Letter 387g

387g. Schelling to Carl Joseph Windischmann in Aschaffenburg: Bamberg, 24 October 1804 [*]

Bamberg, 24 October 1804

Before Easter I will be publishing a piece, “Description of the Sect currently opposing Philosophy in Bavaria,” treating the former almost solely satirically, but the matter itself quite seriously and thoroughly. To that end, I need the volumes of the Munich Oberdeutsche allgemeine Litteraturzeitung from 1803 and 1804. Might you be able to secure those for me from your reading circle and send them along? [1]

People in Bamberg are in a rather embarrassing position with regard to me, though I cannot guarantee that when this piece does appear people will not be imprudent enough to expel me from the territory.

Nor do I demand better, and want merely not to be pushed out the way, as it were, maliciously and insidiously under the cover of darkness. I would, however, just in case, like to have the option of an asylum under your own prince elector. I am not asking for a position, merely perhaps for an honorary position and a peaceful set of circumstances under which to live — preferably in Regensburg. Do you believe I might attain such? [2]

There is considerable public noise about Kilian and Marcus. Although this affair does not concern me at all, [3] for now please do assure whoever talks about it that things will end very good for Marcus and very badly for Kilian. [4]

A Dio! [5]



[*] Sources: Plitt 2:35–36; Fuhrmans 3:130–31. — Dating: Plitt dates this letter to 21 October 1804.

Aschaffenburg, where Windischmann was residing, is located ca. 60 km northwest of Würzburg (Neueste Post. Karte von Deutschland und den angrenzenden Laendern, ed. T. Molls [Vienna 1805]):



[1] This piece never appeared. It was replaced instead by Schelling’s To the Public, which appeared in the Intelligenzblatt of the Jenaische Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung 48 (6 May 1805), 417–22 (letter/document 393b), after attacks on him increasingly took the form of personal defamation in early 1805.

Schelling did, however, apparently reconsider publishing it after all and sent a letter to this effect on 26 December 1804 to a bookseller in Jena (the Akademische Buchhandlung), which answered him on 17 February 1806 (Fuhrmans 1:346), maintaining that had the piece appeared when Schelling had initially made the proposal, presumably in the autumn of 1804, they would have been interested. Indeed, the announcement the bookseller had published elicited a favorable response.

As it was, however, the fire had “burned out” in the interim, and they found it inadvisable to take on the project. Schelling may also have considered that its publication might make it difficult for him to stay in Bavaria (he and Caroline would move to Munich in the late spring of 1806), prompting him to drop the project yet again.

Concerning the adversarial position of the Oberdeutsche allgemeine Litteraturzeitung, see Kuno Fischer’s discussion in the supplementary appendix on Bavarian Catholic opposition to Schelling. Back.

[2] Regensburg is located ca. 125 km northeast of Munich, and ca. 210 km southeast of Würzburg, Erlangen ca. 90 km southeast of Würzburg (Neueste Post. Karte von Deutschland und den angrenzenden Laendern, ed. T. Molls [Vienna 1805]):


Schelling and Caroline did not have to take refuge in Regensburg, but his apprehension here trenchantly demonstrates his sense that his position in Würzburg and Bavaria was becoming increasingly precarious. Back.

[3] At issue is the article on Würzburg Marcus published anonymously in the Zeitung für die elegante Welt. Concerning the background and ensuing scandal between Kilian and Marcus, see note 4 there. Back.

[4] Such was not really the case. See Hegel to Friedrich Immanuel Niethammer on 10 December 1804 (Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel’s Werke, vol. 19: Briefe von und an Hegel [Leipzig 1887], 1:45): “Yesterday I heard about Marcus’s triumph over Kilian; I feel sorry for him insofar as, amid his strictly legal victory, he is nonetheless the vanquished party.” See Marcus’s letter to Schelling on 14 October 1804 (letter 387f), notes 1 and 3. Back.

[5] Italian, here: “Godspeed.” Back.

Translation © 2017 Doug Stott