Dialogue on Poetry and Literary Aphorisms
Friedrich SchlegelThe Dialogue on Poetry is one of the most important of Schlegel’s critical and philosophical writings. Modeled on Plato’s Symposium, it comprises eulogies on poetry delivered by participants in a fictitious conversation, who represent the historical figures of the German Romantic School. Thus the Dialogue expounds the main critical ideas of German Romanticism and simultaneously provides a panorama of the early Romantic Movement. Schlegel was the leading critical thinker of the German Romanticists. His importance for the theory of Romantic poetry and the history of criticism becomes increasingly obvious with the growing interest in Romanticism. René Welleck called Schlegel “one of the greatest critics of history”; George Lukacs based his theory of the novel on Schlegel’s ideas; and Ernest Robert Curtius said about Schlegel’s position within the history of literary criticism: “In Germany we have Friedrich Schlegel—and beginnings.”
This first English edition of Dialogue on Poetry, which also contains a carefully chosen selection of Schlegel’s poetic aphorisms, affords scholars and students in the field of Philosophy and in Comparative, General, and German Literature a new avenue of approach to European Romanticism.