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””

Karoline von Günderrode, “Musa”

This little-read short story by Günderrode is loosely based on the events of the 15th century Ottoman Interregnum. The story contains typical Günderrodean themes of friendship and betrayal, as well as the limits of the rightful use of power and the nature of tyranny. The piece also showcases Günderrode’s interest in epic stories and theContinue reading “Karoline von Günderrode, “Musa””

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””

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””