Novalis (/nəˈvælɪs/; German: [noˈvaːlɪs]) was the pseudonym and pen name of Georg Philipp Friedrich Freiherr von Hardenberg (2 May 1772 – 25 March 1801), a poet, author, mystic, and philosopher of Early German Romanticism. Hardenberg's professional work and university background, namely his study of mineralogy and management of salt mines in Saxony, was often ignored by his contemporary readers. The first studies showing important relations between his literary and professional works started in the 1960s.
Novalis (1799), portrait by Franz Gareis
|Born||Georg Philipp Friedrich Freiherr von Hardenberg|
2 May 1772
Oberwiederstedt, Electorate of Saxony
|Died||25 March 1801 (aged 28)|
Weißenfels, Electorate of Saxony
|Occupation||Prose writer, poet, mystic, philosopher, civil engineer, mineralogist|
|Alma mater||University of Jena|
University of Wittenberg
|Literary movement||Jena Romanticism|
Georg Philipp Friedrich von Hardenberg was born in 1772 at Oberwiederstedt manor (now part of Arnstein, Saxony-Anhalt), in the Harz mountains. In the church in Wiederstedt, he was christened Georg Philipp Friedrich. An oil painting and a christening cap commonly assigned to him are Hardenberg's only possessions now extant.
The family seat was a manorial estate. Hardenberg descended from ancient, Lower German nobility with its ancestral seat at Nörten-Hardenberg since 1287 to this day. Different lines of the family include such important, influential magistrates and ministry officials as the Prussian chancellor Karl August von Hardenberg (1750–1822). He spent his childhood on the family estate and used it as the starting point for his travels into the Harz mountains.
His father, the estate owner and salt-mine manager Heinrich Ulrich Erasmus Freiherr (Baron) von Hardenberg (1738–1814), was a strictly pietistic man, member of the Moravian (Herrnhuter) Church. His second marriage was to Auguste Bernhardine von Böltzig (1749–1818), who gave birth to eleven children: their second child was Georg Philipp Friedrich. The Hardenbergs were a noble family but not rich. Young Georg Philipp was often short of cash, rode a small horse, and sometimes had to simply walk.
At first, young Hardenberg was taught by private tutors. He attended the Lutheran grammar school in Eisleben, where he acquired skills in rhetoric and ancient literature, common parts of the education of his time. From his twelfth year, he was in the charge of his uncle Friedrich Wilhelm Freiherr von Hardenberg at his stately home in Lucklum.
Young Hardenberg studied law from 1790 to 1794 at Jena, Leipzig and Wittenberg. He passed his exams with distinction. During his studies, he attended Schiller's lectures on history and befriended him during his illness. He also met Goethe, Herder and Jean Paul, and befriended Ludwig Tieck, Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling, and the brothers Friedrich and August Wilhelm Schlegel.
In October 1794, he started working as actuary for August Coelestin Just, who became not only his friend but, later, also his biographer. The following January, he was appointed auditor to the salt works at Weißenfels.
During the time he worked for August Coelestin Just, Novalis met the 12-year-old Sophie von Kühn (1782–1797), a girl who was, according to accounts, a "perfectly commonplace young girl, neither intelligent nor particularly beautiful." Nonetheless, he fell in love with Sophie, since in the young Georg Philipp's view of the world "nothing is commonplace" because "all, when rightly seen, is symbolic." On 15 March 1795, when Sophie was 13 years old, the two became engaged, despite her family's reluctance and the fact that she was already tubercular.
The early death of Sophie in March 1797, from tuberculosis, affected Novalis deeply and permanently. She was only 15 years old, and the two had not married.
In 1795–1796, Novalis entered the Mining Academy of Freiberg in Saxony, a leading academy of science, to study geology under Professor Abraham Gottlob Werner (1750–1817), who befriended him. During Novalis' studies in Freiberg, he immersed himself in a wide range of studies, including mining, mathematics, chemistry, biology, history and, not least, philosophy. It was here that he collected materials for his encyclopaedia project, Das allgemeine Brouillon. Similar to other German authors of the Romantic age, his work in the mining industry, which was undergoing then the first steps to industrialization, was closely connected with his literary work.
In the period 1795–1796, Novalis concerned himself with the scientific doctrine of Johann Gottlieb Fichte, which greatly influenced his worldview. He not only read Fichte's philosophies but also developed his concepts further, transforming Fichte's Nicht-Ich (German "not I") to a Du ("you"), an equal subject to the Ich ("I"). This was the starting point for Novalis' Liebesreligion ("religion of love").
Novalis' first fragments were published in 1798 in the Athenäum, a magazine edited by the Schlegel brothers, who were also part of the early Romantic movement. Novalis' first publication was entitled Blüthenstaub (Pollen) and saw the first appearance of his pseudonym, "Novalis". In July 1799, he became acquainted with Ludwig Tieck, and that autumn he met other authors of so-called "Jena Romanticism".
Novalis became engaged for the second time in December 1798. His fiancée was Julie von Charpentier (1776–1811), a daughter of Johann Friedrich Wilhelm Toussaint von Charpentier, a professor in Freiberg.
From Pentecost 1799, Novalis again worked in the management of salt mines. That December, he became an assessor of the salt mines and a director. On the 6 December 1800, the twenty-eight-year-old Hardenberg was appointed Supernumerar-Amtshauptmann for the district of Thuringia, a position comparable to a present-day magistrate.
Novalis lived long enough to see the publication only of Pollen, Faith and Love or the King and the Queen and Hymns to the Night. His unfinished novels Heinrich von Ofterdingen and The Novices at Sais, his political speech Christendom or Europa, and numerous other notes and fragments were published posthumously by his friends Ludwig Tieck and Friedrich Schlegel.
Novalis, who was deeply read in science, law, philosophy, politics and political economy, started writing quite early. He left an abundance of notes on these fields and his early work displays his ease and familiarity with them. His later works are closely connected to his studies and his profession. Novalis collected everything that he had learned, reflected upon it and drew connections in the sense of an encyclopaedic overview on art, religion and science. These notes from the years 1798 and 1799 are called Das allgemeine Brouillon (literally "general rough draft"), now available in English under the title Notes for a Romantic Encyclopaedia. Together with Friedrich Schlegel, Novalis developed the fragment as a literary artform. The core of Hardenberg's literary works is the quest for the connection of science and poetry, and the result was supposed to be a "progressive universal poesy”. Novalis was convinced that philosophy and the higher-ranking poetry have to be continually related to each other.
The fact that the romantic fragment is an appropriate form for a depiction of "progressive universal poesy”, can be seen especially from the success of this new genre in its later reception.
Novalis' whole works are based upon an idea of education: "We are on a mission: we are called upon to educate the earth." It has to be made clear that everything is in a continual process. It is the same with humanity, which forever strives towards and tries to recreate a new Golden Age – a paradisaic Age of harmony between man and nature that was assumed to have existed in earlier times. This Age was described by Plato, Plotinus and Franz Hemsterhuis, the last of whom was an extremely important figure for the German Romantics.
This idea of a romantic universal poesy can be seen clearly in the romantic triad. This theoretical structure always shows its recipient that the described moment is exactly the moment (kairos) in which the future is decided. These frequently mentioned critical points correspond with the artist's feeling for the present, which Novalis shares with many other contemporaries of his time. Thus a triadic structure can be found in most of his works. This means that there are three corresponding structural elements which are written differently concerning the content and the form.
A mystical worldview, a high standard of education, and the frequently perceptible pietistic influences are combined in Novalis' attempt to reach a new concept of Christianity, faith and God. He forever endeavours to align these with his own view of transcendental philosophy, which acquired the mysterious name "magical idealism", drawing heavily from the critical or transcendental idealism of Immanuel Kant and J. G. Fichte (the earliest form of German idealism), and incorporates the artistic element central to Early German Romanticism. The subject must strive to conform the external, natural world to its own will and genius; hence the term "magical". At the same time, Novalis' emphasis on the term "magic" represents a challenge to what he perceived as the disenchantment that came with modern rationalistic thinking and therefore functions as a "solution" of sorts to the lamentation in Hymnen an die Nacht. David Krell calls magical idealism "thaumaturgic idealism." This view can even be discerned in more religious works such as the Spiritual Songs (published 1802), which soon became incorporated into Lutheran hymn-books.
Novalis influenced, among others, the novelist and theologian George MacDonald, who translated his 'Hymns to the Night' in 1897. More recently, Novalis, and the Early Romanticism (Frühromantik) movement as a whole, has been recognized as constituting a separate philosophical school, as opposed to simply a literary movement. Recognition of the distinctness of Frühromantik philosophy is owed largely, in the English speaking world at least, to the writer Frederick Beiser.
In August 1800, eight months after completion, the revised edition of the Hymnen an die Nacht was published in the Athenaeum. They are often considered to be the climax of Novalis’ lyrical works and the most important poetry of the German early Romanticism.
The six hymns contain many elements which can be understood as autobiographical. Even though a lyrical "I", rather than Novalis himself, is the speaker, there are many relationships between the hymns and Hardenberg's experiences from 1797 to 1800.
The topic is the romantic interpretation of life and death, the threshold of which is symbolised by the night. Life and death are – according to Novalis – developed into entwined concepts. So in the end, death is the romantic principle of life.
Influences from the literature of that time can be seen. The metaphors of the hymns are closely connected to the books Novalis had read at about the time of his writing of the hymns. These are prominently Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet (in the translation by A.W. Schlegel, 1797) and Jean Paul’s Unsichtbare Loge (1793).
The Hymns to the Night display a universal religion with an intermediary. This concept is based on the idea that there is always a third party between a human and God. This intermediary can either be Jesus – as in Christian lore – or the dead beloved as in the hymns. These works consist of three times two hymns. These three components are each structured in this way: the first hymn shows, with the help of the Romantic triad, the development from an assumed happy life on earth through a painful era of alienation to salvation in the eternal night; the following hymn tells of the awakening from this vision and the longing for a return to it. With each pair of hymns, a higher level of experience and knowledge is shown. Some of the poems notably lament the historical replacement of European Paganism by Christianity, creating ambiguity about the exact view of the Hymns on Christianity and polytheism.
The novel fragments Heinrich von Ofterdingen and Die Lehrlinge zu Sais (The Novices of Sais) reflect the idea of describing a universal world harmony with the help of poetry. The novel 'Heinrich von Ofterdingen' contains the "blue flower", a symbol that became an emblem for the whole of German Romanticism. Originally the novel was supposed to be an answer to Goethe’s Wilhelm Meister, a work that Novalis had read with enthusiasm but later on judged as being highly unpoetical. He disliked the victory of the economical over the poetic.
The speech called Die Christenheit oder Europa was written in 1799, but was first published in 1826. It is a poetical, cultural-historical speech with a focus on a political utopia with regard to the Middle Ages. In this text Novalis tries to develop a new Europe which is based on a new poetical Christendom which shall lead to unity and freedom. He got the inspiration for this text from Schleiermacher’s Über die Religion (1799). The work was also a response to the French Enlightenment and Revolution, both of which Novalis saw as catastrophic and irreligious. It anticipated, then, the growing German and Romantic theme of anti-Enlightenment visions of European spirituality and order.
Walter Pater includes Novalis's quote, "Philosophiren ist dephlegmatisiren, vivificiren" ("to philosophize is to throw off apathy, to become revived") in his conclusion to Studies in the History of the Renaissance. Novalis' poetry and writings were also an influence on Hermann Hesse.
20th-century German philosopher Martin Heidegger uses a Novalis fragment, "Philosophy is really homesickness, an urge to be at home everywhere" in the opening pages of The Fundamental Concepts of Metaphysics. 
The libretto of Richard Wagner's opera Tristan und Isolde contains strong allusions to Novalis' symbolic language, especially the dichotomy between the Night and the Day that animates his Hymns to the Night.
In tribute to his writings, Novalis records are produced by AVC Audio Visual Communications AG, Switzerland.
Novalis' works were originally issued in two volumes by his friends Ludwig Tieck and Friedrich Schlegel (2 vols. 1802; a third volume was added in 1846). Editions of Novalis' collected works have since been compiled by C. Meisner and Bruno Wille (1898), by E. Heilborn (3 vols., 1901), and by J. Minor (3 vols., 1907). Heinrich von Ofterdingen was published separately by J. Schmidt in 1876.
Novalis's Correspondence was edited by J. M. Raich in 1880. See R. Haym Die romantische Schule (Berlin, 1870); A. Schubart, Novalis' Leben, Dichten und Denken (1887); C. Busse, Novalis' Lyrik (1898); J. Bing, Friedrich von Hardenberg (Hamburg, 1899), E. Heilborn, Friedrich von Hardenberg (Berlin, 1901).
The German-language, six-volume edition of Novalis works Historische-Kritische Ausgabe - Novalis Schriften (HKA) is edited by Richard Samuel, Hans-Joachim Mähl & Gerhard Schulz. It is published by Verlag W. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart, 1960–2006.
Several of Novalis's notebooks and philosophical works or books about Novalis and his work have been translated into English:
Arnaldo Nogueira de Novais Guedes Rebelo. (11 June 1847 – 1917) was a Portuguese colonial administrator and military officer. He was born on 11 June 1847 in Vitória, a parish of Porto.He was governor of Cape Verde between June 1900 and 1 October 1902, governor of Macau between 17 December 1902 and December 1903 and governor of Portuguese India from 8 November 1905 until 14 February 1907. He was appointed brigadier general in 1910.Bad Tennstedt
Bad Tennstedt is a town in the Unstrut-Hainich-Kreis district, in Thuringia, Germany. It is situated 27 km east of Mühlhausen, and 24 km northwest of Erfurt.
The Romantic poet Novalis worked here from 1794 until 1796. During his stay he met Sophie von Kühn, his later fiancee.Brain Records
Brain was a Hamburg-based record label prominent in the 1970s releasing several important Krautrock records by bands such as Neu!, Cluster and Guru Guru. Many of its more prominent records are currently being reissued on CD by Repertoire Records.
In the middle of 1971, Rolf-Ulrich Kaiser's management style at Ohr caused two of his A&R men, Bruno Wendel and Günter Körber, to leave Ohr and set up their own record company, which they called Brain. Wendel & Korber brought Guru Guru with them from Ohr, and immediately signed Cluster, who had recorded one LP for Philips; they soon recorded and released Cluster II.
Brain was rapidly a success throughout West Germany and much of western Europe, although had little presence in the US. Signings throughout the seventies and into the eighties included Neu!, Cluster, Harmonia, Klaus Schulze, Edgar Froese, Guru Guru, Grobschnitt, Novalis, Jane, Birth Control, Embryo, Popol Vuh, Curly Curve, Scorpions, Electric Sun, Accept and many more.
A later reissue series called Rock On Brain saw many early Brain recordings reissued, although mostly with entirely different sleeves and even album titles. Brain also reissued a number of recordings licensed to their parent company Metronome, such as Amon Düül's first album Psychedelic Underground. Many came out on the M2001 label which is closely linked to Brain.
Brain licensed and issued a number of British releases for the West German market, in this case mainly featuring the original sleeves. These included Greenslade, Caravan, If, Spirogyra, Atomic Rooster, Alexis Korner, Gryphon and Steamhammer. There were of course exceptions - the Brain issue of Atomic Rooster's Nice n Greasy features an entirely different sleeve to the UK issue, and If's Double Diamond didn't receive a UK release at all.
Some Brain releases later proved highly influential. Brain 1004 was Neu!'s eponymous debut Neu!; Brain 1062 was Neu! 75, which undoubtedly contributed to the sound of punk rock.
Körber left in 1976 to start Sky Records, which released lots of Cluster-related music plus Michael Rother's early solo work, and bands like Streetmark. When he left the labels of Brain LPs changed from green to orange.Eurysacca novalis
Eurysacca novalis is a moth in the family Gelechiidae. It was described by Povolný in 1989. It is found in Argentina.German Romanticism
German Romanticism was the dominant intellectual movement of German-speaking countries in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, influencing philosophy, aesthetics, literature and criticism. Compared to English Romanticism, the German variety developed relatively late, and, in the early years, coincided with Weimar Classicism (1772–1805). In contrast to the seriousness of English Romanticism, the German variety of Romanticism notably valued wit, humour, and beauty.
The early period, roughly 1797 to 1802, is referred to as Frühromantik or Jena Romanticism. The philosophers and writers central to the movement were Wilhelm Heinrich Wackenroder (1773–1798), Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling (1775–1854), Friedrich Schleiermacher (1768–1834), Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel (1772–1829), August Wilhelm Schlegel (1767–1845), Ludwig Tieck (1773–1853), and Friedrich von Hardenberg (Novalis) (1772–1801).The early German romantics strove to create a new synthesis of art, philosophy, and science, by viewing the Middle Ages as a simpler period of integrated culture; however, the German romantics became aware of the tenuousness of the cultural unity they sought. Late-stage German Romanticism emphasized the tension between the daily world and the irrational and supernatural projections of creative genius. In particular, the critic Heinrich Heine criticized the tendency of the early German romantics to look to the medieval past for a model of unity in art and society.Heinrich von Ofterdingen
Heinrich von Ofterdingen is a fabled, quasi-fictional Middle High German lyric poet and Minnesinger mentioned in the 13th century epic of the Sängerkrieg (minstrel contest) on the Wartburg. The legend was perpetuated by Novalis in his eponymous fragment novel written in 1800 and by E. T. A. Hoffmann in his 1818 novella Der Kampf der Sänger.Jakob Streit
Jakob Streit (23 September 1910 in Spiez, Switzerland – 15 May 2009 in Spiez) was a Swiss author, teacher and anthroposophist. Besides this he worked as musician and choirmaster as well as conductor and dramaturgJean Vanier
Jean Vanier, CC, GOQ (born September 10, 1928), is a Canadian Catholic philosopher, theologian, and humanitarian. In 1964 he founded L'Arche, an international federation of communities spread over 37 countries, for people with developmental disabilities and those who assist them. Subsequently, in 1971, he co-founded Faith and Light with Marie-Hélène Mathieu, which also works for people with developmental disabilities, their families, and friends in over 80 countries. He continues to live as a member of the original L'Arche community in Trosly-Breuil, France.Over the years, he has written 30 books on religion, disability, normality, success, and tolerance. Among the honours he has received are the Companion of the Order of Canada (1986), Grand Officer of the National Order of Quebec (1992), French Legion of Honour (2003), Community of Christ International Peace Award (2003), the Pacem in Terris Peace and Freedom Award (2013), and the Templeton Prize (2015).L'épreuve de l'étranger
L'épreuve de l'étranger. Culture et traduction dans l'Allemagne romantique: Herder, Goethe, Schlegel, Novalis, Humboldt, Schleiermacher, Hölderlin. is a book by Antoine Berman, published in 1984.The work has been very influential among intellectuals. On their book Traduire Freud, André Bourguignon, Pierre Cotet, Jean Laplanche and François Robert, when giving scientific and technical advice regarding translation, they mention Berman's book; they consider that, during the age of Romanticism, German literary scholars such as Herder, Goethe, Schlegel, Novalis, Hölderlin, Humboldt and Schleiermacher give light to the "German theory" in translation, consciously opposed to "French-style" translations.This book was translated into English by Stefan Heyvaert with the title The Experience of the Foreign: Culture and Translation in Romantic Germany. Albany: SUNY Press, 1992.Lepidogma olivalis
Lepidogma olivalis is a species of snout moth in the genus Lepidogma. It was described by Swinhoe in 1895, and is known from India (including Mahableshwar and Bombay).Limnaecia novalis
Limnaecia novalis is a moth of the family Cosmopterigidae. It is known from Australia.Lorien Novalis School
Lorien Novalis School for Rudolf Steiner Education is a Steiner School in Dural, New South Wales, Australia. Established in 1971, the school teaches from classes Preschool to Year 12, and offers Playgroup..Novalis (band)
Novalis was a 1970s progressive-rock group formed in Germany. Their best-known albums include Sommerabend and Wer Schmetterlinge lachen hört.Opium of the people
"Religion is the opium of the people" is one of the most frequently paraphrased statements of German philosopher and economist Karl Marx. It was translated from the German original, "Die Religion ... ist das Opium des Volkes" and is often rendered as "religion... is the opiate of the masses."
The quotation originates from the introduction of Marx's work A Contribution to the Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right, which he started in 1843 but which was not published until after his death. The introduction to this work was published separately in 1844, in Marx's own journal Deutsch–Französische Jahrbücher, a collaboration with Arnold Ruge.
The full quote from Karl Marx translates as: "Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people". Often quoted only in part, the interpretation of the metaphor in its context has received much less attention.Radiosurgery
Radiosurgery is surgery using radiation, that is, the destruction of precisely selected areas of tissue using ionizing radiation rather than excision with a blade. Like other forms of radiation therapy (also called radiotherapy), it is usually used to treat cancer. Radiosurgery was originally defined by the Swedish neurosurgeon Lars Leksell as "a single high dose fraction of radiation, stereotactically directed to an intracranial region of interest".In stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS), the word "stereotactic" refers to a three-dimensional coordinate system that enables accurate correlation of a virtual target seen in the patient's diagnostic images with the actual target position in the patient. Stereotactic radiosurgery may also be called stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) or stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR) when used outside the central nervous system (CNS).Sommerabend
Sommerabend is the third album by the German progressive rock band, Novalis, released in 1976.Sophie von Kühn
Christiane Wilhelmine Sophie von Kühn (March 17, 1782 – March 19, 1797) was the love interest and eventual fiancée of the German Romantic poet and philosopher Friedrich von Hardenberg, known to many simply as Novalis. Her image famously appears in Novalis’ Hymns to the Night, a foundational text of the literary movement known as German Romanticism.
Although Novalis’s love for Sophie has assumed mythic proportions, their time together was short and uneventful. The two met on November 17, 1794 when Novalis was twenty-two and Sophie was only twelve. They became engaged on Sophie's thirteenth birthday March 17, 1795. Sophie became sick in November 1795, and her sickness continued until her death at the age of 15 in March 1797. The loss of Sophie brought about a deep period of mourning and suffering in Novalis' life. Even so, he became engaged to Julie von Charpentier in December 1798.
The depth of Sophie’s love for Novalis is uncertain given her young age. Some of her diary entries, found in Wm. O’Brien's Novalis: Signs of Revolution, provide some insight into her relationship with Novalis:
March 1. Today Hartenberch visited again nothing happened.
March 11. We were alone today and nothing at all happened.
March 12. Today was like yesterday nothing at all happened.
March 13. Today was repentance day and Hartenb. was here.
March 14. Today Hartenber. was still here he got a letter from his brother.Sophie had a sister, Caroline von Kühn, and a stepsister, Wilhelmine von Thümmel.
Ludwig Tieck's biography of Novalis describes Sophie, saying: "Even as a child, she gave an impression which--because it was so gracious and spiritually lovely--we must call superearthly or heavenly, while through this radiant and almost transparent countenance of hers we would be struck with the fear that it was too tender and delicately woven for this life, that it was death or immortality which looked at us so penetratingly from those shining eyes; and only too often a rapid withering motion turned our fear into an actual reality." von Kühn and Novalis' relationship is the focus of the 1995 novel The Blue Flower by Penelope Fitzgerald.The Blue Flower
The Blue Flower is a 1995 novel by the British author Penelope Fitzgerald. It is a fictional treatment of the early life of Friedrich von Hardenberg who, under the pseudonym Novalis, later became a practitioner of German Romanticism.
The novel was the first book published in paperback by Mariner Books, then a new imprint of Houghton Mifflin. Mariner Books went on to publish paperback editions of all of Penelope Fitzgerald's books.In 2012 The Observer named The Blue Flower one of "the ten best historical novels".Wenn alle untreu werden
"Wenn alle untreu werden, so bleiben wir doch treu" (If all become unfaithful, we remain loyal) is the opening line of a famous patriotic German popular song written by Max von Schenkendorf in 1814. Schenkendorf dedicated the song to Friedrich Ludwig Jahn for the "holy German Empire".
The melody was a slightly modified form of Pour aller à la chasse faut être matineux, a French hunting song dating from 1724.
The title also refers to a German hymn of the same name, written by the German poet Novalis in 1799. The first two lines of this hymn are the same as in Schenkendorf's song.Gerhard Roßbach included the song in the activities of his German Youth Movement in which "its emphasis on loyalty in adversity and faith in Germany precisely fit Roßbach's desire to unify conservative forces behind a project of political and cultural renewal." During the Third Reich the song was used extensively by the Nazi SS, and became known as Treuelied (song of faithfulness).