Famous Quotes By Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel


  1. A definition of poetry can only determine what poetry should be and not what poetry actually was and is otherwise the most concise formula would be: Poetry is that which at some time and some place was thus named.
  2. A family can develop only with a loving woman as its center.
  3. A priest is he who lives solely in the realm of the invisible, for whom all that is visible has only the truth of an allegory.
  4. A so-called happy marriage corresponds to love as a correct poem to an improvised song.
  5. All men are somewhat ridiculous and grotesque, just because they are men and in this respect artists might well be regarded as man multiplied by two. So it is, was, and shall be.
  6. An aphorism ought to be entirely isolated from the surrounding world like a little work of art and complete in itself like a hedgehog.
  7. Art and works of art do not make an artist sense and enthusiasm and instinct do.
  8. Beauty is that which is simultaneously attractive and sublime.
  9. Form your life humanly, and you have done enough: but you will never reach the height of art and the depth of science without something divine.
  10. From what the moderns want, we must learn what poetry should become from what the ancients did, what poetry must be.
  11. God is each truly and exalted thing, therefore the individual himself to the highest degree. But are not nature and the world individuals?
  12. He who does not become familiar with nature through love will never know her.
  13. He who has religion will speak poetry. But philosophy is the tool with which to seek and discover religion.
  14. If you want to see mankind fully, look at a family. Within the family minds become organically one, and for this reason the family is total poetry.
  15. In the world of language, or in other words in the world of art and liberal education, religion necessarily appears as mythology or as Bible.
  16. Kant introduced the concept of the negative into philosophy. Would it not also be worthwhile to try to introduce the concept of the positive into philosophy?
  17. Man is a creative retrospection of nature upon itself.
  18. Mathematics is, as it were, a sensuous logic, and relates to philosophy as do the arts, music, and plastic art to poetry.
  19. Nothing truly convincing - which would possess thoroughness, vigor, and skill - has been written against the ancients as yet especially not against their poetry.
  20. Novels are the Socratic dialogues of our time. Practical wisdom fled from school wisdom into this liberal form.
  21. One has only as much morality as one has philosophy and poetry.
  22. Plato's philosophy is a dignified preface to future religion.
  23. Religion can emerge in all forms of feeling: here wild anger, there the sweetest pain here consuming hatred, there the childlike smile of serene humility.
  24. Religion is absolutely unfathomable. Always and everywhere one can dig more deeply into infinities.
  25. Religion is not only a part of education, an element of humanity, but the center of everything else, always the first and the ultimate, the absolutely original.
  26. Religion must completely encircle the spirit of ethical man like his element, and this luminous chaos of divine thoughts and feelings is called enthusiasm.
  27. Set religion free, and a new humanity will begin.
  28. Strictly speaking, the idea of a scientific poem is probably as nonsensical as that of a poetic science.
  29. The difference between religion and morality lies simply in the classical division of things into the divine and the human, if one only interprets this correctly.
  30. The German national character is a favorite subject of character experts, probably because the less mature a nation, the more she is an object of criticism and not of history.
  31. The poetry of this one is called philosophical, of that one philological, of a third rhetorical, and so on. Which is then the poetic poetry?
  32. The subject of history is the gradual realization of all that is practically necessary.
  33. There is no self-knowledge but an historical one. No one knows what he himself is who does not know his fellow men, especially the most prominent one of the community, the master's master, the genius of the age.
  34. Versatility of education can be found in our best poetry, but the depth of mankind should be found in the philosopher.
  35. What is called good society is usually nothing but a mosaic of polished caricatures.
  36. Where there is politics or economics, there is no morality.
  37. Wit as an instrument of revenge is as infamous as art is as a means of sensual titillation.
  38. Wit is the appearance, the external flash of imagination. Thus its divinity, and the witty character of mysticism.
  39. Women are treated as unjustly in poetry as in life. The feminine ones are not idealistic, and the idealistic not feminine.
  40. Women do not have as great a need for poetry because their own essence is poetry.

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