August Wilhelm von Schlegel

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Schlegel, August Wilhelm von

(ou`go͝ost vĭl`hĕlm fən shlā`gəl), 1767–1845, German scholar and poet. With his brother, Friedrich von Schlegel, he founded the Athenaeum, which he edited (1798–1800). He served as secretary to Jean Baptiste Jules Bernadotte (later Charles XIVCharles XIV
(Charles John; Jean Baptiste Jules Bernadotte) , 1763–1844, king of Sweden and Norway (1818–44), French Revolutionary general. Bernadotte rose from the ranks, served brilliantly under Napoleon Bonaparte in the Italian campaign (1796–97), was French
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 of Sweden) and became professor (1818–45) of art and literary history at Bonn. Schlegel was one of the first critics to see the importance of social evolution in the history of art, and he was a champion of the Nibelungenlied. He is most noted for his extraordinary translations of Shakespeare (1797–1810), later completed by Ludwig Tieck and others, which established Shakespeare's greatness in Germany.

Schlegel, August Wilhelm Von


Born Sept. 8,1767, in Hanover; died May 12,1845, in Bonn. German literary historian and writer. Brother of F. von Schlegel.

A. von Schlegel studied classical philology at the University of Göttingen from 1787 to 1791. Beginning in 1818, he taught literary history at the University of Bonn and did work in Sanskrit studies. He was one of the founders of comparative linguistics. Schlegel belonged to the Jena school of German romantics. In his works, including the Berlin lectures on literature and aesthetics (1801–04, published 1884) and the Vienna lectures on dramatic art and literature (1808, published 1809–11), he gave the first systematic analysis of romanticism as a historical and aesthetic concept. In this analysis, which became famous throughout Europe, he contrasted ancient, classical aesthetics to modern, romantic aesthetics.

An outstanding theorist of artistic translation, Schlegel translated works by Dante, Calderón, and Petrarch; his translations of the plays of Shakespeare remain unsurpassed. Schlegel’s own literary works, including Poetic Works (1811) and his dramas, were influenced by classicism.


Kritische Schriften und Briefe, vols. 1–6. Stuttgart, 1962–67.
In Russian translation:
“Lektsii o literature i iskusstve: Fragmenty.” In Istoriia estetiki, vol. 3. Moscow, 1967.


Berkovskii, N. Ia. “Esteticheskie pozitsii nemetskogo romantizma.” In Literaturnaia teoriia nemetskogo romantizma. Leningrad, 1934.
Besenbeck, A. Kunstanschauung und Kunstlehre A. W. Schlegels. Berlin, 1930.


References in periodicals archive ?
And one of Wolf's admirers was August Wilhelm Schlegel (1767-1845).
August Wilhelm Schlegel, "Uber Zeichnungen zu Gedichten und John Flaxman's Umrisse" in Athenaeum: Eine Zeitschrift von August Wilhelm Schlegel und Friedrich Schlegel, ed.
It is very clear what the focus of any such listing must be: namely, on the work produced during the last decade of the eighteenth century in Jena, where Novalis, Schelling, Schleiermacher, Tieck, and Freidrich and August Wilhelm Schlegel lived for much of the time, and where they were visited by Fichte, Hegel, Holderlin, and Jean Paul, in a configuration culminating in the brilliant if short-lived publication of the Athenaeum (1798-1800).
Ironically, back in 1820, Franz Bopp had described the English scholar Henry Thomas Colebrooke to fellow German August Wilhelm Schlegel as a man of talent and immense knowledge, but lacking soul and genius--without building this criticism into a national trait.
Germanist Rabault-Feuerhahn's L'archive des origines shows that, even in Germany, where comparative linguistics was a dominant strand represented primarily by the Berlin school initiated by Bopp, there was a competing and coexisting camp led by the Bonn school of August Wilhelm Schlegel and Christian Lassen, who prioritized literature and culture.