The New International Encyclopædia/Schlegel, Friedrich von

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SCHLEGEL, Friedrich von (1772-1829). A German literary historian, critic, and writer on æsthetics, brother of August Wilhelm von Schlegel, born at Hanover. He studied philosophy at Göttingen and Leipzig, and in 1707 published his first work, Die Griechen und Römer, which was followed in 1798 by his Geschichte der Poesie der Griechen und Römer. The chief vehicle at this time for the dissemination of his philosophical views of literature was the Athenäum, an organ of the romantic school, edited by himself and his brother. In Lucinde, an unfinished novel (1799), he cynically reveals his relations with Dorothea Veit, who had left her husband, a Berlin banker, in 1798 and ultimately married Schlegel in Paris (1804). Proceeding to Jena, he began there as a privat-docent, delivering lectures on philosophy, which met with small favor, and still editing the Athenäum, to which he also began to contribute poems of his own. In 1802 appeared his Alarcos, a tragedy, in which the classical and romantic elements are queerly blended. From Jena he soon went to Paris, where he gave philosophical lectures, edited the Europa, a monthly journal (1803), and applied himself to the languages of Southern Europe, and to Sanskrit, the fruits of which were seen in his treatise Ueber die Sprache und Weisheit der Indier (1808). During his residence in Paris he also published a Sammlung romantischer Dichtungen des Mittelalters (1804).

He returned to Germany in 1804 and settled at Cologne. There, in 1808, he and his wife joined the Roman Catholic Church, a change which powerfully affected his future literary career. In the same year Schlegel went to Vienna, where he was employed by the Archduke Charles as a secretary, and wrote fervent proclamations against Napoleon. In 1811 appeared the lectures he had delivered at Vienna, under the title, Ueber die neuere Geschichte, and in 1815 his Geschichte der alten und neuen Litteratur. In 1819 he made a trip to Italy. In 1822 a collected edition of his writings, in 12 volumes, was published by himself. Subsequently he delivered at Vienna and Dresden lectures on the “Philosophy of Life” (Philosophie des Lebens, 1828), on the “Philosophy of History” (Philosophie der Geschichte, 1829), and on the “Philosophy of Language” (Philosophie der Sprache, 1830). He died in Dresden. His manuscripts were published by Windischmann (Bonn, 1836-37). Consult Friedrich Schlegel, Briefe an seinen Bruder, edited by Walzel (Berlin, 1890).