sound and vision do not peacefully coexist, but stamp each other out. In this instance it is the bassoon that drowns out the other noises. The whole business leads to physical pain. Whether good or bad, music is actively felt in Hoffmann rather than passively imported. The narrator in Ritter Gluck also complains of a burning pain. Both the piercing sound and the burning pain are scarcely what might be termed original metaphors.
Central to Ritter Gluck is the empty page from which the ghostly composer conducts his final performance: it is unclear whether the ghostly composer does not require a score because he is already in the realm of transcendence, or whether we should simply read this as an allegory of all music in performance. Hoffmann seems to imply that all performance rests on harmony and on the designation of notes within a constructed system. Instead of transcendence — or perhaps, as a different way of looking at transcendence — we are left with the unique aesthetic moment: the physical experience of music as a reality that exists in time, not despite it.
Hoffmann, the writer and composer, is more than aware, as indeed is Rousseau, of the physical reality of the interval. In a way, performance itself is transcendence. Therefore, though it might hint at utopia, it is characterized by its instantaneous nature. What music is Gluck reading? From one minute to the next, experience is structured by time. Each interval in frequency between notes implies that nothing is really simultaneous. Simultaneity, carrying this idea a step further, is a manner of expression for a fundamentally incommunicable sensation.
Gluck need not be viewed as a symbol of radical aesthetic autonomy — the solipsistic internal consciousness of a bourgeois performer. He may be seen instead as an altogether more optimistic symbol of the power of performance to outdo the petrification of bourgeois form.
If Ritter Gluck, the dead composer, returns to perform for a somewhat smug narrator who is clearly au fait with the contemporary art world, the very singularity of his performance transcends not time itself, but the claim to ownership of art by virtue of its written notation. In relating the language of transcendence to musical performance, E. Hoffmann differs from other Romantic writers. The genial composer Ritter Gluck surpasses any interpretation of musical notation among his contemporaries by reading from an empty sheet, but that is not to say that the notes are not there.
Romantic transcendence and its path through ambivalence in many ways preempts the psychoanalytic re-thinking of rationality, but also adverts to the less popular and less well understood role of sound in how thought and feeling intertwine. Hoffmann gives this a particular twist in the haunting, music-related themes of his novels and novellas. Notes 1 E.
Arthur Henkel, 2 vols. FN, Hoffmann-Jahrbuch 1 : 48— Munich: Winkler Verlag, , Subsequent references are cited in the text using the abbreviation KM. Friedrich Schnapp Munich: Winkler, , In his novels and plays the characters frequently sing and accompany themselves, yet music does not merely provide a foil or a musical scene in which his characters partake — its emotional impact is also recognized. One reason is that the majority of such criticism comes from scholars whose main interest is music. His correspondence with Zelter reveals his interest in music as an acoustic phenomenon, yet it also reveals his spiritual response to the art.
After performances he consults Zelter about the music he has heard and seeks his opinion on various composers. The history of music interests Goethe as part of the chronicle of human culture, and his correspondence with Zelter reveals his desire to obtain a picture of musical development in general. While Goethe grew up with music, he was fourteen before he learned to play the piano, studying flute and cello only in later years. This certainly created in him a degree of dependency on Zelter, yet, conscious of his own inadequacy,17 he was industrious in acquiring a greater knowledge of the art.
While in Italy, however, he realized that he was not particularly gifted in this area and decided to stop painting. Throughout his life Goethe experienced an immense variety of cultural influences; however, he never surrendered himself to any one agency although he might adopt something of its color. From the second Berlin school he took the idea that the poem should play a dominant, not a subordinate role in music, but he did not adhere totally to all the theories expounded by the school.
He demanded this from composer and performer alike. He applauded a song, not because of its strophic setting, but if he felt the artist had recognized the importance of poetry in determining the musical form. The poem still played a dominant role, but now the composer was at liberty to portray his own understanding of the text in the music. To this Goethe replied that both were correct, and stressed the liberty he granted composers when interpreting his work.
The manuscript contained all the finest Goethe songs of the previous two years. It was envisaged that the Lieder sent by Spaun would comprise the first volume in an eight-volume collection. While awaiting word from Weimar, Schubert began preparing a second volume that he entitled Lieder von Goethe componiert von Franz Schubert. Nine years later Schubert sent Goethe three more songs, his op.
There are, in fact, various reasons for his silence. The Dresden Schubert, in turn, claimed he would never have composed such trash! In his later years it was not unusual for several hundred songs to arrive within a week. This would hardly have enticed the poet into accepting the dedication.
The political aftermath of the Wars of Liberation, the Congress of Vienna, and in particular, the new democratic constitution, filled Goethe with unease. The dark despair to which he confesses in his diary reflects events in his personal situation that may also have curtailed his response.
First, it illustrates his sanction of the through-composed Lied, when the composer has understood the poetic substance and realized it in his song. Goethe and Schubert are usually considered as holding different convictions on the nineteenth-century Lied, yet they are closer in their ideas than is traditionally portrayed. The two artists are presented as belonging to opposite schools of thought in their appreciation of the Lied.
Goethe has been falsely placed in the conservative traditions of the Berlin school, while Schubert — through his development of the Lied — is not normally associated with this circle. The impact of the piano in society played an important role in the development of the geselliges Lied, and, unlike Schubert, Reichardt and Zelter were clever businessmen, socially intelligent, and willing to cater to this market. However, their commercial success worked against them in later years, and their experimentation with the Lied and the quality of some of their settings have become lost in the quantity of songs they composed for the popular audience.
Schubert did not have the same business acumen as Reichardt and Zelter. While Schubert was conscious of an audience, this did not dictate what he wished to compose, and this clearly distinguishes him from Reichardt and Zelter. To recreate this original context requires performance in an intimate setting, for the physical proximity of a voice accompanied by fortepiano brings the sonority much more alive than does even a first-rate performance in a large auditorium.
In Viennese circles the demand for piano music was very high, and it is frequently overlooked that Schubert was one of the most prolific composers of dance music of his time. Like Goethe, Schubert was eclectic. Rather than allowing his style to be dominated by any one composer, Schubert took from his forerunners the elements of their musical vocabulary that appealed to him most. Like the second Berlin school of composers, Schubert recognized the importance of This page has intentionally been left blank.
Disclaimer: Some images in the printed version of this book are not available for inclusion in the eBook. To view the images on this page please refer to the printed version of this book. This page has intentionally been left blank. Not only did Schubert fulfill this criterion, but his whole development of the nineteenth-century Lied centered around this portrayal of poetic meaning in his settings. It is not modernity of which he disapproved, but lack of classical balance. Ulrich Goebel and Wolodymyr T. Zyla Texas: Texas Tech. Press, , —77 here, Erich Trunz, vol.
Hubert Houben, 25th ed. Wiesbaden: F. Brockhaus, , , , — Moritz von Dietrichstein — played an important role in the cultural life of Vienna. In he was appointed Hofmusikgraf, and in director of the court theatres. Dietrichstein himself composed a certain amount of vocal music, both sacred and secular, and was among the musicians invited to contribute to the Diabelli Variations. He was especially known for his recitals on the glass harmonica. His opinion is shared by O.
Oleaeius , set themselves to improve and enrich the dialectic form to which Opitz had given in his adhesion. Many of his poems are quite standard compositions, espe- cially his celebrated and moving hymn, " Befiehl du deine Wege," which he composed on his way from Berlin, from which town he was ostracised, and cast forth a houseless wanderer.
The thirty years' war which had desolated the whole of Germany, coupled with the accumulated power and influ- ence which the house of Bourbon still retained in its hands, could not fail to produce great results upon that empire, to which that royal branch was approximate. At this epoch it was that poetry of every kind vanished at once from the arena of letters ; nay, it seemed as though the obsequies of all true poetical thought and feeling had been already solemnized.
Gerhard's Leben unci Lieder herausgb. The views of Opitz were no longer ac- counted correct ; and the taking the classical writers for models, soon became, by reason of the supposed hardness of their style, a lost and discarded custom: for all the authors of this date cast their eyes towards France, and began to follow the taste of that country. Thus, the poetry extant in this age was inflated, crowded with sounds with- out sense, the ars scribendi being accurately modelled and ruled according to prevailing French fashions.
Hoffmann von Hoffmanns waldau , and D. Kasper von Lohenstein , are to be looked upon as the heads and chief promoters of this literary Sect, which styled itself the "second Silesian School of poetry. Darum entschwand ihnen das Schone, das sich nur dem einfach-frommen und be- scheidenen Gemiithe kund thut, und sie schrieben schlecht, weil sie besser schreiben wollten als gut. The entire German nation, at this time, was so infected, or rather overlaid, with French terms of expression and habits of thought, that even that illustrious founder ot a new school of philosophy — we mean Leibnitz — composed several of his works in that language.
There was a declamatory and very eccentric writer, named Abraham a Sancta Clara Ulrich Megerle, , a clergyman, who produced a body of humorous and excellent satirical works, under very curious titles, as for instance : "Eeim dich, oder ich liess dich. Koln, But now it is high time for us to find the poetry of our land enfranchised from that flagrant servility of imitation into which it had fallen ; and, at last, there did actually arise, at this time, two men who may well challenge our wannest admiration, inasmuch as, directed by their own talents, they diffused over that section of literature the force of their original conceptions.
These men were Bod- 3ier and Gottsched, a notice of whose works will open our second section upon " Modern German Literature. Hagen und G. Pischox, Denkmaler der deutschen Sprache von den friihesten Zeiten bis jetzt. Die Volkslieder der Deutschen. Eine vollstandige Samm- lungder vorziiglichsten Volkslieder von der Mitte des 15 ten bis zur l ten Halfte des 19 ten Jahrhunderts. We mentioned, in the preceding section, that Lohenstein and Hofmannswaldau stood forth as leaders of the Ger- man poetry.
This sect, however second-rate in point of talent, stood without a rival, until Gottsched arose at Leipzig- and Bodmer at Zurich ; and in good time it was that these two came forward, the poetry of Germany being then in a most deplorable state. In fact, the literature in general was, at this period, rather imitative than original. Those calling themselves poets had in them a vein of un- naturalness, which had been carried to the very acme of pos- sibility.
However, a step was at last made in the right direction, and Germany became more intellectually active than it was before. Its great king, Frederick II, himself a philosopher and poet too, seconded by his own wise insti- tutions, and by the fair development of the arts and sciences, raised the national mind and character to a height, which indeed cannot fail to astonish every one, who takes into account the feeble and prostrate condition in which the greatest part of Germany then was. Gottsched of Leipzig and Bodmer of Zurich severally succeeded in establishing schools of their own, and a great literary war was fought between the discipulary writers of each.
English for the formation of their literary taste and cha- racter. A paper war was carried on in their respective journals, which at length ended favourably to the Swiss school, which, although the smaller party, obtained a splen- did victory over her antagonist. The characteristic of this period is a prevalent imitation of French literature. The vernacular tongue became cleared and sifted from the rubbish that had weighed it clown, growing gradually more and more refined, until at last the dialect known as the " Hochdeutsch " was the sole medium of books and of correspondence, all other idioms being banished from the stage of literature, or, if used at all, employed merely in the construction of jeux-d' 'esprit and bon-mots, or as a study of dialects.
This school is developed by a body of men of a marked poetical talent. A periodical magazine, which they put forth under the title of " Beitrage zum Vergniigen des Verstandes und Witzes," was at once the channel of their communications, and the point around which they centered. In this body of men, and in the school they founded, we find, individually and collectively, the type of another order of writing, all tending to raise the literature, and favorable to a consentaneous operation.
Rabener undertakes the didactic, supplying prose-satire, Zacharle gives heroics and satires, Gellert is the fabulator, Giseke devotes his talents to song, G. Schlegel favours the ode, while the dramatic elements are advocated by J. Once the favorite of the German public, was born the 17th of September , at Wachau, a country seat near Leipzig, the property of his father, a lawyer of wealth and eminence. By his productions, which were printed in a periodical entitled, " Beitriige zu den Belusti- gungen des Verstandes und Witzes," the public became acquainted with his powers in satire.
He died holding a high rank in the Customs, the 22nd of March, , at Dresden. The " Satiren" of this writer, wherein was evinced a rich fund of wit, as well as a strong power of observation and a tact and facility in describing things, is a capital production. The cheerful strain of wit that runs through his works, and the correctness of his language and style, succeeded in ren- dering him very popular.
He studied theology and philosophy at Leipzic, and became in Professor at the same University. He died on the 13th December, His fame is neither founded on his genius nor on his philosophical qualifications ; his literary reputation will there- fore always be considered to depend upon the highly moral tone of his productions, the grand, religious fervour which prevails in his hymns and poems. Almost every thing that he wrote is more or less adapted for the generality of the people.
He wrote in a language so simple and correct, that no body could fail to understand him. Doring, Gellert's Leben. It is not too much to assert that nearly the whole of Germany mourned his loss. Gellert's " Fabeln" have become the " real-work" of the German nation. They contain undoubtedly great moral truth and appropriateness of philosophy, with comments upon men and manners, and wise rules for their correction. The pictures of life are vivid, full of sprightliness and taking humour, and are expressed in a style of extraordinary ease and clearness, so that no one indeed need be at much pains at conceiving his meaning.
In the department of novel writing, however, Gellert cannot be said to have possessed any talent ; his " Schwe- dische Grafin," although translated into several languages, being a very inferior production. Of even less value are the comedies of this writer, w hich, to say the truth, are abso- lute failures. KvEstner was a celebrated and acute mathematician, the J. AND J. And even those pieces in this Collection which refer to local and personal occasions, and are scarcely to be understood without a key, are more caustic than almost any other production in the whole circle of German litera- ture.
His elegies, odes, and songs are not without merit. Born at Meissen, 28th January, He showed very early talents for poetry, and translated while at college the " Electra" of Sophocles. The " Iphigenia" of Euripides he published under the title of " Die Geschwister in Taurien," which was acted with applause on the Leipzic stage, at the time he studied Jurisprudence at that University. He died as Doctor of History at Soroe, the 13th August, Schlegel had unquestionably great talents for dramatic composition, and a considerable force and variety of ex- pression.
His dramas approach, as may be easily supposed, the style of Gottsched ; nor can Schlegel himself be consi- dered as at all in fault, that his works have at last been, in a great degree, passed by ; for in them a strong vein of imagination is discoverable, added to a poetical habit of mind, of which, indeed, the other writers of that age are much in want.
We may style him almost the only play- wright deserving of our mention in this, the new birth of German literature. The best of Schlegel's dramas are, " Hermann" and " Canut ;" while he also evinced some talent for comedy : " Der Triumph der guten Frau," and " Die stumme Schonheit," were the only good comedies of that day, which were repeatedly acted, and were revived by Mendelssohn and Lessing with considerable applause.
Doctor of Theology and Counsellor of the Consistory on the 16th September, He addressed himself more particularly to the composition of fables and hymns. His choice at the time was com- mendable, certainly, however indifferently he may have been remunerated for his literary labours. It is but fair to add, that he discovered a dearth of poetical talent, while, again, his " Ode to Klopstock," and his poem entitled " Die Un- zufriedene," may be accounted his most perfect productions.
Born the 1st May, , at Frankenhausen, where he studied the science of Jurisprudence. He is the last author we have to mention as a member of this school. Zacharia was endowed with a poetical and witty invention, which confluence of intellectual gifts he put certainly to the most advantageous use. His comic epopees of " Der Renomist 1 ' The Roisterer , " Das Schnupftuch," " Murner in der Holle," and particularly his " Phoeton," earned him that meed of praise which was really his due.
Then again his descriptive poems entitled : " Die Tages- zeiten,'' and " Die vier Stufen des weiblichen Alters" the four eras of woman's life , from their exquisite delineations and numerous beautiful passages, were very generally asked for and admired. Zacharia also translated into German Milton's " Paradise Lost," in which, however, he may be considered to have failed. Zacharia died at Braunschweig, when holding the office of Professor of Poetry, on the 30th of January, The language of Hagedorn is simple and cor- rect in the highest degree. It is on this account that Wieland styles him, — " the poet, who, in the single article of refinement of style, has no worthy successor in the litera- ture of any country ; the author, who has wrought up his productions to the highest degree of finish ; the man, whom few, if any, writers will ever equal in the matter of industry.
They are told with a liveliness and vigour truly characteristic. His " Seifensie- der" soap-boiler is an excellent poem, few even of his own works having been so successful and popular. In- deed we must, in historic justice, allow, that Hagedorn, acting in concert with a kindred spirit, named Haller, did more for the amelioration of the style of this period, than all the other writers put together. What is the exact dis- tinction between these two writers? Hagedorn is the poet of men and manners ; Haller, of nature and her scenes. The songs of the former are full of spirit, — in fact, they are exultation combined with jocularity in a most amusing manner.
Hagedorn's " Lehrgedichte " are valuable frag- ments of moral truth, but he had more talents, certainly, for simple lyric poetry. Some epigrams, however, by this writer, are scrupulously correct ; so much so, as to be para- digms in those times. In more extended metrical compo- sition, — the long ode, for example, — he was not so success- ful. Indeed, Hagedorn's inspiration, if we may so speak, was scarcely equal to this class of composition ; he was unable to exert a sufficient sway over his subject. But in smaller efforts, — in little tales, for instance, — he works with great clearness and skill : indeed, his chief merits are here to be found.
There is extant a work by him, entitled, " Betrach- tungen iiber Malerei," which is considered to possess con- siderable value. Hagedorn died on the 28th of October, In the year , Haller responded to an invitation that was made him to accept the office of professor of medicine at Goettingen, where he eventually became established, and the president also of the academy of science. So great was Haller's fame at this time, that the emperor Francis I ennobled him adelte ihn. He died on thel2th of December It is no easy matter to define, accurately, the boimds of j human attainment, in a person of such varied endowments as the author now under review ; he certainly was one of the most accomplished and original-minded men of this era.
Immortal at once as a poet, anatomist, physiologist, botanist, and man of letters, he seemed to be an adept in almost all the different branches of human enquiry. The epoch in which Haller first started as a poet, was both a trying and a critical one to the resources of his genius ; for he had to steer clear, on the one hand, of the false taste in literature, introduced by Lohenstein, and to beware, on the other, of falling into the error of emulating the un- intellectual, nay, unmeaning versification, then so much in fashion.
Accordingly, under circumstances so inauspi- cious, Haller commenced his poetical career, and in him a new period was opened in the annals of our vernacular learning. Haller's poetry is, no doubt, raised upon a didactic foun- dation. The religious feelings and pious sentiments which attended him at all times, in his studies of nature, conspired to invest his descriptions with an unstudied solemnity and artless splendour. All his poems abound with ideas, all possess a notable prosodaic harmony ; while the moral interest is so habitually predominant, as to take off, in no HALLER. It was written during a progress over the Alps ; so that nature herself must needs have suggested to our poet the scenery he so justly and so eloquently describes.
His soul is inspired by a love for the ideal, and his glowing appreciation of what- ever is true, assists him to pourtray, in the quiet valleys of the Alps, that primeval innocence, which has long since vanished from the busy, bustling world. Profound, yet touching, are his sorrows ; he sets forth the errors of the mind and heart in a strain of vigorous and almost bitter satire : but nature he copies with great zeal and with an unaffected grace.
Haller is great, bold, impetuous, and sublime ; but that which constitutes the essence and reality of beauty, it has not, in his poems, been his fortune to attain. Haller's "Song to Doris" is a heartfelt and beautiful poem. Haller himself considered his didactic paper, " Vom Ursprung des Ubels" as his masterpiece, and liked it the best of all he ever did.
It is, in fact, that exalted theme, about which the philosophy of that age perplexed itself in vain. His unfinished poem, "An die Ewigkeit" contains some grand and truly poetical conceptions. In one of his letters to Bodmer, Haller volunteers the admission, that, " in himself, he is no poet at all ; but that great quickness of observation, when a youth, had, to a certain extent, made him one": with the truth of which assertion we also feel bound to coincide.
The most striking scenery that mountain regions afford, is given by him, while actually traversing their vasty, cloud-compelling steeps, with great fidelity and skill ; still more finely, and with even a larger measure of success, does Haller pourtray the manners and customs of those races, who dwell in the Alpine district. This poem has, upon the whole, "made" the name of its author, and will always be read with the greatest pleasure and advantage. Coincidently, almost, with the above date in , two writers appeared in the university-town of Halle, — Gleim and Uz we mean, who worked their way up into notice ; the former acquiring such a measure of popularity as, in fact, no Gennan author ever obtained before.
He was educated at the Leipzic university, where, in conjunction with Goetz and Uz, he became a follower of the muses. Gleim attended the Prince Leopold of Dessau, in the second Silesian war, in the quality of his secretary. Shortly afterwards, Gleim was so for- tunate as to obtain the secretaryship of the cathedral of Halberstadt, which office he continued to fill for the space of fifty years, until the period of his demise, February 18, Gleim w T as the man upon whom the German nation bestowed, communi consensu, the appellation of " Vater," — " Vater Gleim," he is generally called ; a title that shews, at once, how high he ranked, and how much he was esteemed and noticed.
Now, it used to be the fashion to extol the poetical gifts of this writer above, no doubt, the GLEIM.
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Gleim is a man who almost seems to invite us to draw a comparison betwixt him and Gellert Both authors earned and secured their reputation rather from their amiable private characters than from anything they wrote. And is it not a choice and goodly pranomen, and one that has some heart in it, this notable and noble denomination of " Vater"? The most known of Gleim 's literary products are his " Fabeln," which are, nevertheless, of very various pretensions ; some of them may be fairly accounted elegant realizations of poetry, while others, we must in critical justice allow, may be styled, " weary, stale, flat, and unpro- fitable," on account of the monotony of the political bias, or theological aims, with which they are invested.
Berlin sei Sparta! Preussens Held Gekrbnt mit Ruhm und Sieg! Dem Adler gleich erhebe dich, Der in die Sonne sieht! So he began, and went on, with the whole powers of his mind, pealing the war note and singing the songs of free- dom. Lessing greets these " Kriegslieder " with the hono- rable affixture of " Bardengesang," — no mean proof, this, of the high value that these productions had won in his eyes.
Here we will introduce a small parallel we met with in Gervinus' " Deutsche Literatur," characteristic of the various writers of apologues, which have appeared from time to time. Gleim discriminates between their pro- ductions in the following way : — " iEsop's fables are poor, yet plain ; Phfedrus' pithy, but inornate ; Lafontaine's mytkics, — like a fine lady.
He died when president of the provincial courts of justice, on the 12th of May, Uz produced a collection of odes and songs, which, although they rank among the higher compositions of his day, contain but little that would be satisfactory to us now. He took Horace for his model, and imitated the Roman lyrist as far as his abilities allowed him to do. That Uz was possessed of a certain degree of talent, no competent judge will ever think of disputing ; he evinced a turn for poetry, of which his " Theodicee " may be alleged as a sample, only he did not work up his powers to any point of even comparative perfection.
His descriptive poem, "Sieg des Liebesgottes " the Conquest of Cupid , has been always looked upon as something peculiarly happy and clever. Two odes by Uz, severally entitled, "Das bedrangte Deutschland" and "An die Deutschen," are, certainly, among the most successful efforts of his ethical pen. KLOPSTOCK, In that memorable and glorious epoch, when Frederick the Great ascended the Prussian throne, there was born, in the good city of Quedlinburg, a poet of a most original cast, who, surpassing in eloquence and in acumen all the bards, epic-writers, and master-spirits of foregoing times, had also sufficient genius to set rythmical fashions, alto- gether new and unessayed, while he wrote in a most un- wonted foundry of words, and incited intellectual endeavour to grasp at the highest topics that can, by any possibility, fall within the contemplation of the human mind.
His father was a " Kom- missionsrath. Accordingly, he left Jena for Leipzic, where we find him making one in the metrical confederation organized by Zacharia, Rabener, and the two Schlegels, — all of whom we have already reviewed. They were received with enthusiasm. Klopstock's " Mes- sias" appears, indeed, to be the very baptism of our national poetry, — the greatest and worthiest of our men of letters attending as scholarly sponsors around the consecrating-font of this new and beautiful style.
But before considering this magnificent pro- duction somewhat more at large, we must be permitted to digress shortly into some interesting particulars of its author's life. Our poet, at the outset of his career, had no means of triumphing over the obstacle of narrow cir- cumstances ; but a great admirer of poetry, Count Berns- torf, made himself acquainted with the " Messiad," and hearing of Klopstock's poor estate, recommended him very strongly to the notice of the king Frederick V, who forth- with granted him an annual pension of four hundred dol- lars.
His latter days were passed at Hamburg, where he died, when holding the office of councellor of legation, on the 14th of March, The funeral obsequies of the author of the "Messias" might justly rank amongst the most splendid pageants of the kind, that have ever been awarded to any poet of our fatherland. The German nation, the standard of whose literature he had so undeniably raised, and raising, had adorned it with the beauty of holi- ness, mourned, in Klopstock's demise, the loss of one of the most pious, the most humble-minded, and the most gifted of her virtuous children.
Die deutsche poetische Literatur seit Klopstock und Lessing. In the little village of Ottensen, near Hamburg, unpretending enough on the page of history, yet memorable ever after from this one circumstance, amidst the chaunting of that most beautiful and touching of his own hymns, beginning : " Auferstehen, ja auferstehen wirst du, Mein Staub, nach kurzer Huh! Merely from his salient genius, his unimpeachable character, his zeal in the cause of religion, and the pure and noble quality of his mind, we may easily recognize in Klopstock the poet who hymned the reverential stanzas of the " Messiad.
The idea of this poem was evidently suggested to Klop- stock by the Holy Scriptures, where indeed he found his whole scheme unfolded. Egerstorf, Esq. England can certainly boast of a " Messiad" of another sort, yet of a poem no less sterling and valuable, in Milton's " Paradise Lost," and we are naturally led by our subject to institute a comparison be- tween the two works. Klopstock found in Milton the way prepared and the paths made straight for the delineation indispensable to both plots of heaven and of hell ; but the incidents attaching to his human personages, it was left for him either to invent or to alter.
In these, the human parts, Klopstock' s poetry displayed its highest beauties. The cha- racters of the apostles and of the rulers of the Jewish san- hedrim, with many others, are delivered in a few pithy but masterly words.
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In the portraiture of the demons in hell, Klopstock has not equalled Milton, but the angels of the latter, compared with those of the former, are but meagre outlines. Should any of our readers be desirous of forming an estimate of the " Messias," we would recommend those parts in especial, wherein the distinctive quality of Klop- stock's muse is evidenced with peculiar success, and where the great force of this writer is the most conspicuous.
Such specimentary portions are : " The Convocation before the High Priest," in the 4th Canto ; the description of the early Christians in the 10th ; the death of Mary in the 12th ; the miracle of the Resurrection in the 14th ; and the period of forty days intervening between that and the Ascension in the 19th Canto. The way in which Klop- stock wrote, and what he himself thought of the " Messias," as well as the tone of mind at which he had arrived upon the completion of this wonderful performance, are all finely shown in that Ode by him entitled : " An den Erloser," which he annexed to his poems.
The cast of language in this magnificent epopee is emi- nently well chosen and select, and wrought up more and more to the highest point of literary finish. Klop- stock was a devoted admirer of the German language ; he was not insensible of its great and manifold beauties, and was, in fact, so proud of it, that we are indebted to him for many a fine Ode, which he has written in its behalf, replete with that warmth of feeling, he ever evinced towards his mother-tongue.
Klopstock was also a sublime odiac poet, and classical therewithal, blending, in his first odes especially, the genius and habitudes of antiquity with the spirit of the modern time. In this description of literature, Klopstock is certainly without a rival ; in fact, he is the greatest ode-writer that any age can show, and may be styled the Pindar of modern lyric verse. But in richness and in depth of feeling he surpasses the harmonious Theban. Klopstock is so genuinely German, so faithful, yet so profound, as, perhaps, no bard of our fatherland ever was before.
Other fine sacred pieces by him, such as his " Ach, wie hat mem Herz gerangen," " Wenn ich einst von jenem Schlummer," may also rank among the most creditable efforts of his pen. He studied theology at Leipzic, in , but the theatre in that town awakening in him a leaning towards dramatic lore, he forthwith addressed him- self to this department of letters.
Lessing, when in Berlin, lived in intimate friendship with Mcolai and Mendelsohn. Einiges zur Erinnerung an Lessing. Lessing was the man who set himself to abolish all those mannerisms, at once artificial and without sou], which had risen up in the writings of former poets. He was the first of the modern versemen who combined the poetical Ideal with the poetry of real life : he cleared his ground as he went on, and weeded out antiquated moulds of thought with a skilful hand. In this labour, which we can easily imagine was a very difficult one, his genius proved his best assistance : on one side, he effected this by his critiques, which were perfect models in their way ; on the other side, he secured it by his own writings, which were types of poetical and prose art.
Lessing also united in his own person the three leading qualifications of poet, philosopher, and critic. All the varieties of his writings are highly finished, while in every one of them we can discover an onward progress. He threw down the gauntlet to his an- tagonists ; and triumphed over inveterate habits, creating, at the same time, something new and better. In Lessing' s argumentative works, an investigating power and philoso- phical spirit is evident ; while in his essays upon poetry, an artistic structure and aesthetical knowledge is striking.
His " Miss Sarah Sampson " is a lachrymose and heavy drama ; but the leading dramatic pieces by his pen are, — " Minna von Barnhelm," " Emilia Galotti," and " Nathan der Weise. By its dolorose scenes, which excel the comic ones, it ought, perhaps, rather to be classed with the tragic drama than with comedy. The character in it of Major Tellenheim, is generally taken to be an ethical portrait of the poet Kleist. Lessing's tragedy, again, of " Emilia Galotti," finished in the year , charmed the public voice into a tone of general admiration.
The human passions are exposed in this play with an extraordinary measure of sagacity ; there is not a single scene that could be pointed out as uninte- resting or sluggish ; no over-expanded dialogue ever pro- tracts the rapid progress of the dramatic action ; but the characters are thrown into masterly relief, and graced with the highest degree of artistic finish. Borne remarks of it : " How faithfully are the interlocutors sketched, — with what force of nature, with what freshness of acumen! The sketches of character, as well as its famous vein of dialogue, are above all praise.
William Taylor has given, in his " Survey of German Poetry," a copious translation of " Nathan der Weise," and a full account of Lessing's life and works. Lessing's correct taste and profound skill in the elegant sciences, are manifested by his " Laokoon," remarkable for the beauty of its style. This is a noble monument of Les- sing's philosophy and erudition, possessing an equal value to the mere poetical aesthetician, to the antiquary, the phi- losopher, and to the connoisseur of Art.
The composition of this extraordinary disquisition arose out of an expression of Winckelmann, that the priest " Laokoon," in that celebrated group, cried aloud with pain, like the " Philoctetes " of Sophocles. Lessing held, however, that Laokoon ought to be taken for a idealisation of suppressed human agony, and that the sculptor works by rules altogether different from those regulating the classical poet.
Our author then proceeds to institute a comparison between fine statuary and fine poetry, in the treatment of one and the same subject. But, after all, Lessing's true greatness is to be found in the fact of his having created an entirely new path of criti- cism. It can scarcely be expected that Lessing should, at the first outset, promulgate an sesthetical system, perfect and complete in all its minute features. Folge meiner Lektiire, als durch die methodische Entwi- ekelung allgemeiner Grundsatze angewachsen.
Es sind also niehr unordentliche Collectanea zu einem Buche, als ein Buch," shows us all he pretends to effect. Lessing was, no doubt, the greatest and most sagacious intellectual ruler of his day ; he had, in fact, studied with great zeal and perseverance whatever was to be known, and had acquitted himself so stalwarthily in consequence, that the whole circle of German critics, — who, at the outset of his career, were in an exceedingly depressed condition, — forth- with recognized in him that greater light, which was to eclipse whatever abilities they might themselves possess.
It is hardly necessary to add, that, under these circum- stances, our author came in for quite his full share of party- attack; howbeit, his acutely-polemical, and yet elegant pen, speedily put all his antagonists to silence. Lessing's " Dramaturgic" is an abounding golden mine of sterling criticism on the drama of his own day, includ- ing excellent and valuable comparisons of dramatic com- positions in general, which tended to refine the public taste, to favour the formation of a competent judgment, and, by an erudite examination, and by far-reaching insights into the classical and national drama, to ameliorate the style of the Comedist.
In this work it is, therefore, that Lessing's ire against the French drama is completely unmasked ; while it was to this production, perhaps, that Germany, at that period, owed her enfranchisement from the thrall of a servile imitation of the literary style of that kingdom. Lessing's " Fabeln " are mostly in prose, yet in the choicest and cleverest prose imaginable ; being all of them artistical, and replete with acumen and significance. As a very spirited inkling, or fragment of Lessing's thoughts in philosophy, we may also instance his " Erziehung des Menschengeschlechts.
Ueber Lessing's Genie und Schriften. This was one of our classical poets, and, accordingly, ought to be mentioned in a parallelism with Klopstock and Lessing. The embryo bard of " Oberon " received, from the wise solicitude of a parent's love, the advantages of an excel- lent religious education, and being, moreover, gifted with a feeling heart, his thoughts were early directed to the study of divine things. His first essay at versifying, made when only ten years old, was to this effect : — " Fromme Kinder die gern beten Miissen vor den Herrn treten.
In , our poet responded to the invitation of the duchess Anna Amalia von Weimar, to fulfil the office of preceptor to the young Princes. Here he lived in intimate connexion with Goethe, Herder, and Schiller, until the period of his demise, which event took place on the 20th of January Wielaxd may be reckoned one of the greatest names in the whole circle of German literature. He wrote all kinds of poetry : hymns, dramas, and even novels ; effected a German version of Shakspeare and Horace, as well as a translation of the letters of Cicero and Lucian, — and was in most of them eminently successful.
Wieland's Muse is a creature of extraordinary ease and grace, both in Her tones and in Her numbers. His fancy is most luxuriant. In his prose works he is natural and vivacious, and exhibits a good store of wit ; only a kind of Gallic attitudinism is Bbtticher's Literarische Zustande. But then his idiom is so ornate, and his expressions so nobly-aspiring, that we must fain lose our demurring surprise in a jubilee of admiration.
Wieland's delineations are replete with the power of pleasing. Goethe observes, that "the whole of northern Germany is indebted to Wieland for its literary style. His " Oberon," completed in , is his chef-d'oeuvre, there being in this poem a beauty that may be felt, rather than described.
The whole thing revels in a phasis of poetic fancy, and is coloured with the most strikingly-romantic hues. In its draught and execution it is redundant in classic grace, while it is so very perfect and complete in itself, that this one accomplishment of Wieland's genius-directed pen, will render his name immortal. Can we say more than Goethe did, in the lines that here- inafter follow? What, then, did Goethe say and do? Ich habe Wielanden dafur einen Lorbeerkranz geschickt, der ihn sehr gefreut hat.
Lavater, to the following effect : " Wieland's Oberon wird, so lange Poesie Poesie, Gold Gold, und Crystall Crystall bleiben wird, als era Meisterstiick poetischer Kunst geliebt und bewundert werden. Our author has, perhaps, been most successful in this order of didactic poetry ; his manner therein is easy, and his satire, with which it is not sparingly mixed, is, nevertheless, always good-tempered. A specimen of an almost unrivalled flu- ency chartered, likewise, with the grace of classic lore is uniformly discernible in these compositions.
Howbeit, we feel constrained to add our testimony to what was alleged at the beginning, viz. Among Wieland's " Komische Erzahlungen" may be mentioned, — " Endymion," " Aurora und Cephalus," and " Der Kombabus " ; these are the most celebrated : while not less entertaining are his " Schach Lolo," and " Der Vogelfang. As one of the most charming novels in verse, we ought to account his poem of " Clelia und Sinibald "; as the two merriest pos- sible twin tales, his fairy tales of " Das Winterrnahrchen," and " Das Sommermahrchen.
This tale is an imitation of the " Don Quixote" of Cervantes, and one of its most amusing portions will ever be accounted the story — episodical to the main design — of the " Prinz Biribinker. In this work he deter- mines, with all the finesse of the French, the line of demarcation between wisdom and virtue.
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The truth, how- ever, of this novel of " Agathon " is, that it is Wieland's own history in a Greek dress. This is, in point of style, one of the most facile, polished, and fluent novels imagi- nable, and it ranks as the best fiction of his time. Again, his " Abderiten," an urbane satire on the folly in manners indigenous to small country towns, is a first-rate production. In his " Goldenen Spiegel," and " Geschichte des Da- nischmed," Wieland has enunciated his principles of poetry. The most successful of the transla- tions by this author is his German version of " Horace," which is, in fact, a masterpiece.
This rendering of the old Roman lyric we may, not inaccurately, pronounce " Horatius Redivivus," so closely does Wieland approach his great prototype. The translation of " Cicero's Letters" is not less excellent. In his German promulgation of " Shakspeare," Wieland was scarcely as happy ; still, there is great merit due to him, on the whole, as he was one of the first who made our fatherland acquainted with the writings of that imperishable genius.
The northern parts of Germany have been the nursing- mothers of master-spirits. The warlike era in the middle of the eighteenth century, and the hero and king of that time, Frederick the Great, furnished the poetry of the day with new subject-matter, while he furthered the arts and KLEIST. The study of the ancient classics, and of the English and French literature, made a great impression upon the com- positions of that day ; and the style adopted by such lead- ing authors as Klopstock and Lessing, induced a progress altogether unusual and unknown in any other tongue.
The ode now assumes a classical form, and the interests of didactic poetry are advanced. Halle and Berlin applied themselves principally to poetry, philosophy, and criticism. Gleim and Uz sprang up in the university town of Halle ; whilst at Berlin: Kleist, Rainier, Mendelsohn, Nicolai, and Lessing, flourished ; at Hamburg : Klopstock and Hage- dorn assisted with great zeal in the organization of bardic unions.
Of Hagedorn we have already spoken ; it remains for us now to consider the others. He became in an officer in the Danish army, from which, however, he seceded, when Frederick H recalled all his subjects from foreign sendees. Kleist fought in as a colonel under General Eink at the battle of Kunersdorf, where he stormed the last battery of the Rus- sians ; in this sortie his right arm was disabled, so that he could only wield his sword with the left hand.
The in- stant after a cannon-ball had shattered his leg, he shouted, sinking from his seat in the saddle : "Kinder verlasst euren Konig nicht! Er starb fur's Vaterland, er starb voll Heldenmuth. Ihr Winde, wehet sanft! His works are characterised by pleasant portrait- ures, hannonious numbers, great appearance of ease, a richness of thought, with succinctness of expression and a noble morality.
Occasionally, however, we meet with an abandonment of style, and a hardness of versification. Nevertheless, Kleist's " Fruhling" is undoubtedly a very beautiful piece of poetry. Nor ought we to omit, that this poet certainly displayed considerable tact and talent in describing natural scenery, in laying out sweet country- parts, and in depicting the amenities of a rural life.
In his " Fruhling," Kleist has put forth all his bardic powers, and it occupies one of the first niches in the pictu- resque and descriptive poetry of Germany. Kleist takes up his position on a scent-breathing hill or mount, and thence refracts the beauties of the landscape. He gives us the history of a genial day in spring. Kleist's hexa- meters constitute, in Klopstock's opinion, a fine anapaestic verse, which would be even finer, if the iambus oftener in- terrupted the action of the anapaest. Kleist was also successful in other orders of poetry, the elegiac for example.
In , he accepted the office of professor of aesthetics at the Military Academy of Berlin, and subsequently he became the director of the national theatre. He died on the 11th April Ramler was gifted with poetical talents and a notable appreciation of the Beautiful, — as far, at least, as the embo- diment of thought in words and landscape sketches would seem to indicate.
Notwithstanding that in his odes and poems he was continually polishing, Ramler may be justly accounted stiff in some parts of his style. He was, after Klopstock, the greatest odiac poet of that age. Horace was his prototype, and accordingly he wrote panegyrics upon Frederick the Great, his sovereign, exactly in the same way as Horace had done in the case of Augustus Caesar. Hence he has been styled " the German Horace ;" only Ramler did not come up to his great original in point of lyrical power and liveliness of fancy.
Ramler's trans- lation of fifteen odes of Horace was considered by his con- temporaries the very best thing of the kind. He was a bookseller there. He was also a doctor of philosophy, and a member of the academies of Munich and Berlin. He died on the 8th of January His critical Reviews, of which he usually was the editor, from the " Bibliothek der schonen Wissenschaften," down to the " Allgemeine Deutsche Bibliothek," had, for their principal object, the enfranchisement of human thought, combined with instruction in theology and philo- sophy, and the promotion of a finer taste in the " belles lettres" of German authorship.
In himself, Nicolai was possessed of good sound sense, a cultivated taste, and of a fund of information. He was also the author of several philosophical tracts, of a Tour through Switzerland, and a number of clever criticisms and pamphlets. The novels of Nicolai have no poetical value ; still they must be taken into the account, when we are detailing the literary cir- cumstances of that epoch.
They are cleverly written. The " Sebaldus Nothanker" of Nicolai is a tale in imi- tation of Goldsmith's Yicar of Wakefield, in which he depicts the life of an incumbent of limited means, and exhibits, it must be owned, very considerable knowledge of men and things. Whilst Poetry and Criticism were making a progress that tended to exalt the standard of the national literature, and were fast towering to a height, whence they could in- fluence and command by their own self-created strength, Philosophy also appeared in greater power than it had ever done before.
Wolf was active in diffusing his ma- thematically-structured scheme, which pretended to be able to demonstrate and to define synthetically the entire circle of German learning. Wolfs doctrine was chiefly promulgated from the University chairs, and was even ad- vocated, in connexion with the dogmatism, from the pulpit itself. Crusius of Leipzic, — a man who rather leant towards the olden Scholasticism. The brothers Baumgarten, both professors of philo- sophy, combined the two systems of Wolf and Leibnitz. The one was established as the expositor of this duplex thesis in the university of Halle, where he had Crusius for his antagonist.
The other brother, Alex. He became the founder of quite a new theory. It strikes us but too clearly, whenever we take a re- trospect of the historical progress of the national mind, that subsequently to the era of the Seven Years' War, phi- losophy was taken up rather in a dilettanti, amateur-like spirit, than in a temper of fair, scientific appreciation. For a time, Jacobi and Herder essayed their utmost to raise philosophy out of its then prostrate condition.
They were seconded by the contributions of two such pro- found thinkers as Lessing and Mendelssohn, the latter of whom ventured with his " Phaedon" within the precincts of religious inquiry. With Mendelssohn, the " Wolfianis- mus" was transferred into the popular philosophy, the representatives of which were himself and Engel ; whilst J.
Sulzer , justly deserving of attention as an orator and aesthetical philosopher, endeavoured to prove and simplify practical truth, the belief in God and immortality, and to render them acceptable to the commu- nity. Mendelssohn, no doubt, had the worthiest idea of philosophy ; its highest aim was, in his eyes, to serve as the mightiest cultivation and elevation of the human mind, and to exalt it into the highest science.
We must further indicate as a popular philosopher Th. He was in very narrow circumstances when he removed to Berlin in ; he, however, got on as a tutor, and studied very hard. Latterly he became very intimately connected with Lessing and Nieolai. He died on the 4th of January Boutebweck says of him : " Mendelssohn may well be classed among the profoundest philosophers of his day. He knew how to combine, in a most charming man- ner and exquisite degree, the philosophical with the avsthetical.
Mendelssohn's ' Eclecticism,' which was the means of guarding his judgment from undue partialities, kept him also a long way from affecting the manners of the different schools of philosophy. He was a great critic as well as a thoughtful writer. By the publication of his ' Phae- don, oder viber die Unsterblichkeit der Seele,' in which he deduced from the kingdom of morals, arguments for the soul's indestructibility, — keeping in view chiefly the doctrine of Socrates on this head, — he established his reputation ; and without being a strictly original philosopher, Mendels- sohn belongs to the greatest thinkers of his time.
Thus set at ease in his circumstances, Engel was enabled to live solely for the engagements of philosophy and the lighter interests of the muses. He died on the 28th of June , in the town in which he was born. Engel was a writer of great penetration, and won reputa- tion in every class of composition to which he addressed himself. To him Germany has been deeply indebted in her intellectual advances, for critical inquiries concerning taste and the fine arts, not forgetting also his highly-wrought dissertations upon topics connected with speculative, prac- tical, and popular philosophy.
Engel's " Philosoph fur die Welt," together with his " Fiirstenspiegel" — wherein his fine observations on men and morals assume a noble and exemplary form, supported, as they are, by some very lucid and tasteful descriptions — were the means of "making his name. This is universally allowed to be Engel's master-piece. Engel likewise wrote comedies, which for a long while retained possession of the stage ; the more so indeed, as the characters in them were drawn with nice judgment, and the dialogue was markedly elegant.
In the year , our author was appointed professor of theology at Gottingen ; but he had to undergo so many disagreeables on his arrival there, that he was not slow in accepting the post of superintendent-general and court-preacher which was open at Weimar. In , Herder was promoted to the dignity of vice-consul, and was raised to the class of nobility " geadelt" the same year. He breathed his last on the 18th of December , in the sixtieth year of his age. Heedee ranks, undoubtedly, in the number of the greatest geniuses of which our fatherland can boast. Ac- quainted, or rather deeply versed in almost the entire circle of the sciences, he exercised a considerable influence, as a poet, no less than as a theologian, student of the humani- ties, philosopher, aesthetician, antiquary, and historiogra- pher.
Herder's thoroughly-poetical mind conceived all that entered it in an imaging sense ; wherefore he always wrote like a poet, even when not numbering his syllables, and while his words were streaming on in a unfettered manner. Even in his prose we acknowledge him to be a poet, and not merely, indeed, touching graphic expressions, unusual inflexions of phraseology, and arrangement of the words, but also in the exhibition of bold and brilliant metaphor. His friend Jean Paul said of him : — " Herder war kein Dichter, er war etwas weit erhabeneres und besseres als ein Poet, er war selbst ein Gedicht, ein indisch, griechisches Epos, von einem der reinsten Goetter erschaffen.
These " Walder " are written in a luscious vein, and in an ornate style. The first " Waldchen " exa- i mines Lessing's " Laokoon. A flower blooms through- out the whole of this work, structured out of man's inner nobilities ; and this exalting quality of its language is in- stantly thrown back into the theines of the heart, inasmuch as Herder's muse exercises no little influence over the ideal of man; it develops the exalted character of the human mind in a way altogether indescribable and peculiar. Herder's " Ideen " is, no doubt, a work well calculated to incline a man to habits of reflection, to set him in the track of discovery, and to engage his warmest admiration.
Viewed as a philosopher, Herder was a follower of Kant, until, eventually, he went over to eclecticism. For his knowledge of criticism and aesthetics, Herder was, evi- dently, indebted to the compositions of Winckelmann and Lessing. As a theologian, we find him chiming in with the spirit of Christianity ; his work, " Vom Geist der hebraischen Poesie" is a very valuable performance. Consider Herder as a poet, and you find him great in the epic. Herder turned to account whatever romances he could find, that were handed dow n by the old chroniclers, and had reference to the for- tunes of the Spanish hero.
Yet, to what use did he put these annals? The tone he assumes, bears as is most fitting quite the genuine stamp of the old Spanish romance writers ; and, taken as a whole, this is a most wonderful achievement in verse : it is elegant, and most pleasing. Herder's " Legends " are also excel- lent. He fonned an anthology, too, of all the most popular traditions and national rhymes, — the aggregate symposia of all nations, — which he gave to the world under the title of" Volkslieder.
The poetical productions of Herder's latter years are almost all of a philosophic and speculative kind, arrayed in allegorical drapery ; thus may also his religious poems be classed,— they are even at times mystical ; there is, as we said before, an allegorical, melancholic breath upon them which occasionally lapses into a real dream.
Let us now bestow a glance upon Herder's con- ception, execution, and language, and what his genius contrived to place quite palpably before the eyes of his readers. His ideas are multifarious, and were often sug- gested by his own studies, often by the promptings of exter mil circumstances. We see how enamoured he became of his own contemplativeness, and of his own clear way of think ing : in every path of philosophy and knowledge we en counter the poet Herder, — now as critic, now as specific inquirer, and anon, as an inspiring poet. Language an its oesthetical bearings have taken up a good deal of his time upon that most sacred concernment of the human race — GESSNER.
With what delicacy of spirit has he not writ- ten throughout! Herder felt incited to make his fellow- men attentive to the highest works of the creation, of God, and of the noble structure of the human mind, and even to serve as a guide thereunto. His " Ideen zur Geschichte der Menschheit " is certainly such a striking work, that, although not without faults, it bears witness to the great mind of its author. Herder has supported his propositions with the force of his own attainments, and brought a philo- sophic depth to the carrying of them out.
His reflections are lucid, and although his results are often encumbered by poetical imagery, they, nevertheless, resolve themselves just as frequently in a masterly manner. The amenity of his language is hardly to be described ; he is so easy, so agree- able, and artistic : and then again, so elegant and so poetically beautiful. His father being a bookseller, young Gessner was sent to Berlin to learn the same trade.
This occupation, however, was but little suited to his taste : in the end he broke his connexion with commerce, and began to draw, to paint, and to write poems. Shortly after this, he left Berlin and returned to Zurich, where he was much beloved and respected. He was a member of the grand council, in the offices of a painter, en- graver, and poet. He died on the 2nd of March Gessner is one of those few German bards who gained a great reputation in the " Idyl. Another greater poem appeared in the following year, viz. His first volume of " Idyllen " was given to the world in This work won for its author European fame, and, making allowance for its monotonous air, is written in an amiable spirit, with a graceful naivete, with many sal- lies of refined wit, and with a native elegance of allusion.
It abounds also in picturesque colouring, and the costume of the tales is strictly appropriate. A companion-volume oJ " Idyls" came out in , together with " Briefe iiber die Landschaftsmalerei. Gessner's "Tod Abel's" first appeared in , and was received with great favour by the religious world. The " Death of Abel " is a beautifully-executed little story, founded alto- gether upon the narrative in the Bible. The whole piece ought, indeed, to be looked upon as an epic poem, which pleases us by the delicacy with which it is done, and by vast numbers of well-conceived pictures, which are coloured il we may so speak , with the greatest taste and talent.
Wolff's National Literatur. The following little verse is very descriptive of Gessner's character: — " Als einst urn seine Kunst Die Muse des Gesangs und die der Zeichenkunst Sich stritten, hiess Apoll, um ihren Streit zu schlichten, Inn malen im Gesang, und im Gesange dichten. He became, in , doctor of laws and counsellor of the government at the city of Leipzic. He died on the 7th of July The fables of this author secured him a great popularity in Germany, and are read even at the present day.
Their chief recommendations are, excellent moral feeling and a powerful invention. Lessing said of them : " The in- equality that strikes us in the compositions of Lichtwer, is of quite a peculiar kind. We cannot say that we detect in them genius without taste, for genius alone will create great, though disproportionate beauties ; and a noble work of art has seldom proceeded from the brain of genius, which a masterly hand might not have altered or improved. But you will have observed," proceeds Lessing, " that many of Lichtwer's fables, as they came fresh from his hand, wear such a finished appearance, as to defy the most sagacious critic.
They would seem to bespeak a man in whom the Ideal, and the best rules for realizing it, lie enshrined and deeply-seated. Lichtwer, at the same time, falls off in the majority of his fables, so that he is hardly to be recognized as one and the same writer. He retired from service in , and accepted, in , the Danish consulship at Lubec, where he died on the 1st of November This follower of literature has distinguished himself both as a lyric and dramatic writer, having under his control not only the most highly-wrought and passionate represent- ative power, but also all the refined amenities of poetry.
His famous tragedy of " Ugolino," which came out in , was taken from the " Purgatory " of Dante. It is not a piece adapted to the stage, but of very considerable merit, notwithstanding. Its characters are most forcibly brought out, and the style — which is among Melpomene's highest walks, although, no doubt, overstrained at times — still proclaims a poet of the highest degree.
Numerous portions may he selected, that are emphatically poetical and good ; while it may not be uninteresting to know, that " Ugolino " was one of the favourite works of Schiller, when a young man. The year gave us a lyric poem from the pen of our author, which bore the title of " Das Gedicht eines Skalclen. It is necessary, however, to be somewhat versed in the phraseology of the " Edda," in order to enjoy, in its full force, the poem in question. He was brought up at the Gottingen University.
He expired on the 18th of March , when secretary and counsellor of the Gothan legation. This writer was rather gifted with good common-sense, and a shrewd wit, than with a poetical turn of mind. For this reason, the most valuable of his works will be his prose didactic epistles, — ranking, as they do, much higher than the remainder of his compositions, which are more or less imitations of the French style. In a manner at once easy and mellifluous, and with a most persuasive eloquence, Gotter knows how to lay down the most useful advice, and to deliver the lessons of wisdom and prudence.
The re- mainder of his efforts in verse, comprising elegies, epistles, and songs, are very correctly and neatly written ; but they betray a dearth of invention, have too much of a plagiar- istic air, and are wanting in poetical idea. The correct- ness of his style has been always a merit in this writer. Gotter also published several comedies. His " Erb- schleicher," " Der schwarze Mann," " Marianna," " Die Dorfgala," were all of them much admired at the time, for the powerful way in which they are conceived and executed.
His tragedies of " Electra " and " Merope " are imitations of Voltaire. EUS Was born at Jena, in He died when professor of the College at Weimar, on the 28th of October He is reported to have been amiable and exemplary in his private character, — a circumstance that his writings sufficiently attest.
A most agreeable humour and a fine order of sarcasm meet us prima facie in the writings of Musaeus. The association of his ideas is remarkably grand, his delineations spirited, and his language choice and graphic. The design of Musaeus, in bringing out his " Physiogno- mische Reisen," was to ridicule the system of Lavater, and to throw over it a mantle of satire.