summary The Blue Flower ✓ E-book or Kindle E-pub

summary The Blue Flower

summary The Blue Flower ✓ E-book, or Kindle E-pub ß ☉ [PDF / Epub] ☆ The Blue Flower By Penelope Fitzgerald ❤ – The Blue Flower is set in the age of Goethe in the small towns and great universities of late eighteenth century Germany It tells the true story of Friedrich von Hardenberg aLity of love the The Blue eBook #9734 transfiguration of the commonplace the clarity of purpose that comes with knowing one’s own fate these are the themes of this beguiling novel themes treated with a mix of wit grace and mischievous humor uniue to the art of Penelope Fitzgera. This is a strange and beautiful short novel which revolves around the young poet Friedrich Von Hardenberg's the 18th century German poet Novalis inexplicable love for the somewhat slow not particularly lovely 12 year old Sophie Von Kuhn who would become his fiancee The novel's genius lies in its complete lack of interest in explainingexamining the WHY of Hardenberg's love This is not a love story or a romance It is an observation of the sort of ineffable human forces that produce not only love but also its companion artIn this small book what goes unsaid unseen and unheard is just as important as what we as readers do have immediate access to; it is an object lesson in the writer's art of strategic omissionFitzgerald makes many other interesting and in my opinion successful choices the novel has its own ordering logic but does not feel compelled to observe the laws of linear chronology; the chapters are mere slivers of storytelling each with its precise almost aphoristic title; the language is at times odd and elliptical and so on and so forthUtterly captivating and not uite sensical much like the relationship at the novel's center

Penelope Fitzgerald » 9 review

The Blue Flower is set in the age of Goethe in the small towns and great universities of late eighteenth century Germany It tells the true story of Friedrich von Hardenberg a passionate impetuous student of philosophy who will later gain fame as the Romantic poet Novalis Fritz se. A gorgeous elliptical book which I was drawn to by its subject eighteenth century German philosopher and poet becomes obsessed with unattractive twelve year old girl I fell in love with The Blue Flower just like Fritz later known as Novalis did with Sophie only the book's positive ualities are slightly obvious It's beautifully written understated and perhaps touching than you would expect Fitzgerald never demands that you like her characters and there's no sentimentality but you care about the von Hardenburgs and Sophie anyway because they're so strangely endearing How can you read this book and not want the Bernhard as your younger brotherIf you approach it like a conventional novel then you'll probably be disappointed because the pace of the narrative is uite unusual and occasionally the focus seems odd most novelists would struggle to keep the reader's interest with chapters on salt mining But somehow it works The description's so minimal and Fitzgerald evokes a society in a sentence with success than most other writers could manage in a chapter How does she do it asks A S Byatt Well I don't know But as someone interested in writing I'm sure I'll find myself re reading this in the hope that it becomes slightly less enigmatic I think any aspiring writer could benefit from The Blue Flower not only as a rewarding novel in its own right but as proof that you don't need long winded descriptions to convey settings and characters Or indeed to make the reader feel so inexpicably attached to your characters that the Afterword leaves them feeling devastated

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The Blue FlowerEks his father’s permission to wed his “heart's heart” his “spirit's guide” a plain simple child named Sophie von Kühn It is an attachment that shocks his family and friends Their brilliant young Fritz betrothed to a twelve year old dullard How can this beThe irrationa. I've had this on my 'Currently Reading' shelf for ever and ever I think I was put off by the late 18th century setting and the focus on the poet Novalis neither of which are my interest areas but I've read 5 or 6 of Fitzgerald's now and each and every one is Brilliant this one includedThis is clearly an historical fiction novel the author has done her research making sure that dates places people and known events all tally If she had focussed exclusively on this I would have been bored but the real focus of the novel is the von Hardenberg family of which Fredrick was the eldest son He took the name Novalis from an old family name meaning 'clearer of the land' although I can only guess that Fritz his nickname would have intended a cleaning of the soul I know nothing about Novalis not having read anything by him but I enjoyed Fitzgerald's novelI started this book after a reading slump which for me is highly unusual I read the first page of this and sighed with relief knowing I was in safe hands I felt the same listening to my piano teacher perform I could sit back and enjoy knowing there weren't going to be any bloopers Just so with Fitzgerald I said this was researched and historical fiction and thus unlike the others I have read but it has definitive Fitzgerald hallmarks; the precocious child in this case six year old Bernhard who is always referred to as the Bernhard never explained why There is a funnysad little scene towards the beginning where the child almost drowns and Fritz rescues him thus establishing or defining the special bond between the two And I will reprint the scene here because it reminds me in various ways of Offshore The Bernhard has been told off by his older sister Sidonie for opening the bag of their visitor and the small boy runs off Fritz flies after him knowing that he will go to the river The empty barges laid up for repair were moored at their station on the opposite bank Fritz pelted over the bridge Everyone saw him coat flying Had the Freiherr no servants to send The barges wallowed on their mooring ropes grating against each other strake against strake From the uayside Fritz jumped down about four feet or so onto the nearest deck There was a scurrying as though of an animal larger than a dog'Bernhard''I will never come back' Bernhard calledThe child ran across the deck and then afraid to risk the drop onto the next boat climbed over the gunwale and then stayed there hanging on with both hands scrabbling with his boots for a foothold Fritz caught hold of him by the wrists and at the same moment the whole line of barges made one of their unaccountable shifts heaving grossly towards each other so that the Bernhard still hanging was trapped and sueezed A pitiful cough and a burst of tears and blood were forced out of him like air out of a balloonThere is some difficulty in pulling the child up and the two argue about the fact that the Bernhard is a dead weight and not helping It continues 'Make an effort do you want to drown''What would it matter if I did' sueaked the Bernhard 'You once said that death was not significant but only a change of condition''Drat you you've no business to understand that' Fritz shouted in his earAnd there you have it the six year old who has an inherent affinity with his elder brother who manages to become one of the notables of European philosophy and literature In the novel Fritz tells a short story to several of the people who understand him a cousin Karoline and his sister Sidonie and of course the Bernhard sneaks a look when no one is around and offers his own wise counsel at the end of the bookThe main story however concerns Fritz's unusual love affair with the twelve year old Sophie beloved daughter of a wealthy family in Grüningen several days journey from the von Hardenberg's who live in the town of Weissenfels a real place I looked up all the place names on Google and started to fill in my sparse knowledge of this particular part of middle Germany the areas of Saxony and Thuringia also known as Mitteldeutschland which means central Germany Famous towns such Liepzig Halle and Jena are mentioned because Fritz is sent to the universities there He is to be trained as a salt inspector Jena is of particular importance because it is where Sophie is taken when she needs an operation This university town is known for its concentration of medical doctors and has multiple boarding houses which thrive on the business of the sick; arriving to receive their treatments I liked this aspect of the book it re creates how people lived paying attention to those practical details of daily life when there weren't any of the conveniences we now take for granted On one occasion Fritz's father refuses to send him money for a horse and Fritz without complaint walks the thirty two miles back to the family home at Weissenfels This is one of several incidents in the book that highlights the differences between the von Hardenbergs and that of Sophie's family the Kühns The von Hardenbenbergs are landed gentry with several estates slowly rotting into the ground and barely a penny to cover everyday expenses whereas as the Kühns are rich materially if not spiritually the money coming from the wife's inheritancesThis becomes a richly layered novel with many details of late 18th century life the difficulties of travel the impoverished nature of medical knowledge but at the same time it focuses on the well established facts which was that Germany at this time was at the forefront of developments in all fields of knowledge Fitzgerald refers to the family meeting Göethe; Fritz sees the great man Schiller other names occur in Friederike's daybook she is a married sister of Sophie's Here is an extract from July 1796 when they are staying at Jena Hardenberg's friend Friedrich Schlegel I think he is not yet a professor visited us yesterday evening He too is on the point of some journey or other I received him by myself Sophie had gone out with Frau Winkler to see a military parade God knows I myself have seen my bellyful of them But as soon as the pain goes away a little my beloved little sister is ready to find everything amusing She is then almost herselfWell Friedrich Schlegel He is a philosopher and a historian I was not at all put off by his melancholy gaze He said to me 'Frau Leutnant your sister Fräulein von Kühn tries to make her mind work in the same way that Hardenberg's does as one might try to teach a half tame bird to sing like a human being She won't succeed and the ideas she had before such as they were are now in disarray and she hardly knows what to put in their place'I asked him 'Have you ever met my sister Herr Schlegel'He replied 'Not as yet but I believe she is an instance of a certain easily recognisable type'I said 'She is my sister'Friedericke like nearly all the women in Fitzgerald's book is both tough strong and intelligent and like Sidonie and Karoline and various others takes on responsibilities and tasks that would rarely be asked of any young 20 something year old today But there again this is one of Fitzgerald's themes women saving the day At the end when Sophie is dying Fritz cannot bare to stay with her and it is the sister the Mandelsloh as Friedericke is referred to who must lie to the dying childI can't resist including some of this last conversation 'If you stayed here you would not be wanted as a nurse' the Mandelsloh replied 'You would be wanted as a liar'Fritz raised his heavy head'What then should I say''God help us from day to day you would have to say to her You look a little better this morning Söphgen Yes I think a little better Soon you will be able to go out into the garden Nothing is needed but some warmer weather' After a moment Fritz cried out 'I could not lie to her any than I could lie to myself''I don't know to what extent a poet lies to himself''She is my spirit's guide She knows that'The Mandelsloh did not answer'Shall I stay'Still she said nothing and Fritz went abruptly out of the room Where will he go the Mandelsloh wondered That is so much simpler for a man If a woman has something that is not easy to decide where can she go to be alone'So there you have it Fitzgerald refuting the ideas of the Great Thinkers and raising the timeless uestions of practicality and the roles placed upon women their inevitable ties to family children and the responsibilities of bothThis novel is awesome because our author recreates a whole specific era of a very particular time and area in central Germany and then places into this setting such a real life mixture of two very different families I think there are nine children in Fritz's family and just as many in Sophie's and many of these characters are drawn into the central story Fritz's brother Erasmus cannot understand his elder brother's strange enchantment with Sophie in fact no one can but she represents a simplicity and naturalness which seems to have been slowly sueezed out of the intense thinking and developments of this Great Era in Germany not just Germany but the whole of European culture The story ends with a couple of pages of factual details about what happens to the von Hardenberg familyview spoiler They all die young; of tuberculosis except the mother's dearest little Angel the Bernhard who was drowned in the Saale on the 28th of November 1800 just one year before Fritz himself dies aged 29 hide spoiler