Novalis (nōväˈlĭs) [key], pseud. of Friederich von Hardenberg frēˈdrĭkh fən härˈdənbĕrk, 1772–1801, German poet. He studied philosophy under Schiller, Schlegel, and Fichte and was especially influenced by Fichte. He later studied geology. Novalis was one of the great German romantics; his chief work was the novel Heinrich von Ofterdingen (1802), unfinished at the time of his early death from tuberculosis. It tells the story of a legendary minnesinger, whose wanderings and search for a "blue flower" became symbols of German romantic poetry. Novalis's grief at the death (1797) of his young love, Sophie von Kühn, found expression in a volume of beautiful and deeply religious lyrics, Hymns to the Night (1800; tr. 1889, 1948). Christendom or Europe (1826, tr. 1844) is an exposition of his Roman Catholicism.
See studies by B. Haywood (1959), J. Neubauer (1971), and J. Neuberger (1980).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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