Supplementary Appendix 194c.2

The Break with Christoph Martin Wieland [*]

Although the relationship between especially Wilhelm Schlegel and Caroline, on the one hand, and Christoph Martin Wieland, on the other, was initially quite cordial, [1] fundamental differences between the already iconic older writer and the younger editors of Athenaeum likely precluded any closer relationship or certainly literary collaboration.

As they did similarly in the case of Schiller and certain representatives of the late Enlightenment, [2] Wilhelm and Friedrich objected, broadly put, to Wieland having subordinated art to moral and religious purposes rather than viewing it as autonomous, the result, in their opinion, being that Wieland’s — and others’ — literary production no longer developed in a progressive fashion toward an as yet unrealized ideal. [3] On the other hand, precisely the alliance between the editors of Athenaeum and Goethe made such authors hesitant to engage in any potentially divisive public literary feuds with the periodical over such points.

Wieland especially was irritated at what he conceived as the periodical taking cover, as it were, behind the standard of Goethe. He writes to Karl August Böttiger on 28 May 1798 concerning the first volume of Athenaeum: [4]

What an odd phenomenon is this Athenaeum; the two Dioscuri (the “rascals” of Jupiter, according to Herr Heinse’s translation) seem intent on playing a grand role in the literary world of the nineteenth century. And, indeed, they are through their own talents destined to none as subaltern as that which they play pro tempora under the banner of the “true representative of the poetic spirit on earth“; [5] in the meantime, if they continue to go about things the way they have in this Athenaeo, they will end up being nothing more than ignis fatuus, rather than lucida sidera, [6] as would be worthy of genuine Dioscuri.

Though you will from time to time find truly splendid things among this “Blüthenstaub,” [7] one also finds such droll distortions, contortions, and monkey jumps generated by the oddest poetically philosophical pseudo-genius that one is genuinely entertained. Indeed, the Fichtean seed has begun to germinate some strange new plants indeed; people are having visions and speaking in new tongues, and even though not all nations (Parthians, Medes, Elamites) etc. will hear their language in theirs, at the very least anyone can read into these hollow forms and empty containers whatever he chooses.

Despite the initially cordial relationship with the Schlegels and Caroline, Wieland himself inadvertently brought about the break with them not only by persuading his son-in-law, the publisher Heinrich Gessner, to publish the older prose translation of Shakespeare by Johann Joachim Eschenburg instead of the metrical translation of Wilhelm Schlegel, but also by then failing even to acknowledge receipt of the complementary copy Wilhelm had sent to him of the first volume of his own translation. [8] Wilhelm, who seems to have authored most of the invectives against Wieland in Athenaeum, expressed his irritation in the very first issue in fragment 260: [9]

Wieland thought that his career, spanning almost half a century, began with the dawn of our literature and ended with its twilight. A really candid confession of a natural optical illusion.

The allusion is to the 1794 preface to Wieland’s collected works: [10]

Hence his career encompasses almost a half century. He began it just as the dawn of our literature began to disappear before the rising sun; he is concluding it — as it seems, with its sunset.

Wieland’s perceived backward literary orientation set him in direct opposition to Athenaeum’s progressive literary program, whence also Friedrich’s reference to him as a “negative classic,” [11] i.e., as a writer who in fact should be eclipsed by a closer approximation to the literary ideal but who understands himself as having already actualized that ideal at least in some form, a notion formulated even more drastically in fragment 18, also authored by Wilhelm: [12]

There are meritorious authors who have labored with youthful zeal for the greater education of their people, but have then desired to arrest that education at the point where their own strength left them. In vain: whoever has once aspired, be it foolishly or nobly, to take part in the advance of the human spirit must move with it or else be no better off than a dog on a spit who doesn’t want to put his paws forward.

Readers of Athenaeum might very well also recall Friedrich’s earlier reference to Goethe’s poesy as the “dawn of true art and pure beauty.” [13]

In any event, although Wieland did find merit in that first volume, he seems sooner to have thought that Wilhelm and Friedrich would eventually sow whatever wild literary oats they were intent on sowing, then find their way back to a more measured position. He continues in his letter to Böttiger on 28 May 1798: [14]

In the translations of the great Hermesianax, Callimachus etc., Messieurs W[ilhelm] and F[riedrich] are more even than Voss; [15] I have never in my life seen anything more un-German and repugnant — and yet the peculiar mustard these pathetic cooks pour over it all in poetic prose is to persuade readers that in all their lives they have never read a more wondrous work of art than the fragment of H[ermesianax]: Avez vous lu Hermesianax? – Non? – En ce cas vous n’avez rien lu, il faut lire Hermesianax, mon ami. Voilà le pendant zu Baruc (to Baruch) du vieux fablier Lafontaine. [16]

But forgive me, I, too, am involuntarily beginning to speak in tongues. I find the way they deal with our modern Lafontaine to be unfair, ill-mannered, and sycophant, for if left up to Herr ——, he can prance about with Wilhelm Meister precisely as he does with St. Julien and Flamming etc. [17] There is nothing in the world that cannot be subjected to witty derision in this arbitrary fashion. —

The best, indeed the by far best piece in this presumptuous Athenaeon [sic] seems to me to be the dialogue on grammar, whose many true and subtle remarks, considerable wit and linguistic erudition, coupled with not a little urbanity prompt the reader’s favorable anticipation of the piece to which they provide the portal. [18]

What on earth will Klopstock have to say about this new meteor? and will he be at all inclined to acknowledge the brothers’ newly created “representative of the sacred poetic spirit on earth” as the true one and to swear an oath of supremacy to him as such?

These gentlemen seem intent on yet providing us with not a few laughs, albeit while also occasionally provoking our ire. But one must reckon the one with the other and simply let them do what they will; what is good, will abide, the rest will disperse like chaff, leaving behind not a trace. The person getting the worst of it will likely be Herr Vieweg, for it is difficult to imagine how the contents of the first volume [1/1 (1798)] might generate enough reader interest, and he will certainly not be satisfied with only a few buyers.

On the other hand, it is quite possible that the neologistic ideas and expressions, noticeable especially in the “Blüthenstaub” and the aesthetic twaddle on Hermesianax & Co., will find its share of admirers among the Jewish ladies’ circles in Berlin and among those among our youth who are striving upward toward the pure Ego, [19] who for a time do impress the remaining servo percori. —

Because I do want to become familiar with the excellent masks, I would very much like to learn who this Novalis is who speaks in tongues.

After the second issue of Athenaeum was published, Wieland departed from the allegedly impartial position of his periodical Der Neue Teutsche Merkur and opened it to criticism of the newer periodical. Böttiger, his senior editor, had “been going about busily in order to bring the whole thing into discredit by reading some passages from it aloud.” [20] At the same time, however, Böttiger, citing fragment 312 on the French “barber’s art” of restoring paintings, [21] was extolling the periodical — tongue-in-cheek — in the article “Kunst. 3” in the Weimar Journal des Luxus und der Moden 13 (1798) 8 (August) 469, as “one of the wittiest and most substantive periodicals meriting the attention of both male and female readers, notwithstanding not all tastebuds may be equally well served by such spicy food.”

Wieland, however, was unwilling at this point to entertain even such tongue-in-cheek praise for Athenaeum, and in response had Böttiger publish an open letter in Der Neue Teutsche Merkur by Friedrich von Oertel defending Jean Paul against his treatment in fragment 421 [22] in Athenaeum (1798) 307–9. [23]

In the very next issue, however, Wieland objected to parts of a letter to the editors from Johann Daniel Sander, the Berlin publisher, concerning the unlikelihood that Athenaeum could attract enough readers to continue publication. After enumerating the considerable publication successes and multiple editions of the works of Jean-Paul and Lafontaine, Sander continues: [24]

|304| By contrast, word here has it that after the second issue the publisher of Athenaeum,
[because of]
|305| because of a lack of buyers, will have to cease publication. How perverse! But things will change soon, for several shiploads of sneezing powder have allegedly already been ordered from the Russian fleet and have in fact already passed through the Dardanelles; by this drastic means, the public is to be radically cured of this universally widespread case of poor taste characterized by nothing more than poor digestion.

It was not until after the initial print run that Wieland noticed the ambiguous nature of these comments, writing then to Böttiger on 20 November 1798, [25] referring to Sander’s remarks as:

a rare example of an unsuccessful, misdirected bit of irony that unfortunately equally offends all concerned parties . . . [I could not] immediately comprehend just whom the letter writer intended to deride.

That is, Wieland feared everyone mentioned in the remarks might be offended, a situation in turn resulting in the offended parties — Jean Paul, Lafontaine, Wilhelm and Friedrich Schlegel, and their Berlin publisher Vieweg — holding Wieland himself as editor responsible for publishing such insulting remarks. He thus instructed Böttiger to edit the remarks (and reset the type) beginning on page 305 to read:

will cease publication unless — something one would ardently wish* [*In any case, the paltry sales of Athenaeum prove nothing concerning its inward goodness, since with regard to both content and form it must of necessity be published in a considerably smaller format than the products of two quite justifiably popular novelists] — more readers, or preferably: buyers can be found. . . . [26]

Although unedited copies of the November issue had likely already been distributed before Böttiger incorporated these editorial changes to page 305, there is no documentation indicating whether Wilhelm and Friedrich saw the unedited version. But no matter, even the edited version generated what was apparently a “terrible war” between Wieland and the Schlegels, one documented apparently only in a letter Heinrich Meyer wrote to Goethe on 28 November 1798, which mentions how

the old friend [Wieland] intends to completely cease publishing the journal [Der Neue Teutsche Merkur], his wife is wailing, his children complaining, the editor [Böttiger] is in despair . . . [27]

Wieland hereafter withdrew from any direct attacks on Athenaeum, writing a short time later to an otherwise unidentified friend: [28]

Another request I would very much like to make of you is not to have anything further to do with the Schlegel brothers & Co.; they are nothing but coarse, crude, albeit witty and clever rogues with no inhibitions who have nothing to lose, have no conception of propriety, and with whom one would but soil onseself even were one to be victorious over them — which, however, is virtually impossible, since even when beaten and vanquished they merely get up again immediately and continue on all the more annoyingly.

Wieland thereafter directed his own invectives in Der Neue Teutsche Merkur largely against the critical philosophy as represented by Kant and Fichte and all those who by not opposing such philosophy, “were through their very inactivity indirectly promoting it.” [29]

At the same time, he similarly castigated political Francophilia in various forms, prompting Caroline’s remarks to Ludwig Ferdinand Huber on 24 November 1799 (letter 257) that

this same Wieland who as a youth talked like an old woman is now, as an old man, railing like an ill-raised brat against everything around him that is great and that he does not understand — against the revolution, against philosophy, etc.

In a review of Herder’s anti-Kantian piece in Athenaeum (1800) 268–83, here 270, August Ferdinand Bernhardi alluded to Wieland’s patronizing review mentioned above, remarking that “the rubbing with mercury [scil. Die Neue Teutsche Merkur], by the way, of the sort undertaken shortly after the birth of this breech, stillborn lamb will sooner increase its death throes than save its life.”

It was amid this hostile atmosphere between the two camps that toward the end of 1798 Wilhelm and Friedrich began planning the “annihilation of old Wieland.” [30] Friedrich writes trenchantly to Caroline on 20 October 1798 (letter 205):

I do now believe that Voss and Wieland are the Garve and Nicolai of poesy. There is apparently a genuinely evil principle, an Ahriman, in German literature now. [31] That is what they are, negative classics. It seems to me that all their thoughts and endeavors are not merely insignificant and less good; their poesy is in fact absolutely negative, no less than French poesy from Corneille to Voltaire. It is not just that it possesses no value at all; it possesses actual non-value and must thus be declared in a state of siege. And I hope to God that Wilhelm’s annihilation of the old Wieland not remain merely an unlaid egg.

In a letter discussing the anticipated sale of the publishing rights to Athenaeum to Heinrich Fröhlich, Friedrich maliciously considers making this “annihilation” a point of the new contract, not least because both he and the new publisher expected such sensation would increase sales (22 December 1798 [letter 213]):

And one other strange, almost comical point. He may have heard something from Vieweg about your taking up arms against Wieland. He is so attracted to this idea, believing it will have such a grand effect, that he is requesting and indeed wishes to receive this piece for one of the four (initial) issues that he has agreed to undertake. — I would think you could probably do him this favor, since Wieland cannot become any more angry than he already is in any case and because Fröhlich is certainly correct as far as the anticipated effect is concerned, something already evident from your review of Voss and from the statements [?] concerning Lafontaine and Richter. How lovely if Wieland’s literary death could be one of the points of the contract. —

But all kidding aside, let me entreat you to find the opportunity in this regard to write a few polite and accommodating lines to Fröhlich yourself, who does, after all, really deserve the gesture, and to tell him yourself whether, the extent to which, and when you can and intend to fulfill his request. [32]

Wilhelm’s great “annihilation” of Wieland, which was supposed to take place in the Jahrbücher the brothers were anticipating publishing later after the demise of Athenaeum, never materialized. Its prelude is essentially the “Citatio edictalis” in the “Litterarischer Reichsanzeiger” accusing Wieland of plagiarism from classical authors, i.e., lack or originality: [33]

Citatio edictalis [34]

Insofar as proceedings concerning the poesy of Hofrath and Comes Palatinus Caesareus [imperial count palatine] Wieland in Weimar have been opened at the behest of Messieurs Lucian, Fielding, Sterne, Bayle, Voltaire, Crebillon, Hamilton, and many other authors Concursus Creditorum [conflict among creditors], and insofar as various suspicious things and possessions by all appearances belonging to Horace, Ariosto, Cervantes, and Shakspeare have been found in said collection, each and every person in a position to make similar claims titulo legitimo [with a legitimate claim] is herewith summoned to report such within a stipulated Saxon period [from medieval Saxon law, a term of six weeks and three days] or thereafter to remain silent.

It will be recalled that the understanding of “classical” works in Athenaeum was essentially that they should be eclipsed, surpassed, or rendered superfluous by later works by both the original and subsequent authors. Only thus do the authors of those original works become classics themselves. The net effect of such a view was perpetual literary development, not merely a reproach of the Enlightenment inclination to value the past over contemporary literature. Wieland himself engaged in a simultaneously respectful and creative reception of earlier authors, whereas Wilhelm and Friedrich sooner viewed such reception as mere eclecticism than as something that might take literary development further, whence the reproach of Wieland and others as “negative classics.”

Another thorn in the side of the editors of Athenaeum was the fact that their own publication was being published in the small octavo format (see the derisive remarks above in Böttiger’s edited version of Sander’s letter), whereas Wieland’s collected works were being published in four different formats, including a generous quarto edition of thirty volumes by 1799 along with six supplementary volumes. Wilhelm vented his satirical ire in one of the pieces included in the “Litterarischer Reichsanzeiger” [35] preceding the Citatio edictalis concluding that section:

Wieland will be publishing supplements to the supplements of his collected works; the title will be Works I consider too inferior even for the supplements and therefore utterly reject. These volumes, however, will contain unprinted pages, which considering the quality of the smooth vellum paper will be extraordinarily attractive.

Wilhelm’s most scornful assessment, however, occurs in his Vorlesungen über schöne Literatur und Kunst 3:80–81–83, 244:

But the writer who has preeminently been viewed as our classic writer and who has been compared with the more renowned among those of modern foreign countries, and who through the great number of his works and their widespread popularity during a certain period has occupied the most considerable space in our own golden age, namely, Wieland, struck out on an even more wrongheaded path in the imitation of foreign models. No one, not even his most studious admirers, has likely ever maintained that he was an independent, original thinker who owed all his creations to his own imagination. His imitations, virtually to the point of plagiarism, of writers such as Cervantes, Lucian, and others are all too obvious.

Whence, however, did he primarily derive that which one so esteemed under the name of his philosophy and morality, and because of which one boasted that it was he who introduced wisdom into the society of the graces, and that his writings were not only an inexhaustible source of entertainment, but of instruction as well? Doubtless from the French Encyclopedists, especially from the likes of Helvetius, Voltaire, etc. I have elsewhere assessed the ruinous spirit of unphilosophy, irreligiosity, unhistory, and immorality that these writers breathe and wherein they became the organ of the most extreme corruptness in their age.

No one, however, can fail to see that in his own literary productions, Wieland consistently had before him the dissolute stories, novels, and fairy tales of the likes of Hamilton, Crebillon, Voltaire, etc. Hence even into our own golden age of literature the imitation of French models has followed us — the French of whom it is, after all, commonly acknowledged that among all contemporary European nations at issue in this discussion, they have demonstrated the least degree of poetic spirit and in fact almost a complete absence thereof. . . .

This [various previously discussed dissolute, lascivious portrayals] is indeed the most condemnable abuse, namely, to turn poesy into a procurer of vice. But do not misunderstand me; I am not saying that anything proscribed by a sense of social decency, indeed even extremely dissolute or ardent portrayals, is wholly impermissible in poesy; the point is merely that everything depends on such portrayals being justified by a higher artistic purpose.

Among those [French] writers, however, everything is designed to belittle human nature, and to cast suspicion on every more noble, pure excitation, and particularly to portray all moral demureness as false and hypocritical, to portray it as if sensual passion were the center of all human action, and as if every person were constantly entertaining nothing but dissolute thoughts. Unfortunately, Wieland, too, cannot be acquitted of this condemnation; indeed, it is all the worse in his case the less audaciousness and cool imagination he employed in carrying through such ill intention. This internal dissolution of disposition also comes to expression in his work through a laxity of forms; here, too, he has followed the French more than one normally believes. . . .

And I hear Wieland called the “German Ariosto,” and he himself extols this poet as his leader. . . . But Ariosto, notwithstanding his lower status among the Romantic artists, is nonetheless infinitely superior to Wieland as regards invention, mastery within his rich and robust portrayals, and even in the style of his jests, and it is in fact difficult to discover even a single element of similarity between them. Wieland is himself so confused about the genres of Ariosto that he cannot even distinguish between a chivalric poem and fairy tale. . . .

What a disservice to Boccaccio it would be to call Wieland “our Boccaccio” or even to claim a kindred spirit in their writings.

Wilhelm continues ibid., 244:

I prefer to say nothing about Wieland’s verse novellas, which are the non plus ultra of lax dissipation; take, e.g., his “Bruder Lutz und die Seneschallin,” [36] a story borrowed from the Fabliaux [37] and, if properly told, a genuinely spicy story. But such a blind drive to produce rhymes, and to pile verses endlessly one on top of the other, without effect, without purpose, without goal, leaves the impression of a poetic starling.

Böttiger recounted Wieland’s reaction to the second volume of Athenaeum in 1799: [38]

I never considered myself a great writer; for a long time my poems were merely studies on my own behalf. When I did write more seriously, I was never thinking of specific passages [from previous writers]. I merely adapted ideas that I myself had in the meantime appropriated.

It might be pointed out in conclusion that at least Wilhelm Schlegel did not sustain this hostile attitude toward Wieland; indeed, even on 18 January 1798 he was writing to Wieland’s publisher in Leipzig, Georg Joachim Göschen, that though Wieland’s work might well be overshadowed later by subsequent masterpieces, “no criticism in the world” could diminish either Wieland’s fame or, at the very least, the sales figures of his works. And even were he to be read less frequently later than presently, his place in the history of German literature would remain secure. [39] And considerably later, in 1828, Wilhelm wrote: [40]

In my own critical writings, one will hardly find a dozen lines concerning Wieland; and what, in any case, could such criticism accomplish contra such widespread fame based on fifty volumes of work? And even if in the meantime his laurels might have fallen, such occurred presumably simply because they became wilted and brittle. To my knowledge, no thorough piece of criticism has yet demonstrated how he came to be the idol of the German reading public and then even remained such for twenty or thirty years, nor what he genuinely contributed to the development of the language, poetic structure, and forms of our poesy. It is doubtless high time one ceased neglecting this still widely beloved writer.


[*] For a thorough and nuanced discussion of Wieland’s reaction to Athenaeum and its editors, see esp. Heinz Härtl, “‘Athenaeum’-Polemiken,” in Debatten und Kontroversen: Literarische Auseinandersetzungen in Deutschland am Ende des 18. Jahrhuderts, ed. Hans-Dietrich Dahnke and Bernd Leistner, 2 vols. (Berlin, Weimar 1989), 2:246–357, here specifically the section “Wieland, der ‘negative Classiker,'” 261–74. Back.

[1] See, e.g., Caroline to Karl August Böttiger on 5 January 1797 (letter 176) with note 1. Back.

[2] See supplementary appendix 194c.1 Back.

[3] See Friedrich Schlegel in “Über das Studium der griechischen Poesie,” in Deutschland (1796) 8, no. 6, 412: “Art is infinitely perfectible, nor is any absolute maximum possible within its perpetual development.” Back.

[4] Karl August Böttiger, Litterarische Zustände und Zeitgenossen, 2 vols. (Leipzig 1838), 2:180–81. Back.

[5] Athenaeum (1798) 103; Wieland included the page number for Böttiger. Back.

[6] Latin, “foolish, silly fire”; “bright stars.” The Disocuri were the twin sons of Zeus (dios kuroi) Castor and Pollux, often identified with the constellation Gemini. Involved in various heroic deeds, they eventually acquired immortality, albeit spending half their time in heaven and half on earth. Back.

[7] An allusion to “Blüthenstaub,” Friedrich von Hardenberg’s (Novalis) contribution in Athenaeum (1798) 70–106; the title translates variously as “pollen, flower-dust, blossom-dust.” Back.

[8] Shakspeare’s Dramatische Werke übersetzt von August Wilhelm Schlegel, vol. 1, Romeo und Julia, Ein Sommernachtstraum (Berlin 1797) (appeared May 1797). Back.

[9] Athenaeum (1798) 248; numbering from Jugendschriften 2:246; trans. Friedrich Schlegel’s Lucinde and the Fragments, trans. Peter Firchow (Minneapolis 1971), 199. Back.

[10] C. M. Wieland’s Sämmtliche Werke, vol. 1, Geschichte des Agathon, part 1 (Leipzig 1794), iii–iv. Back.

[11] Friedrich to Caroline on 20 October 1798 (letter 205). Back.

[12] Athenaeum (1798) 182–83; trans. Peter Firchow Friedrich Schlegel’s Lucinde and the Fragments 163. Back.

[13] “Ueber das Studium der Griechischen Poesie,” in Deutschland (1796) 2, no. 2, 258–59. Back.

[14] Litterarische Zustände und Zeitgenossen, 2:181–82. Back.

[15] “Elegien aus dem Griechischen,” Athenaeum (1798) 107–40, which included fragments from Phanocles, Hermesianax of Colophon, and Callimachus; Friedrich seems to have authored the introductions, Wilhelm the translations. Back.

[16] Fr., “Have you read Hermesianax? No? In that case you have read nothing; you must read Hermesianax, my friend. Here is the pendant to Baruch of the old fabulist Lafontaine.” — The French poet and fabulist Jean de Lafontaine, having chanced to read the prayer of the Jews in the book of Baruch in the Old Testament, was so struck by the piece that went around asking everyone he saw, “Avez-vous lu Baruch?” (Have you read Baruch?). The expression came to be used proverbially for a sudden, striking discovery. (The Oxford Companion to French Literature, ed. Paul Harvey and J. E. Heseltine [Oxford 1969], 50–51). Back.

[17] “Mode-Romane. Lafontaine” (Novels of fashion. Lafontaine; co-authored by Caroline), Athenaeum 1 (1798) 149–67 (within a critique of more recent literature) (Sämmtliche Werke 12:11–27). — August Lafontaine, Saint Julien (Frankfurt, Leipzig 1798); Leben und Thaten des Freiherrn Quinctius Heymeran von Flaming, 4 vols. (Berlin 1795–96). Back.

[18] By Wilhelm Schlegel, “Die Sprachen: Ein Gespräch über Klopstocks grammatische Gespräche,” Athenaeum (1798) 3–69. Back.

[19] An allusion to the popularity of Fichte’s philosophy. Back.

[20] Goethe to Schiller on 25 July 1798 (Correspondence Between Goethe and Schiller 2:121). Back.

[21] Athenaeum (1798) 263. Back.

[22] Minor’s numbering. Back.

[23] See Caroline’s letter to Friedrich on 14–15 October 1798 (letter 205); for the text of the fragment from Athenaeum, see Friedrich’s letter to Wilhelm Schlegel and Auguste Böhmer on 18 December 1797 (letter 194) with note 4. Back.

[24] Der Neue Teutsche Merkur 13 (1798) 11 (November) 304–5; original pagination indicated. Back.

[25] Cited in Albert R. Schmitt, “Wielands Urteil über die Brüder Schlegel mit ungedruckten Briefen des Dichters an Carl August Böttiger,” The Journal of English and Germanic Philology 65, no. 4 (October 1966) 637–61, here 645. Back.

[26] As was customary at the time in many periodicals, for the sake of readability Der Neue Teutsche Merkur included at the bottom right of each page — offset — the first word appearing at the top right of the following page. Unfortunately, the next word appearing on the top of page 305 was aus (here translated “because of”), which accordingly initially (i.e., before editing) appears on the bottom of page 304 as well as the top of 305, but later (i.e., after editing) solely at the bottom of page 304, since 305 no longer incorporated it. That is, the aus offset at the bottom of page 304 leads a reader to expect something syntactically quite different than what in fact appears in the new (edited) continuation on the top of 305:


An attentive reader would presumably notice that the following material had been edited or that an otherwise unexplained typographical error had crept in. Back.

[27] Heinrich Meyer to Goethe on 28 November 1798, Goethes Briefwechsel mit Heinrich Meyer, ed. Max Hecker, 2 vols. (Weimar 1919), 2:68. Back.

[28] Cited in Ludwig Hirzel, Wielands Beziehungen zu den deutschen Romantikern (Bern 1904), 50. Back.

[29] “Ein Wort über Herders Metakritik zur Kritik der reinen Vernunft,” a positive review of Herder’s anti-Kantian Verstand und Erfahrung: Eine Metakritik zur Kritik der reinen Vernunft, 2 vols. (Leipzig 1799); Wieland published the review in Der Neue Teutsche Merkur (1799) no. 2 , 71. Back.

[30] Friedrich to Caroline on 20 October 1798 (letter 205); to Caroline and Wilhelm in May 1799 (letter 237). Back.

[31] Ahriman, the Grecized version of the Avestan angro mainyu (“evil spirit”), in Parsism the embodiment of all that is evil, the supreme devil, and the initiator of the 9999 illnesses. Back.

[32] See also Wilhelm to the bookseller Heinrich Frölich on 18 January 1799 (unpublished manuscript cited in [1913], 1:729): “My brother has informed you of my intention to publish a general critique of Wieland’s collected works. I do not consider this piece of work to be otherwise particularly difficult — it is merely that the large number of volumes to be perused does require considerable leisure time, something I do, however, hope to gain during the summer months.” Back.

[33] Athenaeum (1799) 340 (Sämmtliche Werke 8:49). Back.

[34] See John Reeves, History of the English Law, from the time of the Saxons to the end of the reign of Philip and Mary, 4 vols. (London 1814), 4:11:

The commencement of a civil suit in the ordinary jurisdiction, consisted in the citation of the defendant, or reus. Citations were of different kinds; they were verbal or real. A verbal citation was either public or private. A public citation was by fixing up publicly the letters of citation (edictalis citatio) or proclaiming them by the mouth of a crier, or by a bell or trumpet. A private citation was, when a person was cited by a messenger, the party, or a notary at his own house. It was called a real citation, if the person of the party was apprehended. The citation edictalis was to be made use of only where a person could not be otherwise cited: as if it was unsafe to attempt to come to him, this citation was to be affixed in some place near the domicil of the party, so that he might be reasonably supposed to have knowledge of it.

Wilhelm’s piece here functions as such a public legal citation on behalf of several creditors (here: authors) with respect to a debtor whose net worth is not sufficient for satisfying them all. Back.

[35] Athenaeum (1799) 331. Back.

[36] “Die Wasserkufe oder der Einsiedler und die Seneschallin von Aguilegia,” Der Neue Teutsche Merkur (1795) 3 (March) 239–70. Back.

[37] French verse tales, usually of a burlesque nature, for both reading and recitation, produced during the 12th and 13th centuries. Back.

[38] Litterarische Zustände und Zeitgenossen, 1:249. Back.

[39] Hansjörg Schelle, “Ein unbekannter Brief August Wilhelm Schlegels an Georg Joachim Göschen,” Christoph Martin Wieland: North American Scholarly Contributions on the Occasion of the 250th Anniversary of His Birth 1983, ed. Hansjörg Schelle (Tübingen 1984), 594–614, here 602–3. Back.

[40] Sämmtliche Werke 7:xxix. Back.

Translation © 2012 Doug Stott