Novalis was the pseudonym
A pseudonym is a name that a person assumes for a particular purpose and that differs from his or her original orthonym...

 of Georg Philipp Friedrich Freiherr von Hardenberg (May 2, 1772 – March 25, 1801), an author and philosopher of early German Romanticism
German Romanticism
For the general context, see Romanticism.In the philosophy, art, and culture of German-speaking countries, German Romanticism was the dominant movement of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. German Romanticism developed relatively late compared to its English counterpart, coinciding in its...

Georg Philipp Friedrich von Hardenberg was born in 1772 at Oberwiederstedt
Wiederstedt is a village and a former municipality in the Mansfeld-Südharz district, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. Since 1 September 2010, it is part of the town Arnstein....

 manor (now part of Arnstein, Saxony-Anhalt
Arnstein, Saxony-Anhalt
Arnstein is a town in the Mansfeld-Südharz district, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. It was formed on 1 January 2010 by the merger of the former municipalities Alterode, Bräunrode, Greifenhagen, Harkerode, Quenstedt, Sandersleben, Stangerode, Sylda, Ulzigerode and Welbsleben....

), in the Harz
The Harz is the highest mountain range in northern Germany and its rugged terrain extends across parts of Lower Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia. The name Harz derives from the Middle High German word Hardt or Hart , latinized as Hercynia. The legendary Brocken is the highest summit in the Harz...

 mountains. The family seat was a manorial estate, not simply a stately home. Novalis descended from ancient, Low German nobility. Different lines of the family include such important, influential magistrates and ministry officials as the Prussia
Prussia was a German kingdom and historic state originating out of the Duchy of Prussia and the Margraviate of Brandenburg. For centuries, the House of Hohenzollern ruled Prussia, successfully expanding its size by way of an unusually well-organized and effective army. Prussia shaped the history...

n chancellor Karl August von Hardenberg
Karl August von Hardenberg
Karl August Fürst von Hardenberg was a Prussian statesman and Prime Minister of Prussia. While during his late career he acquiesced to reactionary policies, earlier in his career he implemented a variety of Liberal reforms...


There are ideal series of events which run parallel with the real ones. They rarely coincide. Men and circumstances generally modify the ideal train of events, so that it seems imperfect, and its consequences are equally imperfect. Thus with the Reformation; instead of Protestantism came Lutheranism.

As quoted in "The Mystery Of Marie Rogêt" (1842) by Edgar Allan Poe, adapted from Fragments from German Prose Writers (1841) by Sarah Austin|Sarah Austin

Fate and temperament are the names of a concept.

As quoted in Demian (1972) by Hermann Hesse, trans. W.J. Strachan

I was still blind, but twinkling stars did dance Throughout my being's limitless expanse, Nothing had yet drawn close, only at distant stages I found myself, a mere suggestion sensed in past and future ages.

As quoted in Romantic Vision, Ethical Context: Novalis and Artistic Autonomy (1987) by Géza von Molnár, p. 2

Blood will stream over Europe until the nations become aware of the frightful madness which drives them in circles. And then, struck by celestial music and made gentle, the approach their former altars all together, hear about the works of peace, and hold a great celebration of peace with fervent tears before the smoking altars.

As quoted in the Fourth Leaflet of the White Rose (1942)

Poetry heals the wounds inflicted by reason.

As quoted in Quote, Unquote‎ (1989) by Jonathan Williams, p. 136

The world must be romanticized. In this way the originary meaning may be found again.

As quoted in The Experience of the Foreign : Culture and Translation in Romantic Germany (1992) by Antoine Berman

Friends, the soil is poor, we must sow seeds in plenty for us to garner even modest harvests.


Everywhere we seek the Absolute, and always we find only things.

Fragment No. 1; Variant: We seek the absolute everywhere and only ever find things.