Sometimes they were open with each other, sometimes not. When Friedrich went into print, however, the tone changed, his position became more extreme. Friedrich, by contrast, was unworried by the muzzling of the press; 7 he had allegedly written a poem to the queen of Spain, welcoming the restoration of the Bourbons there and the reaction that went with it. This was the Prussian professor setting himself against the servant of the Austrian state. It was an extraordinary performance of self-justification against the ever-rampageous Voss, whose mind was slightly unhinged by the wave of conversions that he saw Romanticism as having initiated.
On the other it was a part-recantation of the Catholicizing attitudes of his early manhood, part, because, for all the whiffs of incense and rustlings of vestments, his concern had always been with the highest things in art. We must be on our guard against reaction, as in the restorations in France and Spain.
Goethes Briefwechsel mit Zelter.
Now, within a short space of time, their brother Moritz had died, then their sister Charlotte and her husband Ludwig Emanuel Ernst. Friedrich could not: he had been in debt since , to Windischmann and above all to his brother August Wilhelm. But surely their common, collective presence was better than public disagreement. He then asked—yet again—for repayment of the old bad debt of , the florins that Friedrich had needed for his return from Frankfurt to Vienna. A death—he did not say whose—had placed him in financial embarrassment.
Did Schlegel really need florins all that urgently, and what for? But surely he would not wish to bankrupt his brother.
His life-style was not extravagant, only comfortable. Friedrich, too, enjoyed the good things of life, but without the means to afford them.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
But the patience and goodwill that had once accompanied them were now exhausted. Yet nothing could stem the flow of his thoughts and his lecturing. That morning he had received the sacrament. In the evening, while sitting with Auguste, he was taken ill with a massive stroke. He made his peace with Auguste. In a long letter to Windischmann, of 29 December, , 24 he set out his considered views. All of his work, he said, early and late, was marked by paradox and abrupt change. Above all, there was Ludwig Tieck, a notoriously bad correspondent.
Their once fairly frequent exchange of letters had come to a standstill. He and Schlegel had actually not met since Jena; they had missed each other in Rome in , in Paris and Frankfurt in It was the other Tieck siblings, Sophie and Friedrich, who had written, with their catalogue of woes, some real, some imaginary. He, too, had been in Italy, England and France.
Briefwechsel zwischen Goethe und Zelter in den Jahren 1796 bis 1832
Tieck had paved the way by dedicating a volume of his recently reissued works to Schlegel. It mattered to Schlegel, because a section of the German reading public still associated his name with his Shakespeare translation.
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He was not going to do the actual translating himself, entrusting this to Wolf von Baudissin and to his own daughter Dorothea. Schlegel could not object to Baudissin, whom he knew personally and whose own translation of King Henry VIII could be regarded as the completion of his own versions of the Histories. In the event both proved to be highly competent. The problem was Tieck himself. He subjected their versions to his scrutiny, which was understandable. He certainly never had the ambition of being an editor of Shakespeare, giving his readers the text, nothing else.
Tieck was also dilatory. The edition started coming out in , but was not completed until Voss had for good measure ensured that his preface contained some uncomplimentary words for Schlegel. In the nineteenth century however his was one among many Shakespeares that jostled on the market.
Not that this itself was beyond improvement: it would have been only fair to have allowed Schlegel the option of carrying out such a revision. One also notes a major reworking of the Vienna Lectures about this time. Schlegel had issued his own Kritische Schriften in , 43 containing almost entirely the production of the past, some of it ephemeral, but most of it good and solid, occasionally even brilliant, the best things he ever wrote, one might say of some of them, but associated with a Romantic movement that many, Heinrich Heine among them, wished to see consigned to history.
There was no reason for him to be displeased with what Schlegel had had to say in the s, now reprinted, on his Roman Elegies , Tasso , or Hermann und Dorothea , if anything some slightly pedantic additional remarks might irk. But the various small pin-pricks against Schiller, especially his versification, made it clear where Schlegel stood. And indeed why not? The correspondence could give the impression that there was no outside world, no affairs of state, no domesticity not for Goethe, at least , only the common pursuit. It would not emerge that both Goethe and Schiller for brief periods had exchanged notes with Schlegel with similar frequency.
It was inevitable that the hagiography that started in earnest after his death would wish to publish more of his obiter dicta. The brothers Schlegel, for all their fine gifts, are and have been unhappy men all their lives; they wanted to present more than their nature had endowed them with, and achieve more than they were able.
Thus they have wrought much havoc in art and literature. From the false doctrines in the fine arts that they preached and spread abroad, that conjoined egoism with weakness, German artists and connoisseurs have not yet recovered. Seen it its true light, their turning to India was no more than a pis-aller. That was an elegant put-down.
He is in many respects not a man, but one can compensate that to some extent on account of his many-sided scholarly knowledge and his achievements.
Wolfgang Goethe | Book Depository
It had not come from nowhere: one feature of the s and s had been the reissue of the works of this older generation—some already deceased—with autobiographical self-justification or a retouched Life. It was related, as already seen, to his anti-Vossiade, his demolition of Langlois, his testy response to H. It was more in the spirit of the Athenaeum , of the Ehrenpforte for Kotzebue.
There were other issues to settle. It was all very well informing his readers—and his victims—as he did in the poem Epilog :. Nur ein poetisch Feuerwerk War, Publicum, mein Augenmerk. One example:. So that my friend can go with ease to the play, My carriage is at his disposal today. I doubt that I will get to the play today. Ernst Moritz Arndt received some verses in season, even his colleague Welcker as well. Schlegel could occasonally turn his wit against himself: 62 there is a poem on the wearing of wigs, which observers of his vanity could note with satisfaction.
They were to be revived again in when he had that flattering invitation to lecture in London which alas came to nothing. Schulze meanwhile replied that there was no objection to his lecturing in Berlin; as an honorary member of the Academy he was in fact entitled to do so. Ladies might be a problem, so the venue would have to be carefully chosen. The models that Schulze cited were hardly encouraging: Karl von Holtei and Franz Horn were minor Berlin literati who nevertheless had had some success as public lecturers.
He had of course once done so, but that was in the past and could not be so easily revived. These lectures might provide a counterweight to those that his brother was giving at the same time in Vienna. It was a triumphal progress in a lower key.
Works under MDS 836.6
On the way to Berlin he called on the Grimm brothers in Kassel and renewed his acquaintance. There were bridges to be repaired, Schlegel recognizing what the Grimms had achieved since his stringent review of Jacob in and having recommended him to Schulze in for a chair in Berlin ; the brothers accepting that behind the vanity and the affectation there was a solid if not formidable base of philological and textual knowledge.
It was a technical description that sought to bring alive the dimensions, the colours, the groupings of the almost six-foot square work. It addressed the means at the disposal of a pre-Raphaelite painter, the limitations placed on him and the moments when he transcended them. It recognized that the painting was originally an object of religious veneration and spiritual contemplation.
Now, amid those same edifices in the Prussian capital, he was delivering a comprehensive account in German of the history of art. There were very few in his audience who would have heard both, and they could note that he was showing the same general deference to Goethe and Schiller as he had done then.
In the intervening years, he had seen everything that most travellers could see. Not Greece, of course, but neither Winckelmann nor Goethe had been there, at most the Elgin Marbles or casts of them , 79 Greek temples in Italy, the Greek statuary extant in Rome, Naples and Florence, everything looted by Napoleon. He now had much less time for the aesthetics of art and dismissed most of the eighteenth century in a few chosen sentences—except of course Winckelmann. Winckelmann had been a Platonist, and Schlegel remained one, unrepentantly. If the history of art showed a linear progression 80 and was not merely a series of technical descriptions, it was through the Platonic Idea of beauty that the historian or beholder was enabled to enter into its inner processes.
Not everything now appealed—like Goethe he now had reservations about animal-headed gods—but it supported his general thesis, expressed in so many other contexts, of the monumentality, repose and gravity of ancient architecture. It was something shared by the most distinguished member of his audience, Alexander von Humboldt.