Lettere a Weimar. I carteggi romani di Wilhelm von Humboldt con Goethe e Schiller

Raul Calzoni



This article deals with Wilhelm von Humboldt’s experience as an Ambassador of Prussia in Rome between 1802 and 1808 by mainly focusing on his correspondences with J.W. Goethe and F. Schiller. The letters sent by Humboldt to Weimar during his Italian stay tell, on the one hand, tell about Humboldt’s faith in the aesthetic principles of the Weimarer Klassik and, on the other hand, discuss the topics of the «ganzer Mensch» and «Totalität». Following Goethe’s footsteps in Italy and his interrogating gaze on reality, Humboldt too tried to find a possible solution to the “static” condition of German literature of the period subsequent to the establishment of the Frühromantik as a «school». In order to shade light and discuss these issues, the article highlights Humboldt’s position towards German Classicism and Romaticism and it shows how the Prussian Ambassador eventually ended up in Italy to support a peculiar synergy between these two aesthetic and cultural trends, able to bridge the gap between the guardians of classical antiquity (Goethe and Schiller) and those of romantic modernity (A.W. Schlegel, F. Schlegel, and Novalis).


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