By Martin Travers
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Additional resources for European Literature from Romanticism to Postmodernism: A Reader in Aesthetic Practice (Continuum Collection)
It sustains a celestial dream-world, which inclines one to love the countryside and solitude; it can often incline the heart towards religious ideas, and must excite amongst those privileged beings the devotion of virtue and the inspiration of elevated thoughts. 6 'Inwards lies the path of mystery' Novalis: Fragments (1798) Novalis was the pseudonym of Friedrich von Hardenberg (1772-1801), whose main works include the historical-Utopian tract Christianity and Europe (1799), the poems Hymns to the Night (1800), and the Bildungsroman (novel of personal development) Henry from Ofterdingen (published posthumously in 1802).
24-6. Standard translation: A Course of Lectures on Dramatic Art and Literature, translated by John Black, and revised by A. J. W. Morrison (London: Bohn, 1846). Further reading: Ralph W. Ewton, Jlic Literary Tlieories of August Willicltn Sfltlegel (The Hague: Mouton, 1972). 32 European Literature from Romanticism to Postmodernism which had come to supplant the pagan sensualism of Classical art. Schlegel argues that this development represented a deepening moment in Western culture; but it also destroyed that harmony between self and world that the Ancients enjoyed, producing an inner division that the 'modern' (Romantic) writer can only (through that characteristic Romantic emotion of 'Sehnsucht') dream of bridging.
His attempts to mediate between conventional notions of the religions and his own heightened, almost mystical, sense of the other-worldly largely met with incomprehension, or at least suspicion, as the following letter indicates. It was written to a benefactor, the Revd Dr John Trnsler, who had commissioned Blake to produce a water-colour for publication in one of the former's many edifying religious tracts. But what Blake produced both offended and mystified its recipient. Blake's letter to Trnsler brings together many of the characteristic tropes of the visionary dimension of the Romantic mind: its insistence upon the reality of the intangible world; its pantheistic conflation of imagination with nature; and (characteristically for Blake) its respect for children and the childlike perspective.