Supplementary Appendix: Encomium for the Most Recent Philosophy (1802)

Encomium for the Most Recent Philosophy [*]

|2| And yet these men, who in deede know nothing, wil take upon them to know all thyng. Yea wheras they know not theim selves, nor see not oftentimes a pitte, or a stone liyng in theyr waie, either for poreblyndnesse, or because theyr witte is not at home, yet make thei theyr avaunt to see & perceive plainely theyr Idees, theyr universals, formes separate, fyrst mattiers, quidditees, and Ecceites, thynges so subtile, and so fine, as not Lynceus hym selfe coulde espie theim out . . . . they dooe cast a miste before simple folks eies. — Erasmus, Moriae encomium. [1]


|3| Prepare yourselves, good public, to hear grand, and ever grander things from me, things no tongue, not even that of an angel, and no quill, not even one made from the wings of the archangel Gabriel as stood at the disposal of the prophet Mohammed, has ever brought to light. [2] For I am proclaiming my praise for an original |4| philosophical race of apes that with sublime sovereignly is imitating and surpassing its own Lord and Master — in grimaces, all the while courting with bended neck this, its Alexander.

Hail to you, O Enlightenment — for you have claimed victory! The Prince of Darkness has just sent the key that he might discreetly surrender his fortress. I feel like a courier accompanied by twelve trumpeting postilions who is to proclaim to our astonished world |5| heroic deeds that can scarcely be believed — so strongly does my chest swell. In the meantime, however, while I catch my breath in anticipation of even more powerful trumpet blasts, allow me address a modest prayer: first to you, O philosophical heroes and gods whom I will praise and extol, that you might have sympathy and compassion with my weakness and presumption, should it please you to construe a priori both my own paltriness and the praise I intend to offer you, just as Fichte recently did in the case of Nicolai [3] — — then also to you, Saint Erasmus, |6| that, in addition to the motto I have borrowed from you, you might also send the spirit that permeates the Encomium Moriae [Praise of Folly] to initiate me into my undertaking.


|7| My dear reader, you may well grimace when I confess to you straightaway that the heroic epic I will extol for you today consists in nothing other than disputational theses that have been published in Bamberg under the title

Theses for the attainment of the philosophical doctorate defended on 26 September 1801 by Joseph Reubel, the Swabian, Doctor of Medicine, under the presiding chair Herr Geistlicher Rath and Professor Georg Nüsslein.

Though you may well believe that the end result will be but a batrachomuomachia, [4] and be exceedingly vexed — amid the plethora of our nine thousand, often distinguished books go unreviewed in our literary journals, their authors and publishers languishing about on the thresholds of the editors as did earlier the sick, blind, and paralyzed at the Pool of Bethesda [5] — that I intend to present in a separate publication, as if in triumph, various philosophical disputational theses published in Bamberg |8| — —

I am certain that upon closer scrutiny of this deed as whose herold I am honored to function you will retract your precipitate judgment. For without a doubt, they, namely, these Nüsslein-Reubelian disputational theses, deserve the highest ranking, and a unique niche, for they contain the highest sublimate of the most recent philosophy, one that threatens the scholarly and scientific world with a revolution that might be viewed as a counterpart to that which Luther’s disputational theses, nailed to the church door in Wittenberg, brought upon the ecclesiastical world.

Hence read, be astonished, and, once you have recovered, decide whether they do not merit for stereotypy in Germany to erect its first monument with them.

1. Knowledge stands under the form of duplicity.

2. The capacity for sensation stands under the form of active cohesion.

|9| 3. Through ideal-realism, Fichtean idealism found its theory.

4. The Wissenschaftslehre [6] is a construction of the understanding, and hence not philosophy.

5. Logic (when it emerges) is concerned with the highest abstraction of the understanding insofar as it is to construe its pure form, hence it is not philosophy.

6. No category can be found through an analysis of the capacity of understanding.

7. The concept of applied logic is inherently self-contradictory.

8. What one calls the philosophy of morality and law is positioned as a mediate member within idealism as the true practical philosophy.

|10| 9. Whosoever’s consciousness has emerged on a single pole within the overall magnet of conscious nature is incapable of philosophizing and lacks all sensibility for true poesy.

10. There is no inborn justice and right.

11. Woman is that which determines justice and right.

12. The most primal rights are those between man and woman; all others, those between homogeneous human individuals, are derived rights.

13. The mutual amalgamation of these rights is love, and love itself is a penetration into totality.

14. In the attainment of totality, law and justice, like understanding, must become a vain chimera.

|11| 15. Intelligence in its highest potence is true non-difference, which, when moving out of itself, disassembles itself into truth and beauty; this is the spirit of the poet.

16. The poetic spirit thus brings the non-difference of its potence into polarity in truth and beauty, whereas the aesthetician moves with these poles back into non-difference. The two thus stand in equal potence, just in reversed relationships.

What profound wisdom! Here Schelling’s transcendental idealism, embellished with Schlegel’s language of genius and the gods (heaven forbid that anyone here thinks of anything associated with quiddities and entities after the fashion of the early scholastics!), blinds the eyes of the moral seer.

Kant’s transcendentalism, notwithstanding how from the most profound depths the rabble of philosophers marveled at the loftiness of his flight, was by far not transcendental enough, carried along as it was merely by a single Mongolian hot-air balloon fueled by burning straw. Although [Jakob Sigismund] Beck did indeed drive the |12| balloon considerably higher, he did so only in the modest role of commentator.

Much more boldly, however, did the siblings Fichte and Schelling enter the scene; after initially seeming to extend their hands to Kant, they rejected him, proceeding then to transcendentalize among their own clan, far beyond the horizon of mere humans.

Sublimi feriam sydera vertice. [7]

There then appeared alongside these luminaries other new philosophical Blanchards — — Bouterweck, and the less well-known Weber and Kuhn, and Rückert and Weiss, each of whom addressed the public with crystal-clear proofs that their flights were the hitherto highest, and with attempts to coerce the reader to understand [8] (and thereby also to de-actualize the latter’s money purse), a veritable aerial battle that Blumauer, had such taken place earlier, would have quite preferred to that of the four faculties in book 5 of the travesty of the Aeneid. [9]

The twins Fichte and Schelling, the most fêted by such gawkers, thus seemed to swim forth essentially along precisely |13| the same course till it suddenly occurred to them to conduct measurements, whereby Fichte discovered but a small distinction between them, Schelling one all the greater. New appellations to the good-natured public emerged. [10] From the amphitheater of referees, Bamberg, in the person of its representative Nüsslein, initially gave the nod to Schelling, who promptly and gratefully extended his hand to Nüsslein, ascending then on high with him; and now, once again, the transcendental hot-air balloon gondola facilely floats away over the circles of becoming, on into the heaven of intelligence in its highest potence. They have disappeared — all one now hears is the derisive laughter at the allegedly low flight of the adored Herr Fichte.

Dear reader, futilely do you strain your eyes. Solar expanses here are mere inches. Make it easier for yourself by engaging a negative standard, and know that such expanses transcend both common as well as logically cultivated human understanding. (See theses 4, 5, 14.) Hopefully you can now become oriented, or, to borrow a Schellingian-Nüssleinian metaphor, |14| polarize where they actually are, or at least where they belong.

Be not led astray by the slag of common understanding still clinging to these thinkers, e.g., that in the initial thesis concerning the form of duplicity or the concurrence between the objective and the subjective, between the inherently unconscious and the conscious in every act of knowing, a proposition fundamental to Schelling’s transcendental idealism, the act of knowing is assumed to be a fact, commensurate with common understanding, notwithstanding how adamantly someone like Pyrrho refuses to tolerate this presupposition; similar also to the way Kant’s critique posits as its basis the possibility of experience as a fact of the understanding, notwithstanding how the skeptic Hume, against whom Kant was writing, had indeed made use of it himself.

But what does any of this even matter? All these presuppositions are, after all, merely the framework of the building that eventually merely collapses — or, to remain within our allegory, the rope holding the hot-air balloon till the latter has been inflated; it is then sundered, and once the journey has actually begun, one casts ordinary understanding away as useless ballast so that one may soar ever higher.

One would, however, think that |15| the philosopher, even while scorning healthy human understanding in principle, would nonetheless at least respect it enough not to transgress against it. —

Common understanding, focused as it is on knowledge as a fact, thus also demands a thing-in-itself, the real reality to which knowing, which is allegedly more than merely thinking, necessarily refers, since a merely ideal reality is basically merely an idea, and as such reverts back to what is thought.

These considerations notwithstanding, in his Transcendental Idealism (p. 7, section 2), Schelling calls such belief in things outside us — (or things in themselves) — the reality of the objective) the one basic prejudice [11] — — and in so doing, after managing to beg common human understanding for entry into his philosophy, now casts it out the door in an act of self-contradiction.

My good friend, precisely because you are infected with this basic prejudice, the original sin of philosophy, however, let me advise you not to trust your own judgment, — — contradictions, circular arguments, petitiones principii, [12] and all the transgressions against logic are no longer of consequence to transcendental idealists, who now have in their power the absolute itself, |16| or the point of non-difference, or totality.

From this most lofty perspective, the field of phenomena includes not merely things with whose assertion the idealist has, as it were, already pampered himself, but the entirety of logic itself. Logic, which deals with the highest abstractions of understanding, becomes, just as does an appearance or phenomenon (section 5); hence understanding itself, and with it the entirety of logic, is at the attainment of totality merely a chimera (thesis 14).

The character of such a philosophy, of course, is unintelligibility. It transferred the mysteries, which it tried to take from theology, over to itself. One must not be surprised when the masters at the lectern understand neither one another nor even themselves individually, something demonstrated quite sufficiently by the objections they level at one another precisely in this regard.

Hence it is eminently easy to elevate this murkiness of the subject matter itself by means of affected murkiness of language, metaphors, and other such devices — e.g., duplicity, polarity, total magnet. Nonetheless, everything should and must be understood. —

Those who dare to refer to transcendental assertions as being absurd or ridiculous are themselves called blockheads or even scoundrels, |17| and are met by the appearances of “crystal clear” proofs that coerce one into understanding. Hence my advice is to understand even though you understand nothing, just as one sometimes thinks one believes even when one believes nothing.

Because no one wants to be called a blockhead, the great masses cry out and rejoice at the brilliant clarity when in fact they are blind as bats. Follow their example. — Increase the mass of criers that you may at least enjoy a measure of peace and respect.

And if you similarly fail to understand how it is even conceivable that Nüsslein could procreate from within himself the great Schelling and the philosophemes he learned from him, and then communicated them to Joseph Reubel the Swabian, who also begot them out of himself; or how Nüsslein begot the printer whom he charged with printing the theses, and even set his type; or how Joseph Reubel the Swabian, after having created Swabia, where he was himself begotten, and Bamberg, where he studied philosophy, as well as the presiding minister under whom, and the opponents with whom, and the audience before whom he disputed, and the objections he had to resolve — how he created all these things from within himself — — |18| consider only that the incomprehensibility is for this reason not yet an impossibility. — Transcendental idealism also has its secrets, secrets that philosophizing reason alone is able to grasp from its most lofty of perspectives.

You do not understand how you yourself create woman from within yourself and how the original rights between her and you can come about, even though according to transcendental idealism the former can possess only ideal reality; and why such gender duplicity emerged precisely only among the human race and certain animal species. —

Just be patient, from the perspective of intelligence in its highest potence the scales will fall from your eyes, and your I, transfigured into the deity, will playfully beget worlds from within itself and just as facilely have them vanish.

Nothing is more beautiful than this autotheism. Just behold how such ego-gods are sprouting forth at our universities like mushrooms, and how comfortable they are in such a state! Now that they are self-gods, having to recognize no other deity outside themselves, they graciously condescend to descend into this world |19| here below for amusement, quite without retaining any trace of their divine origin other than their haughty airs, the brim of their hats pressed far down against their wild and yet soulless eyes, as if saying to themselves, “God, I give thanks to you because I am not like these people here!” — and thus do they occasionally appear in fetid tobacco-clouds, also meddling, as did Jupiter himself occasionally, with the daughters of humankind — a metamorphosis focused solely on a mutual amalgamation of rights and entrance into totality (thesis 13)!

One particular complaint is that with respect to such totality, it is crude sensuality that generally sets the direction, and the intricate cobweb of expatiation the character of such totality, much the way certain Gnostics, amid their rather impure totalizations, were nonetheless prayerfully and devoutly solicitous about celebrating the marriage of the ages. (μελεταν της συζυγις μυστηριον — Irenaeus.) [13] Just as handsomely in the spirit of transcendental idealism, the divine genius of Schlegel was able, in his Lucinde, to have the intellectual shimmer through the material elements of love by fusing the determinate and |20| indeterminate, the romantic and sublime, the infinite and the finite in hitherto unprecedented theory. —

Only those of the spirit understand this language of the spirit — whereas those of the flesh understand only things of the flesh. — The former are as pearls that, though they fall into excrement, nonetheless lose nothing of their value. After all, even Schelling is not averse to receiving payment of a very real honorarium for his Transcendental Idealism! With the most facile of efforts does one climb from the ideal to the objective, the latter of which, if one but wills it, volatilizes on the spot into the ideal.

O but do descend, we beg you, divine Nüsslein, down from your transcendental hot-air balloon gondola with your hero, Joseph Reubel the Swabian, that we may also extol your theory with its equally practical usefulness, your poetic philosophy, and your philosophical poesy, for which we consider Schlegel’s sacred words most appropriate: [14]

O unprecedented, rare theory!
Thus does the romantic couple with genius!

|21| Thrice fortunate Bamberg! For you were chosen as the locale where a transcendental epoch in medicine was inaugurated by Röschlaub, who stands as high above Brown as does Schelling above Kant, and by Nüsslein’s employment of Schellingian transcendentalism for academic lectures, or at least for disputational theses, playing right into his hands such that he might surpass not only every town in Germany, but you yourself as well! Such is the power of the spirit of the grand Schelling himself, a spirit he left behind for you in person as a blessing.

The grand alliance has been concluded between the members of the duumvirate Schelling and Röschlaub, one hell itself will be unable to resist, an alliance that will completely and wholly transcendentalize the entirety of science and scholarship, and especially medicine. — You are now the epicenter itself of this revolution, one Europe can but gape at in astonishment, notwithstanding how enviously nearby Erlangen peers over at you, its only activity being Fichte scrimmaging about with his adversaries at the circus of the Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung — (just as these grand intellects are in general now inclined to set out for Germany’s south that they might live in closer proximity to their more ardent followers).

he 26th of September of the year 1801 was the golden, epoch-making |22| day on which the clarion was sounded for the commencement of the palingenesis of all the sciences, and which is to be viewed as the wedding day between transcendental idealism and medicine insofar as it was on that very day that Joseph Reubel the Swabian, Doctor of Medicine, defended those brilliant theses to attain the philosophical doctorate under Nüsslein.

May that fortunate day now follow on which Herr Nüsslein crowns his candidate with the cap of the philosophical doctorate, unless this ceremony perhaps has not already taken place as the immediate consequence of this mighty struggle! In that case, my nonbinding suggestion would be for Herr Promoter Nüsslein as well as Candidate Joseph Reubel the Swabian to choose as the most suitable topics for their learned treatises those that concentrate most appropriately on the conjunction of medicine and transcendental idealism and on our own contemporary age, among which I for my part would like to see from the latter a transcendental deduction of cowpox inoculations — and from the former a transcendental deduction of madness and its kinship with genius.

|23| The deduction of that particular mental illness would in and of itself constitute a Herculean accomplishment, and certainly worthy of the greatest expert in transcendentalism — whereas the derivation of the second point would require an unusually delicate hand to discern the boundaries that constantly threaten to flow one into the other within the grand transcendental-idealist exertions undertaken by the genius. Because the touchstone of madness is indeed transgression against healthy human understanding, it matters not whether a person — thus the essence of madness — considers ideal configurations to be real, or, as transcendental idealists would have it, the actually real to be ideal.

The distinction that the former are acting within the parameters of ordinary life, the latter within those of philosophical life, proves nothing more than that such philosophers have their lucidum intervallum in ordinary life, [15] and their paroxysms only to the extent they philosophize, of which, however, they certainly introduce too much into ordinary life for the police to be able to sleep very comfortably indeed while such is going on.

If, then, the police are indeed called to take the insane into custody, why should they not also |24| exercise the same authority when this Dance of St. Vitus rages in epidemic proportions at universities, when even the concepts of healthy human understanding are being artificially confused. — Thus it would seem.

Alas, I am quite certain that Nüsslein would put an immediate stop to such expatiation with a considerable volley of Schellingianisms. Away with such people, people who would blow out the light that hurts their dull-witted eyes, dispatch them forthwith to the Obscurants Almanacs! Away with the restrictions one wishes to impose on the freedom of university professors by relegating uncertain points to the academy, but the certain, loftier ones to the universities, and introductory subject matter for scholarly education to the secondary schools! — For who can make such distinctions? Our transcendental idealism is the most certain, crystal-clear thing in the world.

And precisely that is Nüsslein’s most distinguished accomplishment, namely, that he strews the coriander seeds of the most sublime idealism onto the heads of our youth. — —

|25| May he continue as he began, guiding us toward the transcendental chiliasm, the ultimate purpose of the human race! Kant conceived something similar concerning chiliasm, believing accordingly that the statutory nature of religion should be maintained only provisionally before yielding to a perfect moral-religious condition. — Nüsslein conceives something far loftier, born aloft himself by the great Schelling — justice itself, like understanding, must become a chimera with the attainment of totality. Blessed are we, who are already perceiving signs of the times everywhere around us, and signs of the progress of the human spirit! —

For never before has justice more closely resembled a chimera than now, considering the blindman’s bluff driving politics along for the purpose of bringing about eternal peace. And logic itself is of as little consequence to transcendental minds as the study of languages. Even the very title of these disputational theses presents us with the radiant sample of an illogical linguistic error, as precious as the stain of a tear on the letter from the beloved.

|26| Joseph Reubel is called the Swabian —. Either this Swabian is so immodest — as sometimes rumored of the Order of the Transcendentals by its deniers — as to prefer to call himself the Swabian, or the definite article has been switched with the indefinite. — — — Mere trifles, authentic traces of our greatness! Soon this wisdom will echo from the mouths of suckling infants. Our trivial pupils, as much as I do hope they will, with tobacco pipes as long as they are tall, transform schools into guardrooms, so also do I hope they will cast such transcendental nonsense back upon the heads of the teacher.

Considering that this plant proliferates more among the youth than among grown men, so also do I believe that such will be even more the case among boys — and why, pray, should one not eventually heal them, too, from this basic prejudice? How much more easily will all this then proceed apace than in the case of a subject as pathetic as Latin, which in the transcendental-idealist sense is such a non-thing!

Indeed! Let us have negative Enlightenment, which is infinitely more valuable than |27| the positive variety. Let us but remove these prejudices — let knowledge become whatever it may. Our good youth is already on the right path. The great scholar P. Peteau castigated himself with such zeal of denial that he occasionally needed a surgeon. — — — Like the boy who can hardly write two correct sentences in his mother tongue and laughs about it, but is happy with parroted principles! — Keppler, the astronomical genius, lost himself in astrological musings, truly believing in the animated nature of the stars. —

How derisively does a boy who hardly knows how to write down the present year nonetheless look down upon the great man! Our young people are presently greatly in favor of having to believe nothing and learn little. Hence why should one hesitate relieving them of the basic prejudice, considering that they are so easily inclined to have the derived prejudices taken away as well?

How I will then envy our youth, who after the thing-it-itself is extinguished may brood in the most blissful unknowing concerning the great Nothingness, and can take aim solely by peering past the points of their noses. Thanks be to you, O |28| immortal Nüsslein, in the name of humanity itself, for guiding our young people, unconcerned with the murmuring of your countryman Schuberth, hastily toward this grand goal!

Apart from these congratulatory remarks devoted primarily to Nüsslein, the Enlightener of the Spirit, I yet have one more I most ardently wish to express, namely, for Joseph Reubel the Swabian, who as a young physician and transcendental philosopher will certainly not fail to follow in the footsteps of Röschlaub and Schelling. Perhaps he will form a triumvirate with these two, albeit not merely with the goal of healing, but rather of driving out death itself once and for all, a feat that certainly constitutes part of the chiliasm of humanity to which Fichte, too, has directed our hopes in his Destiny of Man. [16]

Perhaps this Savior of Swabia will leave even the fame of the Pythagorean Apollonius of Tyana, who raised the dead, far behind. — His transcendental-idealist science of medicine is a vade mecum [17] that will facilely elevate him above the toilsome labors of the empiricists and never leave him at an embarrassing loss. — |29| Except may heaven forbid that he suffer the misfortune of killing in reality those whom he heals in ideality, a misfortune that befell Schelling, the One and Only, in Boklet in Franconia in the case of M. B.*, as malicious people maintain. [18]

But what is the use of such congratulations — ! Nüsslein and Joseph Reubel the Swabian are beyond them, just as they are beyond satire, as soon as they have withdrawn into the transcendental regions, into intelligence in its highest potence, the point of non-difference, enraptured away from this netherworld.

If, however, that notwithstanding they be pleased to take notice of such, let me say that I will abide no gratitude of any sort, asking them instead, mindful of Schelling’s grand assertion (System des transcendentalen Idealismus, p. 70) that “the self is a completely self-enclosed world, a monad, which cannot issue forth from itself, though nor can anything enter it either, from without,” [19] — — not to forget their laboriously learned role as did the ape after several nuts were tossed to him.


[*] Anonymous (Franz Berg), Lob der allerneuesten Philosophie ([n.p. (Nürnberg)] 1802). See the review of this piece in the Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung (1802) 225 (Tuesday, 10 August 1802) 327–28.

Berg was prompted to compose this piece after the fashion of August von Kotzebue’s The Hyperborean Ass by none other than the coadjutor bishop of Bamberg, Georg Karl Ignaz von Fechenbach, who wrote to Berg on 6 October 1801 concerning the Bamberg theses (Johann Baptist Schwab, Franz Berg: geistlicher Rath und Professor der Kirchengeschichte an der Universität Würzburg : ein Beitrag zur Charakteristik des katholischen Deutschlands zunächst des Fürstbisthums Würzburg im Zeitalter der Aufklärung [Würzburg 1869], 327):

While reading through these theses, His Gracious Excellency the Prince recalled quite vividly what we had read a while back in the Hyperborean Ass about similar philosophical nonsense. Insofar as we have for some time now taken an interest in the direction taken by university studies in Bamberg, and with regret can see from these theses how young people’s minds are being turned askew, we would like for the ecclesiastical Rath and professor Berg to review these theses in the Würzburger gelehrte Anzeigen such that the Bamberg professor feels the merited scourge of satire in as emphatic a fashion as possible.

Instead of a review in the traditional sense, Berg published this present piece.

Pagination as in the original. Back.

[1] The Praise of Folie. Moriae Encomium A Booke made in Latin by that great clerke Erasmus Roterodome, trans. Sir Thomas Chaloner Knight (1549), 50. Franz Berg has modeled the title of this present piece after that of Erasmus. Back.

[2] Loose allusion to 1 Corinthians 2:9: “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the human heart conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him” (NRSV). Back.

[3] Fichte, Friedrich Nicolais Leben und sonderbare Meinungen. Back.

[4] Gr., “frog-mouse-war,” attributed to Homer at latest during the second century BCE (though possibly a witty parody of Homer from the fifth century BCE). Following the tradition of animal fables, this piece portrays the tragic death of a mouse on the back of the frog king, which provokes a war between frogs and mice to which Zeus himself must eventually put a stop by means of a lightning bolt and ultimately an army of crabs. Eng., e.g., as Batrachomuomachia: or, The Battle of the Frogs and Mice, trans. from Homer by “a land-waiter in the port of Poole” (London 1736). Back.

[5] John 5:2–5 (NRSV): “Now in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate there is a pool, called in Hebrew Beth-zatha [Bethesda], which has five porticoes. In these lay many invalids — blind, lame, and paralyzed. One man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years etc.” Back.

[6] General designation, taken from the title of Fichte’s works at the time, of the latter’s theory or science of knowledge or knowing. Back.

[7] Horace, “with head lifted, I shall strike the stars.” Back.

[8] Allusions to Fichte’s Sonnenklarer Bericht an das grössere Publikum über das eigentliche Wesen der neuesten Philosophie. Ein Versuch den Leser zum Verstehen zu zwingen (Berlin 1801); Eng. trans. “A Crystal Clear Report Concerning the Actual Essence of the Newest Philosophy: An Attempt to Force the Reader to Understand,” trans. John Botterman and William Rasch, in Fichte, Jacobi, and Schelling. Philosophy of German Idealism, ed. Ernst Behler (New York 1987), 39–115. See Caroline’s letter to Wilhelm on 18 May 1801 (letter 317). Back.

[9] Aloys Blumauer (1755–1798): Austrian Enlightenment writer, initially a Jesuit, then a bookseller. Author of the bold travesty Virgils Aeneis, travestiert, 3 vols. (1785–88). The allusion here is to vol. 2, book 5. Back.

[10] Allusion to Fichte’s J. G. Fichtes des phil. Doktors und ordentlichen Professors zu Jena Appellation an das Publikum über die durch ein kurf. sächs. Konfiskationsreskript ihm beigemessenen atheistischen Äusserungen. Eine Schrift, die man erst zu lessen bittet, ehe man sie confiscirt (Jena, Leipzig, Tübingen 1799). Back.

[11] System des transcendentalen Idealismus (Tübingen 1800), section 2, p. 7; translation here from System of Transcendental Idealism, trans. Peter Heath (Charlottesville 1993), section 2 on pp. 7–9, here 8. Back.

[12] Latin, “claiming/begging the principle,” assuming the conclusion in one’s premises. Back.

[13] Gk., “practice of the mystical union.” Back.

[14] Not a citation from Friedrich Schlegel at all, but rather the satirical verse conclusion to a mocking, anonymous review of Schleiermacher’s Vertraute Briefe über Friedrich Schlegels Lucinde zur richtigen Würdigung derselben (Lübeck, Leipzig 1800), in the Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung (1800) 366 (Thursday, 25 December 1800) 692–94, in which the reviewer warns the reader ahead of time that he is so filled by

the most recent mystical philosophy, by the present letters, and by Herr Schlegel’s Lucinde . . . [and] the poesy contained in those masterpieces has moved him so powerfully, penetrating so profoundly and meaningfully into his very center, that for several days now he has been unable to speak except in verses, nor can he guarantee that he will be able to finish even this present review in prose.

And indeed he cannot, finishing instead with a fictionalized verse exchange between the characters of Julius and Lucinde after the fashion of the dialogue “Sehnsucht und Ruhe” (yearning and peace) in the novel itself, of which the present verse constitutes the final words. Back.

[15] Latin, “period of lucidity,” here: “sanity.” Back.

[16] Fichte, Die Bestimmung des Menschen (Berlin 1800). Back.

[17] Latin, “a ready reference manual.” Back.

[18] M.B.*: M[ademoiselle] B[öhmer]. Back.

[19] System des transcendentalen Idealismus (Tübingen 1800); translation here from System of Transcendental Idealism, trans. Peter Heath (Charlottesville 1993), 37. Back.

Translation © 2016 Doug Stott