- File Size: 312 KB
- Print Length: 106 pages
- Publisher: BLTC Press (February 22, 2008)
- Publication Date: February 22, 2008
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0014KEMSQ
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #669,917 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Novalis Including Hymns to the Night Kindle Edition
"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
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But, let me also say this: the essay by Carlyle, even by itself, is well worth the price of this volume. He is one of the great masters of English prose, and his introductory essay is something you won't see very often (if at all) in any sort of literary critical exposition. He offers the reader his intentionally ambiguous, ambivalent opinions, with a humility that lesser writers would do well to emulate. His tone is reverent and devoid of the type of flagrant mockery one sees in critical literature. He even mentions how "easy" it would be to take that tone in respect to Novalis's work; and it is clear that what he means by this is NOT that Novalis is an easy target, but simply that mockery is easy. And it is. And I should know, because I have resorted to mockery myself in quite a few of my reviews here at Amazon and elsewhere. Thanks to Carlyle's enlightening work, I will henceforth be minding my manners, and my tongue (or fingers, as it were).
What the world needs today is more of this: more reverence, more effort towards understanding, and less mud-slinging and mockery. Yeats wrote in one of his poems, "we traffic in mockery", a long time ago. His line applies to this generation as well and perhaps better than it did to his.
As for the poetry of Novalis? I am going to take something from Carlyle and say only this: I don't know enough about it to venture a qualified opinion.
The translator was George MacDonald, who was one of the early masters of fantastic fiction (see Phantastes, and Lilith), but his translation didn't seem to have much of the fire I had been led to expect from Novalis. I may just not be fond of Victorian translations.
Despite all these issues, I did like the Hymns to the Night.
MacDonald published "Exotics" first, in 1876; it included his English translations of Novalis' "Geistliche Lieder" / "Spiritual Songs."
Then, in 1897, MacDonald published "Rampolli: Growths from a Long-Planted Root, being Translations, New and Old, Chiefly from the German." The 1897 publication duplicated "Exotics" from 1876, and added two works of Novalis which were not completed in time for the earlier book. So, 1897's "Rampolli" includes as well a fable from Novalis' "Disciples of Sais," and MacDonald's English translations of "Hymnen an die Nacht" / "Hymns To The Night."
George MacDonald's "Rampolli," therefore, is the source for the translations published in this Kindle edition.
Finally, regarding MacDonald, his 1895 novel "Lilith," which polarized his reading public with its bold development of romantic symbolism, is heavily influenced by Novalis and his "Hymns to the Night."