Günderrode’s Poetic Fragments
“I’ve often had the unfeminine desire to throw myself into the wild chaos of battle and die. Why didn’t I turn out to be a man! I have no feeling for feminine virtues, for a woman’s happiness. Only that which is wild, great, shining appeals to me. There is an unfortunate but unalterable imbalance in my soul; and it will and must remain so, since I am a woman and have desires like a man without a man’s strength. That’s why I’m so vacillating and so out of harmony with myself….”
Karoline von Günderrode (1780–1806), Letter to Gunda von Brentano
For those interested in Romanticism or German Idealism there is an important new book coming out in November. Karoline von Günderrode’s philosophically significant Poetic Fragments (1805) are being published by SUNY Press. These “Fragments” provide new insight into Early German Romanticism and Idealism, the reception of Indian, Persian, and Islamic thought in Europe and provide an interesting counterpoint to the ideas of Goethe, Novalis and Schelling.
This is the first volume of Günderrode’s work in English, and will help unearth this rich, complex, and innovative writer for American readers. The text is bilingual German-English and includes Anna C. Ezekiel’s introduction that highlights the philosophical significance of the texts, demonstrating their radical and original consideration of the nature of the universe, death, religion, power, and gender roles.