Letter 252f

252f. Wilhelm Schlegel to Gottlieb Hufeland in Jena: Jena, 3 or 4 November 1799 [*]

To Herr Justizrath Hufeland

[Jena, 3 or 4 November 1799]

I certainly do not deny that contributors to the A.L.Z. are guaranteed anonymity without qualification. They themselves can relinquish this right in specific instances (as is so often the case in responses to anti-critiques) or even in the larger sense with certain restrictions (as I myself have done through my declaration) without the editors thereby being in the least justified in going even further by lifting anonymity for every individual case. Hence if you do indeed intend such, you will be doing so at your own risk, since other contributors will see from this example how little they can rely on previously promised discretion.

I myself, by the way, have absolutely no reason to shy away from an enumeration of my own reviews, and could in fact even reserve the right to present such an enumeration in a different context. [1] Such a step cannot at all serve to refute the adduced assertion that almost all reviews of any note in this area during the indicated period come from my hand, since to that end it would suffice to specify by name the numerous critical masterpieces by other authors.

As far as the reviews are concerned with which I have been ashamed to be associated, I can, should this statement seem too indefinite, easily add to my declaration a list of the reviews primarily responsible for prompting that sentiment.

For the rest, it goes without saying that the editors will respond to my declaration as they see fit, and that I never expected the declaration to be published without that condition. I am concerned only that its appearance be delayed as little as possible. [2]



[*] Source: Körner, (1930), 100–101. — This text was taken from a draft copy in Caroline’s handwriting. — This letter is Wilhelm’s response to Hufeland’s letter to him on 3 November 1799 (letter 252e). Back.

[1] Wilhelm published a complete index of all his reviews in the Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung in an appendix to Athenaeum (1800) following page 164, remarking (see letter/document 255a):

With respect to the explications of the editors of the Intelligenzblatt of the Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung (1799) no. 145 concerning me, let me present the following complete index of the reviews I contributed to the Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung. Back.

[2] Both Wilhelm’s declaration, dated 30 October 1799, and the editorial response, dated 6 November 1799, were published concurrently in the Intelligenzblatt of the Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung (1799) 145 (Wednesday, 13 November 1799) 1179–84 (letter/document 255a).

Concerning this entire dispute, see also Caroline’s letter to Johann Diederich Gries on 27 December 1799 (letter 258). Back.

Translation © 2013 Doug Stott