With the end of the third decade, this steady artistic still life came to an end. New events ensued, followed by resentment and restlessness, pain and shock in the narrow confines of next conditions as well as in public life. For Tieck, this period of life was marked by two deaths that deeply moved him. Friedrich Schlegel died at the beginning of 1829, followed by the death of Goethe.
Driven by the desire to see the well-known soil of northern Germany for a long time, Schlegel came to Dresden in late autumn 1828. He intended to hold a series of public lectures in the old fashion during the winter months. He wanted to recount in it the results of his philosophical and historical studies, his philosophy of life, as he called it. More than ever, he was filled with dark mysticism and prophecy. He sometimes spoke brilliantly, it was a flash of the old talent, more often sophistic, unclear and confused; Paradox and presumption were prevalent. His new lectures were far more subject to curiosity and amazement than true sympathy. For Tieck they were inedible. There were moments in which he not without horror listened to his friend’s apocalyptic announcements. Almost spookily he appeared to him. How had this rich spirit from the widest rooms pulled itself into the narrowest poverty! In the random, the adventurous, the wrong, he found satisfaction, and right now he thought he had reached the height of wisdom.
He had succumbed to the purest superstition; every conversation showed only the ever-widening gap. He claimed to be truly prophetic in the future, which he wanted to interpret from individual Bible verses. But he took these only from the Vulgate. When Tieck allowed himself to express modest doubts, he pathetically rejected him with the words: “My son, you do not understand that on your point of view.” When Tieck once told him a fantastic dream, Schlegel recognized in it a hint from the Blessed Virgin, who mean well with Tieck and want to take him back to the Schoos of the church. Another time he announced the nearness of the most recent day, when the stars of heaven would move against each other, forming the shape of a crucifix. Involuntarily, Tieck broke the call to this oracle: “Man, say, do you really believe all that?” After such doubts Schlegel expressed his profound regret that the friend, who still had all the elements of faith, could not rise to faith itself.
Schlegel should not finish his lectures. It was on the 10th of January, when he was reunited in cheerful company with his friends; the night after he was struck by the impact.
On March 22, 1832 Goethe died. Tieck had his last contact with him when, in 1829, Faust was performed on the dresden stage in celebration of Goethe’s birthdays. He disagreed with this plan because he found it to be a detriment to the poem, yet he wrote a prologue for the performance. A few days later he received a thanksgiving letter from Goethe’s hand.
Now he, too, had passed away, who was in the kingdom German poetry ruled for sixty years as a king, at which the later spirits had all measured or risen. It was a deep gap in German life itself. Tieck had learned in Goethe’s poetry in childish games, dreamed of him as a boy, and fought for him as a youth full of enthusiasm. He had studied his earlier works incessantly, and lived in them. How much had he not thought, spoken and written about Goethe’s poetic genius for thirty years? But never had there ever been a lasting personal connection between them. They were too close and yet too far away. But only Tieck’s pure and disinterested piety became clearer. It was an innermost understanding which separated the contingent from the imperishable, and therefore could not tune into the traditional tone of admiration. Goethe’s death affected him with painful violence. For weeks he was in melancholy sadness, and could not master his emotion. Family and friends began to fear for his health. Grippingly, he uttered the feeling of deep melancholy when he once said that Goethe was the star who had foreshadowed his youth; Like Ferdinand for Egmont, he felt for Goethe. In the epilogue to Goethe’s memory, which was spoken after the depiction of “Iphigenia,” he laid down one last testimony for him as a model, teacher, friend, and high master, putting him together with Dante and Shakspeare, and calling them the shining one Triumvirate of poetry called.
It was as if the great divine time of Goethe, the creator of national poetry, and Schlegel’s, the champion of mysticism, should have ended. For now, by force, a youngest generation, in whose eyes the old Lorbern had long since dried up, had demanded that talent, spiritual power, and importance alone for the present and for himself. The July Revolution had broken out, and the echo of the violent explosion shook Germany first. A feverish movement shot through life. All dissatisfaction, all social discontent, the remarks of which the Restoration Police had so far depressed, broke out, and sought to pave the way for a political solution. But for a long time it had been in the character of the German spirit to prefer to fight the battles which it supplies itself in the field of literature. That’s what happened now.
The years of rest belonged predominantly to the younger romantics whose last were the latecomers Walter Scott’s. They constantly praised the good old days, and sought them in every way. One had become safe and proud in possession of the recovered goods. But the exclusive one-sidedness prepared itself the case. Not everyone thought like the Tonangeber. In the silence rose other forces, whose exasperation grew with their oppression, and who were all the more eager to be heard the less they were allowed to speak.
Lord Byron was the prototype of the literary opposition men of recent times, the poet of pain, of moral decadence, of despair and also of coquetry with despair. He was the ideal of the modern Floss and sky-storming Titans, the full expression of the erupting tempers of time which mocked the self-sufficiency of the ruling restoration, no longer believed anything, doubted everything, denied everything, and remedied the misery of the world by a radical transformation. wanted. Before, everything had been positive and old-historical, now everything should be negative and young. Space should be made for the new. But what was the new?
What the German imitators Byron’s lack of strength and depth, they replaced by systematics. In lyric poetry, Heine’s songs had produced a negating spirit in a shining and popular sheath, the best part of which had been borrowed from Goethe. The sharp, guzzling mockery that attacked everything that stands above the individual, mocked the feeling, and finally destroyed himself, had been carried through Germany in these easy verses. Börne’s criticisms, which threw themselves with destructiveness on everything German, were the signal for violent and excessive attacks. The literature seemed oversaturated, disgusted with self-loathing. For so long they had written poetry and written books, now they wanted action; they had admired and praised poets; now the time had come to hate them and make themselves hated to work. If one had previously believed in authorities, the ax should now be placed on the idols. Goethe’s name was the first to fall. What they lost here, the innovators claimed by the impact on people, state and society to replace a thousand times. Life should be helped in life itself. Young Germany wanted to carry out these acts. Under his hands the hitherto harmless daily press took on a different character, and soon the call for emancipation rang out in newspapers and journals in every key.
But it was not a poetic school, it was a semi-political, semi-literary party, this young Germany. Freedom saw them also in the destruction of what has been since for almost a century had been the most peculiar of German life, and the recognition of their thoughts challenged them with a terrorism that outdid all that was former. There had been a time when Lessing and Goethe had opposed Gottsched, where Tieck and the Schlegel against Nicolai had been the young Germany. They had the poetry, the genius for themselves, but never had it occurred to them to call themselves the young Germany. One was very little, if one was nothing more, than young; it was alarming to take the party sign from the most general and transitory of all virtues, youth. Goethe’s and Tieck’s polemic had also been sharp; but their works showed that they did not find their task in destroying. Goethe’s poetic work was a powerful pleasure; Tieck declared that he found his highest law only in poetry; the new party did not want this, but in their politics and social reform. Poetry should be subject to the system of new freedom, of the state, of society. This policy was not German, not popular, but it fought them, which had hitherto been for it. French writers had established a general, patented scheme of cosmopolitan social politics. Nationality was only a barrier; Man should expand.
Tieck had joined the peculiar life of the German people in art and poetry. Nobody also studied the literatures of foreign peoples more zealously than he; He did it for the sake of his special character, and he respected it. But the idea of a universal world literature was far from him. Of this, Goethe had often spoken in the period of his last allegorising poetry, and the new party took up this idea, and exploited it. But that The most general in man, which had to be understandable to everyone, was the sensual force, the instinct of nature; this should be put into his right. It was the emancipation of the flesh.
Tieck had experienced the libertinism of the French Revolution, the older cosmopolitanism among his own friends, and he knew what ideas of emancipation had already come to light. The new writings of this kind did not have the originality of Schlegel’s “Lucinde”. Only those who had forgotten these could consider them new. In a tumultuous manner one repeated what had been said in the storm and urge period and later.
Even the literary productions of the youngest school moved only in a small space. They were lyrical songs or critiques, again and again characteristics of persons and conditions of the present, an incessant talk about the literature. Or one used the novella, because here one could distribute the whole contents of political and social polemics. The novella was learned from Tieck and used as the literary reasoning had learned from Schlegel.
While the innovators accused Goethe of being a courtly poet who lacked the sense of freedom and popular development, they preferred to make Schiller, as the poet of the morality and progress of humanity, their hero. Even more violent were the attacks on the romantic poets who were now experiencing the full setback of their own one-sidedness. They had sung and frequently caricatured chivalry and the Middle Ages, for which they were called the bearers of servility, the enemies of the people. They were for crypto-Catholics, defenders of mental bondage and obscurants. Romantic meant everything which was contrary to free development, and romanticism was a planned eclipse. These charges took on a systematic character the more the last disciples of philosophy seized upon them. Here the newest progress was to be proved logically, and the necessity of clearing up for the time being among the old greats should be clarified. Philosophical and political radicalism occurred. He appeared in full strength in the war manifesto that issued the “Hallish Yearbooks” against Romanticism, and everything related to it.
This animosity of the younger writers increasingly concentrated on Tieck. Some might have expected sympathy from him, a condition that must prove erroneous. He had taken the floor against false piety, occasionally touching other follies of the present, and turning away from his own over-zealous followers. The tone of his youthful poetry was still much cheeky. But he had never paid homage to political literary radicalism. The conviction that there were abuses that required help did not give the right to attack the foundations of the state itself. Precisely because man can become a real man only in orderly society, it is necessary to treat his forms with holy timidity. Whoever reprimanded and attacked the individual proved that he had no sense for the whole, and broke up without being able to do anything better. He repeated these views verbally and in writing.
The more recent critics treat the belief in Tieck’s poetic genius as superstition, his influence on literature as a misfortune, himself as an apostate, as a clever but unfeeling playwright who , with his irony, plays a childish or maliciously perfidious game. All sorts of abuse, brought here from all angles, was heaped upon him. He did not let himself be confused by this wild screaming. He knew these accusations and reproaches from ancient times, they only appeared equipped with new keywords. The forgotten Enlightenment was this time in league with the new liberalism and therefore doubly intolerant. Every opportunity was used by the party papers for denunciations, often of the lowest kind. Even his physical frailty was not spared.
Yet it happened that he saw the adversaries in his house to make experiences with them, which were even less edifying. Open and innocent, often unknown to the dreaded influence of the dreaded writers of the day, he received many who humbly approached the famous man. Not infrequently he soon read the conversation he had had in some public paper. He and his neighbors were condemned to be scolded, arrogant, insolent, unable to tolerate other opinions, they twisted his words, criticized them, or misunderstood them. Since everything was to be public, the unabashed word that a well-known man had spoken had to be published immediately. At one time, a daily writer sent him a drama asking for an appreciative judgment and presentation on the stage of the dresden. In fact, he expressed his approval. But soon the author changed his policy and let print that he himself had become mad at his play when he heard that it had been praised by Tieck.
On another occasion he refused to visit a publicist whom he had seen earlier in his house, because, as was often in a state of suffering that did not permit conversation with strangers. Immediately, he wrote a threatening letter, indicating that he would remember this insult in his day. Another wanted to have some sort of conspiracy against him. He visited a well-known man in southern Germany, whose connection with Tieck he did not know, and told him how all literary forces would have to agree to overthrow Tieck in the opinion of the public.
With disrespectful grandeur, he let this flood of slurs go through him. He opposed her only with cheerful cheerfulness and the jocular humor of poetry, and here too he not only led his own but also Goethe’s defense. The sober Philistines of ancient times were extinct; now it was necessary to protect him against the modern Philistines, who believed they had long since overcome his position. The vandalism of the critical iconoclasts, literaryism, the one-sidedness of these political beliefs, intolerance and poetic infertility, all this he presented in intimations or explanations in some later novellas. These included “The Moonstruck”, “The Journey into the Blue”, “The Scarecrow”, “The Waterman”, “Courtship”.
So often did the new critics claim that it was over with him and his poetry. In addition to the polemical other short stories proved that the poet source still bubbled fresh and rich. He glorified a truly popular poet in Camoens, who, supported by a brilliant, knightly and glorious folk life, in whose midst misunderstood, quiet and simple, even as a beggar, lives contentedly, the fame of his fatherland, which is not thanks bar proved to have sung about, with whose independence dies. The longing of the phantasy can be recognized again in the “Journey into the Blue”. Like the Cévennes, “The Witches’ Sabbath” opens the abysses of religious infatuation, and profound and reconciling is “The Guardian Spirit.”
He also completed other literary works. He translated the four Old English plays, which he attributed to the traditional criticism of Shakspeare. He was also still ready to facilitate entry into literature for younger friends by a word of recommendation or more elaborate introductions. During this time he published Eduard von Bülow’s literary collections and translations. He renewed the memory of his sister, who died in 1833, whose last novel he published “St.-Evremont”. Finally he recommended the first novellist attempts of a promising young talent, which appeared under the name Franz Berthold.
At all times Tieck had been attacked by the spokesmen and supporters of ruling trends in philosophy, religion, and politics because he was always opposed to the overflowing currents and opposed any unilateral egalitarianism. The more frequently he found friends among the natures, who, like himself, did not wish to subordinate their own nature to the momentary mood. The sharply defined personalities were able to communicate and approach each other the sooner the less they counted on [p. 84]. The own and original, which made the individual mind just what he was, had attracted him the most everywhere. Even now he won many a new friend. Earlier he had come into contact with a man whose opposition to the direction of time was the sharpest. Occasionally, and in spite of numerous productions, little attention was paid to the position of S. Wiese, who set himself the task of presenting the Christian dogma in drama and novel. It was a definite conception of Christianity, which was at the same time the highest art principle. Although Tieck here recognized talent and earnestness, he was not able to share these views, despite his attempts to make amends. But there was a friendly relationship between the two, which rested on the mutual recognition of the peculiar.
A male strong and strong character was Immermann. His position, too, was a separate and peculiar one. Although stimulated by the aftermath of romantic poetry, he was far from bowing to her traditional beliefs, or being a followers of any system. He wanted to train his poetry, the talent he had been given, and far from the general stream, he sought his own way. That’s why his first works did not catch on, they appeared hard, dark and heavy. In 1820 he visited Tieck for the first time, and soon afterwards he sent him one of his tragedies. Immediately Tieck recognized his own nature in the then very young and modest man.