Christian Gottfried Körner (born July 2, 1756 in Leipzig, † May 13, 1831 in Berlin) was a German writer and lawyer. Körner is the editor of the first complete edition of the works of his friend Friedrich Schiller and the editor of his son Theodor Körner’s poetic estate. Schiller wrote his ode to his friendship with Körner To Joy, which has become part of the final movement of the 9th symphony of Ludwig van Beethoven’s European anthem. (Source: Wikipedia)
News from Schiller’s life
The Appellationsrat Körner in Dresden, as its author, vouches for the reliability of this news. Since 1785, he had been one of Schiller’s most trusted friends and was supported by several people who had been in close contact with the immortalized person through valuable contributions. Not the slightest circumstance has been included in this biography, which is not based on Schiller’s own statements or on credible testimonies. It should be noted that they were written in 1812.
The custom and way of thinking of the father’s house, in which Schiller spent the years of his childhood, was not beneficial for the early development of existing skills, but for the health of the soul of charitable influence. Simple and without versatile training, but powerful, agile and active for practical life, the father was honest and pious. He went to the Netherlands with a Bavarian hussar regiment as a surgeon in 1745, and the lack of sufficient employment prompted him to be used as a non-commissioned officer in the war at the time when small commands were sent out for undertakings. When part of the regiment with which he served was released after the Aachen Peace had been concluded, he returned to his homeland, the Duchy of Württemberg, where he was employed and in 1757 was a midshipman and adjutant with the then Prince Louis regiment. This regiment was part of a Württemberg auxiliary corps that made up part of the Austrian army in some campaigns of the seven-year war. In Bohemia, this corps received a significant loss from a violent, contagious disease, but Schiller’s father kept himself healthy through moderation and a lot of exercise, and in this case took care of any business that might be needed. He cared for the sick when there were no surgeons and acted as clergyman at the regimental service by reading a few prayers and leading the chant.
Since 1759 he had been with another Württemberg corps in Hesse and Thuringia and used the muse every hour to make up for his own studies without outside help, which had not been taught to him in earlier years due to unfavorable circumstances. He pursued mathematics and philosophy with great enthusiasm, and agricultural activities had an excellent appeal for him. A tree nursery, which he set up in Ludwigsburg, where he was a captain in the district after the war ended, was the happiest success. This prompted the then Duke of Württemberg to entrust him with the supervision of a larger institution of this kind, which had been built on the Solitude, a ducal pleasure palace. In this place he completely satisfied the expectations he had cherished, was valued by his prince and respected by all who knew him, reached old age, and still had the joy of experiencing the fame of his son. The following passage about this son can be found in an existing handwritten essay by the father:
"And you, beings of all beings! After the birth of my only son, I asked you to increase your mental strength, which I could not achieve due to a lack of lessons, and you heard me. Thanks to you, benevolent being, that you pay attention to the requests of mortals! – "
Schiller as a boy, 1768
Schiller’s mother is described by reliable people as an undemanding, but understanding and good-natured housewife. She loved her husband and children tenderly, and the intimacy of her feelings made her very worthy of her son. She had little time to read, but loved Utz and Gellert, especially as spiritual poets. – Johann Christoph Friedrich Schiller was born of such parents on November 10, 1759 in Marbach, a small town on the Neckar in Württemberg. Individual traits, remembered from his earliest years, were evidence of softness of the heart, religiousness, and strict conscientiousness. He received his first lessons from the pastor Moser in Lorch, a border village in Württemberg, where Schiller’s parents stayed for three years from 1765. The son of this clergyman, who later became a preacher, was Schiller’s first boyfriend, and this probably aroused his later inclination to the clergy.
The Schiller family moved back to Ludwigsburg in 1768. There the nine-year-old boy saw a theater for the first time, and as brilliant as the splendor of the court under Duke Karl’s government required. The effect was powerful: a new world opened up to him, to which all of his youthful games related, and plans for tragedy games occupied him even then, but his tendency to spiritual status did not diminish.
Until 1773 he received his lessons in a larger public school in Ludwigsburg, during which time a classmate at the time remembered his cheerfulness, his often wanton mood and cheekiness, but also his noble way of thinking and hardworking. The good testimonies of his teachers made the governing duke aware of him, who at that time set up a new educational institution with great zeal and selected pupils for it among the sons of his officers.
Admission to this institute, the military nursery school at the Solitude pleasure palace and subsequent Karlsschule in Stuttgart, was a prince’s grace, the rejection of which, however, must have been of concern to Schiller’s father. Nonetheless, this frankly opened the Duke’s intention to dedicate his son to a stand for which he could not be prepared at the new educational institution. The duke was not offended, but asked to choose another course of study. The embarrassment was great in Schiller’s family, it took a lot of effort to sacrifice his inclination to his father’s circumstances, but finally he decided to study law and was accepted into the new institute in 1773. The following year, when each pupil had to draw up his own character description, Schiller made the confession:
"That he would consider himself happier if he could serve the fatherland as a scholar."
In 1775 he also seized an opportunity to at least give up his law degree, which was not attractive to him. A new training facility for future doctors had been set up at the institute. The duke gave every pupil the choice of using this institution, and Schiller used this request.
It was at the Karlsschule where his earliest poems were written. An attempt to fully explain the peculiarity of these products from the external causes of the time would be a futile effort. Much of what determined the direction of such a mind was naturally hidden, and only the following known circumstances deserve to be noted in this regard.
There was little opportunity to read German poets at the Karlsschule, as was the case at most of the then educational establishments in Germany. Schiller therefore remained unknown with much of the patriotic literature; but the more familiar he became with the works of some darlings. Klopstock, Utz, Lessing, Goethe and von Gerstenberg were the friends of his youth.
A new life began on the German Parnassus. The best minds revolted against the despotism of fashion and against the pursuit of cold elegance. A strong portrayal of passion and character, deep looks into the inside of the soul, richness of imagination and language should justify the poet’s worth. Regardless of all external surroundings, he should appear as a being from a higher world, regardless of whether sooner or later he will find a worthy reception with his contemporaries. German poetry should develop from within, not by outside influence, but by itself. Examples of such a way of thinking had to take hold of a young man from Schiller’s facilities. Therefore, especially enthusiasm for Goethe Götz von Berlichingen and Gerstenbergs Ugolino. He was later made aware of Shakespeare, and this was done by his then teacher, the current prelate Abel in Schönthal, who made several contributions to him at all. Schiller was in no further connection with the poet Schubart than that he visited him once at the Hohenasperg fortress, to share his fate.
An epic poem, Moses, belongs to Schiller’s earliest attempts in 1773, and his first tragedy arose not long after: Cosmus by Medicis, similar in fabric with quiet jokes Julius of Taranto. Individual parts of this piece are later in the robber been included; But besides, nothing of Schiller’s products from the period of 1780 has survived than a few poems that can be found in the Swabian magazine. At that time, Schiller was not solely concerned with reading poets; Plutarch’s biographies, Herders and Garven’s writings were also particularly attractive to him, and it deserves to be noted that he studied the German language excellently in Luther’s translation of the Bible.
He was serious about medicine, and to devote two years exclusively to it, he renounced all poetic work during this time. At that time he wrote a treatise entitled: Philosophy of physiology. This script was subsequently worked out in Latin by him and presented to his superiors in the manuscript, but did not appear in print. After completing the course, he defended another sample in 1780: About the connection between the animal nature of man and his spiritual. The success of this was soon a regimental medication with the Augé Regiment, and his contemporaries claim that he had distinguished himself as a general practitioner by spirit and boldness, but not to the same degree by luck.
Schiller reads "The Robbers" in the Bopserwald
After the time when a strict vow removed him from poetry, he returned to her with renewed love. The robbers and several individual poems, which he wrote shortly afterwards, together with the products of a few friends, under the title One anthology published, emerged in the years 1780 to 1781, which were among the most decisive of his life.
For the robber Schiller found no publisher, and had to organize the printing at his own expense. The first proof of recognition abroad was all the more pleasing to him when the court chamber council and bookseller Schwan in Mannheim asked him to revise this work for the stage there as early as 1781. Shortly afterwards, he received a similar proposal, which was also sighted on future dramatic products, from the director of the Mannheim Theater himself, the Freiherr von Dalberg. What Schiller replied to this is still there, and it follows from how strictly he judged himself and how easily he agreed to any change, the necessity of which he was convinced, but how little this willingness degenerated into slackness, and how he emphatically defended the rights of his work, even against a man whom he valued.
The written negotiations ended in mutual satisfaction, and the robber were performed in Mannheim in January 1782. Schiller was present at this and the second performance in May of this year, but the trip to Mannheim had to be done secretly and is not to be hidden. A fourteen-day arrest was the punishment.
At that time, another circumstance made Schiller even more bitter about his stay in Stuttgart. A job in the thieve, the Graubündner found himself offended, a complaint was made, and the Duke prohibited Schiller from printing anything other than the medical subject. For him, the more oppressive this restriction was, the more favorable the prospects were for the happy success of his first tragedy. He had also joined the professor Abel and the librarian Petersen in Stuttgart to create a magazine under the title: Württemberg repertory of literature, for the first few pieces he published some essays, as: About the current German theater; the Walk under the linden trees; a generous act from recent history and delivered various recessions, especially a very severe and detailed one about the robbers. However, there was still a way out to undo the ban, but Schiller could not decide to do so.
In later years, he himself told how a credible man testifies that it was not his preoccupation with poetry at all, but his special way of writing that aroused the Duke’s dissatisfaction at the time. As a multi-faceted prince, the duke respected every genre of art, and would have liked to have seen that an excellent poet would have emerged from the Karlsschule. But he found frequent ones in Schiller’s products Violations of the better taste. Nonetheless, he did not give up on him, but rather let him come to him, warned him in a fatherly way, which Schiller could not remain unmoved, and simply demanded that he show him all of his poetic products. Schiller was unable to enter this, and his refusal was naturally not well received. However, it seems that the Duke still had some interest in Schiller afterwards. At least no strict measures were taken against him when he later secretly moved away from Stuttgart, and this step had no negative consequences for his father. Afterwards, in 1793, when the Duke was still alive, Schiller was allowed to venture into his fatherland and his parents without this meeting being disturbed in any way.
The performance of the robber in Mannheim, where the art of acting was at a high level at the time, and especially Iffland’s portrayal of Franz Moor, had had an inspiring effect on Schiller. His admission there promised him a beautiful poetic life, the charm of which he could not resist. However, he only wished to leave Stuttgart with the Duke’s permission. He hoped to get this permission through the Baron von Dalberg, and his letters to him contain repeated urgent requests for such use. But there might be difficulties in fulfilling his request. His impatience grew, he decided to flee and chose the date in October 1782, since everything in Stuttgart was busy with the celebrations that were caused by the arrival of the then Grand Duke Paul.
He went to Franconia under a different name and lived there for almost a year near Meinigen zu Bauerbach, an estate belonging to the Privy Councilor at Wollzüge, whose benevolent reception was thanks to his connection with her sons, who had studied with him in Stuttgart. Carefree and undisturbed, he devoted himself entirely to his poetic work. The fruits of his work were: The Fiesco conspiracy, a work already started in Stuttgart during the arrest, Cabale and love and the first ideas for Don Carlos. In September 1783 he finally left this stay to go to Mannheim, where he got in touch with the local theater.
It was in Schiller’s character to deal with plans of a much more comprehensive effectiveness each time he entered new circumstances. The degree to which he took the dramatic art seriously is evident from his preface to the first edition of the robber, from the essay on contemporary German theater in the Württemberg repertory and from one in the first issue of Thalia indented lecture on the question: What can a good standing stage do?? In Mannheim he hoped a lot for the higher interest of art. He had become a member of the then Palatinate German society, saw himself surrounded by men from whom he expected strong participation, and drafted a plan to give the theater in Mannheim greater perfection through a dramaturgical society. This thought was not carried out; but Schiller at least attempted to do something for this purpose alone, by designating part of the periodical script he wrote in 1784 under the title Rhenish Thalia, undertook. In the announcement of this magazine, he throws himself into the arms of the audience with youthful confidence. His words are as follows:
"All my connections are now broken. The audience is everything to me now, my studies, my sovereign, my confidante. I now belong to him alone. I will stand before this and no other tribunal. I only fear and I worship. Something big turns me on when I think of wearing no fetter other than the saying of the world – no more throne to appeal to than the human soul. – The writer leaps over the posterity, which was nothing more than his works – and I am happy to admit that when this Thalia was published it was my excellent intention to establish a bond of friendship between the audience and me. "
One of the dramatic subjects Schiller dealt with alternately during his stay in Franconia and Mannheim was History of Conradin of Swabia and a second part of the robber, which should contain a dissolution of the dissonances of this tragedy. At that time he also had the idea of Shakespeare’s Macbeth and Timon to edit for the German stage. But Don Carlos it was finally what he intended for, and some scenes of it appeared in the first issue of the Thalia.
The lecture of these scenes at the Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt gave the opportunity for Schiller to be known to the current ruling Duke of Saxony-Weimar and to be appointed by him as a councilor. This award from a prince who was familiar with the Muses and was only used to the excellent, had to give Schiller great encouragement, and later had the most important consequences for him.
In March 1785 he came to Leipzig. Friends awaited him here, whom he had won through his previous products, and whom he found in a happy mood. Among those friends was Huber, who died prematurely. Schiller himself was cheered up and spent a few months in the summer in Gohlis, a village near Leipzig, in a happy circle. The song To Joy was written at that time.
At the end of the summer of 1785, Schiller’s stay in Dresden began and continued until July 1787. Don Carlos was not just ended here, but also took on a whole new shape. Schiller often regretted having made individual scenes known in the Thalia before the whole thing was completed. He himself had made considerable progress in this work, his demands had become stricter, and the initial plan did not satisfy him any more than the manner in which it was carried out in the first printed scenes.
The design for a play: The misanthrope, and some of the existing scenes also belong to this period. Few of the smaller poems appeared at the time. Schiller was partly too busy with the continuation of his magazine, partly the desire had arisen in him to establish an independent existence through any activity outside the field of poetry. He wavered between medicine and history for a while, and finally chose the last one. The historical preparatory work for Don Carlos had drawn his attention to a rich substance, the fall of the Netherlands under Philip the Second. He started collecting materials to treat this substance. At that time he also decided to publish stories of the strangest revolutions and conspiracies, of which only a part appeared that contained something by Schiller himself.
Cagliostro played a role in France at the time, which caused a lot of attention; In what was said about this strange man, Schiller found some useful for a novel, and the idea for the Geisterseher. It was by no means a true story, but Schiller, who never belonged to a secret society, just wanted to try his strength in this genre. The work was spoiled for him and remained unfinished when it appeared from the inquiries that he received from several sides that he had only stimulated the curiosity of the audience about the event. Its purpose had been higher.
The year 1787 brought him to Weimar. Goethe was in Italy at the time, but Schiller was well received by Wieland and Herder. Herder was extremely attractive to him, but the paternal affection with which Wieland anticipated him had a greater effect on Schiller’s receptivity. He wrote to a friend at the time:
"We will have great hours. Wieland is young when he is >loves
Schiller with his family
"It lives quite differently on the side of a dear woman than it is so abandoned and alone – even in summer. Only now do I fully enjoy the beautiful nature and live in it. It dresses itself around me again in poetic forms, and often it moves around me again in poetic forms, and often it moves again in my chest. – What a beautiful life I’m leading now! I look around me with a happy spirit, and my heart finds an everlasting gentle satisfaction, my mind such a beautiful food and relaxation. My existence has become harmoniously identical; not passionately excited, but calm and bright these days go by. – I face my future destiny with a cheerful courage. Now that I have reached my goal, I am amazed at how everything went beyond my expectations. Fate conquered the difficulties for me, it brought me to my goal. I hope everything from the future. A few years and I will enjoy my spirit fully, yes, I hope I will return to my youth; it gives me back an inner life as a poet. "
But such a happy situation was soon disrupted by a hard blow. A violent breast disease seized Schiller at the beginning of 1791 and shattered his physical condition for the rest of his life. Several relapses feared the worst, he needed the greatest protection, public lectures would have been extremely harmful to him, and all other strenuous work had to be suspended. It was all about putting him in a carefree position for at least a few years, and in Germany there was no lack of willpower or strength. But before an association was established for this purpose, help from Denmark appeared unexpectedly. From the then hereditary prince, now ruling Duke of Holstein-Augustenburg, and from the Count von Schimmelmann, Schiller was offered an annual salary of a thousand thalers over three years without conditions and only for his restoration, and this was done with a delicacy and delicacy that the The recipient, as he writes, moved even more than the offer itself. Denmark was where Klopfstock once received the means of independent existence to end his Messiah. Blessed is such a noble way of thinking, which even Schiller was rewarded with the happiest consequences!
A complete restoration of his health was not to be expected, but the strength of his mind, which felt free from the pressure of external conditions, triumphed over the weakness of the body. He forgot minor evils when he was engaged in an enthusiastic job or a serious study, and he was often freed from violent attacks for years. He still had beautiful days to live, enjoyed them with a serene soul, and from this mood his nation reaped the fruits in his most excellent works.
During the first years of his stay in Jena, Schiller was in good understanding with most of the scholars there, with Paulus, Schütz and Hufeland in friendly relations, but in the most precise connection with Reinhold. It could not be missing that he was made aware of the Kantian philosophy and that it attracted him. What he studied exquisitely was Critique of Judgement, and this led him to philosophical investigations, the result of which he made known in the treatise on grace and dignity, in various essays by Thalia, and mainly later in the letters on the aesthetic education of man.
From the period of these theoretical studies, he wrote the following:
“I had Aristotle some time ago poetics read, and not only did she not put me down and narrow it down, it really strengthened and relieved me. After the embarrassing way in which the French take Aristotle and try to get past his demands, a cold, liberal and rigid legislator is expected in him, and the opposite is found. He brings to the being with firmness and determination, and about the external things he is as lax as one can be. What he demands from the poet must be demanded from himself if he knows what he wants. It flows from the nature of things. Poetics deals almost exclusively with tragedy, which he favors more than any other poetic genre. You can tell that he speaks from a very rich experience and view, and had an enormous amount of tragic ideas in front of him. Also there is absolutely nothing speculative in his book, no trace of any theory. It is all empirical; but the large number of cases and the happy choice of patterns that he has in mind gives his empirical statements a general content and the complete quality of laws. ”
In the years from 1790 to 1794 not a single original poem was completed, and only the translations from Virgil fall into this period. However, there was no shortage of plans for future poetic works. In particular, it was ideas about a hymn to light and a theodice that kept Schiller busy.
"I am very pleased with this Theodicee," he writes, "because the new philosophy is much more poetic against Leibnitzsche and has a larger character."
Excellent gave him that History of the Thirty Years’ War, which he worked on for Göschens historical almanacs from 1791, material for poetic activity. For some time he was concerned with the idea of choosing Gustav Adolph as the hero of an epic poem, as can be seen from the following passage in his letters:
“Gustav Adolph is at the top of all historical subjects, where poetic interest is still the most common with national and political ones. – The history of mankind belongs to the history of the Reformation as an indispensable episode, and this is inseparable from the Thirty Years’ War. So it is only a matter of the ordering spirit of the poet, in a heroic poem that goes from the Battle of Leipzig to the Battle of Lützen, to treat the whole history of mankind casually, with far more interest than if it were the main material would have been."
The first idea for the Wallenstein. When this idea was to be implemented as early as 1792, Schiller wrote the following about it:
“Actually, it’s only art itself where I feel my strength. In theory, I always have to struggle with principles; I’m just amateur. But for the sake of execution, I like to philosophize about theory. The criticism must now replace the damage it has caused me. And indeed it did harm; because I have been missing the audacity, the lively embers I had before I knew a rule for several years. I see myself now being created and educated, I watch the game of enthusiasm, and my imagination is less freedom since she no longer knows herself without witnesses. But once I have reached the point where artistry becomes nature, like education for a well-mannered person, then my imagination also regains its former freedom and sets no limits other than voluntary. "
But it should be seven years before the Wallenstein was finished, and there was a moment of discouragement when Schiller almost gave up this work. In his letters from 1794 there is the following passage:
“I am really scared of this work (the Wallenstein), because I think I find more and more every day that I can actually imagine nothing less than a poet, and that at most where I want to philosophize, the poetic spirit I’m surprised of. What should I do? I venture into this venture for seven to eight months of my life, which I have caused for a great deal, and exposed myself to the risk of producing an unsuccessful product. What I gave birth to in the dramatic is not very clever to give me courage. In the most literal sense of the word, I am walking on a path that is completely unknown to me, at least tried, because I’ve been attracting a completely new person to poetry for three to four years. "
Not long before these statements, Schiller had revised his poems, and his views at the time make it clear the severity with which he treated his earlier products. Nevertheless, one should not believe that a hypochondriac mood would have been brought about by physical suffering at that time. Several passages from his letters prove that during this time he was nothing short of dead for enthusiastic effectiveness and for a nobler enjoyment of life.
When the fate of Louis XVI was to be decided after the outbreak of the French Revolution, Schiller wrote the following to a friend in December 1792:
"Don’t you know anyone who translates well into French if I had anything to do with it? I can hardly resist the temptation to intervene in the dispute over the king and write a memoir about it. It seems to me that this undertaking is important enough to employ the pen of a sensible person, and a German writer who declares freedom and eloquence about this issue is likely to make an impression on these directionless minds. When a single member of an entire nation makes a public judgment, one is inclined, at least at first glance, to consider him the spokesman for his class, if not his nation, and I believe that the French are not against foreign judgment in this matter are completely insensitive. In addition, this substance is very clever at allowing such a defense of the good cause that is not subject to abuse. The writer, who argues publicly for the king’s cause, may on this occasion already say some important truths more than another, and also has a little more credit. Perhaps you advise me to remain silent, but I believe that one should not remain indolent and inactive on such occasions. If every free-minded head had remained silent, there would never have been a step towards our improvement. There are times when you have to speak in public because there is susceptibility to it, and that time seems to me to be the current one. ”
In the middle of 1793 Schiller wrote: "The love of the fatherland has become very lively in me."
He made the trip to Swabia, lived from August to May of the following year partly in Heilbronn, partly in Ludwigsburg, and was happy to see his parents, sisters and friends of young people again. From Heilbronn he wrote to the Duke of Württemberg, whom he had violated by being so far from Stuttgart. He received no answer, but the news that the duke had publicly said that Schiller would come to Stuttgart and be ignored by him. This determined Schiller to continue his journey and, as a result, he found that he hadn’t dared to do anything. He also mourned this duke, who died shortly afterwards, with an intimate feeling of gratitude and veneration.
Schiller returned to Jena, full of a long-planned but now mature plan to unite the most excellent writers in Germany into a magazine that was to surpass everything that had ever existed in this genre. An enterprising publisher was found to do so, and the publication of the Listen was decided. The Thalia had ended with the year 1793. The prospects for the new magazine were very good, and promising responses were received from all sides to the invitation to participate.
At that time Jena had a new appeal for Schiller, since Wilhelm v. Humboldt², the older brother of the famous traveler, had gone there and lived there with Schiller in the most precise connection. At this time the beginning of the beautiful and afterwards ever stronger bond between Goethe and Schiller, which increased the value of their lives for both. The following passages can be found in Schiller’s letters regarding the cause of this event:
“On my return (from a little trip back then) I found a warm letter from Goethe, which I received with confidence. We had six weeks A long and broad discussion about art and art theory and the main ideas that we had come to in quite different ways. There was an unexpected agreement between these ideas, which was all the more interesting because it really came from the greatest variety of points of view. Each could give something to the other what he lacked and receive something for it. Since then, these scattered ideas have taken root at Goethe, and he now feels a need to join me and continue with me on the path he has taken so far alone and without encouragement. I am really looking forward to a change of ideas that is so fruitful for me. ” –
“I will travel to Weimar for a fortnight next week and live with Goethe. He persuaded me so much that I could not refuse because I should find all possible freedom and comfort with him. Our closer contact will have decisive consequences for both of us, and I am really looking forward to it. ”
"We have decided on a correspondence with one another about mixed matters", which is to become a source of essays for the Horen. This way, says Goethe, diligence would take a certain direction, and without realizing that you were working, you would get materials together. Since we are unanimous in important matters and yet very different individualities, this correspondence can be really interesting. "
In the following year 1795 a new period of poetic fertility began at Schiller. As much as he was concerned with the new magazine, several poems were nevertheless created, some of them in the Listen, partly in the Musenalmanach were recorded, the publication of which Schiller undertook. The realm of shadows or the ideal and life, the elegy or the walk and the ideal were products of this year. The elegy thought Schiller was one of his most successful works.
“It strikes me,” he wrote, “the surest empirical criterion of the true poetic quality of my product is that it does not wait for the mood in which it pleases, but produces it, that is, pleases in every mood. And I have never encountered this with any of my pieces but this one. ”
about the ideal there is the following statement from him:
“This poem is more a natural sound, as Herder would call it, and to be regarded as a voice of pain that is artless and comparatively also formless. It is too individual to be judged as actual poetry; for the individual satisfies a need, relieves himself of a burden instead of giving in to the urge to create in songs of another kind, driven by an abundance. It also communicates the sensation from which it arose, and it does not claim more, according to its gender. ”
"The realm of shadows,"He further writes," is with whom elegy compared, just a teaching poem. If the content had been carried out as poetically as the content of the elegy, so in a sense it would have been a maximum. And I want to try that as soon as I get leisure. I want to write an idyll like I wrote an elegy here. All my poetic powers tense up to this energy – to objectively individualize the ideal of beauty in order to create an idyll in my mind. I split the whole field of poetry into naive and sentimental. The naive has no subspecies (considering the way it is perceived), the sentimental has three: satire, elegy, idyll. In sentimental poetry (and I can’t do it out of it), the idyll is the highest, but also the most difficult problem. It is given up to produce the pathos with a high, indeed the highest poetic effect without aid. My Realm of shadows only contains the rules; following them in a single case would create the idyll I’m talking about. I seriously intend to continue where the realm of shadows ends. The marriage of Hercules to Hebe would be the content of my idyll. There is no more for the poet beyond this material, because the poet must not leave human nature, and this idyll would deal with the passage of man into God. The main characters would already be gods, but through Hercules I can still link them to humanity and bring a movement into the painting. If I succeed in this venture, I hope that with sentimental poetry I will have triumphed over the naive myself. ”
“Such an idyll would actually be the counterpart of the high comedy and would touch it very closely on one side (in form), being the direct opposite of it on the other and in terms of substance. The comedy also excludes all pathos, but its substance is reality; the material of this idyll is the ideal. Comedy is the one in satire that would be the product quaestionis in the idyll (which is regarded as a separate sentimental gender). If it turns out that such treatment of the idyll would be impracticable – that the ideal could not be individualized – comedy would be the highest poetic work I have always thought it was until I started to believe in the possibility of such an idyll , But imagine the enjoyment, in a poetic representation, extinguishing everything mortal, loud light, loud freedom, pure fortune – no shadow, no barriers, nothing of all of which to see any more – I feel dizzy when I take on this task, when I go think the possibility of their dissolution. I do not despair if my mind is only completely free and washed free of all the rubbish of reality. I then gather all my strength and the whole ethereal part of my nature together, even if it should be used up on this occasion. Don’t ask me anything yet. I only have very fluctuating pictures of it and only here and there individual trains. A long study and striving must first teach me whether something solid, plastic can become of it. "
The tragedy was, however, the home to which Schiller soon returned, even in the mood at that time. He had come up with a story from the history of the Turkish siege of Malta, expecting much from the use of the choir. From this piece – the Knights of Malta – the plan can be found in Schiller’s estate, and the execution was only postponed at the time, since in May 1796 it was for the Wallenstein decided.
"I see myself," he wrote at the time, "on a very good path that I can only continue to produce something good. This is a lot and definitely a lot more than I could otherwise boast of in this subject. Before that, I put all the weight in the majority of the individual. Now everything is calculated on the totality, and I will endeavor to hide the same wealth in detail with just as much effort from art as I would otherwise use to show it in order to allow the individual to penetrate properly. If I wanted to do it differently, the nature of the matter does not allow me, because Wallenstein is a character who – as really realistic – can only be interesting as a whole, but never in detail. – He has nothing noble, he does not appear large in any single life act, he has little dignity and the like. – I hope, nonetheless, that in a purely realistic way he will set up a dramatically large character in him who has a real principle of life. Before that, in Posa and Carlos I tried to replace the missing truth with beautiful ideality: Here in Wallenstein I want to give it a try and compensate for the lack of ideality (namely the sentimental one) with the mere truth. "
“This makes the task difficult, but also more interesting, because realism itself needs the success that the idealistic character can lack. Unfortunately, however Wallenstein success against yourself. His undertaking is morally bad and it has an accident physically. It is never large in detail, and on the whole it loses its purpose. He cannot envelop himself like the idealist and rise above matter, but he wants to submit to matter and does not achieve it. "
“I would like to believe that you will see me walking with some concern on this new path and one that is strange to me after all my previous experiences. But don’t be afraid too much. It is astonishing how much realistic the growing years bring with them, how much the continuing dealings with Goethe and the study of the elderly, which I only get after the Carlos got to know, developed gradually with me. It is true, of course, that I will get into Goethe’s territory on the path I am now taking and will have to measure myself against it; it is also agreed that I will lose next to him in this. However, because I have something left that is mine and it can never be reached, its privilege will not harm me and my product, and I hope that the bill will rise quite a bit. As I promise in my most courageous moments, we will be specified differently, but our species will not be subordinated to one another, but will be coordinated under a more idealistic generic term. ”
Eight months later, Schiller wrote the following to another friend:
“The unfortunate work is still before me formless and endless. None of my old pieces has as much purpose and form as that Wallenstein already has, but I now know too well what I want and what I should be able to do business so easily. – Almost everything has been cut off from me, so that I could get this material in my usual way; I have almost nothing to expect from the content; everything must be done in a happy shape.
According to this description, you will be afraid that I have lost interest in doing business, or, if I insist against my inclination, that I will lose my time, but don’t worry, my lust is not in the least weakened, and neither is my hope of an excellent success. It had to be just such a material on which I could open my new dramatic life. Here, where I only walk the breadth of a shear knife, where every step on the side destroys the whole, in short, where I can only achieve my purpose through the only inner truth, necessity, consistency and certainty, the decisive crisis with my poetic character must respectively. She is also very much on the move, because I do my business very differently than I used to do. The material and subject is so much out of me that I can hardly gain an inclination. It leaves me almost cold and indifferent, and yet I am enthusiastic about the work. Except for two figures, to which I am attached, I treat all others, and especially the main character, only with the pure love of the artist, and I promise you that they should not be any worse. But for this merely objective process, the extensive and amicable study of the sources was and is so indispensable to me; because I had to draw the plot, like the characters, from their time, their location and the whole context of the events, which I would have needed far less if I could have got to know people and companies from this class through my own experience. I deliberately seek a limitation in the history sources in order to strictly determine and realize my ideas through the environment of the circumstances. Before that, I am certain that the historical will not pull me down or paralyze me. I just want to enliven my characters and my plot; It has to inspire the strength that I have at best been able to show, and without which no thought of this business at all from the beginning possible would have been."
It was two years and almost four months since Schiller wrote it Wallenstein ended. In the meantime, however, several small poems emerged, and among them the Xenien. The history of this product may help to correct some of the judgments made about it.
A new and more beautiful youth began for Schiller on Goethe’s side. A high level of enthusiasm for everything good, lively hatred against false taste in general and against any restriction of science and art, intoxicating high spirits in the feeling of a force previously unheard of was the prevailing mood at the time. Hence his association with Goethe into a company that Schiller describes himself in the following way:
“The unity of such a product can only be sought in a certain limitlessness and abundance that exceeds all measurements, and so that the heterogeneity of the two authors cannot be recognized in the individual, the individual must be a minimum. In short, the thing is a certain whole of epigrams, each of which is a monodistichon. Most of it is wild satire, especially on writers and literary products, mixed with individual poetic and philosophical flashes of thought. There will not be less than 600 such mono-stiches, but the plan is to increase to 1,000. If we have finished with a significant number, the stock will be sorted, in consideration of a certain unit, revised to get the same tone, and everyone will then try to sacrifice something of his manner in order to get closer to the other. "
This plan was not carried out. In July 1796, Schiller wrote the following about it:
"After editing the Xenien had found that an astonishing amount of new mono-engravings would still be necessary if the collection even gave the impression of a whole. But because several hundred new ideas, especially about scientific objects, are not so easy to bid, and the completion of the “master” Goethe makes a strong diversion, we have agreed that Xenien not as a whole, but dismembered to be incorporated into the almanac. The serious, philosophical and poetic are isolated from it and sometimes placed in larger, sometimes in smaller whole in front in the almanac. The satirical follow under the name Xenien to."
It may be that some of the epigrams were recorded in this procedure that would have been left out if the first plan had been strictly selected. At that time, however, Schiller was irritated, not by remarks about the deficiencies of his products – because no one was more cautious about this than himself, as can be seen from the above passages in his letters, and he asked each of his friends to make frank judgments – but because he was cold and disdain embittered, with which a company that he was enthusiastic about received from several sides. This was the case with the Listen. Trusting in the support of the nation’s first writers, he had counted on a great impact and very often encountered a lack of receptivity and petty views. Then, in a surge of indignation, he could also encounter something human; but the actual spirit in which the Xenien written, speaks clearly enough for the unbiased reader as a whole.
A competition with Goethe prompted Schiller to launch his first ballads in 1797. Both poets divided into the materials that they had chosen collectively. From this genre, which Schiller had become fond of, he still supplied many things in later years after other smaller poems seldom appeared by him.
Since 1799 he devoted himself entirely to the dramatic work, and published the Muse almanac on. The Horen had ended earlier. Goethe Propylaea however, Schiller was very interested in, should receive contributions from him.
At this time, a change in his place of residence also occurs. In order to have the view of the theater, Schiller initially only wanted to spend the winter in Weimar and during the summer live in a garden near Jena that he had bought there. But later Weimar became his permanent residence. On this occasion he was supported by the ruling duke in a very noble way, just as this prince delighted him at every occasion with the clearest evidence of his benevolence. In 1795, when he received a professorship in Tübingen, Schiller owed him the assurance that his salary would double in the event that he was prevented from working on his writing, later on in 1799, and most recently in the year 1804, due to important offers made to Schiller from Berlin, an increase in his salary. It was also the Duke of Saxony-Weimar who, in 1802, influenced the nobility letter from his own movement.
In addition to Goethe’s proximity, the stay in Weimar had other significant advantages for Schiller. To cheer him up, a happy club was built, for which he, like Goethe, wrote some social songs. The four ages and the Song to friends were created in this way. The theater gave Schiller a lot of enjoyment, and he also liked to deal with the higher education of the actors there.
His views of art and criticism in this last period of his life result from the following fragments of his letters at the time:
“You needn’t be surprised if I now think of science and art at a greater distance and opposition than I might have been inclined to a few years ago. My whole activity has now turned to practice: I experience daily how little the poet is promoted by general, pure terms in practice, and in this mood would sometimes be unphilosophical enough to know everything that I myself and others know about elementary aesthetics , for a single empirical advantage, for an artifice of craft. Regarding the production, you will admit to me the inadequacy of the theory yourself, but I also extend my unbelief to the assessment, and I would like to assert that there is no receptacle to grasp the works of the imagination than this imagination itself. " –
“If you look at art, like philosophy, as something that always becomes and never is, always dynamic and not, as you now call it, atomistic, you can be just against any product without being restricted by it , But it is in the character of the Germans that everything becomes fixed to them immediately, and that they have to put infinite art, as they did with theology in the Reformation, into a symbol. That is why excellent works themselves are doomed to ruin, because they are immediately declared sacred and eternal, and the aspiring artist is always rejected. Do not believe religiously in these works is heresy, since art is above all works. There is, of course, a maximum in art, but not in modern art, which can only find salvation in eternal progress. ”
"I have that these days raging Roland read again and cannot tell you enough how attractive and refreshing this reading was for me. Here is life and movement and color and abundance; one is led out of oneself into full life and yet from there back into oneself; one swims in a rich, infinite element, and gets rid of one’s eternal, identical ego, and exists more precisely because one is torn from oneself. And yet, in spite of all the opulence, restlessness and impatience, there is form and plan in the poem, which one feels more than recognizes and perceives in the steadiness and self-preserving comfort and cheerfulness of the state. Of course, one should not seek depth and seriousness here; but we truly need the surface as necessary as the depth, and reason and fate provide enough seriousness that the imagination does not have to be confined to it. "-
"In my poetic quest, I still hope I have not taken a step backwards, perhaps a side step, in that it may have happened to me that I have given something to the material demands of the world and of time. The works of the dramatic poet are seized by the time star faster than anyone else. Even against his will, he comes into contact with the large masses in a versatile way, in which one does not always stay clean. In the beginning it pleases to make the ruler over the temper; but what ruler does it not meet that he again becomes the servant of his servants to assert his rule? And so it may have happened that, by accepting something from the German stages, I did. ”
After Schiller once through the Wallenstein After winning the championship, his other dramatic works quickly followed one another, although his work was often interrupted by physical suffering, and especially in 1799 by caring for a beloved wife in her then dangerous illness. Wallenstein appeared in 1799, Maria Stuart 1800, the Virgin of orleans 1801, the Bride from Messina 1803 and William Tell 1804. That same year he celebrated the arrival of the Russian Grand Duchess, who married the Prince of Saxony-Weimar, by paying homage to the arts. All these works left him time, Shakespeare’s Macbeth and Gozzis Turandot for the German theater. Later there were racines Phaedra and translated two French comedies by him. In the meantime he was concerned with several dramatic plans, some of which have been found under his papers.
He had also found material for a comedy, but felt too strange for this genre.
"I do believe myself," he wrote to a friend, "that comedy that is more about a comic summary of events than comic characters and humor; but my nature is too serious, and what has no depth cannot attract me for long. "
After translating the Phaedra he had started a new dramatic poem, of which the story of the false Demetrius in Russia was the material. In this work, in the midst of the full feeling of his spiritual power, death seized him. A violent relapse of his usual breast disease ended his life on May 9, 1805.
He left a widow, two sons and two daughters. The youngest of his three sisters had died before him. The oldest, however, lived in Meiningen as the wife of the local councilor Reinwald, and the second is married to the pastor Frankh zu Möckmühl, in the Kingdom of Württemberg.
Schiller’s facial features are most faithfully and spiritually depicted in a colossal bust by Dannecker in Stuttgart. It was based on a previously made life-size bust, for which Schiller had been sitting during his stay in Swabia, and to carry out this work in a larger style with all the effort of his strength, the noble artist decided at the moment of the greatest emotion because he Received news of his friend’s death.
Goethe’s words about Schiller may conclude this essay:
His cheek glowed red and red
Of that youth that never flies us,
That courage that sooner or later
Defeated the resistance of the dull world,
Of that belief that is always increasing,
Sometimes boldly emerges, sometimes patiently hugs,
So that the good work, grow, pious,
So that the day of the noble will finally come.
And some ghosts who wrestled with him,
His great merit unwillingly recognized,
They felt penetrated by his strength,
Willingly bound in his circle.
He has swung himself to the highest,
Closely related to everything we value.
So celebrate him! Because what the man’s life
Only half granted, should give entirely to posterity.
Charlotte von Schiller
Charlotte von Schiller, born von Lengefeld, was born in November 1766 in Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt. In February 1790 she became Schiller’s wife. For fifteen years she was his happy partner.
Only recurring concern for his health could tarnish this beautiful life. In the spring of the sixteenth year of their marriage, death snatched it from her arms, the world.
Charlotte lived entirely in Schiller and only for him. He was in need of a being full of pure, sensible receptivity for the reception of his ideas, and Charlotte found her happiness in his messages. "She liked to follow because she was easy to follow." A certain taste was innate in the harmony of her soul abilities. Her feeling was often a decisive judgment for him. The unwillingness to do anything common lay in her as in him.
She was the woman he needed. He could look at the clear bottom of this soul, in which there was nothing hidden, yes, which was impossible to say a word other than a faithful picture of her feelings and thoughts. The refreshing breath of blossoming imagination blew through her life, and her companion, the hope, received the Schiller so charitable in Charlotte. Independence and character are able to counteract the often hard necessity, but the magic of dealing only springs out of those heavenly powers.
Charlotte’s letters have their own grace. Grasping everything serious and great, but feeling the little things of everyday life fine and in a cheerful, often comical sense, they present the present moment clearly and gracefully.
After Schiller’s death she lived to bring up and lead the life of her four well-behaved and talented children. She still had the joy of seeing her two sons happily married. Her last years of life were tarnished by weakness in the eyes, which threatened total blindness. She also endured this misfortune with courage and submission, and enjoyed serene days with her children in the company of worthy friends from Swabia. After a successful eye operation that promised to regain her face, she was struck by a nerve. She died in the arms of two of her children, in Bonn, in Julius 1826. Her last hours were gentle. When clear, level-headedness vanished, she did not feel the separation from yours and died in friendly fantasies. Those who are drawn to the intellectual and cozy features of their portrait and want to follow their mild influence on the life of the great poet can get to know Charlotte better in Schiller’s life, drawn from the memories of his friends.
¹ It was this prince who later delighted Schiller with continued written evidence of the warmest part of his fate.
² See: correspondence between Schiller and Wilhelm v. Humboldt. With a preliminary memory about Schiller and the course of his intellectual development by W. v. Humboldt. Stuttgart and Tübingen. J.G. Cotta’s bookshop. 1830.
³ See: correspondence between Schiller and Goethe in the years 1794-1805. Stuttgart and Tübingen. J.G. Cotta’s bookshop. 1829-30.
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