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CKCU Literary News
Wednesday May 25th, 2022 with Hans G. Ruprecht
Novalis at 250. Celebrating the life and works of Georg Philipp Friedrich Freiherr von Hardenberg (2 May 1772-25 March 1801), who is one of the foremost figures of Early German Romanticism (Jenaer Romantik).

"The German poet and author Novalis (1772-1801) was the most important poet and imaginative writer of the early German romantic movement. Both his poetry and his prose writings express a mystical conviction in the symbolic meaning and unity of life. Novalis, whose real name was Baron Friedrich Leopold von Hardenberg, was born of an aristocratic family in Wiederstedt, Saxony, on May 2, 1772. While studying philosophy and law at the universities of Jena and Leipzig, he met the philosopher Johann Gottlieb Fichte and the poet Friedrich von Schiller. He also became friends with Friedrich von Schlegel, later the chief theoretician of the romantic school. Novalis also studied at the University of Wittenberg and from 1794 to 1796 worked as an official in Tennstädt. At Tennstädt, Novalis became engaged to 13-year-old Sophie von Kühn, who died in 1797. Her death affected him deeply, and in the same year he began his Hymnen an die Nacht (Hymns to the Night), which were published in 1800. In these poems he recounted his experience of Sophie's death and his conversion to a kind of Christian mysticism in which he longed for his own death in order to be reunited with his beloved. Despite his longings for death, however, Novalis continued his career. He turned to the study of mine engineering, married Julie von Charpentier in 1798 (while maintaining his mystical union with Sophie), and in 1799 became mine inspector in Weissenfels. He had advanced to supervisor by the time of his death. During these years Novalis also developed his mystical view of the world. In the fragmentary novel Die Lehrlinge zu Sais (1798; The Novices at Sais) Novalis expressed his belief that the things of the natural world are symbols whose meanings can be discovered by poets. His most important novel, Heinrich von Ofterdingen, incomplete at his death, tells of the initiation of a young medieval poet into the mysteries of his calling. Heinrich undertakes a journey, receives poetic instruction, and falls in love. The dominant idea of the novel is the harmony and eternal significance of all life and nature. It also presents the image of the blaue Blume (blue flower), which later became the romantics' favorite symbol for any object of mystical aspiration. Novalis's mystical attitudes also found expression in Geistliche Lieder (Religious Songs) and in the essay Die Christenheit oder Europa (1799; "Christendom or Europe"), which extols the unity of faith and society made possible by medieval Catholicism. Several of Novalis's writings were left unfinished at his death, of tuberculosis, at Weissenfels on March 25, 1801." Credit Novalis' is famous for his cycle of six poems, 'Hymns to the Night' (Hymnen an die Nacht, 1800), which was set to music by Franz Schubert in 1820. 🔻Note The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy offers a full entry about the philosophical impact of early German romanticism in general and Georg Philipp Friedrich von Hardenberg (Novalis) in particular, which has typically been traced back to a series of fragments and reflections on poetry, art, and beauty. Novalis' impact upon French intellectuals has been particularly strong among «philosopher-poets like Maurice Blanchot, George Bataille, and, in the 1970s and 1980s, on the chief proponents of literary deconstruction, Jacques Derrida and, in an Anglophone context, Paul de Man.» More 🔻Further Reading on Novalis «For English readers the best general work on Novalis is Frederick Hiebel, Novalis (1954; 2d rev. ed. 1959), which provides a detailed study of his life and spiritual development, as well as a careful analysis of each of his major works. For shorter general discussions see Ralph Tymms, German Romantic Literature (1955), and Michael Hamburger, Reason and Energy (1957). Oskar Walzel, German Romanticism, translated by Alma E. Lussky (1932), deals with Novalis's religious attitudes; and August Closs, Medusa's Mirror (1957), offers a detailed analysis of the Hymns to the Night.» PROJEKT GUTENBERG 🔻Novalis eigentl.: (Georg) Friedrich (Philipp) Freiherr von Hardenberg Geboren am 2.5.1772 in Oberwiederstedt/Harz; gestorben am 25.3.1801 in Weißenfels. Der Sohn eines streng pietistischen Salinendirektors schloß das Rechtsstudium in Jena, Leipzig und Wittenberg 1794 mit dem besten Examen ab. Im selben Jahr wurde er als Aktuarius nach Tennstedt geschickt. Im nahen Grüningen begegnete er der 12jährigen Sophie von Kühn, mit der er sich im März 1795 ohne Wissen der Eltern verlobte. Im Januar 1796 wurde er Akzessist an der Salinendirektion in Weißenfels. Nach dem Tode Sophies im März 1797 ging er Ende 1797 an die Freiberger Bergakademie, wo er Bergwerkskunde, Chemie und Mathematik studierte. Auch die zweite Verlobung 1798 mit Julie von Charpentier blieb ohne Hochzeit. Pfingsten 1799 kehrte er zur Salinendirektion zurück und wurde im Dezember zum Salinenassessor und Mitglied des Salinendirektoriums ernannt. Höhepunkt der beruflichen Laufbahn war die Ernennung zum Supernumerar-Amtshauptmann für den Thüringischen Kreis am 6.12.1800. Seit August dieses Jahres war er erkrankt und konnte die Arbeit nicht mehr aufnehmen. [Anzeige] 10.000 Werke lokal lesen: Gutenberg-DE Edition 15 auf USB. Information und Bestellung in unserem Shop Werke u.a.(abrufbar) 1797 Hymnen an die Nacht 1798 Glauben und Liebe oder der König und die Königin 1802 Geistliche Lieder 1802 Heinrich von Ofterdingen (unvollendet) [Anzeige] Der Kanon. Marcel Reich-Ranickis Empfehlungsliste der deutschsprachigen Literatur als E-Book. 13 Bände. Der Inhalt entspricht ca. 20.000 Buchseiten. Information und Bestellung in unserem Shop Im Projekt Gutenberg-DE vorhanden Aphorismen Die Lehrlinge zu Sais Fabeln Gedichte Geistliche Lieder Giasar und Azora Heinrich von Ofterdingen Hymnen an die Nacht Fragmente I Fragmente II Signatur: Novalis
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