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Friedrich Schlegel’s Lucinde and the Fragments

Friedrich Schlegel’s Lucinde and the Fragments

translated with an introduction by FIRCHOW PETER
Copyright Date: 1971
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 292
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  • Book Info
    Friedrich Schlegel’s Lucinde and the Fragments
    Book Description:

    For the last century and a half, Friedrich Schlegel (1772-1829) has enjoyed a reputation for being the critical grey eminence behind the coming to power of the Romantic Movement. It was Schlegel, in his three series of aphoristic fragments (Lyceum, Athenaeum, and Ideas), who actually first defined and employed the word “romantic” in the present sense; and it was he who in a chaotic, fragmentary, and often mysterious but forceful manner first proclaimed the doctrine that was to usher in the modern age in literature. He too was among the first to put his new program into practice in the shape of his unfinished Lucinde, a work variously denounced as pornography and heralded as a forerunner of modern novelistic experimentation, and probably the most famous novel to come out of German Romanticism. Both the Fragments and Lucinde, along with a brilliant tour de force, the “Essay on Incomprehensibility,” are available now for the first time in a complete English translation in this volume, together with a brief scholarly introduction. This translation will enable non-German readers to examine at first hand the work of a man whom Rene Wellck has called “one of the greatest critics of history.” At a time when the function of criticism is coming once again under close skeptical scrutiny, Friedrich Schlegel’s unorthodox, unsystematic but seminal critical mind -- all of literature, philosophy, art, and history were grist to his mill -- should find many sympathetic readers. The book will be of particular interest to theorists of literature and fiction, comparative literature scholars, and historians of the intellectual history of Germany, and it is appropriate for course use in German and comparative literature classes. The photos of Friedrich Schlegel and his wife Dorthea Veit are used by permission of the Freies Deutsches Hochstift, Frankfurt am Main, Germany, and the Staatsbibliothek der Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Berlin, Germany, respectively.

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-6241-8
    Subjects: Philosophy

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Preface
    (pp. vii-x)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. xi-2)
  4. Introduction
    (pp. 3-40)

    Lucindeis an unusual book written at a time of unusual books and unusual events. In 1799, the year of its publication, the French Revolution was taking its first militant steps into Empire, and a new literary and philosophical movement, as yet unnamed, was also preparing to march against the old establishment. For Napoleon, it was supposedly a struggle of the liberal French armies against the restrictive forces of the conservative world; for the Romantics, as they came later to be called, it was a war against the rational, neoclassic conception of art and life, symbolized by the French authors...

  5. LUCINDE, a Novel
    (pp. 41-140)

    Petrarch smiles with emotion as he surveys and introduces the collection of his immortal romances. Subtle Boccaccio speaks politely and flatteringly to the ladies at the beginning and at the close of his opulent book. And even the sublime Cervantes — still amiable and full of delicate wit, though old and wracked by pain — clothes the colorful spectacle of his vibrant works in the costly tapestry of a preface that is in itself already a beautiful romantic painting.

    Lift a magnificent plant out of the fertile maternal earth, and much will cling to it lovingly that only a miser...

  6. Fragments

    • Critical Fragments
      (pp. 143-159)

      1. Many so-called artists are really products of nature’s art.

      2. Every nation wants to see represented on stage only its own average and superficial aspects; unless you provide it with heroes, music, or fools.

      3. When Diderot does something really brilliant in hisJacques,* he usually follows it up by telling us how happy he is that it turned out so brilliantly.

      4. There is so much poetry and yet there is nothing more rare than a poem! This is due to the vast quantity of poetical sketches, studies, fragments, tendencies, ruins, and raw materials.

      5. Many critical journals make the mistake which Mozart’s...

    • From Blütenstaub
      (pp. 160-160)

      1. Even philosophy has blossoms. That is, its thoughts; but one can never decide if one should call them witty or beautiful.

      2. If in communicating a thought, one fluctuates between absolute comprehension and absolute incomprehension, then this process might already be termed a philosophical friendship. For it’s no different with ourselves. Is the life of a thinking human being anything else than a continuous inner symphilosophy?

      3. If one becomes infatuated with the absolute and simply can’t escape it, then the only way out is to contradict oneself continually and join opposite extremes together. The principle of contradiction is inevitably doomed, and...

    • Athenaeum Fragments
      (pp. 161-240)

      1. Nothing is more rarely the subject of philosophy than philosophy itself.

      2. Both in their origins and effects, boredom and stuffy air resemble each other. They are usually generated whenever a large number of people gather together in a closed room.

      3. Kant introduced the concept of the negative into philosophy. Wouldn’t it be worthwhile trying now to introduce the concept of the positive into philosophy as well?

      4. The frequent neglect of the subcategories of genres is a great detriment to a theory of poetical forms. So, for example, nature poetry is divided into natural and artificial kinds, and folk poetry into...

    • Ideas
      (pp. 241-256)

      1. The calls for and even the beginnings of a morality that might be more than the practical part of philosophy are becoming increasingly obvious. Already there is talk even of religion. It’s time to tear away the veil of Isis and reveal the mystery. Whoever can’t endure the sight of the goddess, let him flee or perish.

      2. A priest is someone who lives only in the invisible world and for whom everything visible possesses only the truth of an allegory.

      3. Only in relation to the infinite is there meaning and purpose; whatever lacks such a relation is absolutely meaningless and...

    (pp. 257-272)

    Because of something either in them or in us, some subjects of human thought stimulate us to ever deeper thought, and the more we are stimulated and lose ourselves in these subjects, the more do they become a Single Subject, which, depending on whether we seek and find it in ourselves or outside of ourselves, we designate the Nature of Things or the Destiny of Man. Other subjects perhaps would never be able to attract our attention if we were to withdraw into holy seclusion and focus our minds exclusively on this subject of subjects, and if we did not...

  8. INDEX
    (pp. 273-277)