From Wikiquote
Jump to: navigation, search

what is this? there are no quotes here. is that acceptable? what's the point? --sasha--


Wikiquote no longer allows unsourced quotations, and they are in process of being removed from our pages (see Wikiquote:Limits on quotations); but if you can provide a reliable and precise source for any quote on this list please move it to Novalis. --Antiquary 19:49, 5 March 2009 (UTC)

With German text:

  • Schlafen ist Verdauen der Sinneseindrücke. Träume sind Exkremente.
    • Sleep is a digest of sensial impressions. Dreams are excrements.
  • Ein Gottbetrunkener Mensch
    • A God-intoxicated man
    • Said of Spinoza.

Without German text:

  • Apprenticeship suits the novice poet — academic study the novice philosopher.
  • Christianity is the root of all democracy, the highest fact in the rights of men.
  • Death is a victory over the self — which, like all self-conquest, brings about a new, easier existence.
  • Learning is pleasurable but doing is the height of enjoyment.
  • Life is the beginning of death. Life is for the sake of death. Death is at once the end and the beginning — at once separation and closer union of the self. Through death the reduction is complete.
  • Nature is incomprehensible per se. Stillness and formed incomprehensibility. Philosophy is prose. Her consonants. Distant philosophy sounds like poesy — because every call into the distance becomes a vowel. So everything at a distance becomes poesy — poem.
  • Only an artist can interpret the meaning of life.
  • Only as far as a man is happily married to himself is he fit for married life and family life in general.
  • The artist belongs to his work, not the work to the artist.
  • The more poetic, the more real. This is the core of my philosophy.
  • The spirit is perpetually proving itself.
  • The world state is the body, which is — animated by the world of beauty, the world of sociability. It is the necessary instrument of this world.
  • To know a truth well, one must have fought it out.
  • We shall never entirely comprehend ourselves, but we will and can do much more than comprehend ourselves.


My sense from reading the article on the over-page is that it has been pruned so much that what remains is chaotic. While I'm familiar with much of that detritus (the early Carlyle article in England; the philosophical meditative fiction The Students of Sais; The Hymns to the Night, etc.), though I am not a Novalis scholar, I'm aware of so much that is missing from this article right now (8/2/2015) that at the best it's informatively suspect. At worst it's collections of quotes so out of context as to be meaningless. In reverse order of importance: Certainly Novalis's most widely known two quotes in translation (at least in some intellectual circles) are "Writings are the thoughts of the State; archives are its memory," as quoted by Guy Debord in La societé de spectacle (Editions Buchet-Chastel [Paris], 1967; reprinted Champ Libre [Paris], 1971, translated by Red & Black [Detroit], 1970 and revised 1972, section 131) and "Character is fate," which Guy Davenport writes may be read as Novalis's "elegant paraphrase" of an equally famous fragment by Heraceitos (69 in Davenport's own translation) in the Introduction to his collection of translations, 7 Greeks (p. 16, Davenport, New Directions, 1995). Besides the Hymnen an die Nacht, which is his only poetry the article mentions, Novalis is the author of a widely read "strange, ingenuous fusion of novel, fairy tale, and poem" (cover blurb) Heinrich Von Ofterdinger, begun in 1799 and published after his death in 1801, which is not even mentioned in the article, though it is the source of all the blue flower imagery in the right hand marginal photos, which are pretty but relatively meaningless without some explanatory text. Much work has been done on Novalis's notes on poetry, life, and philosophy. At least three books full have been translated into English and published: Novalis: Pollen and Fragments (Authur Versluis, Phanes Press, Grand Rapids, 1989; besides those two collections of fragments it contains a translation of Hymnen an die Nacht along with eight other briefer lyrics); Novalis Philosophical Writings (Margaret Mahoney Stoljar, SUNY Press, Albany, 1997); and Novalis, Fichte Studies (Jane Kneller, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2003). Because these works have been considered important enough to edit and translate in the last thirty-five years, someone might mention them in the article. Finally--and perhaps to return to the relatively unimportant--he is the subject of a pyrotechnically well researched historical novel by Penelope Fitzgerald, The Blue Flower (Flamingo [Great Britain], 1995). which gives a strong sense of the difference between Novalis's world and ours as well as an outline of his family life and some of the incidents (his nuptial engagement with 13 year old Sophie von Kuhn, who died, age 15, after two operation on her liver, on March 19, 1797, as Novalis himself was to die of tuberculosis, on Match 25, 1801, at age 28) that we associate with him. —This unsigned comment is by (talkcontribs) .

Our pages on authors are collections of general quotes arranged chronologically, followed by those from specific works with their own sections, with these sections arranged chronologically. Further additions of quotes, or extensions of them for context are usually welcomed. That is about all the commentary I have at present, as I am but briefly checking in, and must be leaving again soon. So it goes Blessings. ~ Kalki·· 12:29, 2 August 2015 (UTC)