German literature

German authors
  • Angelus Silesius
  • Heinrich Böll
  • Bertolt Brecht
  • Karl Georg Büchner
  • Hans Magnus Enzensberger
  • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  • Günter Grass
  • Brothers Grimm
  • Hans von Grimmelshausen
  • Peter Handke
  • Gerhart Hauptmann
  • Heinrich Heine
  • Heinrich der Glïchezäre
  • Johann Gottfried von Herder
  • Hermann Hesse
  • Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann
  • Friedrich Hölderlin
  • Uwe Johnson
  • Siegfried Lenz
  • Gotthold Ephraim Lessing
  • Thomas Mann
  • Robert Musil
  • Novalis
  • Jean Paul Richter
  • Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph von Schelling
  • Friedrich von Schiller
  • Arthur Schnitzler
  • Georg Trakl
  • Frank Wedekind
  • Christa Wolf

Novalis (Friedrich Leopold von Hardenberg), 1772-1801

This German poet was one of the poets that shaped the theory of literary romanticism through the pages of the Das Athenaeum magazine. Born into a noble family in Oberwiederstedt (Saxony), he studied Law, Sciences and Philosophy at the universities of Jena, Leipzig and Wittenberg.

Despite the fact that he worked as a civil servant, he put all his energy into writing; he is famous for his lyric poetry and his prose, infused with a profound religious mysticism and the memory of his fiancee Sophie von Kühn, who died aged 15. This is particularly evident in his Hymns to the Night (1800), in which he expresses his pain and desolation at Sophie's death, but at the same time shows his belief that death is a mystic rebirth before the presence of God.

Novalis also wrote essays in which he expressed his nostalgia over the supposed union of a medieval Christian Europe.