Friedrich von Schlegel

Friedrich von Schlegel (frē´drĬkh fən shlā´gəl), 1772–1829, German philosopher, critic, and writer, most prominent of the founders of German romanticism. Educated in law at Göttingen and Leipzig, he turned to literature, writing Die Griechen und Römer (1797). It was followed by experimental literary works, notably Lucinde (1799) and Alarcos (1802). With his brother, August Wilhelm von Schlegel, he founded and edited the Athenaeum, the principal organ of the romantic school. His lectures at Jena (1800) and in Paris (1802) had a widespread influence. His study in Paris of Sanskrit and of Indian civilization later contributed to his outstanding work, Über die Sprache und Weisheit der Indier [on the language and wisdom of India] (1808). From 1808 to 1819 he engaged in political and diplomatic activities and also wrote works in history and literature. At Vienna, after 1818, he edited Concordia, issued his collected works (1822–25), and lectured on philosophy. Schlegel, during his early period, held that comprehension of life depends on the richness and variety of experience. He called it "romantic irony" that truth changes from experience to experience and that wisdom depends on the recognition of the fickleness of truth. Later, after he and his wife, Dorothea von Schlegel, had joined (1808) the Roman Catholic Church, he became more conservative. Among his translated lectures are The Philosophy of History (tr. 1835), The Philosophy of Life and the Philosophy of Language (tr. 1847), and The History of Literature (tr. 1859).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2015, The Columbia University Press.

Friedrich von Schlegel: Selected full-text books and articles

Impossible Individuality: Romanticism, Revolution, and the Origins of Modern Selfhood, 1787-1802 By Gerald N. Izenberg Princeton University Press, 1992
Librarian’s tip: Chap. Two "Friedrich Schlegel"
Enlightenment, Revolution, and Romanticism: The Genesis of Modern German Political Thought, 1790-1800 By Frederick C. Beiser Harvard University Press, 1992
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 10 "The Early Politics and Aesthetics of Friedrich Schlegel"
Philosophy, Literature, and the Human Good By Michael Weston Routledge, 2001
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 1 "Life as Art: Kant, Schlegel, Nietzsche"
Revenge of the Aesthetic: The Place of Literature in Theory Today By Michael P. Clark University of California Press, 2000
Librarian’s tip: Chap. Three "Friedrich Schlegel and the Anti-Ekphrastic Tradition"
The Lion and the Eagle: Interdisciplinary Essays on German-Spanish Relations over the Centuries By Conrad Kent; Thomas K. Wolber; Cameron M. K. Hewitt Berghahn Books, 2000
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 8 "Reassessing Friedrich Schlegel's Reading of Don Quixote in Light of His Early Writings"
The Politics of Permanent Parabasis By Chaouli, Michel Studies in Romanticism, Vol. 42, No. 3, Fall 2003
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Hermeneutics and the Study of History By Wilhelm Dilthey; Rudolf A. Makkreel; Frithjof Rodi Princeton University Press, 1996
Librarian’s tip: "Friedrich Schlegel and the Application of These Ideas to Criticism and Philology" begins on p. 110
Kierkegaard, Religion, and the Nineteenth-Century Crisis of Culture By George Pattison Cambridge University Press, 2002
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Friedrich von Schlegel begins on p. 116
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