Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel

Karl Wilhelm Friedrich (later: von) Schlegel (March 10, 1772 - January 12, 1829) was a German poet, critic and scholar. He was the younger brother of August Wilhelm Schlegel.

Life and work

Schlegel was born at Hanover. He studied law at Göttingen and Leipzig, but ultimately devoted himself entirely to literary studies. He published in 1797 "Die Griechen und Römer" (The Greeks and Romans), which was followed by "Geschichte der Poesie der Griechen und Römer" (The History of the Poetry of the Greeks and Romans) (1798). At Jena, where he lectured as a Privatdozent at the university, he co-founded the "Athenaeum", contributing to that journal the aphorisms and essays in which the principles of the Romantic school are most definitely stated. Here also he wrote "Lucinde" (1799), an unfinished romance, which is interesting as an attempt to transfer to practical ethics the Romantic demand for complete individual freedom, and "Alarcos", a tragedy (1802) in which, without much success, he combined romantic and classical elements.

In 1802 he went to Paris, where he edited the review "Europa" (1803), lectured on philosophy and carried on Oriental studies, some results of which he embodied in an epoch-making book, "Über die Sprache und Weisheit der Indier" (On the Language and Wisdom of India) (1808). In the same year in which this work appeared, he and his wife Dorothea (1763-1839), a daughter of Moses Mendelssohn and the mother of Philipp Veit, joined the Roman Catholic Church, and from this time he became more and more opposed to the principles of political and religious freedom. He went to Vienna and in 1809 was appointed imperial court secretary at the headquarters of the archduke Charles.

At a later period he was councillor of legation in the Austrian embassy at the Frankfurt diet, but in 1818 he returned to Vienna. Meanwhile he had published his collected "Geschichte" (Histories) (1809) and two series of lectures, "Über die neuere Geschichte" (On the New History) (1811) and "Geschichte der alten und neuen Literatur" (On old and new literature) (1815). After his return to Vienna from Frankfurt he edited "Concordia" (1820-1823), and began the issue of his "Sämtliche Werke" (Collected Works). He also delivered lectures, which were republished in his "Philosophie des Lebens" (Philosophy of Life) (1828) and in his "Philosophie der Geschichte" (Philosophy of History) (1829). He died on 11 January 1829 at Dresden.

A permanent place in the history of German literature belongs to Friedrich Schlegel and his brother August Wilhelm as the critical leaders of the Romantic school, which derived from them most of its governing ideas as to the characteristics of the Middle Ages, and as to the methods of literary expression. Of the two brothers, Friedrich was unquestionably the more original genius. He was the real founder of the Romantic school; to him more than to any other member of the school we owe the revolutionizing and germinating ideas which influenced so profoundly the development of German literature at the beginning of the 19th century.

Friedrich Schlegel's wife, Dorothea, was the author of an unfinished romance, "Florentin" (180,), a "Sammlung romantischer Dichtungen des Mittelalters" (Collection of Romantic Writings of the Middle Ages) (2 vols., 1804), a version of "Lother und Maller" (1805), and a translation of Madame de Staël's "Corinne" (1807-1808)--all of which were issued under her husband's name. By her first marriage she had a son, Philipp Veit, who became an eminent painter.

According to Arvidsson, writers like Bernal have unjustly claimed that Schlegel was a racist. [Stefan Arvidsson 2006:108 Aryan Idols.]

elected works

Friedrich Schlegel's "Sämtliche Werke" appeared in 10 vols. (1822-1825); a second edition (1846) in 55 vols. His "Prosaische Jugendschriften" (1794-1802) have been edited by J. Minor (1882, 2nd ed. 1906); there are also reprints of Lucinde, and F. Schleiermacher's "Vertraute Briefe über Lucinde", 1800 (1907). See R. Haym, "Die romantische Schule" (1870); I. Rouge, "F. Schlegel et la genie du romantisme allemand" (1904); by the same, "Erläuterungen In F. Schiegels Lucinde" (1905); M. Joachimi, "Die Weltanschauung der Romantik" (1905); W. Glawe, "Die Religion F. Schlegels" (1906); E. Kircher, "Philosophie der Romantik" (1906); M. Frank '"Unendliche Annäherung" Die Anfänge der philosophischen Frühromantik' (1997); Andrew Bowie "From Romanticism to Critical Theory. The Philosophy of German Literary Theory" (1997).

On Dorothea Schlegel see J. M. Raich, "Dorothea von Schiegel und deren Söhne" (1881); F. Diebel, "Dorothea Schlegel als Schriftsteller im Zusammenhang mit der romantischen Schule" (1905).

For a brilliant philosophical exegesis of early romantic theory focused on F. Schlegel, Novalis, and the Athenaeum see Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe and Jean-Luc Nancy "The Literary Absolute: The Theory of Literature in German Romanticism" (1978).

Letters

* "Ludwig Tieck und die Brüder Schlegel. Briefe" ed. by Edgar Lohner (München 1972)

External links

* http://projekt.gutenberg.de/autoren/schleglf.htm -- E-Texts of Projekt Gutenberg-DE
* [http://chspm.univ-paris1.fr/transophie/fichiers/Schlegeletudes.pdf Bibliography]

References

----
*1911

Persondata
NAME= Schlegel, Karl Wilhelm Friedrich
ALTERNATIVE NAMES=
SHORT DESCRIPTION=German poet, critic and scholar
DATE OF BIRTH=March 10, 1772
PLACE OF BIRTH=Hanover
DATE OF DEATH=January 12, 1829
PLACE OF DEATH=Dresden


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