Dessau: auf Kosten der Verlags-Kasse und zu finden in der Buchhandlung der Gelehrten, 1782. First edition. Hardcover. 2 volumes in 1. 8vo. 304pp. 261pp. Paper covered boards. Famous work on the satirical work "Horazen's Briefe", translated from the Latin by renowned German poet and novelist, C.M. Wieland (see below). Serious age wear, water marks and repair to boards, with spine missing. Binding still firm. Browning and sporadic foxing, with some underlining in red to very few pages, not affecting text. Owners' writing to inside of both boards. In German, in Gothic letters. binding in poor, book in good- condition. fair. Item #19266
On the author:
Christoph Martin Wieland (1733-1813) was a German poet and novelist. He spend his boyhood in Biberach until he was sent to the school of Kloster (monastery) Bergen in 1747. When he left the school in 1749, he widely read the Latin classics and leading contemporary French writers; amongst German poets his favourites were Brockes and Klopstock. During the summer of 1750, he fell in love with Sophie Gutermann (a cousin of his), and this love affair inspired him to plan his first ambitious works, Lobgesang auf die Liebe (1751), followed by Die Natur der Dinge (1752), a didactic poem in six books of Alexandrine verse. In 1750 he went to the University of Tübingen as a student of law but his time was mainly taken up with literary studies. The poems he wrote at the university are pietistic in tone and dominated by the influence of Klopstock. They attracted the attention of the Swiss literary reformer, J.J. Bodmer, who invited Wieland to visit him in Zürich in the summer of 1752. Wieland remained in Switzerland until 1760, where he
spent the last year at Bern as a private tutor.Wieland, as Gotthold Lessing said, "forsook the ethereal spheres to wander again among the sons of men." [quoted from the Encyclopedia Britannica] Wieland met again his early love Sophie Gutermann, who had become the wife of Hofrat La Roche, then manager of Count Stadion's estates. The former poet of an austere pietism now became the advocate of a light-hearted philosophy, from which frivolity and sensuality were not excluded. In Don Sylvia von Rosalva (1764), a romance in imitation of Don Quixote, he held up to ridicule his earlier faiths and in the Comische Erzählungen (1765) he gave his extravagant imagination only too free a rein. More important is the novel Geschichte des Agathon (1766-1767), in which, under the guise of a Greek fiction, Wieland described his own spiritual and intellectual growth. This work, which Lessing recommended as "a novel of classic taste," [quoted from the Encyclopedia Britannica] marks an epoch in the development of the modern psychological novel. Of equal importance was Wieland's translation of twenty-two of Shakespeare's plays into prose (8 vols., 1762-1766); it was the first attempt to present the English poet to the German people in something approaching entirety.Wieland married in 1765, and between 1769 and 1772 was professor of philosophy at Erfurt. With the exception of some years Weimar remained Wieland's home until his death. Here in 1773, he founded Der teutsche Merkur, which under his editorship (1773-1789) became the most influential literary review in Germany. Without creating a school in the strict sense of the term, Wieland had a strong influence on the German literature of his time. The verse-romance and the novel--more especially in Austria--benefited by his example, and even the Romanticism of the 19th century borrowed from him in its excursions into the literatures of southern Europe. The qualities which distinguish his work, his fluent style and light touch, his careless frivolity in contrast to poetic depth, show him to have been in literary temperament more akin to Ariosto and Voltaire than to the more spiritual and serious leaders of German poetry; but these very qualities in Wieland's poetry introduced a balancing element into German classical literature and added materially to its fullness and completeness. This is not to say, however, that Wieland shouldn't be counted among the great German poetic geniuses. Kant himself refers to Wieland in the same sentence as Homer, citing him as an example of Kant's idea of artistic genius. (Critique of Judgment, 5:309, quoted in Encyclopedia Britannica).