The Blue Flower

The Blue Flower

Book - 1997
Average Rating:
6
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In eighteenth-century Germany, the impetuous student of philosophy who will later gain fame as the Romantic poet Novalis seeks his father's permission to wed his true philosophy -- a plain, simple child named Sophie. The attachment shocks his family and friends. This brilliant young man, betrothed to a twelve-year-old dullard! How can it be? A literary sensation and a bestseller in England and the United States, The Blue Flower was one of eleven books- and the only paperback- chosen as an Editor's Choice by the New York Times Book Review. The 1997 National Book Critics Circle Award Winner in Fiction.
Publisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin, [1997], c1995.
Edition: First U.S. edition
ISBN: 9780395859971
0395859972
Branch Call Number: FITZGERA
Characteristics: 225 pages ; 21 cm.

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u
uncommonreader
Jan 31, 2016

A biography/history/novel of Friedrich von Hardenberg - Novalis - a German romantic poet/philosopher at the end of the 18th century. Highly lauded, but somewhat odd.

k
kmwatts
Sep 13, 2015

I will need to read this again a few years from now to better appreciate how great it is. A very intimate look into the life of an impoverished aristocratic German family in the late 1780's (immediately after the French revolution and the rise of Napoleon) and the struggles of a young poet and the 12 yr-old muse of a girl. A very touching story.

manoush Mar 05, 2015

An entirely original work, unlike any novel I've ever read. Though it's set in 18th century Saxony and includes some wonderfully tactile details of life in that time and place, The Blue Flower isn't a "historical novel." It's more concerned with conveying the interior state of poet and philosopher Friedrich von Hardenberg (Novalis). Fitzgerald pens some beautiful, cinematic passages that mimic Novalis' romantic, mystical frame of mind. In Fitzgerald's hands, Novalis' love for a common 12-year-old girl is rendered as the mystery that it is, a reflection of his perception that's not entirely of this world. Particularly stunning is a chapter in which Novalis is walking in a graveyard and sees a vision. "The external world is the world of shadows," he reflects, "The universe, after all, is within us. The way leads inwards, always inwards."

g
GailRoger
Oct 25, 2011

Reading this brought home to me how little I know of German literature, society, and history, which is a pity because a sizable portion of my daughters' heritage is German (including their surname!).

This story of a young German philosopher and his eccentric family is told with wry wit, but there's a sad surprise at the end when we discover just how little time these whimsical creatures had.

wwgg Jul 05, 2011

Andrew Miller's top 10 historical novels

m
macierules
Jan 09, 2011

With very few historical details, Fitzgerald was able to take me immediately to 18th century Germany. Amazing. Rather odd story based on the life of the romantic poet and philosoper Novalis and his betrothal to 12-year-old Sophie. Charming. For those who enjoy an author who leaves room for the reader to figure things out.

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