Poems in Günderrode’s Notebooks & Their Sources

Supplementary information and corrections to published scholarship on the sources for poems transcribed in Günderrode’s notebooks. This is a resource for scholars working on Günderrode’s notes and unpublished writings. Günderrode left numerous notes from her studies on a range of subjects, including philosophy, chemistry, Latin, metrics, physiognomy, ancient history and religions from across the world.Continue reading “Poems in Günderrode’s Notebooks & Their Sources”

Karoline von Günderrode, “Muhammad’s Dream in the Desert”

This poem was published in Günderrode’s first collection of poetry, dialogues and short stories, Poems and Fantasies, which appeared in 1804. Unlike Günderrode’s play Muhammad, the Prophet of Mecca, the poem does not follow Muhammad’s life or use the Prophet as a stand-in for European political figures. Instead, the piece develops Romantic, Christian, and alchemicalContinue reading “Karoline von Günderrode, “Muhammad’s Dream in the Desert””

Karoline von Günderrode, “Antiquity, and Modernity”

This unfinished poem by Günderrode contrasts faith and reason; an enchanted world with a safer but less inspiring world of science. The piece has parallels to Novalis’ “Christendom, or Europa,” although it was very likely written before Novalis’ text was published. It is interesting in part because of its consideration of themes that appear inContinue reading “Karoline von Günderrode, “Antiquity, and Modernity””

Karoline von Günderrode, “Valorich”

Although this piece is unfinished (it ends mid-sentence), it was set to be published as the last piece in what would have been Günderrode’s third collection of poetry and short prose, “Melete.” The second part of the piece has been lost, leaving a tantalising fragment that uses humour to gently mock its characters and theContinue reading “Karoline von Günderrode, “Valorich””

Why We Should Read Günderrode as a Philosopher

The question of why we should read Karoline von Günderrode (1780-1806) as a philosopher is only a specific instance of the question about the value of studying historical women’s writing in general for its philosophical contributions. The discipline of philosophy, as it is carried out in academic institutions in the west, has historically tended toContinue reading “Why We Should Read Günderrode as a Philosopher”

Untitled painting (Günderrode; the unknown)

Sarah Cameron is a multi-award winning painter and photographer with an MFA from the Slade School of Fine Art and a BFA from Edinburgh College of Art. I commissioned this large, untitled piece at a time when Sarah was working, in conceptual terms, on paintings as repositories of emotions and, in technical terms, on theContinue reading “Untitled painting (Günderrode; the unknown)”

Karoline von Günderrode, “The Apparition”

Karoline von Günderrode’s “The Apparition” is a ghost story dealing with betrayal and regret, as well as two of Günderrode’s trademark themes: connections between the living and the dead, and the search for knowledge. The piece appeared in Poems and Fantasies: Günderrode’s first, 1804 collection of poetry, short stories, dialogues and Lesedramen (“closet dramas,” orContinue reading “Karoline von Günderrode, “The Apparition””

Why I Don’t Want to Talk About Günderrode’s Suicide

Karoline von Günderrode killed herself on 26 July 1806, after receiving a letter from the married Georg Friedrich Creuzer ending their affair. This event, and its spectacular circumstances (she stabbed herself in the heart with a silver dagger, on the banks of the Rhine, leaving a poem and a blood-stained handkerchief as a “pledge” forContinue reading “Why I Don’t Want to Talk About Günderrode’s Suicide”

Karoline von Günderrode, “Don Juan”

Karoline von Günderrode’s poem “Don Juan” was published in her first, 1804 collection of poems, dialogues and short stories, Poems and Fantasies. The poem is a highly original take on the Don Juan story and reflects Romantic ideas of gender, of the relationship between art, love and morals, and of social constraints vs individuality. Günderrode’sContinue reading “Karoline von Günderrode, “Don Juan””