Translated with an introduction and notes by JEREMY DLER and CHARLIE LOUTH.
'I want to live for the art that is my heart's desire'.
One of Germany's greatest poets, Friedrich Hölderlin (1770–1843) also wrote prose of intense feeling, intelligence and perception.
This new translation of his complete essays and selected letters traces the life and thoughts of this extraordinary writer. Hölderlin's letters to friends and contemporaries such as Hegel, Schelling and Schiller describe his development as a poet, and consider the purpose of poetry and philosophy, while others, including those to his family, speak compellingly of his beliefs and aspirations, revealing his passion for 'Diotima' and, finally, the unravelling of his sanity. The essays and prose fragments form a rare blend of the philosophic and poetic that examines Hölderlin's great preoccupations – the unity of existence, the relationship between art and life, the nature of tragedy and, above all, the 'poetic spirit'.
Jeremy Adler and Charlie Louth's introduction discusses the tone and style of Hölderlin's prose and his key role in the German philosophical revolution of the 1790s. This edition also includes a chronology, suggested further reading, biographical notes on Hölderlin's
correspondents and notes.