"The Poet Understands Nature Better than the Scientist" - Remarks on Novalis's Project to Romanticise Natural Sciences
Novalis set out to romanticise science, above all natural sciences. He attempted to achieve this aim in his literary works and an encyclopaedia project. His early death put a premature at end to this plan. The majority of his writings have now been published in a historical criticism. (Historisch-Kritische Ausgabe). The following remarks attempt to make Novalis's reflections transparent by arguing close to the text. As regards the Allgemeine Brouillon, Mähl stresses that it is not a fragment collection but a collection of notes for the subsequent development of thoughts. The difference between the two is that the former has been revised for publication. However, if Friedrich Schlegel, Ludwig Tieck and Eduard von Bülow thought it was possible and opportune to use approximately 300 entries or at least parts thereof in their own fragment collections, the dividing line does not appear to be so sharp. Published and unpublished texts are therefore put together to show their interrelationship and to permit conclusions to be drawn on the intentions of the author.
First of all, the article analyses the background to the ambitious project for romanticising natural sciences under the motto romanticisation and poetisation of the encyclopaedia and creation of a universal science. With reference to his personal suitability and the knowledge which Novalis acquired of natural sciences in Freiberg, his thoughts on natural sciences and technology are examined and their transformation into the literary form analysed.