In the year 1796 the dramatization of the old fairy tale of the Bluebeard originated. He had almost broadened it to a tragedy in which the solution proceeds from the premonitions which are mocked by the wise as folly. In a sincere simplicity, the old Sageon appeared in the “Haimonskinder”, while the “History of the Shield Citizens” in the madness of the Uberberweisheit, which wants to fathom everything and finally does not see the forest in front of trees, gave a clear and crude satire of the prevailing direction. Boldly he attacked the Enlightenment almost on all points. Iffland and Kotzebue were unmistakable in the characteristic of the pouches of poets; also to some . There was no lack of allusions to Nicolai’s famous description of his journey through Germany. Soon thereafter, in 1797, came the “History of the Beautiful Magelone,” and the dramatized legend of “Karl von Berneck,” whose publication the younger Nicolai particularly desired, was a perfect match for this fairy-tale circle in a reworked form.
One of the most appealing of these folk tales was Tieck’s own invention, “The Blonde Ekbert.” It owed its creation to a momentary inspiration. The younger Nicolai wanted nothing more than to accelerate the appearance of the fairy tales. Frequently he had impatiently repeated the question of how far the manuscript had advanced or what he had learned. To satisfy the Dränger Tieck had once answered good luck: “The blonde Ekbert!” It was a name that had come into his mouth. Later he was struck by the frivolity with which he had announced a poem for which he has neither fable nor idea. He sat down to write. There was a man to the name. From the memory of his mother’s stories, the image of that old, eerie woman who sat in the shack with the dog in shy seclusion emerged. It was associated with the images of lonely and gruesome forest grounds, which he had often crossed out, and a poignant narrative that seemed to belong to the popular legend of some forested mountain.
When Tieck read his fairy tale in the circle of his friends from the correctional arc, the word, which stood at the center of it, experienced forest solitude, a sharp criticism. Wackenroder declared it to be outrageous and un-German, little . At first, it must be hot forest solitude. The rest joined in. In vain did Tieck seek to defend his word, which he had taken without further ado, by similar compositions. He finally had to be silent, without being convinced, but he did not rule it out, and won him civil rights in literature. In 1797 the “Puss in Boots” was completed. It was a brilliant throw, and he succeeded in the most brilliant. Of course, neither this substance nor the treatment immediately followed the earlier truculent narratives. Perrault’s fairy tale had become a sharp literary satire. But even the impertinence of Contrastes was bound to surprise, and even more so, that a young author, who was about to form, dared to present this childish fairy-tale, which in fact seemed to come from the nursery, to an enlightened public.
It was a declaration of war, not only against the theater, but also, what was more questionable, against the authority of the public. In this fantastic comedy the stage and the public appeared on stage, they ironized each other, and the image of both was not exactly flattering. Into the Philistine world of the tender fathers and innocent compatriots of Iffland and Kotzebue stepped boldly and confidently, as if it could not be otherwise, the “Puss in Boots”, who by that alone ridiculed the well-meaning, but limited earnestness of those figures. In the bourgeois spectacle the vulgar everyday probability for poetic truth should apply; now it appeared in the most glaring light of the ridiculous, having to tolerate not only the improbable, but even the absurd.The only funny, even sensible thing in this respectable society was the vile sausage, expelled with shame and disgrace, whose common name alone disgusted even the educated public, and which now was to be restored to honor. And the public, the art judges of profession, the privileged guardians of good taste, who, nevertheless, want to be touched, instructed, and improved, appear ready to impose their demands on taste and truth with the help of their feet. Here there were all kinds of folly and presumption, from arrogant artistic enthusiasm to pure stupidity. The representative of that man was a man whose cantabrauning above all had annoyed Tieck, who in his recently published book, “Development of Iffland’s Game in Fourteen Roles,” wanted to make the public in general a comprehensible idea of the greatness of Iffland.
This daring game was followed in 1797 by a second, perhaps even bolder, which he challengingly called a historical spectacle, “The Opposite World.” The cause and the name had given a farce in way’s forgotten “Zittau school theater”. The poet himself lived in a world of the same kind, where folly spread itself out as wisdom, to denounce profundity as folly, where the purest prose was called poetry in order to exile it forever. Apollo and the poet are banished, while a utility regent bakes and brews on the Parnassus, and the Muses must become comfortable to become useful persons in order to earn the esteem of the good citizen. While at last the play with the theater went so far that spectators and actors exchanged places, the music translated into words accompanied this mad world with the adagio of its melancholy tones, and through that deafening cry of incomprehension sounded the full chords of the deepest poetry seriously. Here, too, there was the suggestion that one should only reverse the wrong world once more, so that the right will come to light.
After such outbursts of humor, the poet could no longer hope to remain in agreement with his protectors and publishers; now their eyes had to open. Tieck had wished to conclude the “ostrich feathers” with the last comedy. Earlier he had dared to blacken a small, insignificant drama. Now he sent Nicolai the first three Acts of the “Opposed World”, then after a while he let the last two follow. But the patience of the criticizing publisher was exhausted. Into a well-intentioned collection of moral narratives, like his “ostrich feathers,” did not belong to such eccentric outbursts of imagination; and he should approve of two such pieces! Nor was the modest young writer, who seemed to follow his teachings so attentively, evidently nothing short of his disciple, but a bitter heretic, filled with all the forbidden and dangerous fantasies. But to the young man’s own best, he decided to give him his opinion this time. He returned the manuscript with a letter in which he warned him fatherly against the madness of fantastic eccentricity, as well as with the over-ridiculing mockery of the public, and made him feel that investments should be made only through diligence and rigor. But the willful spirit of the comedy had badly teased the thorough critic at this moment of instruction. He had completely overlooked in his eagerness that this was a single drama. Because he had received two broadcasts, he had made two different comedies out of it! The Vermit [p. Nicolai’s proposal to let one pass this time could not, of course, be accepted by Tieck; He hastened to enlighten him about his error, and asked for his comedy.
The publishers had become mistreated. They began to screen his poetry, and soon enough found clear traces in their own articles that their writer was an opponent of the Enlightenment, even of morality. So one had hosted an enemy in his own army camp. After such experiences, an adjustment was no longer conceivable. She was not possible either. The ages of pre-ego-ethical and post-ethical poetry had clashed in their most determined representatives. There was a whole period of German literature between the two, they could not understand each other.
The connection with the younger Nicolai came to an end. Not satisfied with what Tieck had given him, he was full of unruly voluptuousness and soon wished to see him soon execute the plan from which he expected a happy success for his business. Among other things, he had brought together a number of English moderomans, which were to be translated. Since Tieck did not want to deal with such a bad commodity, he did not rest until he had chosen the most forgiving ones, and had shown him some friends who were ready to go to work. Wackenroder had to translate the “monastery Netley”, the music director Wessely “castle Montfort”.
Immediately afterwards he came forward with another plan. Elise von der Recke, who had become a friend of Nicolai’s mysticism, stood in the convivial circles that gathered there. in high regard. Here she had met Tieck’s “Bluebeard,” and had thought that it would be an excellent task for the poet to write the earlier story of Bluebeard and his six wives. He could prove his worth as a philanthropist and character actor, it was important to draw passions, the whole would be an excellent material for fine psychological paintings. This remark was taken up by the younger Nicolai, and Tieck was to start work on the spot. This, however, was neither the task nor the way in which it was to be resolved. The pedantic anatomizing of all fibers and fibers, as was the order of the day in psychologizing and moralizing novels, was disgusting to him. Nevertheless, he responded to the proposal because he thought he had found a substance that would give him reason to reiterate his view of the narrowness of moral poetry.
But while working, he flagged; he had accomplished only a matte story. A quarrel in which he got into trouble with the censor completely spoiled the fun, since he accused him of ridiculing morality in the introductory chapter. Talking about it, Voltaire’s “Candide” was mentioned, and since Tieck described this book as truly immoral, he was even more furious at the falsity with which the young writer ventured to attack a world-famous book that had served him as a forerunner. Tieck had to be comfortable with reworking his introduction to the best of morality. These delays made Nicolai indignant; he attributed Misling Tieck’s stubbornness, and to bring it to a conclusion, he himself published the narration under a tasteless title that made her witty and should make it more appealing. He called them: “A true family history, edited by Gottlieb Färber, Istambul with Heraclius Murusi, court book dealer of the high gate, in the year of the Hedschrah 1212.”
Gradually the publisher had become a critic. He praised, reprimanded, scolded, and was by no means satisfied with the earlier poetry. The “tomcat” and the “Schildbürger” were too overbearing, and ruthlessly broke through the secure critical enclosures. He feared that in the end he could even consider himself to be Peter Lebrecht; he had therefore refused any responsibility for these eccentric products. But he was doubtful in attaching to the History of the Shield Citizens the explanation that he was not the author of this book, but had learned the contents of the book only after the reprint. Also, he had for similar reasons, the “folk tales” against the initial plan already completed with the third gang.
Finally, there was a complete break. Although the folktales were not lacking in applause while the publisher himself denied them, he had nevertheless impatiently expected better success, and now, in his wrath over the poet and poem, resorted to a measure which was as arbitrary as it was unfair. In 1799 he announced all of Tieck’s works, in twelve volumes, at a greatly reduced price, and did not lack mocking remarks. Tieck’s friends, to whom these poems had meanwhile become fond, had said that they were written not for the ordinary reader but for the higher man. Nicolai took this turn. Just to facilitate the purchase of the higher man, he has lowered the price of these books.
But this first complete edition was in no way what she wanted to be. Neither did it contain all that Tieck had written, nor was all that it contained of him, nor was it finally a new edition. This was not only a double impairment of the author, but also a deception of the public. The stories in the “Ostrich Feathers”, “Allamoddin,” “The Farewell,” and “Herr von Fuchs,” three dramatic attempts at youth, which Wackenroder had printed in Leipzig during Tieck’s absence in 1797, were missing in order to surprise his friend; they lacked the “Sternbald” and the “Fantasies on Art”, which were all in the hands of other publishers. Tieck, on the other hand, was compelled to appear as the translator of those bad novels he had warned against. At last, only the title pages were new to this so-called new edition, which had been presented to the old prints as a tempting figurehead.
After such proceedings, only the legal remedy was left. It came to the complaint with the city court. Nicolai lost the case, and the further sale of this spurious edition was forbidden to him. He died in the same year after his business had recently suffered greatly. With the remnants of his published articles, those title pages also came into the possession of a Leipzig bookstore, and even later, this first alleged complete edition of Tieck’s works occasionally appeared on the book market, in order to obscure and confuse the accounts of the beginnings of his poetic career ,
The year 1798 was a decisive one for Tieck. Some old solid band should be solved, some new meaningful looped.
At first the most faithful and trusted of the friends of Tieck’s side was torn to shreds, Wackenroder, with whom he had grown from boy to boy, and had now reached the male age. At this very moment Wackenroder’s deep meaning unfolded completely. He too had quietly become a poet. His thoughts on the art had come to a conclusion, and now turned into a series of poetic images. Shyly he had hitherto kept his secret, and dared not even tell his friend. Tieck was therefore very surprised when he received the first leaves. He had to admit that despite all the recognition of the deep mind and talent he had not given Wackenroder so much credit for. His earlier attempts had not been happy. He had not yet been able to find the tone that suited his peculiar nature. He wavered in his poems between the pathos of Schiller and the sober tone of the older school. Even less did it want to succeed with the drama. A tragedy concluded that the beloved fainted in the arms of his beloved. This one, to call her back to life, grabs some herbs (the scene is in the garden), he holds it to her mouth, but unfortunately they are poisonous, and he kills the lover with his own hand.
It was the art through which Wackenroder also of poetry should come of age. A journey which the friends made to Dresden in the summer of 1796 led to the discovery of the secret. Finally they wanted to see the greatest works of the old Italian masters. It was a pilgrimage to the Promised Land, which could only be reached by a train through the desert. For the post road to Dresden was hardly less difficult. For days and nights, the airline laboriously dragged itself through the sand and the gloomy Haiden of the Mark and Lusatia. These endless night rides through dark pine groves were apt to awaken thoughts and impart them. Thus on this journey at Tieck two poems were created in the first draft, which reflected the gloomy character of that loneliness. In the night the travelers saw white stones shining through the trees, which might have been laid as signposts in the forest. Around them were collected those gruesome phantasies, to which Tieck gave life in the well-known poem of this name. These stones were transformed into avenging signs that hid and betrayed a grave sacrilege. With these pictures, then, the feelings of painful loneliness and loneliness that he uttered in that night song of the Wanderer, who silently pulls his way and calls the stars, changed.
On this journey Wackenroder also shared his secret with his friend. These representations were the fruit of the artistic studies, the stay in Nuremberg, the visits of the galleries to Pommersfelde, Kassel and Salzthal. Everything that he saw, what had enraptured and inspired him, he expressed in the one thought which for him was the fullest truth, that art was to him another religion, the object of a holy faith . Never could such a conviction be reconciled with the theories of art and criticism which had grown on the ground of the Enlightenment.
Like Tieck in poetry, Wackenroder in art demanded the simple, the original. Nothing was more hateful to him than the conventional art-style element, whether it was to dissect the whole, to hear heart-deepened details in which the art judges thought they could take their mind, or with the air of infallibility, as a system and derivation from the highest principles. The writings of Ramdohr, “Venus Urania” and others often mentioned at that time had given some offense to the friends. How could these art judges speak so confidently, having neither art nor enthusiasm? Wackenroder opposed the omniscient system with enthusiasm, as a mysterious revelation, of which the artist himself did not know, from whence the spirit woes. To the source of those feelings she led Wackenroder back, who wanted to demonstrate the theorists from the soul as well as from their textbooks. From the mysterious divine in man, art also rose, and its expression was the work of the master. But this revelation in art can not be grasped like the paragraph of a textbook; the sinking into the work of art must become a religious upliftment. He asserted a bold and decisive word against the dictums of power from undying systematists who did not want to understand that superstition was better than systemic beliefs.