SUMMARY ñ The Blue Flower


The Blue FlowerThe 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 s. Oh dear Awful Just awful Even so given how much I adored my first Penelope Fitzgerald last summer Offshore see my review HERE and that AS Byatt called this a masterpiece I'm baffledThe prose is plodding even though it's portraying a poet short banal sentence after short banal sentence I found the characters setting and plot hard to imagine care about or believe in even though it's based on real life I forced myself to finish it thinking there must be something worthwhile to come I failed to find it I was just bored And irritatedTrue StoryThis is a fictionalised account but it seems to be fairly close to the facts and some of the diary entries uoted here are genuine historical documentsIt's set in a noble pious Protestant family in Germany in the late 1700s It concerns Fritz who later became a famous romantic and philosophical poet known as Novalis This book covers the slightly earlier period around the time he succumbed to a coup de foudre over twelve year old Sophie Given the period it's all very chaste; nothing like Lolita see my review HERE which is a far disturbing book but is beautifully written and hence powerful and compelling So no nothing like thisPlotFritz attends university in several towns studying a variety of subjects and dabbling in philosophy He meets various people Afterwards he trains to be a salt mine inspector like his father He meets people including Sophie's family He is welcomed and spends a lot of time there It's another large family but utterly different from his own Goethe makes an appearance and gives his opinion on the relationshipThe French Revolution is going on in the background Some are slightly fearful; others vaguely support itThe brief afterword made me laugh it was like a satirical summary of a typical operatic plot Even less appropriately it reminded me of a scene in comedy sci fi show Red Dwarf view spoilerHolly to Lister They're all dead Everybody's dead Dave hide spoiler

Penelope Fitzgerald ´ 1 SUMMARY

Nality of love the The Blue PDF or 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 Fitzgerald. 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

REVIEW The Blue Flower

SUMMARY ñ The Blue Flower º [Reading] ➷ The Blue Flower ➭ 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 a passionate impetuous stud The Blue Flower is set in theEeks 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 irratio. 35 starsThis is my third Penelope Fitzgerald The focus of the book is the early life of Fritz von Hardenberg – better known as the German Romantic poet Novalis – and especially his infatuation for 12 year old Sophie whom he meets during an official visit he pays as apprentice engineer to the household of her stepfather von Rochenthien The book begins by offering us a closer look at the Hardenberg family the weak and easily distracted mother the capable elder sister the boisterous independent minded youngest brother The father makes his appearance a little bit later; a born again Christian or the euivalent in 18th century Germany and a member of the nobility but without funds or connections von Hardenberg rules the household with an iron fist but though not much loved he is not hated either He is of course offended at the news of the French Revolution and finds the idea a civil suit against the King of France brought by his own people scandalous so he forbids newspapers at homeYoung Fritz couldn’t be different He is amiable and sociable a poet and philosopher at heart with a love for nature and ideas He is certainly not the type to become a Salt Mine Inspector the profession his father intends for him but interestingly he takes that into his stride when the time comes and becomes a model apprentice without sacrificing his love for poetry or philosophy While an apprentice he gets to know his tutor’s niece Karoline and it seems that an idyll is on the cards Karoline is an intelligent and tactful woman able to appreciate Fritz’s poetry and personality Alas this was not meant to be During a visit to the Rockenthiens something happens to Fritz that he is unable to explain or resist In fact the apparition he encounters is so intense that he tells his tutor ‘Something happened to me’ looking dazed and disorientedThe apparition is 12 year old Sophie – a child who does not seem to possess either unusual intelligence or exuisite beauty Yet Fritz spends the rest of his time at the Rockenthiens’ trying to win her attention and hopefully a promise that she’s not indifferent to him He will come back to the house again and again hoping to earn Sophie’s love and later as Sophie gets older her agreement to marry himIt’s a mystery to me why Sophie inspires so much love or is ‘infatuation’ the right word here not only from Fritz but from another Hardenberg brother as well even though this brother initially tries to dissuade Fritz from his folly She seems to have a command over men which the novel unfortunately doesn’t shed light on It was this aspect of the book that I found disappointing What is it about Sophie that makes young men fall in love head over heels with her She can hardly write she doesn’t appear to have intellectual interests or indeed anything to share with Fritz Fritz himself can’t understand what’s the matter with him ”I can’t comprehend her I can’t get the measure of her I love something that I do not understand She has got me but she is not at all sure she wants me”It might help here if we looked at the romantic ideal of women Says Fritz ”I think indeed that women have a better grasp on the whole business of life than we men ha