Novalis
Overview
 
Novalis was the pseudonym
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
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
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
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...

 (1750–1822).
Quotations

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.

Motto

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.

Encyclopedia
Novalis was the pseudonym
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...

.

Biography

Georg Philipp Friedrich von Hardenberg was born in 1772 at Oberwiederstedt
Wiederstedt
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
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
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...

 (1750–1822). An oil painting and a christening cap commonly assigned to Novalis are his only possessions now extant. In the church in Wiederstedt, he was christened Georg Philipp Friedrich. He spent his childhood on the family estate and used it as the starting point for his travels into the Harz mountains.

Novalis’s father, the estate owner and salt-mine manager Heinrich Ulrich Erasmus Freiherr von Hardenberg (1738–1814), was a strictly pietistic
Pietism
Pietism was a movement within Lutheranism, lasting from the late 17th century to the mid-18th century and later. It proved to be very influential throughout Protestantism and Anabaptism, inspiring not only Anglican priest John Wesley to begin the Methodist movement, but also Alexander Mack to...

 man who had become a member of the Moravian (Herrnhuter) Church. His second marriage was to Auguste Bernhardine von Hardenberg, née Bölzig (1749–1818), who gave birth to eleven children: their second child was Georg Philipp Friedrich, who later named himself Novalis.

At first, Novalis was taught by private tutors. He attended the Luther
Martin Luther
Martin Luther was a German priest, professor of theology and iconic figure of the Protestant Reformation. He strongly disputed the claim that freedom from God's punishment for sin could be purchased with money. He confronted indulgence salesman Johann Tetzel with his Ninety-Five Theses in 1517...

an grammar school in Eisleben
Eisleben
Eisleben is a town in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. It is famous as the hometown of Martin Luther, hence its official name is Lutherstadt Eisleben. As of 2005, Eisleben had a population of 24,552...

, where he acquired skills in rhetoric
Rhetoric
Rhetoric is the art of discourse, an art that aims to improve the facility of speakers or writers who attempt to inform, persuade, or motivate particular audiences in specific situations. As a subject of formal study and a productive civic practice, rhetoric has played a central role in the Western...

 and ancient literature, common parts of the education of this time. From his twelfth year, he was in the charge of his uncle Friedrich Wilhelm Freiherr von Hardenberg at his stately home in Lucklum.

Novalis studied law from 1790 to 1794 at Jena
Jena
Jena is a university city in central Germany on the river Saale. It has a population of approx. 103,000 and is the second largest city in the federal state of Thuringia, after Erfurt.-History:Jena was first mentioned in an 1182 document...

, Leipzig
Leipzig
Leipzig Leipzig has always been a trade city, situated during the time of the Holy Roman Empire at the intersection of the Via Regia and Via Imperii, two important trade routes. At one time, Leipzig was one of the major European centres of learning and culture in fields such as music and publishing...

, and Wittenberg
Wittenberg
Wittenberg, officially Lutherstadt Wittenberg, is a city in Germany in the Bundesland Saxony-Anhalt, on the river Elbe. It has a population of about 50,000....

. He passed his exams with distinction. During his studies, he attended Schiller’s lectures on history and befriended Schiller during his illness. Novalis also met Goethe, Herder
Herder
A herder is a worker who lives a possibly semi-nomadic life, caring for various domestic animals, in places where these animals wander pasture lands....

, and Jean Paul
Jean Paul
Jean Paul , born Johann Paul Friedrich Richter, was a German Romantic writer, best known for his humorous novels and stories.-Life and work:...

 and befriended Ludwig Tieck
Ludwig Tieck
Johann Ludwig Tieck was a German poet, translator, editor, novelist, writer of Novellen, and critic, who was one of the founding fathers of the Romantic movement of the late 18th and early 19th centuries.-Early life:...

, Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling
Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling
Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling , later von Schelling, was a German philosopher. Standard histories of philosophy make him the midpoint in the development of German idealism, situating him between Fichte, his mentor prior to 1800, and Hegel, his former university roommate and erstwhile friend...

, and the brothers Friedrich and August Wilhelm Schlegel.

In October of 1794, Novalis worked as actuary for August Coelestin Just, who was not only his superior but also his friend and, later, his biographer. During this time, Novalis met the 12-year-old Sophie von Kühn
Sophie von Kühn
Christiane Wilhelmine Sophie von Kühn was the love interest and eventual fiancée of the German Romantic poet and philosopher Friedrich von Hardenberg, known to many simply as Novalis...

 (1782–1797). On March 15, 1795, when Sophie
Sophie von Kühn
Christiane Wilhelmine Sophie von Kühn was the love interest and eventual fiancée of the German Romantic poet and philosopher Friedrich von Hardenberg, known to many simply as Novalis...

 was 13 years old, the two became engaged to marry. The following January, Novalis was appointed auditor to the salt works at Weißenfels
Weißenfels
Weißenfels is the largest town of the Burgenlandkreis district, in southern Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. It is situated on the river Saale, approximately south of Halle.-History:...

.

In the period 1795–1796, Novalis concerned himself with the scientific doctrine of Johann Gottlieb Fichte
Johann Gottlieb Fichte
Johann Gottlieb Fichte was a German philosopher. He was one of the founding figures of the philosophical movement known as German idealism, a movement that developed from the theoretical and ethical writings of Immanuel Kant...

, which greatly influenced his world view. He not only read Fichte’s philosophies but also developed Fichte's concepts further, transforming Fichte’s Nicht-Ich (German
German language
German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

 "not I") to a Du ("you"), an equal subject to the Ich ("I"). This was the starting point for Novalis's Liebesreligion ("religion of love").

The cruelly early death of Sophie
Sophie von Kühn
Christiane Wilhelmine Sophie von Kühn was the love interest and eventual fiancée of the German Romantic poet and philosopher Friedrich von Hardenberg, known to many simply as Novalis...

 in March, 1797, affected Novalis deeply. She was only 15 years old, and the two had not married yet. Novalis was in a state of mourning and suffering for a period of time after her death.

That same year, Novalis entered the Mining Academy of Freiberg
Technische Universität Bergakademie Freiberg
The Technische Universität Bergakademie Freiberg is a small German University of Technology with about 5000 students in the city of Freiberg, Saxony...

 in Saxony
Saxony
The Free State of Saxony is a landlocked state of Germany, contingent with Brandenburg, Saxony Anhalt, Thuringia, Bavaria, the Czech Republic and Poland. It is the tenth-largest German state in area, with of Germany's sixteen states....

, a leading academy of science, to study geology
Geology
Geology is the science comprising the study of solid Earth, the rocks of which it is composed, and the processes by which it evolves. Geology gives insight into the history of the Earth, as it provides the primary evidence for plate tectonics, the evolutionary history of life, and past climates...

 under Professor Abraham Gottlob Werner (1750–1817), who befriended him. During Novalis's studies in Freiberg, he immersed himself in a wide range of studies, including mining
Mining
Mining is the extraction of valuable minerals or other geological materials from the earth, from an ore body, vein or seam. The term also includes the removal of soil. Materials recovered by mining include base metals, precious metals, iron, uranium, coal, diamonds, limestone, oil shale, rock...

, mathematics
Mathematics
Mathematics is the study of quantity, space, structure, and change. Mathematicians seek out patterns and formulate new conjectures. Mathematicians resolve the truth or falsity of conjectures by mathematical proofs, which are arguments sufficient to convince other mathematicians of their validity...

, chemistry
Chemistry
Chemistry is the science of matter, especially its chemical reactions, but also its composition, structure and properties. Chemistry is concerned with atoms and their interactions with other atoms, and particularly with the properties of chemical bonds....

, biology
Biology
Biology is a natural science concerned with the study of life and living organisms, including their structure, function, growth, origin, evolution, distribution, and taxonomy. Biology is a vast subject containing many subdivisions, topics, and disciplines...

, history
History
History is the discovery, collection, organization, and presentation of information about past events. History can also mean the period of time after writing was invented. Scholars who write about history are called historians...

, and, not least, philosophy
Philosophy
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...

. It was here that he collected materials for his famous encyclopaedia project.

Novalis's first fragments were published in 1798 in the Athenäum
Athenaeum (literary journal)
The Athenaeum was a literary journal started in 1798 by August Wilhelm and Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel. It is considered to be the founding publication of German Romanticism.-Contributors:...

, a magazine edited by the brothers Schlegel, who were also part of the early Romantic movement. Novalis’s first publication was entitled Blüthenstaub (Pollen) and saw the first appearance of his pseudonym, "Novalis". In July of 1799, he became acquainted with Ludwig Tieck
Ludwig Tieck
Johann Ludwig Tieck was a German poet, translator, editor, novelist, writer of Novellen, and critic, who was one of the founding fathers of the Romantic movement of the late 18th and early 19th centuries.-Early life:...

, and that autumn he met other authors of so-called "Jena Romanticism".

Novalis became engaged for the second time in December of 1798. His fiancée was Julie von Charpentier (1776–1811), a daughter of Johann Friedrich Wilhelm Toussaint von Charpentier, a professor in Freiberg
Freiberg, Saxony
Freiberg is a city in the Free State of Saxony, Germany, administrative center of the Mittelsachsen district.-History:The city was founded in 1186, and has been a center of the mining industry in the Ore Mountains for centuries...

.

From Pentecost
Pentecost
Pentecost is a prominent feast in the calendar of Ancient Israel celebrating the giving of the Law on Sinai, and also later in the Christian liturgical year commemorating the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples of Christ after the Resurrection of Jesus...

 1799, Novalis again worked in the management of salt mines. That December, he became an assessor of the salt mines and a director. On the December 6, 1800, the twenty-eight-year-old Hardenberg was appointed "Supernumerar-Amtshauptmann" for the district of Thuringia
Thuringia
The Free State of Thuringia is a state of Germany, located in the central part of the country.It has an area of and 2.29 million inhabitants, making it the sixth smallest by area and the fifth smallest by population of Germany's sixteen states....

, a position comparable to that of a present-day magistrate. But from August onward, Hardenberg suffered from tuberculosis
Tuberculosis
Tuberculosis, MTB, or TB is a common, and in many cases lethal, infectious disease caused by various strains of mycobacteria, usually Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Tuberculosis usually attacks the lungs but can also affect other parts of the body...

, and on March 25, 1801, he died in Weißenfels. His body was buried in the old cemetery there.

Novalis lived long enough to see the publication only of Pollen, Faith and Love or the King and the Queen, and Hymns to the Night. His unfinished novels Heinrich von Ofterdingen and The Novices at Sais, his political speech Christendom or Europa, and numerous other notes and fragments were published posthumously by his friends Ludwig Tieck and Friedrich Schlegel.

Writing

Novalis, who had great knowledge in science, law, philosophy, politics and political economy, started writing quite early. He left an astonishing abundance of notes on these fields of knowledge and his early work shows that he was very educated and well read. His later works are closely connected to his studies and his profession. Novalis collected everything that he had learned, reflected upon it and drew connections in the sense of an encyclopaedic overview on art, religion and science. These notes from the years 1798 and 1799 are called Das allgemeine Brouillon, and are now available in English under the title Notes for a Romantic Encyclopaedia.
Together with Friedrich Schlegel, Novalis developed the fragment as a literary form of art. The core of Hardenberg’s literary works is the quest for the connection of science and poetry, and the result was supposed to be a "progressive universal poesy” (fragment no. 116 of the Athenaum journal). Novalis was convinced that philosophy and the higher-ranking poetry have to be continually related to each other.

The fact that the romantic fragment is an appropriate form for a depiction of "progressive universal poesy”, can be seen especially from the success of this new genre in its later reception.

Novalis’ whole works are based upon an idea of education: "We are on a mission: we are called upon to educate the earth." It has to be made clear that everything is in a continual process. It is the same with humanity, which forever strives towards and tries to recreate a new Golden Age
Golden Age
The term Golden Age comes from Greek mythology and legend and refers to the first in a sequence of four or five Ages of Man, in which the Golden Age is first, followed in sequence, by the Silver, Bronze, and Iron Ages, and then the present, a period of decline...

 – a paradisical Age of harmony between man and nature that was assumed to have existed in earlier times. This Age was recounted by Plato
Plato
Plato , was a Classical Greek philosopher, mathematician, student of Socrates, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. Along with his mentor, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, Plato helped to lay the...

, Plotinus
Plotinus
Plotinus was a major philosopher of the ancient world. In his system of theory there are the three principles: the One, the Intellect, and the Soul. His teacher was Ammonius Saccas and he is of the Platonic tradition...

, and Franz Hemsterhuis – the latter being an extremely important figure for the German Romantics.

This idea of a romantic universal poesy can be seen clearly in the romantic triad. This theoretical structure always shows its recipient that the described moment is exactly the moment (kairos) in which the future is decided. These frequently mentioned critical points correspond with the artist’s feeling for the present, which Novalis shares with many other contemporaries of his time. Thus a triadic structure can be found in most of his works. This means that there are three corresponding structural elements which are written differently concerning the content and the form.

Hardenberg’s intensive study of the works of Jakob Böhme
Jakob Böhme
Jakob Böhme was a German Christian mystic and theologian. He is considered an original thinker within the Lutheran tradition...

, from 1800, had a clear influence on his own writing.

A mystical world view, a high standard of education, and the frequently perceptible pietistic influences are combined in Novalis' attempt to reach a new concept of Christianity, faith, and God. He forever endeavours to align these with his own view of transcendental philosophy, which acquired the mysterious name "Magical idealism". Magical idealism draws heavily from the critical or transcendental idealism
Transcendental idealism
Transcendental idealism is a doctrine founded by German philosopher Immanuel Kant in the eighteenth century. Kant's doctrine maintains that human experience of things is similar to the way they appear to us — implying a fundamentally subject-based component, rather than being an activity that...

 of Kant
KANT
KANT is a computer algebra system for mathematicians interested in algebraic number theory, performing sophisticated computations in algebraic number fields, in global function fields, and in local fields. KASH is the associated command line interface...

 and Fichte, and incorporates the artistic element central to 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...

. The subject must strive to conform the external, natural world to its own will and genius; hence the term "magical". David Krell calls magical idealism "thaumaturgic idealism." This view can even be discerned in more religious works such as the Spiritual Songs (published 1802), which soon became incorporated into Lutheran hymn-books.

Novalis influenced, among others, the novelist and theologian George MacDonald
George MacDonald
George MacDonald was a Scottish author, poet, and Christian minister.Known particularly for his poignant fairy tales and fantasy novels, George MacDonald inspired many authors, such as W. H. Auden, J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, E. Nesbit and Madeleine L'Engle. It was C.S...

, who translated his Hymns to the Night in 1897. More recently, Novalis, as well as the Early Romantic (Frühromantik) movement as a whole, has been recognized as constituting a separate philosophical school, as opposed to simply a literary movement. Recognition of the distinctness of Fruhromantik philosophy is owed in large part, in the English speaking world at least, to the writer Frederick Beiser.

Poetry

In August 1800, eight months after completion, the revised edition of the Hymnen an die Nacht was published in the Athenaeum. They are often considered to be the climax of Novalis’ lyrical works and the most important poetry of the German early Romanticism.

The six hymns contain many elements which can be understood as autobiographical. Even though a lyrical "I", rather than Novalis himself, is the speaker, there are many relationships between the hymns and Hardenberg’s experiences from 1797 to 1800.

The topic is the romantic interpretation of life and death, the threshold of which is symbolised by the night. Life and death are – according to Novalis – developed into entwined concepts. So in the end, death is the romantic principle of life.

Influences from the literature of that time can be seen. The metaphors of the hymns are closely connected to the books Novalis had read at about the time of his writing of the hymns. These are prominently Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet
Romeo and Juliet
Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy written early in the career of playwright William Shakespeare about two young star-crossed lovers whose deaths ultimately unite their feuding families. It was among Shakespeare's most popular archetypal stories of young, teenage lovers.Romeo and Juliet belongs to a...

 (in the translation by A.W. Schlegel, 1797) and Jean Paul
Jean Paul
Jean Paul , born Johann Paul Friedrich Richter, was a German Romantic writer, best known for his humorous novels and stories.-Life and work:...

’s Unsichtbare Loge (1793).

The Hymns to the Night display a universal religion with an intermediary. This concept is based on the idea that there is always a third party between a human and God. This intermediary can either be Jesus – as in Christian lore – or the dead beloved as in the hymns. These works consist of three times two hymns. These three components are each structured in this way: the first hymn shows, with the help of the Romantic triad, the development from an assumed happy life on earth through a painful era of alienation to salvation in the eternal night; the following hymn tells of the awakening from this vision and the longing for a return to it. With each pair of hymns, a higher level of experience and knowledge is shown.

Prose

The novel fragments Heinrich von Ofterdingen and Die Lehrlinge zu Sais (The Novices of Sais) reflect the idea of describing a universal world harmony with the help of poetry. The novel 'Heinrich von Ofterdingen
Heinrich von Ofterdingen
Heinrich von Ofterdingen is a famous, quasi-fictional Minnesinger who participated in the Sängerkrieg on the Wartburg. The authorship of the Laurin, a poem about Dietrich von Bern, was also sometimes ascribed to him. He is chiefly known by the novel of Novalis of the same name and the role of...

' contains the "blue flower
Blue Flower
The Blue Flower is a central symbol of Inspiration. It stands for desire, love, and the metaphysical striving for the infinite and unreachable.- Origins of the symbol :...

", a symbol that became an emblem for the whole of German Romanticism. Originally the novel was supposed to be an answer to Goethe’s Wilhelm Meister, a work that Novalis had read with enthusiasm but later on judged as being highly unpoetical. He disliked the victory of the economical over the poetic.

The speech called Die Christenheit oder Europa was written in 1799, but was first published in 1826. It is a poetical, cultural-historical speech with a focus on a political utopia with regard to the Middle Ages. In this text Novalis tries to develop a new Europe which is based on a new poetical Christendom which shall lead to unity and freedom. He got the inspiration for this text from Schleiermacher’s Über die Religion (1799). The work was also a response to the French Enlightenment and Revolution, both of which Novalis saw as catastrophic and irreligious. It anticipated, then, the growing German and Romantic theme of anti-Enlightenment visions of European spirituality and order.

Influence

Walter Pater
Walter Pater
Walter Horatio Pater was an English essayist, critic of art and literature, and writer of fiction.-Early life:...

 includes Novalis's quote, "Philosophirn ist delphlegmatisiren, vivificiren" (to philosophize is to throw off apathy, to become revived) in his conclusion to Studies in the History of the Renaissance. Novalis' poetry and writings were also an influence on Hermann Hesse
Hermann Hesse
Hermann Hesse was a German-Swiss poet, novelist, and painter. In 1946, he received the Nobel Prize in Literature...

.

Novalis was also a huge influence on George MacDonald
George MacDonald
George MacDonald was a Scottish author, poet, and Christian minister.Known particularly for his poignant fairy tales and fantasy novels, George MacDonald inspired many authors, such as W. H. Auden, J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, E. Nesbit and Madeleine L'Engle. It was C.S...

, and so indirectly on C. S. Lewis
C. S. Lewis
Clive Staples Lewis , commonly referred to as C. S. Lewis and known to his friends and family as "Jack", was a novelist, academic, medievalist, literary critic, essayist, lay theologian and Christian apologist from Belfast, Ireland...

, the Inklings
Inklings
The Inklings was an informal literary discussion group associated with the University of Oxford, England, for nearly two decades between the early 1930s and late 1949. The Inklings were literary enthusiasts who praised the value of narrative in fiction, and encouraged the writing of fantasy...

, and the whole modern fantasy
Fantasy
Fantasy is a genre of fiction that commonly uses magic and other supernatural phenomena as a primary element of plot, theme, or setting. Many works within the genre take place in imaginary worlds where magic is common...

 genre. Borges refers often to Novalis in his work.

Novelist Penelope Fitzgerald
Penelope Fitzgerald
Penelope Fitzgerald was a Booker Prize-winning English novelist, poet, essayist and biographer. In 2008, The Times included her in a list of "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945".-Early life:...

's last work, "The Blue Flower," is an historical fiction about Novalis, his education, his philosophical and poetic development, and his romance with Sophie.

The krautrock
Krautrock
Krautrock is a generic name for the experimental music scenes that appeared in Germany in the late 1960s and gained popularity throughout the 1970s, especially in Britain. The term is a result of the English-speaking world's reception of the music at the time and not a reference to any one...

 band Novalis
Novalis (band)
Novalis was a 1970s Krautrock group formed in Germany. Their best-known albums include Sommerabend and Wer Schmetterlinge lachen hört.-Band history:...

, in addition to adopting him as their namesake, adapted or used directly poems by Novalis as lyrics on their albums.

Novalis in print

Novalis' works were originally issued in two volumes by his friends Ludwig Tieck
Ludwig Tieck
Johann Ludwig Tieck was a German poet, translator, editor, novelist, writer of Novellen, and critic, who was one of the founding fathers of the Romantic movement of the late 18th and early 19th centuries.-Early life:...

 and Friedrich Schlegel (2 vols. 1802; a third volume was added in 1846). Editions of Novalis' collected works have since been compiled by C. Meisner and Bruno Wille
Bruno Wille
Bruno Wille was a German politician. He was born in Magdeburg.He tried to make an end to the collective ideology of the SPD from 1890 until 1892. Influenced by Friedrich Nietzsche, he wanted to end the tyranny of political parties and protect individuality...

 (1898), by E. Heilborn (3 vols., 1901), and by J. Minor (3 vols., 1907). Heinrich von Ofterdingen was published separately by J. Schmidt in 1876.

Novalis's Correspondence was edited by J. M. Raich in 1880. See R. Haym Die romantische Schule (Berlin, 1870); A. Schubart, Novalis' Leben, Dichten und Denken (1887); C. Busse, Novalis' Lyrik (1898); J. Bing, Friedrich von Hardenberg (Hamburg, 1899), E. Heilborn, Friedrich von Hardenberg (Berlin, 1901).

The most comprehensive and reliable edition of Novalis's works in German is the so-called
'Historische-Kritische Ausgabe' (commonly abbreviated as HKA):
Novalis Schriften, six volumes, edited by Richard Samuel, Hans-Joachim Mähl and Gerhard Schulz, Stuttgart, Verlag W. Kohlhammer, 1960–2006.

Novalis in English

Several of Novalis's notebooks and philosophical works have been recently translated into English.
  • Novalis: Notes for a Romantic Encyclopaedia (Das Allgemeine Brouillon), trans. and ed. David W. Wood, State University of New York Press, 2007. First English translation of Novalis's unfinished project for a universal science, it contains his most developed thoughts on philosophy, the arts, religion, literature and poetry, and his theory of 'Magical Idealism'. The Appendix also contains substantial extracts from Novalis's Freiberg Natural Scientific Studies 1798/1799.

  • The Birth of Novalis: Friedrich von Hardenberg's Journal of 1797, With Selected Letters and Documents, trans. and ed. Bruce Donehower, State University of New York Press, 2007.

  • Novalis: Philosophical Writings, trans. and ed. Margaret Mahoney Stoljar, State University of New York Press, 1997. This volume contains several of Novalis' works, including Pollen or Miscellaneous Observations, one of the few complete works published in his lifetime (though it was altered for publication by Friedrich Schlegel); Logological Fragments I and II; Monologue, a long fragment on language; Faith and Love or The King and Queen, a collection of political fragments also published during his lifetime; On Goethe; extracts from Das allgemeine Broullion or General Draft; and his essay Christendom or Europe.

  • Fichte Studies, trans. Jane Kneller, Cambridge University Press
    Cambridge University Press
    Cambridge University Press is the publishing business of the University of Cambridge. Granted letters patent by Henry VIII in 1534, it is the world's oldest publishing house, and the second largest university press in the world...

    : 2003. This translation is part of the Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy Series.

  • Classic and Romantic German Aesthetics, ed. Jay Bernstein, Cambridge University Press, 2003. This book is in the same series, the Fichte-Studies and contains a very good selection of fragments, plus it includes Novalis' Dialogues. Also in this collection are fragments by Schlegel and Hölderlin.

  • Henry von Ofterdingen, trans. Palmer Hilty, Waveland Press: 1990.

  • The Novices of Sais, trans. by Ralph Manheim
    Ralph Manheim
    Ralph Frederick Manheim was an American translator of German and French literature, as well as occasional works from Dutch, Polish and Hungarian...

    , Archipelago Books
    Archipelago Books
    Archipelago Books is an American not-for-profit literary publisher dedicated to promoting cross-cultural exchange through international literature in translation. Located Brooklyn, New York, it publishes small to mid-size runs of international fiction, poetry, and literary essays...

    : 2005. This translation was originally published in 1949. This edition includes illustrations by Paul Klee
    Paul Klee
    Paul Klee was born in Münchenbuchsee, Switzerland, and is considered both a German and a Swiss painter. His highly individual style was influenced by movements in art that included expressionism, cubism, and surrealism. He was, as well, a student of orientalism...

    . The Novices of Sais contains the fairy tale "Hyacinth and Rose Petal."

  • Hymns to the Night, trans. by Dick Higgins
    Dick Higgins
    Dick Higgins was a composer, poet, printer, and early Fluxus artist. Higgins was born in Cambridge, England, but raised in the United States in various parts of New England, including Worcester, Massachusetts, Putney, Vermont, and Concord, New Hampshire.Like other Fluxus artists, Higgins studied...

    , McPherson & Company: 1988. This modern translation includes the German text (with variants) en face.

External links


Secondary literature

  • Behler, Ernst. German Romantic Literary Theory. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993.
  • Beiser, Frederick. German Idealism. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2002.
  • Berman, Antoine
    Antoine Berman
    Antoine Berman was a French translator, historian and theorist of translation.- Works :* L'épreuve de l'étranger: Culture et traduction dans l’Allemagne romantique: Herder, Goethe, Schlegel, Novalis, Humboldt, Schleiermacher, Hölderlin. Paris: Gallimard, 1984* Lettres à Fouad El-Etr sur le...

    . L'épreuve de l'étranger. Culture et traduction dans l'Allemagne romantique: Herder, Goethe, Schlegel, Novalis, Humboldt, Schleiermacher, Hölderlin., Paris, Gallimard, Essais, 1984. ISBN 978-2070700769
  • The Cambridge Companion to German Idealism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000.
  • Fitzgerald, Penelope. The Blue Flower. Mariner Books, 1997. A novelization of Novalis' early life.
  • Haywood, Bruce
    Bruce Haywood
    Bruce Haywood, , served as a professor of German language and literature, dean and provost of Kenyon College, and was president of Monmouth College in Illinois.-Early life and education:...

    . Novalis, the veil of imagery; a study of the poetic works of Friedrich von Hardenberg, 1772-1801 's-Gravenhage, Mouton, 1959; Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1959.
  • Krell, David Farrell. Contagion. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1998.
  • Kuzniar, Alice. Delayed Endings. Georgia: University of Georgia Press, 1987
  • Lacoue-Labarthe, Phillipe and Jean-Luc Nancy. The Literary Absolute. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1988.
  • Molnár, Geza von. Novalis' "Fichte Studies"
  • O’Brien, William Arctander. Novalis: Signs of Revolution. Durham: Duke University Press, 1995. ISBN 0-8223-1519-X
  • Pfefferkorn, Kristin. Novalis: A Romantic's Theory of Language and Poetry. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1988.
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