Caroline’s Review of the Musenalmanach 1805

(3) Caroline’s Review of the Musenalmanach auf das Jahr 1805 [*]

Erich Frank: Caroline’s Reviews of the Berlin Romantics [1]

That Caroline rather than Schelling is the author of the review on the Musenalmanach of Adelbert von Chamisso and Karl August Varnhagen von Ense, which is followed, as a kind of continuation, by her review of the Erzählungen und Spiele of Friedrich Wilhelm Neumann and Varnhagen, is betrayed not only by the awkward syntactical connections in the very first sentences, but also by the overall style, which in a charming, unforced fashion connects ideas together like flowers in a garland. [2] Documentary proof attesting Caroline’s authorship can be found in the way Heinrich Karl Abraham Eichstädt, in a letter to Goethe, [3] speaks concerning this review: “The review of the Musenalmanach of Varnhagen and Chamisso . . . came from the same hand that did the assessment of Aurora that I am including. Schelling was responsible for getting it to me.” [4] In his own turn, Goethe was “quite pleased with the review of the Musenalmanach,” [5] and Johann Heinrich Voss, as Eichstädt wrote to Schelling on 8 June 1805, even believed he could “discern the masterful hand of Goethe in the manner and tone” of the review. “I certainly cannot,” Eichstädt adds, “relate a more pleasant word of thanks to the reviewer, be it him or her, for the contributed review.”

By contrast, this “blitz-murder” review had a devastating effect on the circle of friends of the Musenalmanach itself, something coming to expression in Chamisso’s letters and Varnhagen’s Denkwürdigkeiten. [6] Their response, however, was rather peculiar, and so subtle that probably no one really understood it. For at the end of her own review, Caroline offers the following recommendation: “to conclude with Democritus, let us commend to our authors for inclusion in the next annual issue the following sonnet that has come to this reviewer’s attention, by an admittedly technically unpracticed but naturally imaginative hand.” [7] For his own part, Chamisso thought there was no better way to extract revenge than genuinely to include the poem, which was actually conceived more from a perspective of derision; and thus did it happen that the poem can indeed be found at the conclusion to the Musenalmanach auf das Jahr 1806 with the explanatory note “Recommended for inclusion by M. Z.” [8] But who composed that sonnet? Doubtless not Caroline herself, since one cannot possibly attribute to her the tasteless remark that her own hand was “technically unpracticed but naturally imaginative.” [9] It is sooner to be attributed to Schelling, a suspicion also supported by the motif in the very first quartet, one recurring in a quite similar fashion in the poem inspired by the philosophy of nature, “Thier und Pflanze,” which Schelling published under the name Bonaventura in the Schlegel-Tieck Musenalmanach: [10]

Plant, earthly offspring, why so ardently upward strive with
Blossom and tendril? O plant, well you know.
With sun and realm of light does the genus alone you link.

This sonnet, with its intentional disorganization, doubtless means to deride the activity and striving of the late Romantics as evident in the Musenalmanach. That said, it does seem rather peculiar that around the same time [11] Schelling and Caroline were so diabolically deriding the late Romantics’ pocketbook-anthology poesy, the publisher Dienemann in Penig announced publication of a “Pocketbook of the Devil” by Bonaventura, the author of the Nachtwachen, [12] which, in the words of its introduction (which alone became known), also intended to present a parody of the proliferating pocketbook-anthology production. . . .

The Review of the Chamisso-Varnhagen Musenalmanach

The so-called “green Musenalmanach” that Caroline reviews below seems to be extant in only very few original copies. The diminutive volume contains the initial motto το του πολου αστρον, i.e., “the North Star.” That this metaphor of the Berlin circle of friends [13] is referring to Fichte’s philosophy emerges from the editors’ dedicatory poem, “To Fichte”:

Whilst the lower world, cloaked in horror
By the sluggish age, by night and sleep is blinded,
You, O rock escaped from night, to find the light
Do strive, greeting, confidently, ether's spirits.

Your head amidst the light of airy meadows,
You with magnetic power from the depths do draw
Purer metals, whose resonance proclaims
Their bold striving to gaze upon higher light.

Magnet, mysterious stone you, for me do you
Eternally interpret the North Star's distant clarity,
And through it the true direction of the four winds.

Hence must my guide strict science be
To eternal love, morality, and poetry,
In battle guiding me to sacred truth.
— — N[eumann] and Ch[amisso]

And this Almanach does indeed also contain, under the ciphers ** and ***, Fichte’s two sonnets as known from his works. [14] Fichte is also the translator (as “*”) of the “Lateinische Hymne” in the Musenalmanach . . . [15]

(3) Caroline’s Review of the
Musenalmanach auf das Jahr 1805
Edited by Adelbert von Chamisso and Karl August Varnhagen von Ense.

Jenaische Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung
(1805) 107 (Wednesday, 6 May 1805), 241–45.

Berlin, b. Frölich: Musenalmanach auf das Jahr 1805. Ed. C. A. v. Chamisso and K. A. Varnhagen. 227 pages. Duocdecimo. (1 Rthlr.).

If it indeed be possible, for a time, to wreck something that in and of itself is good and excellent, such is wrought not by the shouters and faultfinders, who, if not supported by the Inquisition, have never managed such an accomplishment in any case. It is instead wrought by those who, after being seized by the mere surface features of what is good and excellent, next appropriate the words, the form, in reality: the mask, then also a few tones associated with real ideas, and a melody that imitates a coherent inner connection, and then try to present to the public in an uncommon fashion their wholly anemic talent and their insignificant striving, which they could certainly otherwise present in the most common fashion. The effect such has on a cordial, intelligent reader might best be personified by a head of Janus composed of Heraclitus and Democritus. [16] Evil enemies, however, are naturally delighted with these seduced souls, and are at no loss to explicate clearly how such an ill beginning could not but lead to such ill consequences. The stupid, those who never get further than to cling to reprints, invariably wholly extol this artificial phenomenon as that which is truly genuine. Eventually, however, it disgusts the entirety of good society, since all such caricatures eventually fatigue everyone, without exception, and for a while no on wants either to hear or to see anything more of the thing. These simple remarks, which are nothing new, were prompted by the Musenalmanach concerning which, after a preliminary review (in issue 104 [2 May 1805]), [17] we would now like to add a few more specific words. The editors identify themselves as C. A. Chamisso and K. A. Varnhagen; the rest of the poets: Robert, Eduard, Ernst, Anthropos, Wolfart, *, **, ***, etc., are presumably arbitrarily chosen names that otherwise mean nothing more than that with them, the imitation has already commenced. [18] For one might recall that in the Musen-Almanach für das Jahr 1802 published by Schlegel and Tieck, similar names appear, such as Novalis, Bonaventura, Inhumanus, [19] also asterisks and a certain Sophie, for whom we can here adduce an Auguste, who admittedly seems to us to have merely thrown on a woman’s coat and collar which, in the fashion of the day, do not differ much from those of men. [20] Hence beginning with the names themselves, these gentlemen are sacrificing their civil, bourgeois individuality to entrust themselves to the community of the poetic arts, out of which they imagine their individual poetic personality will emerge all the more gloriously. Unfortunately, it is merely an individual void of all individuality. They all belong to a single genus, one we prefer not to mention by name. It is true that the one or the other has made more artistic progress than the others, and that several do quite deceptively imitate the human countenance and voice they have chosen as their model. The verses sound precisely as such, the subjects in no way come up short, nor is much lacking from the actual content, or rather only as much as has always kept alchemists from making real gold. Here one finds countless sonnets to philosophers (Fichte), [21] poets (Goethe, Tieck), [22] to dear friends one to the other, to other imaginary beings, on and to the elements, to the times of the day and seasons of the year, on colors and sounds, and even sonnets of the sort Petrarch was wont to compose. Cycles of poems, Goethean epigrams, a fragment not much worse than Die Geheimnisse; [23] canzones, both original and translated, terza rimas, variations or glosses. Hymns from the Latin were de rigeur; [24] the authors even elevated their choices to the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin. Those readers who recall the “Romanze vom Licht” by Friedrich Schlegel [25] will find a very suggestively offensive one here on sound. [26] One everywhere encounters broken verses here, indeed, some that have been broken through and through on the wheel; ponderous verses, three-syllable rhymes, every symptom is present. Anyone who ex officio needed to could easily enough demonstrate what the symptoms themselves lack. The same situation emerges at a deeper level. The whole is astonishingly serious; it is no secret that jest is the most difficult thing to imitate. Even if the poems themselves are not philosophical, the authors have nonetheless consumed a healthy portion of philosophy that they doubtless did not acquire first-hand. Such is presumably the source of the blunder whereby the initiator of the Wissenschaftslehre [27] is inconvenienced with magnets, metals, and the directions of the four winds, though another sonnet describes him even better [28] :

I do then welcome you, pacific clarity,
The beings that from your womb emerge
Are servants, I the master, mine the dwelling.

Not a little is said concerning self-annihilation, about death that is actually life, about double death, which accordingly is double life and for which “Us” emerges as “truth.” Love manifests itself as ardent and raging, chastising and worshipful. Where it expresses itself sensuously, it appears to be so merely for the sake of the highest views of physics. Although this does constitute the commencement of a merely slightly modified epoch of sentimentality of the sort we saw during Werther’s time, [29] it is not nearly as innocuous. Although this sentimentality is too proud to engage in any actual killing, it nonetheless slays everything great it tries to draw into its tiny sphere, and ends up killing itself in its very manifestation. The phenomenon of simple love, even if the hundredth time merely imitates the preceding ninety-nine, always maintains an element of uplifting charm and truth; one can believe in it, whereas the complicated emotion invariably betrays itself as a pure non-emotion the moment it is no longer genuine. There is no need to argue about the fact that sentimentality, even when one believes it at an infinite remove, invariably reappears; we simply cannot get rid of it, it is part of our nature, at least from the Christian era onward. It is merely that one would like to see each person have his own sentimentality rather than torment himself with that of someone else. That which is individual in each personality is the maternal locus of this sentimentality, and it is genuinely from that locus, from that ground, that it must emerge if it is to be of any value. If its own strength or inventiveness be wanting, and for that reason it surrenders itself with love and admiration to one outside itself, yet even in this personal devotion there is something that is more than a noisy gong and a clanging cymbal, [30] and it would be helpful for it to maintain a seemly element of reserve toward certain things, whereas the sentimentality of our age is sooner characterized precisely by the inclination not to act thus, and instead to commit impertinent sacrilege against the sanctuary of both nature and art. If only and especially our literary youth would leave the powers of heaven and earth alone until through quiet, diligent study they became acquainted with such within the perspective of their own perceptions instead of merely learning them by heart and then toying with their wondrous relationships as if with rhymes. Are they really imputing any more profound meaning to those powers than that they, like rhymes, serve them in composing their poems? The magician who employs the properties of things for his tricks is more respectable than those who abuse them thus in word and imagery.

By contrast, it is admittedly merely ridiculous when they try to present in so dignified a role their own lives and their own experience, when perhaps at the end of their academic careers they then parrot with such grand calmness of mind what men who, distinguished by natural gifts, having stood on a grand stage and having guided the course of public affairs or the sciences and having experienced the woes as well as the splendors of the world through their own destiny, or having fathomed such through quiet contemplation — what these men only then, in retrospect of a rich, variously gifted and fully cultivated existence, articulated poetically or otherwise expressed. These present young authors do indeed claim:

Early did I have to take life’s instruction, [31]


In science and art toward lofty honor
Have I striven through the common masses.

Who, however, might be inclined to trust their testimony or, indeed, to believe them when at the end they say:

That I become artistic, good, mature in years.

Forsooth, this maturity, and in such tangled verses, looks about the same on them as did presumably the wigs on young people in the previous century, which they were wont to don even as early the Gymnasium. This sort of mystical dignity is infinitely amusing. One might be inclined to allow them to lament the common masses, though that, too, ends up being rather common in its own turn; but since one encounters such people so often, and in such various guises, perhaps they are not always in the wrong on that point. In that case, they would merely need — wherever

with teasing derisiveness they chided those who are better,


Despaired of ever finding those who are pure,

to look very closely to ascertain:

Whether perhaps sensible madness, obscuring, deceives. [32]

As an aside, one might point out that there is absolutely no trace of modest doubt in the physiognomy of all these modest works; indeed, one might wager that just as the masters will not acknowledge these disciples without exercising otherwise reproachable forbearance, so also the disciples will probably occasionally think themselves quite beyond their masters. Problems remain with immortality in any event. [33]

And with this bitter pain I have nourished,
Which oft melted me, oft turned me to stone,
Future ages are to be no more acquainted?
No, if poetic delusion not beguile the breast:
What I have wept lives eternally in songs,
And posterity will know their name.

Nor is such to be taken, for example, as the merely naive presumption of some arbitrary emotion. In part, it attaches to this posture to prophesy immortality for oneself insofar as such prophecy can already be found among poets who genuinely did come down to posterity; in part, the considerable certainty itself of such status almost seems, to them, to constitute a secure step toward precisely that status.

Amid all this, one or the other of our readers, focused perhaps more on individual pieces, might find the judgment of the whole expressed here too harsh. Yet it is not as if individual elements might stand out; in this respect, as in every other, a resolute monotony reigns in this collection. Neither inventiveness nor any other more pleasing feature is able to captivate us, and the utter lack of freshness and vivacity is especially striking. Nonetheless one cannot deny that some things do push their way to the fore as if they were genuinely something. Yet precisely that is what brings the faithful friend of poesy to despair, since such then turns out to be nothing insofar as it everywhere lacks depth and background, concerning which, of course, only those can long deceive themselves who are themselves genuinely superficial. I am referring here in particular to a specific formative structuring of lyrical poetry that requires a certain substantiality and breadth in the poet and an unequivocal, unique element of individuality if those forms are to be filled out in a more substantial fashion themselves, and all the more so insofar as the forms themselves are at once conspicuous and striking enough to captivate attention quite on their own and thereby to foster or abet emptiness. These charged tones have recently contributed toward enticing forward once more the otherwise extinct sensibility for poesy, as art, in a more universal fashion. But when these disciples allow refined technique alone to represent them, the reader merely leaves with the feeling — one all the more unpleasant — that on its higher levels art merely turns back into a phantom. It in fact attests the true merit of precursors when imitators are able to accomplish so much even without true merit themselves; on the other hand, it might also well serve as a memento to the latter to give their striving for form a less formal direction than that in which some have done almost too much and thereafter merely come to stand motionless at its most extreme boundary. For our poets here, the merely externally given elements are now joined by certain internal forms of assistance, which they draw from the increasingly widespread ideas and discoveries of philosophy and physics, and which the weakest among them find in crucifixes, images of Mary and the saints, etc., all of which have pushed aside Venus and Amor, the Graces and nymphs as being too old-fashioned, but which at the same time, in their hands, turn into bizarre ciphers and dolls that in fact say as little as they are wont to say in German monastery churches.

And now, to conclude with Democritus, let us commend to our authors for inclusion in the next annual issue the following sonnet that has come to this reviewer’s attention, by an admittedly technically unpracticed but naturally imaginative hand:

The flower now hotly inflamed in love,
upward all its cups do strive,
and to the stars their filaments swing,
there to take root in the azure land.

The fruit wine does froth over the golden rim,
the drops themselves in the chalice resound,
and children who caught butterflies
now capture Psyche on every green wall.

Thus must the old form itself anew;
for all now sit round the sweet porridge,
and those who cannot yet grasp the spoon,

Do confidently lay their daily egg;
and pray to the sublime, miraculous cross,
which, erected, all the world must bear.



[*] Jenaische Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung (1805) 107 (Wednesday, 6 May 1805), 241–45. Reprinted in Erich Frank, Rezensionen über schöne Literatur von Schelling und Caroline in der Neuen Jenaischen Literatur-Zeitung (Heidelberg 1912), 24—28. Georg Waitz, (1871), 2:378, also believed Caroline to be the author of this review. In general see Erich Frank, “Caroline, Schelling, and the Jenaische Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung.” Back.

[1] Erich Frank, Rezensionen über schöne Literatur von Schelling und Caroline in der Neuen Jenaischen Literatur-Zeitung (Heidelberg 1912), 50–52, provides the following introduction to Caroline’s reviews under reviews nos. 3 (this present review) and 8 (her review of Erzählungen und Spiele, ed. Wilhelm Neumann and Karl August Varnhagen), which, as he remarks in his first sentence, belong together. The “Berlin Romantics” are the group behind the literary anthology that Caroline will be reviewing here. Frank’s footnotes below are prefaced by his name; in most, the present editor has also silently supplied additional or more complete bibliographical information as well as (e.g., in note 6), additional texts. Back.

[2] [Frank:] The manuscript of this review, too, is still extant in Caroline’s handwriting (see Waitz 1:v, note 5 and note 9 in my [Frank’s] introduction (“Caroline, Schelling, and the Jenaische Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung“). Unfortunately, I [Frank] was unable to compare the printed review with it. Back.

[3] Unpublished, in the Goethe-Schiller Archiv, under Eingegangene Briefe, XLVII, 66, 8 May 1805. Back.

[4] See also what Eichstädt writes in an (unpublished) letter to Schelling on 8 June 1805:

The excellent review of the Musenalmanach, whose form had already been rounded off a bit even before the arrival of your last letter[, has also left the press]. I hope you can continue as often as possible to secure reviews as solid and sound and inspired, including with respect to language, as this one! Back.

[5] To Eichstädt, 11 May 1805 (Weimarer Ausgabe, 4:19:5092). Back.

[6] Ed. note: Included here the are texts that Erich Frank cites only by way of bibliographical information but does not include.

Adelbert von Chamisso, Leben und Briefe, 2 vols., ed. Julius Eduard Hitzig (Leipzig 1839), 1:70: To Hitzig in Warsaw:

Just this hour I learned that a review has allegedly appeared in an issue of the Jenaische [Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung] on 6 May that is being described to me as an attempt to murder the Luxuriantly Green [the Musenalmanach, so-called because of its green cover], hence I have to close this letter so I can find something out about it.

Julius Eduard Hitzig footnote:

The author of that review and the concluding sonnet, with the initials M.Z., was Herr von Jariges, who later published much that was of considerable value under the name Beauregard Pandin. He denied any of us had any poetic talent whatsoever, a judgment brilliantly refuted by later developments, at least with regard to Chamisso. He declared our Almanach to be merely an external imitation of that of Schlegel-Tieck, and allged that had there been asterisks there instead of authors’ names, we, too, would have had such etc. With respect to this last objection, we had the satisfaction of knowing that some of the asterisks in our publication and those in theirs designated one and the same man, namely, Fichte. [Communication from Varnhagen von Ense.])

Chamisso to Varnhagen in Hamburg (Leben und Briefe, 1:73): “As soon as possible, get a copy of the 6 May issue of the Jenaische Literatur-Zeitung. Or have you all already read it?”

Chamisso to Varnhagen in Hamburg:

I read the blitz-murder review at Bernhardi’s — and cannot reproach your review of the review [nothing is known of this review, nor does Varnhagen mention it anywhere]. I had the idea, one Bernhardi approves — prior to any advice and any decision from you — to publish the concluding sonnet at the end of the Green, and to say that it was sent in and recommended by M. Z. or whatever Herr Make-Believe calls himself!

Karl August Varnhagen von Ense, Denkwürdigkeiten und Vermischte Schriften, vol. 1., Denkwürdigkeiten des eignen Lebens, vol. 1, 2nd ed. (Leipzig 1843), 301—3 discusses the genesis of the Musenalmanach project but does not mention Caroline’s review. He does, however (303), acknowledge that

although one can certainly no longer claim that these youthful attempts possessed any literary value, this Green Book — as we henceforth referred to it because of the color of its cover — provided infinite profit for the lives of its contributors quite independent of any such literary value. This common public undertaking made our friendship stronger, new friends joined us, kindred striving and kindred receptive sensibility took note of us, albeit only quietly.

Ludwig Geiger, reprint ed., Musenalmanach auf das Jahr 1806, ed. L. A. von Chamisso and K. A. Varnhagen, Berliner Neudrucke 3:2, vol. 1 (Berlin 1889), xi–xiv, remarks with regard to the second issue, viz. 1805, which Caroline reviewed:

The review — or reviews, see below — in the Jenaische Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung made a much more profound impression on the friends [than other reviews]. They were horrified, though not discouraged . . . Varnhagen describes at length (Denkwürdigkeiten 1:298–300) the devastating effect the review had on the friends, an effect undiminished by declarations of solidarity in letters and isolated (though unpublished) praise by party followers. The author of the review was, according to Varnhagen (Chamisso, Briefe 1:70 [see above]) “a certain Herr von Jariges” . . .

The reviews in the Jenaische Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung merit a brief look. The first constitutes part of a larger discussion of eighteen different pocketbook and literary almanac anthologies from 1805 in all parts of Germany (Jenaische Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung [1805] 104–5 [2–3 May 1805], 217–24; the review is signed “A.–z.”). The passage dealing with our Musenalmanach, mentioned in second position, is short enough to cite in full here:

No. 2 largely contains uncertain imitations of several more contemporary poets, primarily sonnets that cannot be denied at least some element of the infinite insofar as they never seem to end. But neither do they have any beginning, and will no doubt provide material enough not only to the prattling masses, but also to those of some intellect for new warnings against this particular poetic form, which is equally adept at expressing that which is most lofty and that which is most ridiculous with wondrous charm. Otherwise this Almanach also contains translations, including hymns from the Latin, which do, however, and not to their own advantage, recall the excellent adaptations of similar Latin songs in the Schlegel-Tieck Almanach. One is tempted to dismiss with a mere joke a book of such little substance, one whose individual accomplishments so closely resemble one another that they could have been written by a single author. But the sacred seriousness speaking from these probably quite young poets quickly disarms such jest; moreover, one also occasionally encounters traces of genuine talent that does, to be sure, merit a better forum and will probably also find such one day.

Almost immediately thereafter, another [i.e., Caroline’s] review of the Musenalmanach appeared, five columns long, in the Jenaische Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung (1805) 107 (6 May), 241–45, with the prefacing remark concerning “the Musenalmanach concerning which, after a preliminary notice (in issue104), we would now like to add a few more specific words,” signed M. Z. and concluding with a sonnet (on which see below). The critic reproaches the imitation of the Schlegel Almanach, which extends even to external features, the empty sing-song tone of the verses, the false philosophy, sentimentality, the pretension of experience and maturity, the poets’ lofty self-consciousness, while contenting himself with a general condemnation rather than citing individual bad examples. The critic introduces the sonnet with the words: “to conclude with Democritus, let us commend to our authors for inclusion in the next annual issue the following sonnet that has come to this reviewer’s attention, by an admittedly technically unpracticed but naturally imaginative hand.”

The primary reason this review had such a devastating effect on the friends was that from the beginning of 1804, the Jenaische Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung had been viewed as the journal of Goethe and his followers, and any negative judgment published there as the expressed condemnation of the master himself. One is certainly permitted to say that even were Goethe not directly involved in the review, it nonetheless expressed the regnant disposition in the circles around him. Indeed, we have direct witness to that disposition in a story by Ludwig Robert, recounted here in the words Varnhagen attributes to his brother-in-law (Vermischte Schriften, 3rd ed., vol. 2 [Leipzig 1875], 338):

Once, I believe it was in 1804, when I was dining at Goethe’s, literary almanacs were being perused, including that of Chamisso and Varnhagen. Goethe picked up one after the other, held them up to his and his wife’s ear, and asked, ‘Do you hear anything? I hear nothing. Well, then, let’s have a look at the engravings, they are the best thing,’ upon which the literary almanacs were laid aside.

One must admittedly point out with respect to this story, which in and of itself does reveal some bitterness, that the explicitly mentioned Almanach in fact contains no engravings. Goethe’s dismissive attitude toward the literary almanacs of the time is attested elsewhere as well; see his Briefe an Eichstädt, mit Erläuterungen, ed. Woldemar Freiherr von Biedermann (Berlin 1872), 136 (letter of 24 January 1806). Goethe’s letters to Eichstädt, however, contain no reference to the review of this Almanach, though it is certain he was familiar with its initial volume, which as mentioned earlier is still found in his library today. . . .

The revenge carried out against the critic in the Jenaische Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung was so gentle and simultaneously so unique that likely only very few people even noticed it. [Here Geiger cites the passage from Chamisso’s letter to Varnhagen on 8 June 1805 concerning the sonnet at the end of Caroline’s review in the next issue of their own Almanach.] Varnhagen must have agreed to the plan, for they did indeed include the sonnet. Apart from those initiated into this caper, however, it likely had quite the opposite effect; many readers probably reproached the lack of judgment on the part of the person recommending the sonnet and the excessive consideration on the part of those who actually included it. Back.

[7] Text in Caroline’s review below. Back.

[8] Musenalmanach auf das Jahr 1806, reprint ed. Ludwig Geiger, 122. Back.

[9] Georg Waitz, (1871), 2:378, attributes the poem to Caroline. Back.

[10] Musen-Almanach für das Jahr 1802, 158; Schelling’s Sämmtliche Werke 10:439. For the translation, see Caroline’s letter to Wilhelm Schlegel on 15 May 1801 (letter 316), note 15. Back.

[11] The editors received the review of the Musenalmanach on 2 April 1805, which means it was likely composed in March. Back.

[12] Announcements in the Zeitung für die elegante Welt (1805) 37 (Tuesday, 26 March 1805), 294, and in Konstantinopel und St. Petersburg. Der Orient und der Norden (1805) 1 (15 March 1805) no. 4; the latter announcement cited in Euphorion 14 (1907), 823. Ed. note: concerning the more likely author of the Nachwachen, namely, Ernst August Klingemann, see Schelling’s letter to Wilhelm Schlegel on 20 April 1801 (letter 309a), note 7. Back.

[13] See Varnhagen, Denkwürdigkeiten, 1:264: “and for us all, this star continued to shine and lead thenceforth above all the dark, confusing waves of life, a star to which we confidently looked in order to unite and strengthen ourselves for what was right and true.” Back.

[14] Johann Gottlieb Fichte’s sämmtliche Werke, ed. Immanuel Hermann Fichte, 8 vols. (Berlin 1845–46), 8:461–62. Back.

[15] Here Erich Frank adds a note about one of Schelling’s translation from Petrarch; see the supplementary appendix on Caroline’s and Schelling’s translations from Petrarch, no. 5. Back.

[16] [Frank:] Concerning the image of Democritus and Heraclitus, see the similar characterization of the Schlegel-Tieck Musen-Almanach für das Jahr 1802 in a letter Goethe wrote to Schelling (5 December 1801, Goethe und die Romantik, 220; also in Plitt 1:350 and the Weimarer Ausgabe 4:4452): “The contributors to the Almanach, which represents a kind of purgatorio, are positioned neither on earth nor in heaven nor in hell, but in an interesting in-between condition, one that is in part painful, in part quite delightful.” See Caroline’s letter to Wilhelm Schlegel on 10 December 1801 (letter 335), note 46. Back.

[17] [Frank:] Ludwig Geiger included that brief review, signed by “A. z.”, in his reprint of the Musenalmanach auf das Jahr 1806 [for text, see note 6 above]; its author was Friedrich Schulz, i.e., A. z., more familiar under his pseudonym Friedrich Laun (see Goedeke s.v. and Franz Schultz, Der Verfasser der Nachtwachen von Bonaventura [Berlin 1909], 213). Back.

[18] [Frank:] Robert is Ludwig Robert (Levin Marcus), brother of Rahel Levin, who later married Varnhagen. Eduard is Julius Eduard Hitzig (Itzig) (1780–1849) (Goedeke 9:433). Ernst is Karl von Raumer [ed. note: later husband of Friederike Reichardt] (1783–1865), a mineralogist who studied under Henrik Steffens (Goedeke 6:271). Anthropos is David Ferdinand Koreff (1783–1851) (Goedeke 6:186). Wolfart is the civil name of writer (and physician) Karl Christian Wolfart (1778–1832). “*” is likely not Franz Theremin (1780–1846). Finally, “**” and “***” are Fichte, to whom the cipher “*” also belongs. Back.

[19] Misspelled in the Jenaische Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitungas “Iehumanus,” which Erich Frank corrects in his reprint (53). Back.

[20] [Frank:] Novalis is Friedrich von Hardenberg, Bonaventura Schelling, Inhumanus is August Wilhelm Schlegel [“Ein schön kurzweilig Fastnachtsspiel vom alten und neuen Jahrhundert. Tragiert am ersten Januarii im Jahr 1801,” in Musen-Almanach für das Jahr 1802, 274–93, under the name “Inhumanus” (reprinted in Sämmtliche Werke 2:147–62)]; Asterisks, i.e., ***, is Fichte’s idyll, “Was regst du, mein Wein, in dem Fasse dich” (Musen-Almanach für das Jahr 1802, 170; Fichte’s Sämmtliche Werke, ed. J. H. Fichte, vol. 8 [Berlin 1846], 460) (see Carl Christian Redlich, Versuch eines Chiffernlexikons zu den Göttinger, Vossischen, Schillerschen und Schlegel-Tieckschen Musenalmanachen [Hamburg 1875], 42). That is, Caroline has no idea that the “asterisks” in the Schlegel-Tieck Musen-Almanach are cloaking the same person as in the Chamisso-Varnhagen Musenalmanach, namely, Fichte (Varnhagen, Denkwürdigkeiten, 1:301). Sophie is Sophie Bernhardi, née Tieck. Auguste is Augusta Klaproth. Ludwig Geiger, Musenalmanach auf das Jahr 1806, x–xi. Back.

[21] [Frank:] The dedicatory poem (see above), and the poem “An die Freunde [το του πολου αστρον]” by Anthropos, see note 30 below. Back.

[22] [Frank:] “Goethe,” sonnet by Augusta; “Octavian. An Tieck,” by W. Neumann. Back.

[23] A projected religious epic in ottava rima by Goethe; he completed the first forty-four stanzas. Back.

[24] [Frank:] By Chamisso and * (Fichte). Back.

[25] [Frank:] In the Musen-Almanach für das Jahr 1802, 254. Back.

[26] [Frank:] By * (Franz Theremin?). Back.

[27] [Ed. note:] Fichte’s various published versions of his philosophy by that name. Back.

[28] [Frank:] See the dedicatory poem to Fichte above, which Caroline apparently misunderstood as severely as the sonnet by W. Neumann adduced immediately thereafter, which exhibits not a trace of any reference to Fichte; where Caroline transcribes [Germ.] friedsel’ge [“pacific, peaceful”], the poem itself (Musenalmanach, 12) actually reads [Germ.] feindselige Klarheit [“hostile clarity”], which yields a completely different meaning. The initial terza rima reads: “Deception has fled, and truth / Fills the room with terrible forms, / Demanding not to be spared and sparing no one. / Hence do I welcome you, O hostile clarity etc.” Back.

[29] Goethe’s Die Leiden des jungen Werthers (Leipzig 1774) (The sufferings of young Werther). Back.

[30] 1 Corinthians 13:1 (NRSV): “If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.” Back.

[31] [Frank:] From a sonnet by Karl August von Varnhagen. Back.

[32] [Frank:] From the sonnet “An die Freunde τ. τ. π. α.” (i.e., [το του πολου αστρον] = Fichte!) by Anthropos (Koreff), which begins thus: “The pilgrim, profoundly misjudged, did you all see appear . . . ,” clearly referring to Fichte. Back.

[33] Text in both Erich Frank, Rezensionen über schöne Literatur von Schelling und Caroline in der Neuen Jenaischen Literatur-Zeitung (Heidelberg 1912), and the Jenaische Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung is incorrect; Erich Schmidt, (1913), 1:765, cites from the original manuscript, reading Germ. Bedenken, rather than Bewenden: “Mit der Unsterblichkeit hat es ohnehin sein Bedenken [problems, concerns]” [Frank:] The following text is from the sonnet “Dichtertrost” by * (Theremin?). Back.

Translation © 2017 Doug Stott