Sehnsucht unter südlicher Sonne (Romana) (German Edition)
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He imagines or anticipates the course of one such drama. It moves from the spontaneous joy of childhood to the audacity of youth, plunges into reckless abandon and thence into depression and suffering, struggles in vain against misfortune and despair, and finally recalls its early innocence nostalgically before disintegrating into oblivion.
- Caligula. Wahnsinniger Tyrann oder Opfer tendenziöser Geschichtsschreibung? (German Edition).
- Translator's note.
- RPartage - [RP] - Meeting with the Duke of Styria;
What is striking in this vision of the emotions embodied in symphonic music is their violence and their sheer intensity. From conventional portrayals of bland sentiment, music has moved up a gear to an intense and overwhelming melodrama of extreme and often terrifying sensations that is new, disturbing — in a word, Romantic.
If music is uniquely mysterious and irrational, if its effect defies description and definition, then it may possess not only redemptive power, but equally, as in the imaginary symphony evoked in this section, disquieting and ultimately traumatic potential. It is this realization of the dangerous ambiguity of music that concerns Berglinger towards the end of his rhapsodic essay W— In the earlier text, painting is regarded in an unequivocally positive light, as the repository of spiritual truth and the vehicle for inspired human creativity. In the Phantasien music appears as an ambiguous force that may have either a beneficial or a destructive impact on its recipient.
That is not to say that the position of the author or authors changed between and As pointed out in the lucidly argued but neglected dissertation by Rose Kahnt,16 it is rather that in particular Wackenroder had throughout a concept of painting that differed from his view of music.
The interpretation of music in the two texts remains consistent. Wackenroder and through him Tieck were still indebted to the eighteenthcentury Affektenlehre, the doctrine that music exists to reflect and portray specific human feelings. However, this doctrine is supplemented and overlaid by the notion of immersion in the emotions stimulated by music, a view which Wackenroder may have found prefigured in the musical writings of Johann Friedrich Reichardt, to whose personal influence he had been exposed since the late s. To abandon oneself to this ambiguous force is to surrender self-direction and risk possession by an alien power offering aesthetic blandishments that are beyond ethical restraint and ultimately destabilizing.
Consider, for example, the torments suffered by E. In the metaphor of the first two poems, all artists, poetic and musical, sail the boat of their psyche into uncharted and turbulent waters, and the danger of shipwreck is inevitable.
Manual Sehnsucht unter südlicher Sonne (Romana) (German Edition)
In fact, as the third poem suggests, the artist who does not run the risk of possession by daemonic inspiration is not a true artist at all. Berglinger compares his soul to an Aeolian harp. The image offers a perfect characterization of the new Romantic conception of the experience of music: subjection to the afflatus literally , being played upon by a strange and incomprehensible power that at its own whim agitates the soul of its victim, causing it to vibrate with exquisite poignancy, but at the same time perturbing it to the point of trauma.
Silvio Vietta, vol. The full title is misleading too: it is an arbitrary conflation of the titles of the two original texts. Silvio Vietta Stuttgart: Metzler, , — Wackenroder Marburg: Elwert, , esp. Michael Neumann also argues that for Wackenroder art may be simultaneously both divine and daemonic: Unterwegs zu den Inseln des Scheins: Kunstbegriff und literarische Form in der Romantik von Novalis bis Nietzsche Frankfurt a.
In calling for language to become song again, Novalis appears to offer us a prescription for transforming the way in which we as individuals speak and write. In this discussion, however, I will move on to look at other theoretical models of music that had a bearing on Novalis, suggesting that music also plays a vital role in defining a conception of intersubjective discourse.
Music and Literature in German Romanticism (Studies in German Literature Linguistics and Culture)
The very fact that the subject must self-define was, for Novalis, proof of its inability to define or capture the essence of itself. An act of definition occurring within the finite structure of reflection cannot enclose or fix the absolute nature of identity, but merely figure its possibility. This is defined in the Logologische Fragmente Logological Fragments, The logical system relating words or thoughts is in itself a form of language, but remains inherent in the relationships between signs.
The order of logic does not always prevail.
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Ultimately, neither the scholastic nor the poet can ever entirely succeed in their respective tasks of fixing language absolutely, or rendering it entirely arbitrary. Thus the poet proper engages in the proposition of structures of meaning and identity, but also, ironically, in the attempt to excite change experimentally within them. Within music, it is rhythm that allows for the points of transition between differing melodic and harmonic structures and which thus constitutes the speculative dimension of the medium.
Und das ist die NaturSprache, daraus iedes Dings aus seiner Eigenschaft redet, und sich immer selber offenbaret und darstellet [. It is God who orchestrates the divine ensemble of the cosmos: Indeed, God is seen in this extract as a universally composite instrument, of which individuals are merely the strings or subordinate parts. In Novalis, however, things are different.
This appears to generate a tension. For Novalis, there is some form of universal whole governing the discursive activity of the individuals comprising it, yet also allowing for the free discursive agency of those individuals. An entry in the Fichte-Studien prefigures this apparent contradiction within a quite different thematic context.
Die Belebung selbst aber betreffend, so ist sie nichts anderes, als eine Zueignung, eine Identification. On the other hand, the tension prevents the polyphony from degenerating into cacophony. If the inclusion of all voices is to grow from such recognition and respect, then polyphony must be dependent on some degree of external determination of the individual by the whole, on a loss of his or her absolute freedom. Ultimately, though, Novalis strikes a balance. It is this combination of this philosophy of intersubjectivity and musical allegorical models of the self within a multitude of other voices that makes for a sense of genuinely egalitarian polyphony in Novalis.
The text opens with a single narrative voice describing the multiple paths men follow in speculating upon nature. Thus, in approaching the truths implied by the signs of nature, the poet finds that these dissolve before his eyes at the crucial moment SN Thus the language of nature is like music, because it is internally selfreferential.
Manual Sehnsucht unter südlicher Sonne (Romana) (German Edition)
Whilst traveling, he recognizes that natural phenomena hitherto unknown to him are, in fact, merely combinations of familiar phenomena. The image of nature speculation as the striking of chords is reminiscent of the passage above — chords are drawn from the whole of the cosmic symphony. The text goes on to realize this polyphony formally: the central narrative voice, apparently omnipresent and omniscient, is, in fact, neither and is slowly decentered by the emergence of the other voices. The novices argue about individual interpretations of natural phenomena, as well as the methodologies by which these can be reached.
Herbert Uerlings has shown this to be, amongst other things, a tale about initiation into the poetic cognition of nature. The individual must be prepared to revise his conception of the world and seek insight from sources beyond himself. Having heard this tale, the novices embrace each other and the nature of the polyphony becomes more harmonious: Die Lehrlinge umarmten sich und gingen fort.
SN This is not monotone, but rather harmonious polyphony. This arises from the fact that each speaker relinquishes the notion that he can speak one truth which invalidates all others, with each speaker retaining the right to speak, whilst recognizing the rights of others and no longer speaking over them. The text is successful in realizing the idea of music as ideal discourse, but not wholly successful in realizing music as a polyphonic discursive system. The cosmic symphony thus remains unfinished. The case is different, however, for the unfinished novel Heinrich von Ofterdingen.
The main torso of the text was composed between the end of November and September We might, then, expect a more fully developed and inclusive treatment of the issue in this later work. This text has already been shown to be inclusive of female voices and discourses, though not in the context of musical polyphony. Whilst Heinrich does go on a journey, the purely linear and subject-centered dynamic is finally halted.
The opening of the novel, the famous dream of the blue flower, marks the beginnings of this process. Within the dream, Heinrich emerges from having bathed in the springs of the cavern, only to encounter the blue flower. Through a process of self-transformation, the flower reveals itself — and, in the process, all of nature — as a sentient being that demands a discursive space for self-representation. As well as developing his own poetic voice, part of his education is about being silent, learning to listen and to assimilate himself into this multitude of songs.
Heinrich hears a number of tales on his journey. The chorus represents a musical multitude of voices, but it is exclusively patriarchal. Woman, in the shape of the princess, is again marginalized. But things do not remain thus. When she strays from the palace, we witness her birth as a subject in her own right.
The point of narrative focalization shifts to her perspective and we are given insight into her thoughts and feelings.
Upon meeting her young lover in the forest, himself a fledgling poet, she is allowed to unfold her own creative talents. Whilst her apparently spiritual utterance again raises suspicions that Novalis intended her as an otherworldly muse, one can equally contend she is merely demonstrating that musicality evokes a sense of transcendent wholeness. More significant is her emergence from silence into song, whereby she fulfils the promise of universal polyphony, making the transition from muse to musician.
When the couple return to the palace a year later with their newborn child, however, it is the young poet rather than the poetess who sings his songs in the presence of the court. When the court poets sing their final song of thanks, she appears to have taken on the Romantic, neo-Rousseauian role of the demure and silent mother.
It represents an imperfect attempt at depicting a model of perfection. Both the child Fabel and the priestess figure Sophie achieve this. Strange pictures emerge from the vapor. In the fourth chapter Heinrich encounters the Christian crusaders, who also sing their own songs. Their songs appear to allow no space for the voices of other religions or ethnic groups. Heinrich withdraws from their company to meet this slave, Zulima. Like the young poet in the previous chapter, Heinrich is very receptive and opens a space into which she can sing her song, the words of which tell of her homeland and abduction from it by the knights.
Thus, Zulima also teaches Heinrich about polyphonic poetics, about allowing others to sing alongside him.
This lesson he learns well, as ultimately he refuses to silence her songs. In parting, Heinrich will not accept her lute as a gift, insisting that she keep the means by which she accompanies her song. In Augsburg Heinrich meets his future lover, Mathilde. From the outset she says little. Sie ist der sichtbare Geist des Gesangs. Here Mathilde is in danger, like the princess in Atlantis, of becoming muse rather than musician. Here, music in both senses is realized.