Lade Inhalt...

The Influence of History on the Role of the Poet in Novalis' "Heinrich von Ofterdingen"

Hausarbeit 1973 53 Seiten

Germanistik - Neuere Deutsche Literatur



I. Introduction

II. The Poet and History

III. Fantasy and the Past

IV. Nature as a Key to the Past

V. Conclusion

VI. Notes

VII. Appendix

VIII. Bibliography


In our own era when relevance is given as a criterion for academic endeavor, the student of literature senses the need to relate literature to the world around him. Given a tine of transition with on uncertain future one should, I believe, cone to terms with the past through an understanding of its meaning for the present, «ore than a consideration of the factual in history, this must further encompass an attempt to understand those time­less and universal principles which determine the direction of mankind.

Novalis, as Friedrich von Hardenberg called himself, shows such an orientation toward the past in two major works. In Die Christenheit oder Europa (179SÌ Novalis explains how the past is useful in understanding the present. "An die Geschichte verweise ich euch, forscht in ihrem belehrenden Zusammenhang, nach Änlichen Zeit­punkten, und lernt den Zauberstab der Analogie gebrauchen.

I am especially interested in how Konlis demonstrates the unity of Fast and present in his novel Heinrich von Ofterdingen. In the character of Heinrich there is a unique example of understanding no* limited by temporal existence. Knowledge of the past influences his develop­ment as a poet. The converse is а1зо true. "Die Snt- hflllung des Ich-Grundes als Selbsttatigkeit des Absoluten entschleiert zugleich das Wesen der Geschichte."^

Eovalis was a universal figure of the early Romantic period in German literature. His interests encompassed poetry, philosophy and science. Born May 2, 1772, in the county of MansfelU, he «ел the son υΧ Bai ou won Hardenberg who was director of the ssxonian salt nines. Novalis showed an early interest in poetry. Ha liked to Invent fairy tales and relate them to his brothers. After leaving the Gymnasium he studied at Jena and Leipzig, completing his studies in 1794 at Wittenberg. In 3pite of his poetic inclinations he pursued a course of study which included law, mathematics and science. lie became friends with Friedrich Schlegel and knew Fichte whose Wissenschaftslehrc (1794) was to have a lasting influence on the development of his philosophy. Novalis also established a friendship with Tieck. In 1795 he became engaged to thirteen-year-old Sophie von Kühn, whose death (1797) affected Novalis deeply. But 2798 saw his engagsuicut with Julie von Charpentier. Late in 1797 he studi2d mining geology in Freiberg and eventually become an official of the salt mines in Weissenfels where he died in 1801.

Heinrich von Ofterdingcn reflects Novalis' wide- ranging interests. As in his other works, there is a werld-view based on introspection. The world is revealed through the intuitive art of the poet. The poet and his art are central to Novalis' philosophy of history.

Nature is depicted as a tameless and universal key to the past whose secrets are revealed through the geological ar.d natural history of the earth. Nature functions as a source of contact with the past.

The novel is typical of the early Romantic period in German literature. The early Romantic poets were generally well-educated and their writings have extensive philosophical content. The transcendental philosophy of Heinrich von Oftordingen stems from a metaphysical searching for an unidentifiable, unknown goal which characterizes this period in German literature. Some found resolution in the ritual of the Catholic Church which gave physical meaning bo their indefinite longing. The early Romantics were preoccupied with distant and eiotic lands. They were strongly influenced by die yast. Writers like Friedrich (1772-1829) and August Wilhelm Schlegel (1765-1845) were concerned with the literature of antiquity. Wackenroder, Tieck and Novalis shared an interest in the Kiddle Ages.

Describing the Middle Ages, in which the narrative Heinrich von Oftcrdingen is set, Ncvalis writes: "In allen Übergängen scheint, wie in einem Zwischonreiche, eine höhere, geistliche Macht durchbrechen zu wollen..." (I, 204). Times of transition are seen as conducive to the birth ol a poet. IX Heinrich represents a higher spiritual power which is universal, then perhaps his role, as historian and prophet, has greater significance. Through him we see the relevance of seeking to connect that which timo separates. The idealism which character­izes Novalis' philosophy of history is not alien to our own age of science and technology which is experiencing a renewed interest in the anti- or aúpen aclonal.

Novalis saw ideal periods in history and prophesied the return of an eternal golden age. Though this is a desire to transcend the present it is not a complete rejection of the present. Theodor Haering writes on the interdependence of past, present and future in the triadic structure of time found in Heinrich von "Dann erkennen wir, dass auch die jegenwert nichts enthalt, was nicht auch in jenen (beiden) Idealzeiten [Vergangenheit und ZukunftJ vorharvien wffre, aber sie enthalt dasselbe nicht irr. rechten Zusammenhang und nicht vollkommen, sondern getrennt und sozusagen 'verstellt', ja verzerrt."3 The poet becomes mediator between past and future. Awareness of other periods in history is a factor in Heinrich’s development. It enlarges, his experiences.

illustration not visible in this excerpt

From the endless secondary literatirre written about Novalis the following works relate most closely to an analysis of the influence of history on the role of the poet in Heinrich von Ofterdingen. Richard Samuel's Die poetische Staats- und Geschichtsauffassung Friedrich von Hardenbergs is an attempt to relate Novalis' conception of world history and his philosophic views through an analysis of his literary works.^ Samuel compares Novalis to other writers of that time and examines Novalis' ideas as they roíate to politics and government. Peter Küpper's Dio Zeit als Erlebnis des Novalis traces the con­cept of time in four major works, including Heinrich von Ofterdingen, and surveys Novalis' philosophy of history.'

It. a short article entitled "Die Aufhebung der Zeit in Heinrich von Ofterdingen" Eberhard Haufe attempts to relate Novalis' philosophy of history to -.he figure of the poet in Heinrich von Ofterdingen.6 He describes Heinrich as an archetypal poet whose experiences are not limited by time and who is significant in that he transcends the medieval setting of the narrative.

In Chapter I of my essay, "The Poet and History,"

I shall examine Novalis’ view of history as it relates to the figure of the poet and his place in time. Novalis does not develop Heinrich or other characters as one usually expects in a Bildungsroman. They lack psycho­logical depth. The} also lack specific identity, and function as figures in a cyclic historical process.

In Heinrich Novalis presents the quintessence of poetic nature.

Reality and fantasy are inseparable in Heinrich's experiences. Dream and fairy talo transport him beyond the mundane and become a part of experience. In Chapter П, "Fantasy end the rast," I shall deal with the role of fantasy in Heinrich's life. The chapter examines how Heinrich's existence is tangent with history.

The past is constantly renewed through Heinrich's capacity to see beyond the present. In Chapter III, "Nature as a Key to the Past," 1 shall examine nature as a link with the past. Novalis uses nature as a cjuateut, tiwcloss background ogoino* which Heinrich observes the course of history.


The choice of the Kiddle Ages as the setting for a poet’s development is significant considering Novalis' attitude toward that period. At the beginning of Die Christer.hoit oder Europa Novalis depicts the Kiddle Ages as an ideal period during which Europe was subject to the unifying force of Christianity. "Es waren schöne glänzende Zeiten, wo Europa ein christliches Land war..." (III, 507). -

There is an apparent conflict in Novalis' evaluation of the Middle Ages. Heinrich's world has an idyllic aura yet it is incomplete and in transition. Despite the universal influence of the medieval Catholic Church in Europe, there was conflict and change. The struggle between the secular and spiritual rulers of Christendom reached a climax in the Middle Ages. Dissatisfaction with tho church led to a schismatic church in the late Kiddle Ages and to the beginning of the Protestant Reformation. Novalis was no doubt aware of the similarity between the Kiddle Ages and his own period. The Romantic period saw a flowering of idéalisa set against the political upheaval of the French Revolution and Napoleonic '/ars (1789-1615). "The revolution and the career of Napoleon 1 served as a catalyst to speed up momentous changes in the German world."’' In the character of Heinrich there is resolution of a conflict between idealism and change. Heinrich is born into a chaotic period in history but through a knowledge of ideal periods in history he perceives the latent paradise of the present.

illustration not visible in this excerpt

The subject of change leads to the question of Hovalis’ understanding of historical process. To Novalis historical process is Entfaltung rather than Entwicklung. Wille both words mean development, they represent differ­ent principles. In the former, nature is the governing force. As from the seed to the tree, from birth to old dgc, 01s from ancient civilizations to modern, there io organic development. As in the seed, the course of development is already present at the initial stage.

The latter word suggests a logical progression of events and the constant ingredient of nature is absent. It is δ continual process of adaptation and is never fully cosnplete.

ln Heinrich von Oftcrdir.gcn 0 world ic portray od as self-consistent, without the contrast of a dialectic process. Speaking of Novalis’ conception of history in Heinrich von Ofterdingen. Haufe writes: "Sie kennt kein ewiges V.’erden, keinen ewigen Progress, sie kann ihn nicht kennen, weil diese '.Veit . . . keine Gegenwelt kennt, die latente Gegenwelt des Paradieses verhindert es."^ The contrast is between past and present. Heinrich is influenced as much by forces of history as by events of the present.

In contrast to a primarily factual approach to history, intuition is here operative. Selected elements of the past become material with which an idealized conception of history is formed. Historicity is not Novalis’ goal. Heinrich describes two approaches to a knowledge of history, one factual, the other intuitive:

Ich weiss nicht, aber mich dünkt, ich sähe zwei Wege um zur Wissenschaft der menschlichen Geschichte zu gelangen. Der eine, mühsam und unabsehlich, mit unzähligen Krümmungen, der Weg der Erfahrung; der andere, fast ein Sprung nur, der Weg der innern Betrachtung.

Der Wanderer des ersten muss eins aus dem andern in einer langwierigen Rechnung finden, wenn der andere die Natur jeder Begebenheit und jeder Sache gleich unmittelbar anschaut, und sie in ihrem lebendigen, mannigfaltigen Zusammenhänge betrachten, und leicht mit allen übrigen, wie Figuren auf einer Tafel, vergleichen kann" (I, 208).

While both paths lead to an understanding of history, the intuitive approach of the poet immediately penetrates factual complexities to the essential interrelationships of history.

An important aspect of Kovalla1 philosophy of history is illustrated by the presence oí a mythical quality. Speaking to Sylvestor in Part II, Heinrich compares fable and history. Fable in this context is history which is given poetic organization. "Fabel und Geschichte begleiten sich in den innigsten Beziehungen auf den »erschlungensten Pfaden und in den seltsamster. Verklei­dungen, und die Bibel und die Fabellehre sind Sternbilder Eines Umlaufs” (1, 333). Thus it is that when 3phiiu of Klingsohr's fairy tale asks the symbolic Fabel,

'Where do you come from?" she responds: "From ancient times" (I, 301). Like history, fable is immediately operative among men.

Through fable, a poetic, idealized history, one shares the poet's perspective. Of this intuitive per­spective the hex-alt &ays: "Das Leben und die Vielt ist mir klarer und anschaulicher durch sie geworden" (I, 259).

In stories and fables poets wondrously organize events, actual or mythical, in order to present truths not found in the chronicles of history. Even though their charac­ters and their fates arc invented, the spirit in which the poet writes is true and natural.

It is indicative of l'ovâlis' tendency to mythologise history that he should choose as t.he central character a figure that lacks historical basis. ’Without the restric­tions of historical fact he is free to mytholgize Heinrich's life. "Die Personen sind, so zeigt es sich uns, trotz oder gerade wegen ihrer Blassheit vollkommenster poetischer Ausdruck der Welt, in der sie leben, Frei von Geschichte, Entwicklung und Bildung in unserem Sinne sind sie nur die Entfaltung des menschlichen Urbildes. . . . "9 Heinrich is the representative of an original poetic spirit. His development shows an organic process which reaches back to the poets of antiquity.

Only in the epigrammatic poem "Der Sängerkrieg auf der Wartburg" (1250/60) does a figure called Heinrich Afterding appear, a participant in the singer's contest of I207. He is not mentioned in the second part of this poem and his fate is not clear- That Novalis should choose a character lacking historical basis does r.ot, however, necessarily indicate that Novalis lacked infor­mation about the Kiddle Ages generally. As early as Spring, 1799, he had occupied himself with philosophical and historical studies in the library of General von Funk in whose collection he first came across the Wartburg poem.

Kost historians in Novalis' generation believed the КЗdale Agesto have peen a time of utter barbarism and intellectual darkness. "Es fehlte völlig das Verstehen für die Eigengesetzlichkeit einer fremden Kulterwelt, es fehlte ebenso das Verständnis für das Walten, irrationaler KrSfte der Geschichte."10 There emerged in the eighteenth century also the perception that the medieval period was a necessary and preliminary phase which was linked with modern culture.

For Novalis the time in European history between classical antiquity and the Renaissance represents literally a middle period. It Is a tine of transition which contains the heritage of the past and the seeds of the modern age. Representative of this period, Heinrich is similarly a product of the past and harbinger of the future. His origin and destiny are open-ended. Novalis makes him a reflection of past and future. At the beginr.i::g of the narrative Heinrich is twenty and little is known of 1;is life to that point. The novel is a fragment and his end is not clear. Whether Kovalis intended to finish the novel or not, the fragments of Part II give us only a rough outline of his destiny.

Γη Heinrich von Ofterdingen the Middle Ages repre­sents a period of transition. Nearly two centuries of European participation in the Crusades (1096-1270) brought change through increased cultur-el end economic intcrcourcc with the Arabic-Islamic world. Novalis associates war with periods of chango. Klingsohr says that during such times the poet is most likely to be born, even though war and its chaos reveals the non-poetic side of nature.

"Für den Geschichtschreiber sind die Zeiten dieses Kampfes Susserst merkwürdig; ihre Darstellung ein reisendes und belohnendes Geschäft. Ss sind gewühnlich die Geburt­seiten der Dichter" (3, 264). Heinrich responds by saying that war has, nonetheless, a poetical effect.

Doth aides in war are moved by the seni:: romantic spirit which unites them behind a single invisible banner of poesy (1, 285). Klingsohr finds in this an atavistic impulse. "Ira Kriege . . . regt sich das Urgewüsser” (I, 2Ô5).

Inherent in Klingsohr's words is з cyclic view of history. Recurrent historical conditions of war and periods of transition are conducive to the et.:ux-gence of a poet. Heinrich is part of a cyclic process in which Novalis traces the poet's development and the symbolic rejuvenation of the poetic spirit. With Heinrich's maturation a poetic spirit is mani footed which was latent in hia ancestors. Heinrich's fothi-r had experienced a similor calling. But, as Sylvcctor explains, he did not become о poet beceuse he was too rooted in the world; "er wollte nicht Achtung geben auf den Ruf seiner eigensten Naturr (I, 326).

The question arises, to what extent does Heinrich represent Novalis' own poetic nature? The fact tha Novalis early lost his fiancee Sophie von Kühn through death, for example, identifies him with Heinrich who suffers a similar fate with Mathilde's death. An anal­ogous situation is found in the figure of Klir.gsohr, whose spouse, like Mathilde, suffers an early death and l«dvua "behind a loved one. This comparison leod3 inevi­tably tc a correlation of Heinrich's ideas on poetry with those of Novalis himself.

low, within a cyclic process, has Heinrich come to the role of poet? His calling is the result of internal and external factors saying: "eine besondere Gestirnung Cgehdrtjdazu . . . wenn ein Dichter zur Vielt kommen soll. . . ." (1, 209). The circumotcr.cco of Heinrich· о conception further suggest exvernal fcrces which determine his ciaractcr. ". . . Heinrich kann die Stunde nicht verleugnen, durch die er in der Welt ist. In seinen Reden kocht der feurige welsche Wein, den ich damals von Kon mitgebracht hatte, und der ur.sern Hochseitsabend verherrlichte" .(I, 199).

Heinrich's desire to be a poet iε also internal or innate. While traveling with the merchants he expresses an interest in learning about the art of poetry. Though never having seen a poem, he is preoccupied with poetic matters. He is able to speak with the merchants about pootry in such 3 canner that they can not follow his train of thought. He is distinguished from them in this respsct. They listen to poetry with appreciation and recognize in Heinrich a poetic talent, but they do not have access to the secrets of a poet.

Heinrich's sensitivity to words suggests an inborn suitability for the role of poet. He first demonstrates this in his reaction to the story the stranger relates at the beginning of Chapter I : "Keiner von uns hat je einen ähnlicher. Kenschen gesehen; doch weiss ich nicht, warum nur ich von seinen Reden so ergriffen worden bin; die andern haben ja das nämliche gehdrt, und keinem ist so etwas begegnet" (I, 195). Heinrich has an essential qualification for the career of poet, words serve to awaken Heinrich’s higher senses. He has an inborn drive to learn more of -words. "Ss muss noch viel 'Worte geben, die ich nicht weiss: wüsste ich mehr, so könnte ich viel besser alles begreifen" (I, 195·· words are important because, as Sylvestor explains, words reveal the world and history. "... die Welt und ihre Geschichte ver­wandelt sich Kuch in die Heilige Schrift, sowie Ihr an der Heiligen Schrift das grosse Beispiel habt, wie in einfachen Worten und Geschichten das Weltall offenbart werten kann. . . ." (I, 333-334).

The poet is not an entirely passive observer.

Heinrich von Ofterdingen is designed as a metaphysical, historical novel which shows not only the development of the hero in his present world, but concomitantly the development of the world through Heinrich. ’’Geschichte und persönliches Geschieh des Helder, sind auf das engste miteinander verknüpft. Was immer in Ahnungen und Erinnerungen über die Gegenwart hinausweist, wird Uber das rein Persönliche hinaus in einen höheren Zusammenhang gestellt."^ Poetic insight makes history a spectacle in which the poet himself participates. He is at once spectator and actor. Though influenced by the past, he participates In the present. Heinrich is like the court chaplain who the merchants say is too deeply immersed in knowledge of the supernatural world to want to strive after insight and authority in earthly things. But Heinrich believes a higher knowledge such as the chaplain’s can impart skill in guiding human affairs (J, 207-205), There is nothing to suggest how the poet participates actively in worldly affairs. According to Kuhn, the poet's observation of history is equivalent to political activity. "Die geschichtsphilosophische Reflexion als Biliungsmittel ist ein équivalent für politisches Handeln, Beide sind gleichwertig, aber nicht gleichartig. Im Ofterdinren stellte Novalis wenig spflter diesen Gegensatz Sn den Prototypen des Dichters und des Helder, dar."}2 Heinrich enjoys the poet's perspective. In his intercourse with the past he is also historian. Novalis makes a close connection between the vocations of poet and historian. Heinrich does not restrict himself to the affairs of the world like his father and does not pursue his father’s trade. He remains open to the past, for the poet is linked to it.

Es sind die Dichter, diese seltenen Zugmenschen, die zuweilen durch unsere Wohnsitze wandeln, und überall den alten ehrwürdigen Dienst der Menschheit und ihrer Götter, der Cestirne, des Frühlings, der Liebe, des Glücks, der Fruchtbarkeit, der Gesundheit, und des Froh­sinns erneuern. . . . CI, 267).

The historian must share the poet's ability to synthesize past events for present meaning. As the hermit tells Heinrich and his companions: "'.Venn ich das alles recht bedenke, so scheint es mir, als wenn ein Geschicht­schreiber notwendig auch ein Dichter sein müsste, denn nur die Dichter mögen sich auf jene Kunst, Begebenheiten schicklich zu verknüpfen, verstehn" (1, 259). It is the hermit's opinion that old ago gives a vantage point from which or.e may see the unity of time.

Der eigentliche Sinn für die Geschichten der Menschen entwickelt sich erst sp3t, und mehr unter den stillen Einflüssen der Erinnerung, als unter den gewaltsameren Eindrücken der Gegenwart. Die nSchster. Ereignisse scheinen nur locker verknüpft, aber sie sympathisieren desto wunderbarer mit entfernteren; und nur dann, wenn man imstande ist, eine lange Reihe zu überschn und weder alles buchstäblich zu nehmen, noch auch mit mutwilligen Tr3umen die eigentliche Ordnung zu verwirren, bemerkt man die geheime Verkettung des Ehemaligen und Künftigen, und lernt die Geschichte aus Koff- nung und Erinnerung Zusammen3etzon (I, 257-258).

Ore might extend this to say that ihe perspective given old age corresponds to that of later periods of human history in their perception of proceeding generations.

As the character of Heinrich illustrates, through its poets or historians a civilization can look back on previous generations to achieve a perspective on the potential of the present and future.

The journey to Augsburg becomes an opportunity for historical revelation as Heinrich acete new people and sees different regions. It symbolizes on inward journey where the subjective experience is a basis for develop­ment. The blue flower of the аиапье* 'з tale appears in a dream and awakens "an inexpressible longing" (I, 195). To Heinrich it is more than a dream.


In the course of his development, Hoinrich is exposed to contrasting rational and irrational forces. His father exhibits a practical, rational approach to life, d-scountinc dreams as soindrift and occupying himself with the mundane affairs of plying his trade. The merchants, by the very nature of their occupation, show a materialistic attitude based on a concrete, rational view of life. They caution Heinrich about separating himself from the affairs of the world and the practical life.

Yet, interwoven with a rational approach to life are the irrational, subjective elements which characterize tie world of poetry, fairy tale, myth and fable. Even as Heinrich's father seeks to diminish the significance of dreams, he tolls of his own dream which affected him deeply but whose meaning he did not learn. Heinrich, in contrast, grasps the importance of his father's dream and understands its personal significance.

The merchants, in spite cf their concern with com­mercial matters, have an interest in the anti-rational. They listen to the of the poet with pleasure and are an important source of information for Heinrich.

They tell him of the fabled poet Arion and in so doing

illustrate to Heinrich the power of song. In their tale of Atlantis they provide hin with an example of the development of a poet.

The irrational side of Heinrich’s life is comprised of dreams, fairy tales, myths and fables. Novalis makes little distinction between them. There Is .Justification for considering them jointly as fantasy, or as a part of the irrational world. They have a similar function in that they are a source of revelation to Heinrich.

They complement the rational of the real world in Heinrich's development. Novalis saw similarity in the structure of dreams and that of fairy tales. "Ein MBrchen ist eigentlich wie ein Traumbild—ohne Zu5>ui¡imcnhaii&— ein Ensemble wunderbarer Dinge une Begebenheiten" (111,253). Both are free of the limitations of chronological events.

They have a similar function. Inserted in the successive events of the narrative, they suspend time.

From this point of view, Heinrich von Often in r;cn is not an Entwicklungs roman in the usual sense of the word. Events of Heinrich's Journey do not necessarily parallel his maturation as a poet. His experiences are not limited by the chronology of events. Were it not for the tales of the merchants, for example, Heinrich would learn little on his journey about the role of the poet.

Ihe tales of Arior. and tho young singer of Atlantis provide Heinrich with examples of the lives of the poets he would not otherwise have. The insertion of a fable such as that of Arior. seems artificial when one considers that Novalis created this version of the Greek legend in his Freiberg days (1797) before he wrote the novel (1799-1800). The legend has little to do with the action of the story other than the fact that it is told by 'he nerchants. Novalis even leaves Heinrich's reactions to these stories to the reader's imagination.

One assumes that they relate to Heinrich's poetic dcvolop- nent when taken in the context of the rest of the nar­rative. Only in Fart II of the novol is a specific connection made between the poet of Atlantis and Heinrich.

Richard Samuel sees a similarity of function in the fables, myths ard legends as vehicles for Novalis’ conception of history. "MSrchcn, Mythos und Legende sind . . . für ihn die üarstellun-'.sformen, deren sich die poetische Geschichtsauffassung bedient."-^ Myth and legend differ from the fairy tale in that they are based on tradition. The fairy tale, on the other hand, is pure fabrication. But Samuel finds in Novalis· use of myth and legend the spirit of the fairy' tale. "Im Kerne ihres Wesens waltet ebenfalls das, was Novalis den 'KSrchengeiSt' nannte, nur schafft er sich in diesen beiden Gestalten eine andere innere Form als im K3rchon selber. "H

Fantasy plays an essential role in Heinrich’s development, and Novalis uses history as a stimulus to fantasy. Stories of the past and artifacts become the material of dreams. While near Rome, Heinrich’s fathor stays at a farmhouse in which there is a strong sense of history. It is full of artifacts and he feels he has entered a new realm. "Es war mir, als sei ich in einer neuen Welt ans Land gestiegen" (I, 200). He discusses ancient times with his host who Ьзз an intense identifi­cation with the past. "In den heidnischen Zeiten war er wie zu Hause, und sehnte sich mit unglaublicher Inbrunst in dies graue Altertum zurück" (I, 200).

After this exposure to history he has a dream in which he traverses many eras. "Ich war darauf ic Traume unter den herrlichsten Gestalten und Menschen, und unendliche Zeiten gaukelten mit mannigfaltigen Veränderungen vor reinen Augen vorüber" (I, 202). The circumstances of the conscious state stimulate the subconscious world of fantasy.

Thus it is that the rational and anti-rational, or reality and fantasy become inseparable. Indeed, in Part I each influences the other. The stranger’s story of the blue flower in Chapter I becomes a part of the dream Heinrich has that night. Iho dream, in turn, influences the conscious world. As he awakens the next morning he believes it to have been more than a dream, and something he shall long remember.

As the paralipomena indicates, fantasy and reality were to merge in Part II. What is real or true in history is found in the fairy tale and poetry: "Und man in MSrchen una Gedichten/ Erkennt die 'Hiten' «valaen Weltgeschichten" (1, 344-345). Novalis1 intended fusion between fantasy and reality is further illustrated in the paralipoEena where Klingsohr is called the king of Atlantis (I, 342). The figure of Klingsohr, Heinrich’s monter in the "real" world, merges with the mythical king of the merchants' tale. Two other characters of this tale, the youth and the princess, have obvious counterparts in Heinrich and Mathilde. Like the youth, Heinrich seeks and wins the hand of his beloved and becones king. Tieck says in his summary that Novalis intended to end the novel with a union of fable and truth. "Auf die übernatürlichste und zugleich natörlich3ce Weise wird alles erklürt und vollendet, die Scheidewand zwischen Fabel und Wahrheit, zwischen Vergangenheit und Gegenwart ist eingefallen: Glauben, Phantasie,

Poesie schliessen die innerste Welt auf" (I, 367). The historical elements of both fantasy and reality become a part of experience for Heinrich.

Heinrich's father rejects the dream's relevance to the present. Ho acknowledges a time in the past when divine apparitions appeared in dreams, but he believes that the nature of dreams has changed and the world is no longer suited for dreams as it was in time3 past.

"In den Alter der Welt, wo wir leben, findet der un­mittelbare Verkehr mit dem Himmel nicht mehr statt"

(I, 198). Chosen men of the Bible had the necessary receptive state of mind, which is now gone. Old stories and records are a vestige of this state and Heinrich’s father sees these as the only source of knowledge of the supernaturai world. He sees little use for the supernatural in an era of rationality. "... und statt jener ausdrflekliehen Offenbarungen redet jetzt der heilige Geist mittelbar durch den Verstand kluger und wohlgesinnter Mö und durch die Lebensweise und die Schicksale frommer Menschen zu uns" (I, 198). His emphasis on the rational contrasts with Heinrich's tendency to speak about the promptings of his heart and soul.

As ths merchants tell Heinrich: "Auen neigt 3hr Euch zum Wunderbaren, als dem Elemente der Dichter" (1, 208).

The subjective side of Heinrich's character is apparent to others.

Heinrich reverts back to an earlier era when dreams had a direct influence on life. He believes the dream of the blue flower will not prove inconsequential in his destiny. "Gewiss ist der Traum, den ich heute Wacht trflumte, kein unwirksamer Zufall in meinem Leben gewesen, denn ich fühle es, dass er in meine Seele wie ein weites Rad hineingreift, und sie im mächtigen Schwünge forttreibt" (I, 199). Heinrich is like the chosen men of the past his father speaks of, who had direct intercourse with the supernatural world.

Heinrich describes the dream as a break with the routine of the present. When the imagination is freed he is able to see events from a different perspective.

He describes this condition as: ". . . eine freie

Erholung der gebundenen Phantasie, wo sie alle Bilder des Lebens durcheinandcrwirft. ..." (1, 199). We find here a desire to transcend the present which char­acterizes Kovalle1 philosophy of history. Tieck describes this as Novalis* magic of fantasy, and says therein lies the power to join all ages ana an worlds. Ke says this is especially true of the fairy tale. (I, 35Ö).

A tale set in a different era involves a break with the present. The fables of Arion and Atlantis have a time­less quality because their historical setting is indefinite.

The fable of Arion is set in "ancient cays” (2, 210), and the story of Atlantis is "out of a later period" (2, 213).

In the dream of Chapter I Heinrich experiences heightened sensitivity. He is receptive to new images.

". . . eine himmlische Empfindung Uberströmte sein Inneres; mit inniger Wollust strebten unzählbare Gedanken in ihm sich zu vermischen; neue, nie gesehene Bilder ent­standen. . . (I, 196-197). 2t is as though through increased awareness he cones to experience .-any lives.

"A]le Empfindungen stiegen bis zu einer niegekannten Höho in ihm. Sr durchlebte ein unendlich buntes Leben; starb und kam wieder, liebte bis zur höchsten Leiden­schaft, und war dann wieder von seiner Geliebten getrennt" (3,196). As in the great book of the hermit, Heinrich sees himself in different situations and in different periods of time.

Hovalis employs a type of reincarnation. Through the fantasy of the dream Heinrich finds himself in a variety of situations. He dies a new life with a new set of experiences. He in car nation occurs not in the context of a dream. A figure of the myth finds reincarnation in the real world. Heinrich is the reincar­nation of the mythical figure of the young singer in the Atlantis tale. The story of the 3ingcr's development parallels closely Heinrich's own life.


Heinrich's contact with nature is an important factor in spiritual and intellectual development.

In nature he experiences continuity, while in the history -of man he sees change. He sees, for example, in his own era the changes brought by the crusades. Those who return bring with them the influences of foreign lands. Heinrich also experiences change in his dream of the blue flower where he is presented with the myriad changing aspects of existence. But through an unchanging nature he sees the continuity of human existence.

In Heinrich von Cfterdingen nature ar.d the human spirit are inexorably linked. In one of his prose frag­ments Novalis defines nature in terms of the Geist.

"Was ist die Natur?—ein encyclopaedischer systematischer Index oder Plan unsers Geistes" (II, 5^3)· Nature is here a revelation of the human mind. It is typical of Romantic thought that man should be placed at the center of the universo in this definition. Mature serves here as a guide to the human intellect and yet is a projection of it. In the case of Heinrich, nature is a function of his spiritual and intellectual development. "Tausend Erinnerungen wurden ihm gegenwärtig. Jeder Stein, jeder Baum, jede Anhöhe wollte wiedergekannt sein. Jedes war das Merkmal einer alten Geschichte" (I, 322). Yet the latent history in nature influences his development.

As this quotation from Port II illustrates, Heinrich has reached poetic maturity and he calls forth that v;hich lay dormant in nature.

The human spirit is subject to change with time.

When Kovalis identifies ideal periods in history he is commenting on the relative degree of development in the individual as well as society as a whole. He contrasts the changing human spirit with the continuity of nature. Because nature is constant it is the measure of man.

"Diesem Qceist3 steht die Natur als das Ewige, Unveränder­liche gegenüber. Kovalla bringt die Ita tur in Gegenaötü zum Geist.Though nature is an index to development, and thus reflects changes in the human spirit, the essen­tial, underlying qualities of nature do not change.

How then are we to account for the varying descrip­tions of nature w? find in Kovalis· writings? Heinrich is told, for example, of a time in the past when nature was ''lebendiger" and "sinnvoller" (I, 210). If nature is constant how could there have been a greater harmony in nature in antiquity as the merchants relate? Once again, the answer is found in the individual perception of the world. According to Kovalis, vhat changes is the human view of nature over time. We are aware of this in Die Christenheit oder Europa where ae describes the effects of eighteenth century rationalism on the appear­ance of nature at the time.

Dio Natur fing an iramor dürftiger auszusehen, und wir oûhcn deutlicher gewöhnt in den Clans unserer Entdeckungen, dass os nur ein geborgtes Licht war, und dass wir mit don bakannten Werkzeugen und den bekannten Methoden nicht das Wesentliche, das Gesuchte finden und construiren würden (III, 521).

The essential qualities of nature were not lost; they were only hidden. The "hidden light" of nature was not to be found with the rational tools of the En]ightenœent.

Аз hi3 novel demonstrates, Kovalla give3 to the poet the task of finding that which has been lost. The merchants explain to Heinrich how poets of ancient Greece called forth the latent forces of nature. Through the strange sounds of their marvelous instruments they awakened the "in den Stämmen verborgenen Geister. ..." (2, 211). The world becomes a projection of the poet through his art: ”... Dann fliogt vsn Einem geheimen Wort/ Das ganze verkehrte Wesen fort" (I, 345). The poet's words are able to restructure tae world.

As mentioned in my introduction, Novalis presents in Heinrich's development a reciprocal relationship which exists between the poet and the world of history. This pertains, furthermore, to his intercourse with naturo. Naturo is a source of knowledge for Heinrich but as poet he posits an ideal order in nature. Fron the wild, chaotic and malevolent in nature the ancient poets revealed ". . . das Ebenraass und die natürliche Einrichtung aller Dinge, auch die Innern Tugenden und HeilkrSfte der Zahlen, GewSchse und aller Kreaturen. . . ." (1, 211). The merchants say the aexiai-ivitj of the ancient poets has disappeared along with their art. The ". . . mannigfaltigen Töne und die sonderbaren Sympathien und Ordnungen . . (I, 211) found expression in naturo.

The character of their poetry was sublimated in nature as a reminder of their art. In Heinrich's development we sec the re-emergence of the ancient art of poetry.

Sature serves us u guide to the spirituel end intellectual history of mankind. Heinrich surveys this through nature and through people who зге close to nature. In Chapter V Heinrich meets the miner who takes him into the cave where they meet the hermit. Hiobel places this chapter at the center of the Serpentlnenwcy;c structure of the novel.^ Vihat Heinrich experiences is central to his developcaent. In Part 13 Sylrestor explains the significance of the two important figures Heinrich encounters: "... die Natur und Geschichte sind Euch unter der Gestalt eines Bergmanns und eines Einsiedlers begegnet" (3, 283). As the miner's song says, history is found in the e rth itself:

Dio mächtigen Geschichten Der längst verflossnen Zeit, Ist sie ihm zu berichten Mit Freundlichkeit bereit.

Der Vorwelt heilge Lüfte Umwehn sein Angesicht, Und in die Nacht der Klüfte Strahlt ihm ein ewges Licht (I, 2L?)

In his occupation the miner has an intimate relationship with nature. Instead of coveting its treasures, he is interested in the structures and origins of the earth.

For Heinrich he is a personal guide to nature and the . history found in it.

?he hermit personifies the past. Once a participant in the world above, he has isolated himself in a cave.

He disassociates himself with the present and immerses himself in the -world of history. "Seitdem ich in dieser Höhle wohne . . . habe ich mehr über die alte Zeit nachdenken gelernt" (I, 261). Time is in effect suspended in the cave and he is able to traverse the past.

?hus Heinrich's entry into the cave adds another dimension to his Augsburg journey. With the miner at his side he steps back in time. In the cave they find vestiges of a primeval age. Many bones and teeth cover the floor of the cave. Some are fully preserved, others show the mark of time in their disintegration. To the miner they are signs of an inconceivable antiquity. The bones are like those of no human or animal they have seen.

Heinrich departs from the horizonal space of his journey to Augsburg, to a vertical plane of time. From the present world he onters the dimension of time.

"So spielt neben der Horizontale des Raumes in der einfachen Relation von Nffhe und Ferne die Vertikale des Raumes, der eine Vertikale der Zeit entspricht, eine bedeutsame Rolle, wenn die Vergangenheit durch die Tiefe, die Erde, dos Erdinnere repräsentiert wird."^7 His journey in time is simultaneously £ journey inward. As he is about to entor the cave he describes an inner dimension of time symbolized in the architecture of a cathedral.

Die Worte des Alten hatten eine versteckte Tapetentür in ihn geöffnet. Er sah sein kleines Wohnzimmer dicht an einen erhabenen KGnster gebaut, aus dessen steinernem Boden die ernste Vorwelt emporstieg, während von cer Kuppel dio klare fröhliche Zukunft in goldnen Er.golskindern ihr singend entgegen­schwebte (1, 2^2).

Within himself he secs the dependent relationship of past and future. The foundations of the structure (antiquity) culminate in the dono (future). The totality is not possible without each part. The futuri is based on and develops from the past.

Novalis furthers the concept of the vertical in time through the respective roles of niner and astrologer.

In hi£ occupation the miner seeks to comprehend the structure of the earth and unravel the secrets of its history- The astrologer is concerned with interpreting the future. He studies the influence of heavenly bodies on human affairs. In the earth is found the world of history, and in the heavens the world of prophesy. The hermit describes miners as astrologers in reverse.

"Jener, ist der Himmel das Buch der Zukunft, während euch eie Erde Denkmale der Urwelt zeigt" {I, 260).

Novalis presents in nature the vertical dimension of time. Nature reveals not only the past, but also the future.

In Fart I Novalis relates time and space in nature.

He cor.nects, for example, geographic location with place in time. The further Heinrich travels southward, the further into the past he goes. Küpper makes this obser­vation: "Die südliche Himmelsrichtung wird von Novalis

mit der Vergangenheit koordiniert."18 As Heinrich travels southward he learns of antiquity. In the person of Zulima he meets someone who tells him υΓ the ancient world of the orient. Even his destination, Augsburg, appeared at that time "wie ein deutsches Rom," the Eternal City linked with antiquityД9

Γη Part II, as Tieck’s report indicates, Heinrich was to journey further southward (I, 365). In Italy he goes south to Pisa and Loretc. While at sea his ship is driven by a storm even further south to Greece.

He learns about the heros of antiquity and the art treas­ures of the past. "Alles wird ihm aus jener Zeit gegenwärtig. . . ." (1, 366). Still further south, he visits Jerusalem and finds Zulima's family in the orient. Finally he returns to his homeland bringing his experiences with hin. "Schliesslich kehrt Heinrich nach Deutschland, aus dem Süden nach Korden, aus der Vergangenheit in die Gegenwart zurück, die Vergangenheit, die sich in der Zukunrt erneuern soll, gleichsam mit sich helmführend. "2(-) Heinrich’s experiences in northern and southern regions merge. Similarly, past and future are synthesized. The seasons and directions converge.

Sie fahren zur Sonne, und holen zuerst den Tag, dann zur Nacht, dann nach Norden, um den Winter, alsdann nach Süden, um den Sommer su finden, von Osten bringen sie den Frühling, von Westen den Herbst. Dann eilen sie zur Jugend, daun zum Alter, zur Vergangenheit, wie zur Zukunft (3, 369)·

Thus time and space become one. Time is suspended. Heinrich's encounters merge into an ideal, eternal present.

In Chapter II Novalis relates tine to the physiognomy of a landscape. Novalis considered the Middle Ages as an intermediate period. He compares a middle position, between antiquity and the modern age, with the land between the mountains and the plains.

. . . und wie auf der OberflSche unseres .fohn- tlatze3 die an unterirdischen und überirdischen Schätzen reichsten Gegenden in der Mitte zwischen der. wilden, unwirtlichen Urgebirgen und den unermesslichen Ebenen liefen, so hat sich auch zwischen den rohen Zeiten der Barbarei und dem kunstreichen, vielwissendon und be­güterten Weltalter eine tiefsinnige und roman­tische Zeit niedergelassen, die unter schlich­tem Kleide eine höhere Gestalt verbirgt (I, 204).

At this middle point in time and place lies the wealth of a reflective and romantic period.

Though an intermediate period, and thus one of transition, Novalis pictures it as an ideal period.

He conpares it to the transition from light to darkness at twilight. "Wer wandelt nicht gern im Zwielichte, wenn die Nacht am Lichte und das Licht an der Nacht in höhere Schatten und Farben zerbricht; und also vertiefen wir uns willig in die Jahre, wo Heinrich lebte und jetzt neuen Begebenheiten mit vollen Herzen entgegenging" (I, 204). Like the diffraction of light at twilight, Novalis presents Heinrich's era as ono of heightened sensitivity to the spectrum of human existence. The world of antiquity and the world of the future influence Heinrich's perception of the world around him.

Novalis identifies a relationship between the history of a geographic region and its people. The occupants of an area are influenced by tnc history* which is latent in the natural surroundings. Zulica describes these circumstances in her Arab homeland.

las Leben auf einem lSngst bewohnten und ehemals schon durch Fielss, Tätigkeit und Neigung verherrlichten Boder. hat einen besonderen Heiz. Die Natur scheint dort menschlicher und verständlicher geworden, eine dunkle Erinnerung unter der durchsichtiger. Gegenwart wirft die Bilder der Vielt mit scharfen Um­rissen zurück . . . (3, 237).

She speaks of an incomprehensible influence of the former now invisible inhabitants. The force of the past on the present is illustrated in the crusades. There is an obscure force which urges people from new homes back to the land of their forefathers. "... und vielleicht ist es dieser dunkle Zug, der die Menschen aus neuen Gegenden, sobald eine gewisse Zeit ihres Erwachens kömmt, mit so zerstörender Ungeduld nach der alten Haimat ihres Geschlechts treibt. . . ." (3, 237). History influences human affairs directly through nature.

Nonetheless, nature is independent of ownership.

It can not become the possession of any one individual.

This is illustrated in the miner’s orientation toward nature. His conviction is that nature as property will tend to undermine the owner and destroy him. The his­torical continuity fu und lu iiôiuic u.aKeft it the property of mankind as a whole. When owned by a single person it turns to poison "... und begrabt ihn ... um aus Hand in Hand zu gehen, und so ihre Neigung, allen anzu­gehören, allmählich zu befriedigen" (I, 2/»5)· Nature has a universal quality. Kot bound to the individual existence, it contains the record of generations.

Its significance to Heinrich is aa a history of the whole mankind.

In Chapter 31 the simplicity of the court life of the landgrave is described. Novalis makes a comparison between the conveniences of these timos and those of his cwn age. Formerly, utensils were limited and pos­sessions had a functional role in their quiet life.

There was e closer relationship between tho individual and the object. The raw materials of nature aroused an intuitive spirit in the craftsman. n2og schon das Geheimnis der Natur und die Entstehung ihror Körper den ahndenden Geist an: so erhöhte die seltnere Kuns ihrer Bearbeitung, die romantische Ferne, aus der man sie erhielt. . . ,n (I, 203). The mysteries of nature and origins of its materials are seen in artifacts of man; and the "sacredness of their antiquity" heightens man's attachment to them (I, 203). They are carefully proecrvod and tranccemä individual ownership to become the heritage of several generations. "Oft wurden sie zu den Hang von geweihten Pfändern eines besondern Sagens und Schicksals erhoben, und das Wohl ganzer Reiche und weitverbreiteter Familien hing an ihrer Erhaltung" (1, 203).

Raw materials shaped by the individual remain independent of hin. The object reflects the craftnar.'s creativity and the spirit of the age in which he 'ived. Rut. the creator*s identity is soon lost, ar.d only the object continues to exist. In this way the materials of nature exert their independence.

Novalis presents nature as a key to the past. Аз Heinrich understands the mysteries of nature, t.ho aocrots of the past are revealed to him. Thus, a vantage point outside the world of the present, is es-.abli shed. As he transcends common experience he perceives the continuity of human existence.


Novalis describes Heinrich's spiritual and intel­lectual development while circunscribiré the role of the poet. An archetype, Heinrich embodies those qualities which Novalis saw os characteristic of the poet. The range of human experience, pact, present and future, is presented to this archetypal figure. In his art the poet organizes experience. Through the arrangement òf words he gives structure to his world of experience.

His creation becomes an expression of the world as he perceives it. In the character of Heinrich we observe the poet os he connects events in order to establish continuity.

Thus, on another level, Heinrich's search for contiruity symbolizes a search for meaning. In the poet's efforts to organize elements of the world about him, ve see an age-old desire to integrate existence.

Though Novalis develops a triadic sense of time, through Heinrich he attempts to demonstrate the unity of existence. Novalis was, of course, not the first to be concerned with the unity of time.

Vie bei Lessing herrscht auch bei Schiller und Bovalis die triadi sehe Struktur. Jede Ge- schicht3philosophie und -théologie glaubt die drei Dimensionen der Zeit als Prozess

der Welt selbst zu entdecken und erklärt dann die mit solcher Entdeckung enthüllte Zer- reissung für heilbar. Von der Zukunft als Bastion der Hoffnung aus wird über die Gegenwart in die Vergangenheit zurückgeschaut, bis der Blick in einer frühen heilen Zeit das Versprechen erblickt, dessen die Hoffnung auf die Zukunft zur Rechtfertigung bedarf.

In Heinrich von üftcrdir.gen the noet achieves this unity and time seems suspended. To Henrich the past is not the dead subject of books, but living history, something in which he himself participates. As Fabel of Klingsohr's fairy tale proclaims: "Leben dem Alter­ tum urd Gestalt der Zukunft!" (3, 304). Heinrich antici­pates an ideal, paradisiacal future in which the com­ponents of time blend into an eternal romantic present.

"Die grosse Wunde, an der die Welt leidet, ist die Zeit; am Ende der Tage wird der Dichter sie schliesser.."-2 As the "great wound" of time is healed, past and future become interchangable concepts. For this reason, it is difficult to limit a discussion if Novalis' concept of tine to the role of the past. If Novalis gives past and future equivalent meanings, then his view of the history of mankind and his vision of the future are inseparable. There is an organic unity of past and future.

Novalis attempts to resolve the metaphysical yearning of his age. Though he expresses the deairo to transcend a world laden with history, he n cognizes, nonetheless, the inportance of the past. Heinrich's ultimate poetical kingdom is an idealized existence, but one which is based on past truths.


1 Paul Kluckhohn and Richard Samuel, ed., Novalis Schriften. 2nd ed. (Stuttgart: Kohlharamer, I960), III, 5>1S. Subsequent references to this edition appear in the text followed by volume number and page.

2 Hans Wolfgang Kuhn, Die Apokalyptiker und die Politik (Freiberg in Breiseau: kombach, 1961), p. fc'9-

3 Theodor Haering, Novalis als Philosoph (Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 1954), P- 310.

4 In Deutsche Forschungen. Voi. 12 (Frankfurt a. M. : Diesterweg, 19¿5)-

5 In Literatur und Leben. Voi. 5 (Köln: Böhlau, 1959).

6 In Gestaltung, Umgestaltung (Leipzig; Koehler and ihnelang, 1$57)> pp. l?c-18ö.

7 Marshal Dill Jr., Germany : Λ Medern History (Ann Arbor: Univ. of Michigan Press,"Í9'6Í7, p‘."'S‘9'.

8 Haufe, p. 1S5.

9 Haufe, p. 186.

10 Samuel, Staats- und Geschichtsauffassung, p. 243.

11 Küpper, p. 63.

12 Küpper, n. 209.

13 Samuel, Staats- und Geschichtsauffassung, pp. 44-45.

14 Samuel, Staats- und Peschichtsauffassung, p. 46.

15 Samuel, Staats- und Geschichtsauffassung, p. 23.

16 Friedrich Hiebei, Novalis: Der Dichter der blauen Blume (Bern: A. Francke, 19517, p.2?2.

17 Küpper, p. 91.

18 Küpper, p. 108.

19 Hiebei, p. 269

20 Küpper, p. 109.

21 Eckhard Heftrich, Novalis : Voir. Logos der Poesie (Frankfurt a. K. : Klosterir¡ann, 19<ЭТГ Ρ· 55.

22 Haufe, p. 187.

VII. APPENDIX Plot Summary

The journey from Heinrich’s native Eisenach to Augsburg provides the circumstances for his intellectual and spiritual development. Jt serves as a framework for his education in which nature, dreams and tales give him access to other times and other places.

Heinrich is the son of an Eisenach artisan. In Part I Heinrich and his parents are visited by an unspecified stranger who tells them stories. Heinrich has a dream that night which spans many periods of time and unfamiliar regions. A mysterious blue flower appears to him and in its petals he sees the face of a young girl. He is awakened by his mother at this point but it is a dream ho will long remember. While discussing dreams, Heinrich’s father is reminded of an extraordinary dream he had os a young man while near Rome. Among the many images he saw was a flower which especially appealed to him. Recognizing the similarity with his owr. dream, Heinrich asks his father the color of the flower. His father is not able to renembor.

Heinrich's father has left him free to choose a profession. Kis mother, who has had charge of re-ring him, decides to further his education by visiting her patrician father, Schwaning, in Augsburg. Heinrich has known only the quiet and simnle court life of the land­grave of Thuringia who resides in Eisenach. He has never been beyond the environs of his native city. Heinrich and his mother travel with several merchants with the ваше deetination.

On the way, Heinrich converses with the merchants about music and poetry. They tell him the fable of the poet Arion who falls prey to a ship of thieves. Before being thrown into the sea he asks that ho be allowed to sing one last song. The thieves coaply but stop their ears so as to be unmoved by the song. At the song's conclusion the poet juaips into the sea and is saved by a well-meaning dolphin. The poet is put safely on shore and the dolphin returns with Arion's stolen treasures.

The thieves have died fighting among themselves.

The morchants then tell о talc from a later period of a young singer who wins the hand of the king's daughter in the mythical kingdom of Atlantis. The king's wife io dead and he hnc cought in vain for someone suitable to marry his daughter and provide him with an heir.

The princess meets a young man who lives in the forest and is unaware of her royalty. They celebrate a secret marriage after which she reveals her identity. They live in isolation for a year and then return with their child to the king. The young man sings two moving songs which greatly affect the king. The veiled princess is presented and all are reconciled.

A few days further into the journey Heinrich hears of chiva1jic ideals and religious кзгз at a castle. He is excited by the knights' stories of the crusades.

While there, he meets an oriental girl, Zulima, who was captured on a crusade and made a servant in the castle. She tells Heinrich of her country far away. They become friends and she offers him a lute when the time comes for him tc leave.

later, Heinrich sects «г. old miner who dcccribec tho noble art of mining. The miner is interested in the structures and origins cf the earth rather than its precious metals. He takes Heinrich and others down into a cave where they find vestiges of a primeval age. They com? upon an old hermit. Once a great warrior of the crusaces, the Count of Hohenzollern, he now lives in the depths of the corth surrounded by his books. In one great book Heinrich sees his own likeness in a variety of situations and in different eras.

At his grandfather's house Heinrich meets and falls in love with Mathilde, the daughter of з poet named Klingsohr. Klingsohr is an old friend of Schwaning's and he becomes Heinrich's mentor. They discuss the role of the poet. Through Klingsohr Heinrich learns the essence of poetry 2nd through Mathilde he learns the nature of love.

Fai-L I ends with KlingdOhi*' ъ cosmic fairy tale.

It is a complicated symbolic portrayal of the struggle between eighteenth century rationalism and the romantic reaction which followed. In the eschatological tale evil and chaos perish, and good and order triumph.

In Part II of the novel, "Die Erfüllung," Heinrich is a pilgrim in the mountains lamenting Mathilde's death.

Ohe appears in ö vision offering consolation and sends a girl who leads Heinrich to an old man. He is a gardner and physician named Sylvestor, whom Heinrich takes at first to be the old miner. Heinrich’s father had spent a night at Sylvestor's home years before near Rome.

Heinrich and Sylvestor discuss the education of children, the relation of individuals and plants to environment^, and the nnturp of conscience end ito function in the world.

Ludwig Tieck's summery of Novalis' fragménte outlines what was to be included in Part 21. Novalis planned to show Heinrich's travels to other parts of the world. Heinrich continues his search for Mathilde but finds

instead the blue flower, which he picks. He finds Mathilde and with her at his side, he is king in a transfigured land of poetry. The stcry departs increas­ingly from the limits of reality toward a synthesis of past and future, ana apotheosis of poetry.


Dill Jr., Marshall. Corranny: A N.odsrn History. Ann Arbor: Univ. of Michigan Fresa, 1961.

Ehrensperr,er, Oskar Serge. Dio opische Struktur in Noyalis* "Heinrich von ôTToiûJn,'on." WintertHur: Schellenberg, ·

Fabor, Richard. Novalis: Dio Phantasie an die Macht. Stuttgart: Metzler, l^VO.

Goldammer, Kurt. Nova lis und die ‘.’eit des Ostens: Vom Λerden uncT ver à en geschichtlichen biidkräften mantischer Weltanschauung und ueligiosität. uttgart : Krenz, Ì94b‘.

Haering, Theodor. Novalis als Philosoph. Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 1954.

Harcenberg, Friedrich von. Koval 1 л Schriften. SU. Paul Kluckhohn and Richard ¿anueTI 2nd ed. 4 vols. Stuttgart: Kohlhacmer, I960.

Häuf о, Eberhard. "Die Aufhebung der Zeit in 'Heinrich von Ofterdingen.ln Gestaltung. Umgestaltung. Ed. Joachim Müller. Leipzig: Koehler and Amelang, 1957.

Heftrich, F.ckhard. Novalis: vom Loeqs der Poesie. Frankfurt a. M.: Klöstermann, _9δ9.

Hiebei, Friedrich. Novalis: Der Dichter der blauen Blume. Bern: Francke, lV5l.

Kreft, Jörgen. "Die Entstehung der dialektischen Geschichtsmetaphysik aus den Gestalten des utopi­schen Bewusstseins bei Novalis.· Deutsche Viertel­lahrsschrift. 39 (1965), 213-245.

Küpper, Peter. Die Zeir als Erlebnis des Novalis In Literatur une ¿eben, Töl. ÇT~ 1959.

Kuhr, Hans Wolfgang. Der Anoka1 yptiher und die Politik: Studien zur Staatsthilosophie des Kovalis. frei bürg im Sreisgau: aombach, iVcl.

Mähl, Hans-Joachim. Die Idee des goldenen Zeitalters im werk des Novalis, Heidelberg: .-.inter, 1905. Mahr, Johannes. Gbcrgang zum Endlichen : per Wog des Dicht.crci in λονΰΐΐί : l!ac von Oft.erdirgen. ” Munich : Pink, 1970.

Samuel, Richard. Die poetische Staats- und Geschichts­auffassung Fricdrich von Hardenbergs. In Deutsche Forschungen. Ed. Friedrich Parzer and Julius Petersen, Vol. 12. Frankfurt a. M.: Diesterweg, 1925. ·


I was born in Detroit, Michigan February 3, 1946. After graduation from Livonia Bentley High School in 1964, I entered Wayne State University. I received a Bachelor of Arts degree in June, 1969 with a major in Gorman Language and Literature, and a minor in Music. After graduation I was an assistant instructor for English for one semester at Friedrich-List Gymnasium in Reutlingen, West Germany.

In 1970 I enrolled in the Graduate Division of Wayne State University and began work toward a Raster of Art3 degree in Gerann Language and Literature. Since 1570 I have been an academic adviser in Liberei Arts Advising at Wayne State University.

I am the recipient of о Fulbright 3tudy Grant in German Literature at the University of Munich for the 1973-74 academic year. Alter this, I clan to return to the United States for further graduate study.


ISBN (Buch)
3.9 MB
Novalis Friedrich von Hardenberg Heinrich von Ofterdingen




Titel: The Influence of History on the Role of the Poet in Novalis' "Heinrich von Ofterdingen"