You are on page 1of 16

Georg Lukcs 1934

Hlderlins Hyperion
Written: 1934; Translator: Robert Anchor; Source: Goethe and His Age Merlin ress 19!"; Transcribe#: $arrison %luss &or 'ar(ists)org* %ebruar+ ,--")

.h/ 0ere there a banner ))) a Ther'o1+lae u1on 0hich 2 coul# s1ill '+ bloo# 0ith honour* all that solitar+ lo3e &or 0hich 2 can ha3e no use) 4O gabes eine Fahne . . . ein Thermopyla, wo ich mit Ehre sie verbluten onnte, all die einsame !iebe, die mir nimmer brauchbar ist5) $6l#erlin7s glor+ is that he is the 1oet o& $ellenis') 83er+one 0ho rea#s his 0ork senses that his $ellenis' is #i&&erent* 'ore so'bre* 'ore torture# b+ su&&ering than the ra#iant 9to1ia o& anti:uit+ en3isage# #uring the Renaissance an# 8nlighten'ent) ;ut his 3ision o& $ellas has nothing in co''on either 0ith the te#ious* tri3ial* aca#e'ic classicis' o& the nineteenth centur+ or 0ith the h+sterical bestialit+ 0ith 0hich <iet=sche an# the i'1erialist 1erio# en3isage# Greece) The ke+ to $6l#erlin7s 3ie0 lies then in the un#erstan#ing o& the s1eci&ics o& this conce1tion o& $ellenis') With ini'itable clarit+ Mar( unco3ere# the social basis o& the 3eneration &or anti:uit+ #uring the great %rench Re3olution) >As unheroic as bourgeois societ+ is* it nonetheless ha# nee# o& herois'* the s1irit o& sel&?sacri&ice* terror* ci3il 0ar* an# 0ars bet0een nations in or#er to engen#er it) An# it is in the rigorous classical tra#itions o& the Ro'an Re1ublic that its gla#iators &oun# the i#eals an# the art &or's* the illusions 0hich the+ nee#e# to conceal &ro' the'sel3es the li'ite# ci3ic content o& their struggle an# to kee1 their 1assion at the 1itch o& the great historical trage#+)@ The 1eculiar situation o& Ger'an+ #uring the transition o& the bourgeoisie &ro' its heroic to its unheroic 1erio# consists in the &act that the countr+ itsel& 0as still &ar &ro' being 'ature enough &or a real bourgeois re3olution* but that in the 'in#s o& its best i#eologists the heroic &la'e o& these >illusions@ 0as boun# to &lare u1; in the &act that the tragic transition &ro' the heroic age o& the polls re1ublic #rea'e# b+ Robes1ierre an# Saint?Aust into ca1italist 1rose ha# to be e&&ecte# in a 1urel+ 9to1ian an# i#eological 'anner 0ithout a 1reli'inar+ re3olution) 2n the Tubingen se'inar+ three +oung stu#ents 0itnesse# 0ith enra1ture# reBoicing the great #a+s o& the re3olutionar+ liberation o& %rance) With +outh&ul enthusias' the+ 1lante# a tree in honour o& libert+* #ance# aroun# it* an# s0ore eternal lo+alt+ to the i#eal o& the great struggle &or liberation) 8ach o& these three +ouths? $egel* $6l#erlin* Schelling?re1resente# in his later #e3elo1'ent a t+1ical 1ossibilit+ o& the Ger'an reaction to the course o& e3ents in %rance) To0ar# the en# o& his li&e* Schelling lost hi'sel& in the narro0?'in#e# obscurantis' o& an abBect reaction* o& a re3i3e#

Ro'anticis' #uring the 1re1arator+ 1erio# o& the C4" re3olution) $egel an# $6l#erlin #i# not betra+ their re3olutionar+ oath) ;ut 0hen it 0as a :uestion o& reali=ing it* the #i&&erence in their inter1retation re3eals clearl+ the i#eological courses 0hich the 1re1aration o& the bourgeois re3olution coul# an# ha# to &ollo0 in Ger'an+) The intellectual absor1tion o& the i#eas o& the %rench Re3olution b+ $egel an# $6l#erlin 0as still &ar &ro' being acco'1lishe# 0hen in aris Robes1ierre7s hea# &ell* an# Ther'i#or an# a&ter0ar#s the <a1oleonic 1erio# ca'e into being) The consoli#ation o& their "eltanschauung ha# to be achie3e# then on the basis o& this turning?1oint in the re3olutionar+ #e3elo1'ent o& %rance) With Ther'i#or* the #prosaic content o& the heroic &or' o& anti:uit+ in bourgeois societ+* 0ith its 1rogressi3eness an# also?inse1arable &ro' this? its &right&ulness* a11eare# 'ore an# 'ore clearl+ in the &oregroun#) An# the altere# heroic character o& the <a1oleonic 1erio# 1lace# the Ger'an i#eologists be&ore an insoluble #ile''a: on the one han#* <a1oleonic %rance 0as a ra#iant i#eal &or the national greatness 0hich coul# &lo0er onl+ on the soil o& a 3ictorious re3olution* but on the other han#* this sa'e %rench i'1eriu' brought on Ger'an+ a con#ition o& the #ee1est national #isunion an# #egra#ation) Since the obBecti3e con#itions 0ere lacking in Ger'an+ &or a bourgeois re3olution* 0hich 0oul# ha3e been ca1able o& o11osing to the <a1oleonic con:uest a re3olutionar+ #e&ence o& the &atherlan# si'ilar to that o& 1D93* the e'br+onic bourgeois?re3olutionar+ longing &or national liberation an# uni&ication &ace# an insoluble #ile''a that 0as #estine# to lea# to reactionar+ Ro'anticis') >All the 0ars o& in#e1en#ence 0age# against %rance bear the co''on sta'1 o& a regeneration 0hich is cou1le# 0ith reaction@ EMar(F) <either $egel nor $6l#erlin la1se# into this Ro'antic reaction) ;ut their intellectual co'ing?to?gri1s 0ith the 1ost?Ther'i#orian situation #e3elo1 in #ia'etricall+ o11ose# #irections) To be brie&* $egel co'es to ter's 0ith the 1ost?Ther'i#orian e1och an# the close o& the re3olutionar+ 1erio# o& bourgeois #e3elo1'ent* an# he buil#s u1 his 1hiloso1h+ 1recisel+ on an un#erstan#ing o& this ne0 turning?1oint in 0orl# histor+) $6l#erlin 'akes no co'1ro'ise 0ith the 1ost?Ther'i#orian realit+; he re'ains &aith&ul to the ol# re3olutionar+ i#eal o& reno3ating polis #e'ocrac+ an# is broken b+ a realit+ 0hich ha# no 1lace &or his i#eals* not e3en on the le3el o& 1oetr+ an# thought) 2n a contra#ictor+ 'anner* both a11roaches re&lect the unbalance# #e3elo1'ent o& bourgeois?re3olutionar+ thinking in Ger'an+) An# this unbalance# #e3elo1'ent?0hich $egel hi'sel& #esignates in an i#ealist an# i#eological 'anner as the >ruse o& reasonG? 'ani&ests itsel& es1eciall+ in $egel7s intellectual acco''o#ation to the 1ost? Ther'i#orian realit+ 0hich le# hi' into the 'ain current o& the i#eological #e3elo1'ent o& his class* &ro' 0hich 1oint &urther intellectual #e3elo1'ent 0as 1ossible until the trans&or'ation o& bourgeois?re3olutionar+ 'etho#s o& thinking into 1roletarian?re3olutionar+ 'etho#s 0as achie3e# Ei)e) the 'aterialist in3ersion b+ Mar( o& $egel7s i#ealist #ialecticF) $6l#erlin7s intransigence en#e# in a tragic i'1asse) 9nkno0n an# un'ou'e#* he &ell like a solitar+ 1oetic Leoni#as &or the i#eals o& the Aacobin 1erio# at the Ther'o1+lae o& in3a#ing Ther'i#orianis') .n the one han#* o& course* $egel7s acco''o#ation lea#s to a #e&ection &ro' the re3olutionar+ re1ublicanis' o& his ;ern 1erio#) 2t lea#s hi' &ro' his enthusias' &or <a1oleon to an intellectual reconciliation 0ith the 0retche#ness o& a russian constitutional 'onarch+) ;ut on the other han#* it lea#s?although in an i#eal?isticall+ #istorte# an# in3erte# 'anner?to the intellectual #isco3er+ an# elaboration o& the

#ialectic o& bourgeois societ+) 2n $egel* classical 8nglish 1olitical econo'+ a11ears &or the &irst ti'e as an ele'ent o& the #ialectical conce1tion o& 0orl# histor+ 0hich is onl+ an i#eological &or'* an i#ealistic re&lection o& the &act that &or $egel the #ialectic o& ca1italis' itsel& beca'e the &oun#ation &or the #ialectic o& the 1resent) The Aacobin i#eal o& the struggle against the ine:ualit+ o& 0ealth an# the Aacobin illusion o& the econo'ic le3elling o& a societ+ base# on ca1italist 1ri3ate 1ro1ert+ #isa11ears in or#er to gi3e 1lace to a c+nical reali=ation o& the contra#ictions o& ca1italis' ins1ire# b+ Ricar#o) >%actories an# 'anu&acturing are &oun#e# 1recisel+ on the 'iser+ o& a class*@ $egel 0rites a &e0 +ears a&ter his turning to an e3aluation o& conte'1orar+ e3ents) The polis re1ublic #isa11ears as an i#eal to be reali=e#) Greece beco'es a thing o& the 1ast* irre3ocabl+ gone* ne3er to return) The 0orl# historical signi&icance o& $egel7s acco''o#ation consists 1recisel+ in the &act that he gras1e#?as onl+ ;al=ac besi#e hi' ?the re3olutionar+ #e3elo1'ent o& the bourgeoisie as a unitar+ 1rocess* one in 0hich the re3olutionar+ Terror as 0ell as Ther'i#or an# <a1oleon 0ere onl+ necessar+ 1hases) The heroic 1erio# o& the re3olutionar+ bourgeoisie beco'es in $egel?Bust as anti:uit+ #oes ?so'ething irretrie3abl+ 1ast* but a 1ast 0hich 0as absolutel+ necessar+ &or the e'ergence o& the unheroic 1rose o& the 1resent consi#ere# to be 1rogressi3e; &or the e'ergence o& a#3ance# bourgeois societ+ 0ith its econo'ic an# social contra#ictions) The &act that this conce1tion is 'arre# both b+ all the &aults o& an acco''o#ation to the 0retche#ness o& the russian an# Ger'an situation an# b+ all the '+sti&ications o& the i#ealist #ialectic cannot #i'inish its 0orl#?historical signi&icance) ;ut 0ith all its #e&ects it is one o& the great 1aths 0hich lea#s to the &uture an# to the elaboration o& the 'aterialist #ialectic) $6l#erlin al0a+s re&use# to recogni=e this as the correct 0a+) ;ut e3en his thinking coul# not re'ain una&&ecte# b+ the realit+ 0hich e'erge# a&ter Ther'i#or) $egel7s %rank&urt 1erio#* the 1erio# in 0hich he turns to historical 'etho#olog+* is 1recisel+ the 1erio# o& their secon#* 'ore 'ature association an# collaboration) ;ut &or $6l#erlin* the 1ost?Ther'i#orian #e3elo1'ent suggests onl+ a sloughing o&& o& the ascetic ele'ents o& the i#eal conce1tion o& $ellenis'* onl+ a greater accentuation o& Athens as a 'o#el as o11ose# to the unben#ing S1artan an# Ro'an 3irtue o& the %rench Aacobins) $e continues to re'ain a re1ublican) 83en in his later 0ork* 8'1e#ocles* the hero ans0ers the Acragantines 0ho o&&er hi' the cro0n: >This is the age o& kings no longer*@ an# he 1reaches?in '+stic &or's it is true?the i#eal o& a ra#icall+ re3olutionar+ reno3ation o& 'ankin#: What is tol# an# taught +ou &ro' the li1s o& the &athers* La0s an# custo's* the na'es o& the ancient go#s* ;ol#l+ &orget the' an#* like ne0 born 'en* Li&t +our e+es to #i3ine <ature/ 4Was euch #er Hater Mun# er=ahlt* gelehrt* Geset=7 un# ;rauch7* #er alten Gotter <a'en* Hergesst es kiihn un# hebt* 0ie <eugebo'e* Iie Augen au& =ur gottlichen <atur/ 5 This <ature is that o& Rousseau an# Robes1ierre* the #rea' o& a trans&or'ation o& societ+ 0hich?0ithout $6l#erlin7s raising the :uestion o& 1ri3ate 1ro1ert+ in a clear 'anner?restores the 1er&ect har'on+ o& 'an 0ith a societ+ 0hich is a#e:uate to hi'* 0ith <ature itsel& through a societ+ 0hich has beco'e natural again) >The i#eal is 0hat

<ature 0as*@ sa+s $6l#erlin7s $+1erion so'e? 0hat in the 'anner o& Schiller* but going &ar be+on# hi' in re3olutionar+ &er3our) An# &or $6l#erlin* $ellenis' is 1recisel+ the i#eal 0hich 0as li3ing realit+* <ature) >%or'erl+ the 1eo1les starte# &ro' a chil#like har'on+*@ $+1erion continues) >The har'on+ o& the s1irits 0ill be the beginning o& a ne0 uni3ersal histor+)@ >All &or each an# each &or all/@ This is $+1erion7s social i#eal 0hen he enters the re3olutionar+ struggle &or the liberation o& Greece &ro' the Turkish +oke) 2t is the #rea' o& a re3olutionar+ 0ar &or national liberation 0hich is su11ose# to beco'e also the 0ar o& liberation &or all 'ankin#: al'ost 0hat the ra#ical #rea'ers o& the great re3olution itsel&?Anacharsis Jloots* &or e(a'1le?ho1e# &ro' the 0ars o& the %rench Re1ublic) $+1erion sa+s: ><o one 'ust recogni=e b+ its &lag alone our 1eo1le to co'e; it is necessar+ that all be reBu3enate#* that all be ra#icall+ #i&&erent* that Bo+ be &ille# 0ith seriousness an# all 0ork be ga+/ <othing* not e3en the least signi&icant* the 'ost co''on1lace 0ithout s1irit an# the go#s/ Lo3e* hate* an# e3er+ soun# 0e utter 'ust astonish the 3ulgar 0orl#* an# not once are 0e to be re'in#e#* e3en &or a 'o'ent* o& the insi1i# 1ast/@ $6l#erlin thus takes no notice o& the li'itations an# contra#ictions o& the bourgeois re3olution) This is 0h+ his social theor+ 'ust lose itsel& in '+sticis'* a '+sticis' it is true* &ille# 0ith con&use# &orebo#ings o& a real u1hea3al o& societ+ an# a real reno3ation o& 'ankin#) These &orebo#ings are e3en 'ore 9to1ian an# '+stic than those o& the isolate# 3isionaries o& 1re?re3olutionar+ an# re3olutionar+ %rance) %or in a Ger'an+ un#e3elo1e# &ro' the 1oint o& 3ie0 o& ca1italis'* $6l#erlin is unable to 1ercei3e in a concrete 'anner the see#s an# beginnings o& social ten#encies 0hich 1oint be+on# the li'ite# an# contra#ictor+ ca1italist hori=on) $is 9to1ia is 1urel+ i#eological) 2t is a #rea' o& the return o& the gol#en age* a #rea' in 0hich the 1resenti'ent o& the #e3elo1'ent o& bourgeois societ+ is Boine# in an illusor+ 'anner 0ith the 9to1ia o& so'ething be+on# this societ+* o& a real liberation o& 'ankin#) 2t is 3er+ interesting to note that e3er+0here* an# es1eciall+ in Hyperion, $6l#erlin struggles ceaselessl+ against the o3eresti'ation o& the State* an# that his 9to1ian conce1tion o& the &uture State* re#uce# to its essentials* 3erges 3er+ closel+ on the thinking o& the &irst liberal i#eologists o& Ger'an+* e)g) Wilhel' 3on $u'bol#t) The 'ainsta+ o& a social reno3ation &or $6l#erlin there&ore can onl+ be a ne0 religion* a ne0 church) 2n the social #e3elo1'ent o& Ger'an+ the bases &or his 9to1ias coul# not be &oun#: obBecti3el+ because in &act the+ #i# not e(ist in the bourgeois realit+; subBecti3el+ because the see#s o& a #e3elo1'ent ten#ing to sur'ount ca1italis' coul# not 1ossibl+ $e 0ithin $6l#erlin7s 1ur3ie0) So it 0as ine3itable that he shoul# seek the source o& a social reno3ation in a ne0 religion) This turning to religion* #es1ite a co'1lete break 0ith the ol# religions* is ine3itable &or all re3olutionaries in this 1erio# 0ho 0ish to 1ursue the bourgeois re3olution to its conclusion* but 0ho shrink back at the sa'e ti'e &ro' its necessar+ result: the unleashing o& ca1italis' 0ith all its social an# cultural conse:uences) Robes1ierre7s cult o& the >Su1re'e ;eing@ is the greatest 1ractical historical e(a'1le o& this ine3itable return to religion) 2t is clear that $6l#erlin also coul# not esca1e this #ile''a) 2& his $+1erion 0ishes to li'it the e&&ect o& the State* he nonetheless #rea's o& the rise o& a ne0 church 0hich is su11ose# to beco'e the bearer o& his social i#eals) The ine3itabilit+* an# at the sa'e ti'e* the bourgeois?re3olutionar+ character o& this conce1tion 'ani&est the'sel3es in

the &act that $egel also* still #uring the 1erio# o& his transition to a co'1lete ackno0le#g'ent o& the ca1italist #e3elo1'ent o& the re3olution* is sei=e# b+ the i#ea o& a ne0 religion) 2t is a religion >in 0hich the in&inite anguish an# the 0hole 0eight o& its o11osite are a#'itte# but resol3e# 0ithout trouble an# in a genuine 'anner 0hen there is a $ree 1eo1le an# Reason 0ill ha3e regenerate# its realit+ as a 'oral s1irit 0hich is able to ha3e the au#acit+ to assume its pure $orm on the basis o$ itsel$ and its .peculiar ma%esty)@ This is the i#eological &ra'e0ork 0ithin 0hich the action o& Hyperion un&ol#s) The 1oint o& #e1arture o& the action is the atte'1t o& the Greeks to re3olt against the Turks in 1DD-* an atte'1t 0hich occurre# 0ith the su11ort o& a Russian &leet) The contra#ictor+ character o& this the'e* 0hich is both re3olutionar+ an# reactionar+* is highl+ characteristic o& $6l#erlin7s historical situation) ;ut it is also highl+ characteristic that he has a certain insight into the reactionar+ ten#encies o& the situation he #e1icts; an insight 0hich is inco'1arabl+ 'ore 1enetrating an# 1rogressi3e than the illusions o& the national re3olutionaries o& the 0ar o& liberation 0ith regar# to Russia) $6l#erlin7s 'artial heroes 3ie0 the Russian ai# 0ithout illusions an# 0ith a Machia3ellian an# realistic 1olitical attitu#e) >.ne 1oison thus #estro+s the other*@ sa+s $+1erion 0hen the Turkish &leet is #e'olishe# b+ the Russians) .n this 1oint also then $6l#erlin 0as not a Ro'antic reactionar+) The internal 1lot o& the no3el is &or'e# b+ the i#eological struggle o& t0o ten#encies co'1eting to reali=e $6l#erlin7s re3olutionar+ 9to1ia) The 0arrior hero* Alaban#a* 0ho is en#o0e# 0ith certain %ichtean characteristics* re1resents the ten#enc+ o& ar'e# insurrection) The heroine o& the no3el* Iioti'a* incarnates the ten#enc+ o& the religious an# i#eological* 1eace&ul Au$ l&rung. She 0ants to 'ake o& $+1erion the e#ucator o& his 1eo1le) At &irst the con&lict en#s 0ith the 3ictor+ o& the 'artial 1rinci1le) $+1erion Boins 0ith Alaban#a to 1re1are an# carr+ out the ar'e# u1rising) The &a'e o& Alaban#a a0akens hi' to sel&?re1roach as regar#s his hitherto conte'1lati3e inacti3it+) >2 ha3e beco'e too i#le ) ) ) too ethereal* too in#olent) Kes* to be so&t at the right ti'e is &ine* but to be so&t at the 0rong ti'e is o#ious because it is co0ar#l+/ An# to the 0arning o& Iioti'a: >Kou 0ill con:uer an# &orget 0hat &or*@ $+1erion re1lies: >Ser3itu#e kills* but a Bust 0ar enli3ens e3er+ soul)@ Iioti'a too sees the tragic con&lict 0hich at this 1oint con&ronts $6l#erlin?$+1erion) >Kour 0hole soul bi#s +ou to it; not to obe+ it o&ten lea#s to ruin* but to obe+ no #oubt also #oes)@ The catastro1he begins) A&ter a &e0 3ictorious skir'ishes the insurgents take Misistra* &or'erl+ S1arta) ;ut the con:uest is &ollo0e# b+ 1illage an# 'assacre* an# $+1erion* #ecei3e#* turns his back on the insurgents) >2n truth* it 0as an e(traor#inar+ 1roBect to entrust the 1lanting o& '+ 8l+siu' to a gang o& thie3es)@ Soon a&ter0ar#s* the insurgents su&&er a crushing #e&eat an# are #is1erse#) 2n the battles o& the Russian &leet $+1erion seeks #eath* but in 3ain) $6l#erlin7s attitu#e to ar'e# re3olution is not ne0 in Ger'an+) The re1entance o& $+1erion a&ter the 3ictor+ re1eats on a higher le3el the #es1air o& Schiller7s Larl Moor at the en# o& the Robbers: >that t0o 'en like 'e shoul# #estro+ the 0hole structure o& the 'oral 0orl#)@ 2t is no coinci#ence that the 1hil?$ellenic classicist $6l#erlin estee'e# so highl+ until the en# o& his conscious li&e the +outh&ul #ra'as o& Schiller) $e Busti&ies this estee' b+ 'eans o& anal+ses o& their co'1osition; but the true reason lies in the si'ilarit+ o& their &or'ulation o& 1roble's* in their longing &or a Ger'an

re3olution* an# at the sa'e ti'e?inse1arable &ro' this?in their shrinking back &ro' the &acts an# conse:uences o& such a re3olution) Along 0ith the si'ilarities* ho0e3er* it is also necessar+ to stress the #i&&erences in their a11roach to 1roble's) Koung Schiller #oes not 'erel+ recoil &ro' the se3erit+ o& re3olutionar+ methods, but also &ro' the ra#ical content o$ the revolution itsel$. $e &ears that the 'oral &oun#ations o& the 0orl#? o& bourgeois societ+?'ight colla1se in a re3olution) This $6l#erlin #oes not &ear: he #oes not &eel in0ar#l+ relate# to an+ o& the 3isible 'ani&estations o& bourgeois societ+) As 0e ha3e seen* 0hat he ho1es &oils 1recisel+ a ra#ical re3olution o& his 0orl# 0hereb+ nothing o& the 1resent 0oul# sur3i3e) $e shrinks &ro' the re3olutionar+ 'etho#s about 0hich he &ears* 3er+ 'uch like the i#ealistic i#eologists o& the re3olution* a 1er1etuation o& the e3ils o& the 1resent in another &or') This tragic #iscor# o& $6l#erlin 0as insur'ountable &or hi' since it resulte# &ro' the relations o& the classes in Ger'an+) %or all the historicall+ necessar+ illusions concerning the reno3ation o& the #e'ocrac+ o& the polis, the re3olutionar+ Aacobins o& %rance #eri3e# their 3er3e an# energ+ &ro' their association 0ith the democratic# plebeian ele'ents o& the re3olution* 0ith the 1ett+ bourgeois an# se'i?1roletarian 'asses o& the to0ns an# 0ith the 1easantr+) Rel+ing on these ele'ents* the+ coul# co'bat?onl+ te'1oraril+* o& course* an# in a 3er+ contra#ictor+ 'anner?the egoistic baseness* the co0ar#ice an# a3arice o& the %rench bourgeoisie an# #ri3e the bourgeois re3olution &or0ar# along 1lebeian lines) The anti?bourgeois characteristic o& this 1lebeian 'etho# o& re3olution is 3er+ salient in $6l#erlin) $is Alaban#a sa+s o& the bourgeois: >.ne #oes not ask i& +ou 0ant/ Sla3es an# barbarians* +ou ne3er 0ant/ 2t is not +ou 0e 0ish to i'1ro3e* &or this 0oul# be in 3ain/ >We 0ish to take care onl+ that +ou get out o& the 0a+ o& the 3ictorious a#3ance o& 'ankin#)@ A re3olutionar+ Aacobin in aris in 1D93 coul# ha3e s1oken such 0or#s a'i# the reBoicing o& the 1lebeian 'asses) 2n Ger'an+ in 1D9D* such a 3ie0 signi&ie# a #es1airing an# #isconsolate solitu#e* &or there 0as no social class to 0hich these 0or#s coul# be a##resse#* none in 0hich the+ coul# ha3e &oun# so 'uch as an i#eological echo) A&ter the &ailure o& the Main= u1rising* Georg %orster coul# at least take re&uge in re3olutionar+ aris) %or $6l#erlin there 0as no ho'elan# either insi#e or outsi#e Ger'an+) 2t is no 0on#er that* a&ter the &ailure o& the re3olution* the 0a+ o& $+1erion gets lost in a #es1airing '+sticis'* an# that Alaban#a an# Iioti'a 1erish 0ith the #o0n&all o& $+1erion) 2t is no 0on#er that the ne(t an# last great 0ork o& $6l#erlin* the trage#+ Empedocles, 0hich re'aine# a &rag'ent* has &or its the'e '+stic sel&?sacri&ice) The reaction al0a+s &astens on to this '+stic #issolution o& $6l#erlin7s "eltanschauung. A&ter o&&icial Ger'an literar+ histor+ ha# long treate# $6l#erlin e1iso#icall+ as a re1resentati3e o& a secon#ar+ current o& Ro'anticis' Ee)g) $a+'F* he 0as re#isco3ere# in an o1enl+ reactionar+ 'anner in the i'1erialist 1erio# an# utili=e# &or the i#eological ai's o& the reaction) Iilthe+ 'akes hi' a 1recursor o& Scho1enhauer an# o& <iet=sche b+ the si'1le trick o& co'1letel+ #etaching the $ellenis' an# the e&&ects o& classical Ger'an 1hiloso1h+ &ro' the in&luence o& the %rench Re3olution an# b+ re#ucing these latter in signi&icance to the le3el o& an e1iso#e) Gun#ol& alrea#+ se1arates in $6l#erlin the >original e(1erience@ 4'rerlebnis5 an# the >ac:uire# e(1erience@ 4(ildungserlebnis5) )Ac:uire# e(1erience@ is e3er+thing re3olutionar+* e3er+thing >'erel+ te'1oral@; an# as such all this is irrele3ant to the un#erstan#ing o& the >essential@ $6l#erlin) The >essential@ $6l#erlin is an >.r1hic '+stic)@ 2n Gun#ol& also the lines lea# &ro' $6l#erlin to <iet=sche* an# be+on# hi' to the >#ei&ication o& the bo#+@ b+ Ste&an George) The $6l#erlin* 0ho &ell tragic 3icti' to a belate#

Aacobinis'* beco'es in Gun#ol& a 1recursor o& rentier 1arasitis') $6l#erlin7s tragic eleg+ on 'an7s loss o& 1olitical* social* an# cultural libert+ en#s u1 in Ste&an George7s #eca#ent *ar lyri . $6l#erlin7s $ellenic an# re1ublican cult o& &rien#shi1* &or 0hich his 'o#els 0ere the 40oul# be5 t+rannici#es* $ar'o#ius an# Aristogiton*415 is trans&or'e# into a 1re&igure'ent o& the aestheticist* #eca#ent* ho'ose(ual George circle) ;oth Iilthe+ an# Gun#ol& i'agine the+ are able to get at the essential core o& $6l#erlin b+ lea3ing out the >te'1oral@ as1ects o& his li&e an# 0ork) $6l#erlin hi'sel& kne0 3er+ 0ell that the 'ourn&ul elegiac as1ect o& his 1oetr+* his longing &or 3anishe# Greece* in a 0or#* the essential :ualit+ o& his 1oetr+ 0as altogether te'1oral) $+1erion sa+s: >;ut this* this anguish* 0hich is like no other* is a ceaseless &eeling o& total annihilation 0hen our li3es lose their signi&icance* 0hen the heart tells itsel&: +ou 'ust #escen# an# nothing 'ore re'ain o& +ou: no &lo0ers ha3e +ou 1lante#* no cottages ha3e +ou built onl+ that +ou 'ight sa+: 2 lea3e a trace behin# on earth) ))) ;ut enough/ enough/ $a# 2 gro0n u1 0ith The'istocles or li3e# a'ong the Sci1ios* '+ soul surel+ 0oul# ne3er ha3e co'e to kno0 this si#e o& li&e)@ An# &or a liberate# &atherlan# M in his sense o& the ter' M $6l#erlin celebrates a heroic #eath: .h* take 'e* a#'it 'e into the ranks* So that one #a+ 2 'a+ ne3er #ie a co''on #eath/ To #ie in 3ain is not '+ 0ish* but To be kille# on the altar o& sacri&ice %or the &atherlan# ))) An# heral#s o& 3ictor+ #escen#: the battle 2s ours/ Li3e on abo3e* oh &atherlan#* An# reckon not the #ea#/ %or +ou ;elo3e#* not one too 'an+ has &allen) 4O nimmt mich, nimmt mich mit in die +eihen au$, ,amit ich einst nicht sterbe gemeinen Tods- 'msonst .u sterben, lieb ich nicht, doch !ieb ich, .u $allen am Op$erhiigel Furs /aterland ... 'nd 0iegesboten ommen herab1 ,ie 0chlacht 2st unser- !ebe droben, o /aterland, 'nd .ahle nicht die Toten- ,ir ist, !iebes- nicht einer .u viel ge$allen5) $e also celebrates his o0n #estin+ as a 1oet* his longing &or at least one &ul&il'ent o& that 0hich is o& central concern to his soul: Grant 'e but one su''er* +ou 'ight+ ones/ An# one autu'n to ri1en '+ song* So that '+ heart* sate# 0ith s0eet 1la+* Might #ie then 'ore 0illingl+) The soul* #enie# in li&e its #i3ine right* Rests not e3en in .rcus belo0; Ket shoul# 2 e3er achie3e that sacre# thing* The 1oe' 0hich is '+ heart7s #esire* Then 0elco'e* re1ose o& the 0orl# o& sha#o0s/ 2 a' content* e3en i& the 'usic o& '+ strings Ioes not escort 'e #o0n; once 2 shall ha3e li3e# like the go#s* an# there is no nee# o& 'ore) 4<ur einen So''er gonnt* ihr Ge0altigen / 9n# einen $erbst =u rei&e' Gesange 'ir* Iass 0illiger 'ein $er=* 3o' siissen

S1iele gesattigt* #ann 'ir sterbe) Iie Seele* #er i' Leben ihr gottlich Recht <icht 0ar#* sie ruht auch #runten i' .rkus nicht; Ioch ist 'ir einst #as $eil7ge* #as a' $er=en 'ir liegt* #as Ge#icht gelungen) Willko''en #ann* - Stille #er Schatten0elt/ Nu&rie#en bin ich* 0enn auch 'ein Saitens1iel Mich nicht hinabgeleitet; ein'al Lebt7 ich 0ie Gotter* un# 'ehr be#ar&s nicht5) <othing can be consi#ere# in isolation here) $6l#erlin is too genuine a 1oet* he al0a+s echoes the 'o'entar+ an# concrete occasion o& his e(1erience* he has no nee# there&ore to rehearse constantl+ in abstract ter's the ulti'ate bases o& the in#i3i#ual e(1erience he e(1resses) An# es1eciall+ 0ith $6l#erlin* the +earning a&ter 1oetic &ul&il'ent cannot be un#erstoo# in a &or'al?artistic sense) %or' an# content here too are inse1arable) oetic success 1resu11oses that the central content o& the 1oetr+ 0ill so'eho0 be reali=e# in li&e* in his li&e) An# Aacobin 1rinci1les constitute the 0hole at'os1here o& his 1oe's) .nl+ he 0hose 1ers1ecti3e is #ulle# or blin#e# b+ class con&or'it+ 0ill not 1ercei3e this all?#eter'ining at'os1here) ;ut 0hat about the '+sticis' o& nature; the &usion o& nature an# culture* 'an an# the go#hea# in the e(1erience o& $ellas O This is 0hat a 'o#ern a#'irer o& $6l#erlin* in&luence# b+ Iilthe+ an# Gun#ol&* 'ight 1erha1s retort) >We ha3e alrea#+ allu#e# to the Rousseaues:ue an# Robes1ierrian character o& $6l#erlin7s cults o& nature an# Greece) 2n his great 1oe'* The Archipelagus E0hich Gun#ol& 'a#e the 1oint o& #e1arture &or his inter1retation o& $6l#erlinF* Greek nature an# the gran#eur o& the Athenian culture 0hich gre0 out o& it is e(1resse# 0ith o3er0hel'ing elegiac 1athos) ;ut to0ar# the en# o& the 1oe'* $6l#erlin s1eaks 0ith e:uall+ 'o3ing 1athos an# e:uall+ accusator+ eleg+ about the cause o& his sorro0 o3er 3anishe# Greece: Alas/ 2t 0an#ers in the night* it #0ells as in .rcus* With nothing go#like* our race) To their o0n bustle Alone the+ are &astene#* an# in the raging 0orksho1 8ach hears onl+ hi'sel&* an# the 0il# ones 0ith 'ight+ ar's Work 'uch 0ithout res1ite; +et e3er 'ore Sterile* like the %uries* re'ains the toil o& the 1oor) 4Aber 0eh / 8s 0an#elt in <acht* es 0ohnt* 0ie i' .rkus* .hne Gottliches unser Geschlecht) Ans eigene Treiben Sin# sie gesch'ie#et allein* un# sich in #er tosen#en Werkstatt $oret Beglicher nur* un# 3iel arbeiten #ie Wil#en Mit ge0altige' Ar'* rastlos* #och i''er un# i''er 9n&ruchtbar* 0ie #ie %urien* bleibt #ie Miihe #er Ar'en5) This conce1tion is neither inci#ental nor uni:ue in $6l#erlin) A&ter the Greeks are #e&eate# in their struggle &or libert+ an# $+1erion e(1eriences his #isillusion'ent* 0e &in# at the en# o& the no3el the terribl+ accusing cha1ter on Ger'an+* the enrage# o#e in 1rose on the #egeneration o& 'an into 'iser+* into the narro0 1hilistinis' o& early Ger'an ca1italis') The in3ocation o& Greece as a unit+ o& culture an# nature is in $6l#erlin al0a+s an in#ict'ent o& his age* a 3ain a11eal to action* an a11eal &or the #estruction o& this 'iserable realit+)

The >re&ine'ent@ o& the anal+sis o& Iilthe+ an# Gun#ol&* their era#ication o& all traces o& the great social trage#+ in the li&e an# 0orks o& $6l#erlin* &or's the &oun#ation o& the grossl+ #e'agogic an# &lagrantl+ &alse #is&igure'ent o& his 'e'or+ b+ the ;ro0n? shirts o& literar+ histor+) Aust as &ascist i#eologists berate# the unconscious* or not +et conscious* 1ett+ bourgeois 0ith the ho1elessness o& their 1ath* the) literar+ S)A) 'en be&oule# the 'e'or+ o& 'an+ sincerel+ #es1airing Ger'an re3olutionaries b+ Buggling a0a+ the true social cause o& their #es1air an# b+ e(1laining it as #es1air o3er the &act that the+ coul# not 0itness the >#eli3erance@ b+ the Thir# Reich an# the >sa3iour@ $itler) This is also ho0 $6l#erlin &are# at the han#s o& Ger'an &ascis') A'ong Ger'an &ascist 0riters it is goo# bree#ing to#a+ to i#oli=e $6l#erlin as an i'1ortant 1recursor o& the Thir# Reich) <aturall+* the atte'1t to carr+ through this clai' in a concrete 'anner* the atte'1t to sho0 concretel+ the e3i#ence o& &ascist i#eolog+ in $6l#erlin in3ol3es serious #i&&iculties) The+ are 'uch 'ore serious than the+ 0ere &or Gun#ol& 0hose &or'alistic* art?&or?art7s?sake 3ie01oint* e'1tie# o& all content* allo0e# &or the a#oration o& the &or'al as1ects in $6l#erlin* the i#eali=ation o& his su11ose#l+ '+stical conce1tion o& $ellas* 0ithout an+ i''e#iatel+ a11arent inner contra#iction) EThe contra#iction e(iste# >'erel+@ bet0een Gun#ol&7s i'age o& $6l#erlin an# the true $6l#erlinF) .n this basis Rosenberg 'akes $6l#erlin a re1resentati3e o& >authentic@ Ger'anic +earning) $e tries to harness $6l#erlin to the social #e'agog+ o& <ational Socialis' b+ turning his criti:ue o& the ti'es into a &ascist criti:ue o& >the bourgeois)@ >Ii# not $6l#erlin su&&er &ro' these 1eo1le e3en at a ti'e 0hen the+ #i# not +et hol# s0a+ as o'ni1otent bourgeois* e3en 0hen $+1erion* in search o& great souls* 0as oblige# to state that the+ ha# onl+ beco'e barbarous b+ their #iligence* their science* an# their 3er+ religionO $+1erion &oun# artisans* thinkers* 1riests* an# title?hol#ers* but no hu'an beings* onl+ &rag'ente# beings 0ithout inner unit+* 0ithout inner #ri3e* 0ithout 0holeness o& li&e)@ ;ut Rosenberg also takes care to concreti=e as little as 1ossible this social criti:ue o& $6l#erlin) This 0hole great sall+ en#s 0ith a lea1 into the 3oi#) $6l#erlin is si'1l+ sta'1e# as a re1resentati3e o& Rosenberg7s nonsensical >aesthetic 0ill)@ The sa'e 'i(ture o& bo'bastic gran#ilo:uence an# an(ious e3asion o& all &acts characteri=es the later e3olution o& the &ascist i'age o& $6l#erlin) 2n a series o& essa+s a >'aBor turning?1oint@ in the li&e o& $6l#erlin is #isco3ere#: his renunciation o& the >eighteenth centur+*@ his con3ersion to Jhristianit+ an# 0ith it to the &ascist an# Ro'antic >Ger'an realit+)@ 2n a Ro'anticis' constructe# to be the 1relu#e to &ascis'* $6l#erlin is inserte# into a series e(ten#ing &ro' <o3alis to Gorres) The 0orth o& this &alsi&ication o& histor+ is sho0n b+ the &act that e3en the o&&icial si#e o& <ational Socialis' ha# to reBect it as being >#e3iant@ an# >erroneous)@ This occurs in an article b+ Matthcs Niegler in the 3ationalso.ialistische#4onatshe$t. in 0hich Meister 8ckart* $6l#erlin* Lierkegaar#* an# <iet=sche are 1resente# as the great 1recursors o& the <ational Socialist "eltanschauung. ;ut 0hereas ;au'ler coul# succee# in #elineating the ro'antic* anti?ca1italist* irrationalist?'+stic &eatures o& Lierkegaar# 0ithout o3ert historical lies* onl+ 0ith so'e light bro0n retouching* Niegler7s article re'ains a 1iti&ul sta''er encase#* o& course* in cru#e a1o#ictic bo'bast) Scru1ulousl+ a3oi#ing an+thing concrete in the :uotations* he too onl+ centres on $6l#erlin7s o11osition to conte'1orar+ culture Eto the >bourgeoisie@F an# his longing &or a &or' o& co''unit+)

An# he t0ists this longing* o& 0hich 0e alrea#+ kno0 the true social basis an# the true social content* into a longing &or $itler* into antici1ation o& the Thir# Reich) Su''ari=ing* he 0rites: >2t 0as the trage#+ o& $6l#erlin that he ha# to se1arate hi'sel& &ro' the co''unit+ o& 'en 0ithout it being allotte# hi' to contribute to the &or'ation o& the co''unit+ o& the &uture) $e re'aine# a solitar+ 'an 0ho 0as 'isun#erstoo# in his ti'e but 0ho bore 0ithin hi' the &uture as a certaint+) $e 0ishe# no re3i3al* no ne0 Greece* but he re#isco3ere# in $ellas the <or#ic heroic attitu#e to li&e 0hich 0as atro1hie# in the Ger'an+ o& his ti'e* the onl+ attitu#e* ho0e3er* &ro' 0hich the co''unit+ o& the &uture coul# gro0) $e 0as oblige# to e(1ress hi'sel& in the language an# in the conce1tions o& his ti'e* 0hich is 0h+ it is o&ten #i&&icult &or us* 'en o& to#a+* &or'e# b+ the e(1erience o& our age* to un#erstan# hi' 1ro1erl+) ;ut our struggle &or the &or'ation o& the Reich is the struggle &or the sa'e achie3e'ent that $6l#erlin 0as unable to acco'1lish because the ti'e 0as not +et ri1e)@ The obBecti3e result* e3en 'easure# b+ a stan#ar# a11licable to a <ational Socialist literar+ histor+* is e(tre'el+ 1iti&ul; Niegler hi'sel& lets sli1 the a#'ission that he scarcel+ un#erstan#s $6l#erlin* i& at all) <ational Socialist 0riters are oblige# to 'ake the i'age o& $6l#erlin e3en 'ore abstract than it is in Iilthe+ an# Gun#ol&* e3en 'ore #e3oi# o& all in#i3i#ual as 0ell as social an# historical &eatures) The $6l#erlin o& the Ger'an &ascists is so'e sort o& Ro'antic 1oet 0ho is scarcel+ #istinguishable an+ longer &ro' Georg ;iicnner?also re1eate#l+ slan#ere# o& late?0ho has been t0iste# in turn into a 1rotagonist o& >heroic 1essi'is'*@ an# thereb+ into a 1recursor o& the >heroic realis'@ re1resente# b+ <iet=sche an# ;au'ler) 2n the s1iritual night o& the &ascist &alsi&ication o& histor+* e3er+ &igure beco'es bro0n) ;ut the >'etho#olog+@ o& these &alsi&ications nonetheless sho0s* i& unintentionall+* a result: na'el+ the intrinsic relation bet0een the inabilit+ o& liberalis' to un#erstan# Ger'an histor+ an# the increasingl+ conscious &alsi&ication o& it b+ &ascist i'1erialis') Iilthe+ challenges the inter1retation o& $6l#erlin b+ $a+' as being a >lateral shoot o& Ro'anticis'*@ but onl+ to enrol $6l#erlin a'ong the #eca#ent belate# Ro'antics o& the en# o& the centur+ an# to 'ake hi' a 1recursor o& <iet=sche) Gun#ol& goes &urther an# 'akes $6l#erlin a 1recursor o& Ste&an George) An# the <ational Socialists 'isuse the ro'antic an# anti?ca1italist &eatures o& $6l#erlin* 0hich at that ti'e 0ere still b+ no 'eans une:ui3ocall+ reactionar+* in or#er to 'ount this #e&or'e# i'age o& the tragic re3olutionar+ as an orna'ent on the &aca#e o& the &ascist 1rison &or 0orking Ger'an+) 2n his essence* ho0e3er* $6l#erlin is no Ro'antic* although his criticis' o& e'erging ca1italis' is not 0ithout so'e Ro'antic traits) ;ut 0hereas the Ro'antics* &ro' the econo'ist Sis'on#i to the '+stic 1oet <o3alis* see a re&uge &ro' ca1italis' in a si'1le 'erchan#ise econo'+* an# o11ose to anarchic ca1italis' the >or#ere#@ Mi##le Ages* o11ose to the 'echanistic #i3ision o& labour the >totalit+@ o& artisan labour* $6l#erlin critici=es bourgeois societ+ &ro' another si#e) 2n a Ro'antic 'anner* he too hates the ca1italist #i3ision o& labour) ;ut in his e+es the 'ost essential as1ect o& the #egra#ation to be co'bate# is the loss o& libert+) An# in hi' this conce1tion o& libert+ stri3es to transcen#?in '+stic &or's* as 0e ha3e seen* an# 0ith a 3ague 9to1ian content?the narro0 notion o& 1olitical &ree#o' in bourgeois societ+) The #i&&erence in choice o& the'es bet0een $6l#erlin an# the Ro'antics?Greece 3ersus the Mi##le Ages?is not 'erel+ a #i&&erence in the'es then but a #i&&erence in i#eolog+ an# 1olitics)

When $6l#erlin celebrates the &esti3als o& ancient Greece* he celebrates the 3anishe# #e'ocratic 1ublic character o& li&e) 2n this res1ect he not onl+ &ollo0s the sa'e course as the &rien# o& his +outh* $egel* be&ore his trans&or'ation* but i#eologicall+ he 'o3es also in the #irection o& Robes1ierre an# the Aacobins) 2n his great s1eech to the Jon3ention on the intro#uction o& the cult o& the >Su1re'e ;eing*@ Robes1ierre #eclares: >The true 1riest o& the Su1re'e ;eing is <ature; his te'1le the uni3erse; his cult 3irtue; his &esti3als the Bo+ o& a great 1eo1le unite# un#er his e+es in or#er to #ra0 tighter the bon# o& uni3ersal brotherhoo# an# to o&&er hi' the 3eneration o& 1ure an# sensiti3e hearts)@ An# in the sa'e s1eech he re&ers to the Greek &esti3als as an e(a'1le o& this strengthening o& a #e'ocratic re1ublican e#ucation ai'e# at reali=ing the 3irtue an# ha11iness o& a liberate# 1eo1le) 2t is true that $6l#erlin7s '+sticis' &ar sur1asses the ine3itable an# heroic illusions o& Robes1ierre) Moreo3er* it is a &light into '+sticis' an# a '+sticis' o& &light: a '+sticis' o& +earning &or #eath* the #eath o& sel&?sacri&ice* #eath as a 'eans to beco'e unite# 0ith nature) ;ut this nature '+sticis' in $6l#erlin is b+ no 'eans uni&or'l+ reactionar+) 2n the &irst 1lace* its Rousseauian re3olutionar+ source is al0a+s 1erce1tible) The i''e#iate 1oint o& #e1arture o& $6l#erlin7s &light into '+sticis' lies 1recisel+ in the &act that he 0as oblige# to raise the sociall+ necessar+ ho1eless trage#+ o& his i#ealistic as1irations to the le3el o& a cosmic trage#+) Secon#l+* his '+sticis' o& sel&?sacri&ice has a #istinctl+ 1antheistic an# anti?religious character) ;e&ore going to his #eath* Alaban#a s1eaks o& his li&e >that no go# create#)@ >2& the han# o& a 1otter has &ashione# 'e* then let hi' s'ash his 3essel as he 1leases) ;ut 0hat li3es 'ust be uncreate#; 'ust be o& #i3ine nature in its origin* su1erior to an+ 1o0er an# all art* an# thus in3ulnerable* eternall+)@ An# in a si'ilar 'anner* in her &are0ell letter to $+1erion* Iioti'a 0rites o& the >#i3ine &ree#o' 0hich #eath gi3es us)@ >An# i& 2 shoul# beco'e a 1lant* 0oul# the loss be so greatO 2 shall still e(ist) $o0 coul# 2 3anish &ro' the s1here o& li&e 0herein the eternal lo3e* 0hich is co''on to all* Boins all naturesO $o0 coul# 2 se3er '+sel& &ro' the union 0hich links all beingsO@ 2& the 'o#ern rea#er 0ishes to gain a historicall+ correct 1ers1ecti3e on Ger'an nature '+sticis' at the beginning o& the nineteenth centur+* he 'ust ne3er &orget that at that ti'e the #ialectic o& nature an# societ+ 0as #isco3ere# an# elaborate# o& course in i#ealistic an# '+stical &or's) 2t is the 1erio# o& the nature 1hiloso1h+ o& Goethe* +oung $egel* an# +oung Schelling) EMar( s1eaks o& the >honest thoughts o& Schelling7s +outh@F) 2t is a 1erio# in 0hich '+sticis' is not 'erel+ a #ea# 0eight carrie# o3er &ro' the theological 1ast* but &re:uentl+* an# 3er+ o&ten in a 'anner #i&&icult to #istinguish* an i#ealistic ha=e 0hich 3eils the still unkno0n &uture 'etho#s o& #ialectical thinking) Aust as at the beginning o& the #e3elo1'ent o& the bourgeoisie* in the Renaissance an# in the e'erging 'aterialis' o& ;acon* the into(ication o& ne0 kno0le#ge assu'es e(uberant an# &anci&ul &or's* so too no0* in the into(ication o& the #a0n o& the #ialectical 'etho#* a 1hiloso1h+ e'erges >on 0hich no 'e'ber is not #runk@ E$egelF) What Mar( sa+s about the 1hiloso1h+ o& ;acon is 3ali#?'utatis mutandis?also &or this 1erio#: >Matter s'iles on the total 'an 0ith a 1oeticall+ sensuous ra#iance; the a1horistic #octrine itsel&* on the other han#* still aboun#s in theological inconse:uentialities)@

$6l#erlin hi'sel& takes a 3er+ acti3e 1art in the &or'ation o& the #ialectical 'etho#; he is not onl+ the &rien# o& +outh o& Schelling an# $egel* but also their 1hiloso1hical &ello0?tra3eller) 2n his i'1ortant #iscourse on Athens* $+1erion s1eaks also o& $eraclitus) An# the >.ne #i&&erentiate# in itsel&@ o& $eraclitus is &or hi' the 1oint o& #e1arture o& thought: >2t is the essence o& beaut+* an# be&ore this 0as &oun#* there 0as no 1hiloso1h+)@ %or $6l#erlin also then 1hiloso1h+ is i#entical 0ith #ialectic) 2#entical* it is true* 0ith an i#ealistic #ialectic 0hich loses itsel& in '+sticis') An# the '+sticis' is 1articularl+ ob3ious in $6l#erlin because in increasing 'easure it has the task &or hi' o& glori&+ing on a cos'ic 1lane the social trage#+ o& his e(istence an# o& 1ointing an a11arent 0a+ out o& the historical i'1asse o& his situation in a 'eaning&ul #eath) ;ut this hori=on* 0hich gets lost in '+stical ha=iness* is also a co''on characteristic o& the 0hole e1och) The en# o& $+1erion an# 8'1e#ocles is no 'ore '+stical than the &ate o& Makarie in "ilhelm 4eisters "ander%ahre or that o& Louis La'bert or Sera1hitus Sera1hita in ;al=ac) Aust as this '+stic hori=on* 0hich cannot be #isBoine# &ro' the 0ork o& the great realists* Goethe an# ;al=ac* also cannot in3ali#ate the &un#a'ental realis' o& their 0ork* so too $6l#erlin7s '+sticis' o& #eath cannot i'1air the &un#a'entall+ re3olutionar+ character o& his heroic eleg+) $6l#erlin is one o& the 1urest an# 'ost 1ro&oun# elegiac 1oets o& all ti'e) 2n his i'1ortant #e&inition o& eleg+* Schiller 0rites that >in eleg+* the sorro0 'ust result onl+ &ro' an enthusias' arouse# b+ the i#eal)@ An# 0ith 1erha1s too 'uch se3erit+* Schiller con#e'ns all elegists 0ho la'ent a 1urel+ 1ri3ate &ate Ee)g) .3i#F) 2n $6l#erlin7s 1oetr+ in#i3i#ual an# social #estinies &use into a tragic har'on+ rarel+ achie3e#) Throughout his li&e $6l#erlin 0as a &ailure) $e ne3er got be+on# the general transitional stage in 0hich the #estitute Ger'an intelligentsia e(iste# at that ti'e: tutorshi1; 'oreo3er* he #i# not e3en succee# in creating an e(istence as a tutor) Ies1ite the bene3olent 1rotection o& Schiller an# not0ithstan#ing the co''en#ation o& the 'ost signi&icant critic o& the 1erio#* A) W) Schlegel* he re'aine# co'1letel+ unkno0n as a 1oet an# 0ithout the 1ros1ect o& a li3elihoo#) $is great lo3e &or Su=ette Gontar# en#e# in a tragicall+ #es1airing resignation) ;oth his outer an# his inner li&e 0ere so #es1eratel+ ho1eless that 'an+ conte'1oraries an# biogra1hers ha3e 1ercei3e# so'ething &ate&ull+ necessar+ e3en in the insanit+ 0hich 1ut an en# to his +outh) ;ut the elegiac sorro0 o& $6l#erlin7s 1oetr+ ne3er has the character o& a 1ett+ 1ri3ate recri'ination &or his ruine# 1ersonal li&e) 83en i& $6l#erlin cos'icall+ '+sti&ie# the social necessit+ &or the &ailure o& his #ecisi3e as1irations* this '+sti&ication also e(1resses the &eeling that the &ailure o& his 1ri3ate as1irations 0as onl+ the ine3itable conse:uence o& this great general &ailure) This is al0a+s the 1oint o& #e1arture o& the elegiac la'ent running through his 1oetic 0orks) The contrast bet0een 3anishe# $ellas* 0hich 'ust be rene0e# in a re3olutionar+ 'anner* an# the 'iserable con#ition o& conte'1orar+ Ger'an+ constitutes the constant* though al0a+s 3ariousl+ recurring* content o& his la'ent) $is eleg+ is there&ore a 1athetic an# heroic accusation against the age an# not a subBecti3e an# l+rical la'entation o& a 1ri3ate &ate* ho0e3er 1itiable) 2t is the co'1laint o& the best bourgeois intellectuals o3er the loss o& the re3olutionar+ >illusions@ o& the heroic 1erio# o& their o0n class) 2t is the grie3ance o3er a solitu#e* a

cr+ o& #istress issuing &ro' a solitu#e 0hich is insur'ountable because* although 'ani&esting itsel& in all 'o'ents o& 1ri3ate li&e* it 0as create# b+ the iron han# o& econo'ic an# social #e3elo1'ent itsel&) The re3olutionar+ &ire o& the bourgeoisie is e(tinguishe#) ;ut the heroic ar#our o& the great Re3olution gi3es rise e3er+0here in the 'i##le class to &ier+ souls in 0ho' this bran# continues to s'oul#er) Their ar#our* ho0e3er* no longer in&la'es the class as a 0hole) The re3olutionar+ &la'e o& Aacobinis' still burns in Sten#hal7s Aulien Sorel Bust as it #oes in $6l#erlin) An# i& the ho1elessness o& the situation o& that belate# Aacobin #i&&ers #ee1l+ in an e(ternal sense &ro' $6l#erlin7s #estin+* i& Aulien7s &ate is not an elegiac la'ent* but rather a 1o0er struggle carrie# on 0ith h+1ocritical an# Machia3ellian 'eans against the ignoble societ+ o& the Restoration* the ho1elessness is nonetheless the sa'e an# has si'ilar social origins) Aulien Sorel also gets no &arther than to take &light* at the en# o& an unsuccess&ul li&e* into a 1seu#o?heroic an# tragic #eath; than to &ling his 1lebeian an# Aacobin conte'1t in the &ace o& societ+ a&ter a li&e o& sha'e&ul h+1ocris+) The creati3e &or' in 0hich this last late?born Aacobin o& %rance a11eare# 0as ironical an# realistic) 2n 8nglan#* such late?co'ers also 'ani&est classicist* elegiac* an# h+'nic :ualities: Leats an# Shelle+) ;ut 0hereas the &ate o& Leats 1resents* e3en e(ternall+* a great 'an+ &eatures relating hi' to $6l#erlin* a ne0 sun 1ierces the hori=on o& Shelle+; a ne0 reBoicing intru#es into his elegiac la'ent) 2n his greatest 1oetic &rag'ent* Leats 'ourns the &ate o& the Titans o3erthro0n b+ the ignoble ne0 go#s) Shelle+ too 1oeti=es the #estin+ o& an ancient go#* the struggle o& the 'iserable ne0 go#s against the ancient go#s o& the gol#en age Ethe gol#en age* the >reign o& Saturn@ being in 'ost '+thologies the '+th o& the 1erio# 1rior to 1ri3ate 1ro1ert+ an# the stateF* an# the struggle o& ro'etheus boun# against the ne0 go#* Neus) ;ut in Shelle+ the ne0 usur1er go#s are 3an:uishe# an# his h+'ns celebrate the liberation o& 'ankin#) Shelle+ has alrea#+ gli'1se# the rising ne0 sun* the sun o& the 1roletarian re3olution) $e 0as able to celebrate the liberation o& ro'etheus because alrea#+ he coul# su''on the 'en o& 8nglan# to re3olt against ca1italist e(1loitation: So0 see#?but let no t+rant rea1; %in# 0ealth?let no i'1oster hea1; Wea3e robes?let not the i#le 0ear; %orge ar's?in +our #e&ence to bear) 2n Shelle+ the 1ros1ect o& a transition to the real struggle &or the liberation o& hu'anit+ 1resents itsel& to Aacobins born too late &or their o0n class) What 0as 1ossible sociall+ in 8nglan# aroun# 1"19 &or a re3olutionar+ genius* at least as a 1oetic 3isionar+ 1ros1ect* 0as not 1ossible &or an+one in Ger'an+ at the en# o& the eighteenth centur+) ;ecause o& the contra#ictions o& the internal an# 0orl# situation o& Ger'an+ at the ti'e* the course generall+ &ollo0e# b+ the Ger'an bourgeois intelligentsia le# to the s1iritual 'orass o& Ro'antic obscurantis') The acco''o#ation o& Goethe an# $egel sa3e# an# continue# the best o& the heritage o& bourgeois thought* although in a &or' 0hich in 'an+ 0a+s is #istorte# an# tri3ial) The heroic intransigence o& $6l#erlin 0as boun# to lea# hi' into a #es1erate i'1asse) $e is trul+ a uni:ue 1oet 0ho #i# not ha3e an# coul# not ha3e an+ successors) $e is uni:ue* ho0e3er* not in the sense o& those 0ho #e&ile his 'e'or+ to#a+ b+ singing the 1raises o& his shortco'ings

an# obscurities* but because his tragic situation coul# no longer recur &or the bourgeois class) A later $6l#erlin 0ho #i# not &ollo0 Shelle+7s course 0oul# not ha3e been a $6l#erlin* but rather a narro0 classicist liberal) When Arnol# Ruge begins his letter in the 5orrespondence o$ 1"43 0ith $6l#erlin7s &a'ous la'ent on Ger'an+* Mar( re1lies: >M+ #ear &rien#* +our letter is a goo# eleg+* a breathtaking #irge; but 1oliticall+ it is nothing at all) <o 1eo1le #es1airs; an# e3en i& &or a long ti'e its ho1e is base# onl+ on stu1i#it+* a&ter 'an+ +ears all its 1ious 0ishes are &ul&ille# b+ a su##en intelligence)@ Mar(7s 1raise a11lies to $6l#erlin* &or Ruge #oes nothing 'ore than to 3ar+ his :uotation in a tri3ial 'anner) $is rebuke a11lies to all 0ho ha3e re3i3e# the la'ent o& $6l#erlin a&ter the basis u1on 0hich it 0as &oun#e#* the obBecti3e ho1elessness o& his situation* 0as negate# b+ histor+ itsel&) $6l#erlin coul# ha3e no 1oetic successors) The later elegists o& the nineteenth centur+ be0ail* on the one han#* 'uch 'ore 1ri3ate #estinies* an# on the other han#* in their la'ent on the 'iser+ o& their age* are inca1able o& 1reser3ing their &aith in hu'anit+ 0ith the sa'e 1urit+ it ha# in $6l#erlin) This contrast raises $6l#erlin &ar abo3e the generall+ &alse #ile''a o& the nineteenth centur+) $e is neither an insi1i# o1ti'ist nor a #es1airing irrationalist 1essi'ist) $is st+le neither sinks into an aca#e'ic classicistic obBecti3is' nor into an a'or1hous* i'1ressionist subBecti3is'; his 1oetr+ is neither #r+l+ an# #i#acticall+ intellectual not at'os1heric an# 3oi# o& thought) $6l#erlin7s l+ricis' is a l+ricis' o& i#eas) 2ts 1oint o& #e1arture is &or'e# b+ the inner contra#iction o& the bourgeois re3olution raise# to the le3el o& a "eltanschauung Ean# '+sti&ie#* o& course* in an i#ealistic 'annerF) ;oth as1ects o& the contra#iction e(ist in this 1oetr+ o& i#eas: the Aacobin $ellenic i#eal an# the ignoble bourgeois realit+) The i'1erishable greatness o& $6l#erlin lies in his su1erb st+listic 'aster+ o& the insoluble contra#iction 0hich 0as basic to his social e(istence) $e not onl+ &ell bra3el+ as a belate# 'art+r on an aban#one# barrica#e o& Aacobinis'* but he also e(1resse# this 'art+r#o'?the 'art+r#o' o& the best sons o& a once re3olutionar+ class?in i''ortal song) $is no3el Hyperion also has this l+ric an# elegiac character) 2t is less e1ic than 1lainti3e an# accusator+) <e3ertheless* the bourgeois critics are 0rong 0ho see in Hy#perion a l+ric #issolution o& the e1ic &or' such as in <o3alis7s Hcinrich von O$terdingen. 83en st+listicall+ $6l#erlin is no Ro'antic) .n the theoretical le3el he goes be+on# Schiller7s conce1tion o& the ancient e1os as >nai3e@ Ein o11osition to 'o#ern >senti'ental@ 1oetr+F) ;ut he #oes so in the #irection o& a re3olutionar+ obBecti3is') $e 0rites: >The e1ic 1oe'* nai3e in a11earance* is heroic in its signi&icance) 2t is the 'eta1hor o& great as1irations)@ The historical trage#+ o& $6l#erlin a&&ects his artistr+ in that its e1ic herois' ne3er a#3ances be+on# a 'ere beginning; in that he 0as onl+ able to e(1ress the elegiac 'eta1hor o& the great as1irations) The e1ic &ulness 'ust be trans&erre# &ro' the action into the souls o& the actors) ;ut to this inner action $6l#erlin i'1arts a 3er+ 1al1able 1lastic an# obBecti3e character* ha3ing an intensit+ such as 0as 1ossible onl+ on account o& the tragicall+ contra#ictor+ &oun#ations o& his conce1tion) 2n this res1ect also* his &ailure is not onl+ heroic* but is trans&or'e# into a heroic song) To Goethe7s

>e#ucational no3el*@ 0hich teaches a#a1tation to the ca1italist realit+* he o11oses an >e#ucational no3el@ 0hich teaches heroic resistance to this realit+) $e #oes not 0ish* like Tieck or <o3alis* to >1oeti=e@ in a Ro'antic 'anner the >1rose@ o& the 0orl# o& "ilhclm 4eister6 rather he o11oses to the Ger'an 1ara#ig' o& the great bourgeois no3el the 1roBect o& a no3el o& the citi=en) Hyperion also bears st+listicall+ the 'arks o& the ho1elessl+ 1roble'atical character o& this genre) The atte'1t to #e1ict the citi=en in e1ic 0as boun# to &ail) ;ut &ro' this &ailure e'erge# a uni:ue st+le 0hich is both l+rical an# e1ic: the obBecti3e st+le o& a 1ro&oun# in#ict'ent o& the abBectness o& the bourgeois 0orl# a&ter the light o& its heroic >illusions@ is e(tinguishe#) The l+ric no3el o& $6l#erlin* o& 0hich the action is al'ost solel+ >'eta1horical*@ re'ains then* e3en in ter's o& st+le* isolate# in the e3olution o& the bourgeoisie) <o0here else has 1urel+ internal action been sha1e# in a 'anner so 1al1able an# obBecti3e; no0here else has the l+rical attitu#e o& the 1oet been so thoroughl+ integrate# into an e1ic 0ork) 9nlike <o3alis* $6l#erlin ne3er critici=e# the great bourgeois no3el o& his age) <onetheless* his o11osition to "ilhelm 4eister is 'ore 1ro&oun#* &or he o11oses to it a co'1letel+ #i&&erent t+1e o& no3el) >Whereas Goethe7s no3el gro0s organicall+ out o& the social an# st+listic 1roble's o& the %rench an# 8nglish bourgeois no3el o& the eighteenth centur+* $6l#erlin takes u1 the threa#s o& the 1roble' at the 1oint 0here the re3olutionar+ i#eals &or the trans&or'ation o& li&e b+ the bourgeoisie ga3e rise to the atte'1t to create an e1os o& the citi=en; 0here Milton ha# 'a#e the great unsuccess&ul atte'1t to #e1ict* 0ith classical 1lasticit+* the necessaril+ i#ealistic e(istence an# #estin+ o& the citi=en) The e1ic 1lasticit+ &or 0hich Milton stro3e* ho0e3er* breaks u1 into 'agni&icent l+rical #escri1tions an# 1urel+ l+rical?1athetic e(1losions) %ro' the 3er+ start $6l#erlin renounces the i'1ossible as1iration to create an e1os in a bourgeois 0orl#) 2n accor#ance 0ith the re:uire'ents o& the no3el* he situates his characters an# their #estinies in a setting?ho0e3er st+li=e#?o& e3er+#a+ bourgeois li&e) This co'1els hi' to #e1ict the citi=en 0ithout se1arating hi' entirel+ &ro' the 0orl# o& the bourgeois) An# e3en i& he is un#erstan#abl+ unable to en#o0 the i#eali=e# citi=en 0ith a &ull?bloo#e# 'aterial li&e* he nonetheless a11roaches 'uch 'ore closel+ than an+ o& his 1re#ecessors a reall+ 1lastic creation in his #e1iction o& the citi=en) $is historical an# 1ersonal trage#+* the &act that the heroic >illusions@ o& the bourgeoisie coul# no longer be the banner &or real re3olutionar+ herois'* but onl+ that o& the +earning &or such herois'* constitutes 1recisel+ the st+listic 1resu11osition o& this Erelati3eF success) <e3er ha3e the e'otional con&licts e(1resse# b+ a bourgeois 1oet been less e(clusi3el+ e'otional* less e(clusi3el+ 1ri3ate an# 1ersonal* so directly public than in his 0orks) $6l#erlin7s l+ric an# elegiac no3el?#es1ite its ine3itable &ailure* 1recisel+ because o& its &ailure?is the 'ost obBecti3e e1ic 1oe' o& the citi=en to be 0ritten in the course o& the #e3elo1'ent o& the bourgeoisie) 1934)

1) $ar'o#ius an# Aristogiton* sai# to be lo3ers* cons1ire# to assassinate $+11ias an# the t+rants o& Athens EP14 ;)J)F) The 1lot &aile# an# the t0o cons1irators 0ere kille#*

but the t+rants 0ere e3entuall+ o3erthro0n) ;oth 'en then 0ere celebrate# in song an# the scul1tor Antenor built a 'onu'ent in their honour)

Georg Lukacs Archi3e