The Blue Flower
From the Booker Prize-winning author of ‘Offshore’ and ‘Innocence’ comes this unusual romance between the poet Novalis and his fiancée Sophie.
Set in Germany at the very end of the eighteenth century, The Blue Flower is the story of the brilliant Fritz von Hardenberg, a graduate of the Universities of Jena, Leipzig and Wittenberg, learned in Dialectics and Mathematics, who later becaSophie.Set ...more
The prose is plodding - even though it's portraying a poet: short, banal sentence, after short banal sentence. I found the characters, setting and plot hard to imagine, care about or believe in - even though it's based on real life. I forced myself to finish it, thinking there must be something worthwhi ...more
Our reasons for liking a novel are often subjective and completely unreasonable. And I do love this novel which for me has the sound-feeling of an early piano playing Mozart sonatas, early Beethoven, and here and there something by one of Old Bach's many musical sons. Am I too biased by the memory of a pizza eaten at Jena waiting for a t ...more
The styl ...more
This is my third Penelope Fitzgerald. The focus of the book is the early life of Fritz von Hardenberg – better known as the German Romantic poet Novalis – and especially his infatuation for 12-year-old Sophie whom he meets during an official visit he pays as apprentice engineer to the household of her stepfather, von Rochenthien.
The book begins by offering us a closer look at the Hardenberg family: the weak and easily-distracted mother, the capable elder sister, the boiste ...more
I read this book as part of the 2019 Mookse Madness Tournament and also from intrigue – Penelope Fitzgerald (perhaps appropriately for an author who only began her literary career at 58) is an author I only discovered at 48 and enjoyed each of “Offshore”, “Gate of Angels” and “The Bookshop” – however this is a ...more
The novel looks at the short life of Novalis, an obscure late 18th century German Romantic philosopher/poet and his relationship with his 14 year old bet ...more
I struggled with The Blue Flower from start to finish.
It seems to be based on extensive research, but I personally do not have the knowledge to know if all we are told is true. The problem is that the research s-h-o-w-s! In my view, historical details should be imperceptibly woven into a story; they should not dominate. Nor should they be used excessively. I shall site two examples--we are told that the central chara ...more
Every single sentence is purposeful and unimprovable. It evokes the world of 18th-century Germany with such vividness and authority and ease, while feeling nothing like a historical novel.
I can't think of a book that achieves a more beautiful balance between gravity and lightness, poetry and philosohy. The Blue Flower is eseentially about the nature of love and why we sometimes (often?) choose such odd candidates as the objects of our deepest affection.
Despite winning the Booker Prize and being shortlisted three more times, the brilliant Penelope Fitzgerald was, for much of her career, treated condescendingly by (mostly male) literary critics.
Indeed her Booker win, for Offshore, was greeted with some critical bemusement, even by the jury themselves who had argued long and hard between two other books. As one judge later admitted:
We'd spent the entire afternoon at loggerhe/>We'd ...more
I admit it, I fell for the beautiful cover. When I read that the book was about Novalis and that it was Penelope Fitzgerald's last book I decided to buy it. The story as such was interesting, but I didn't find the writing style very easy.
The Blue Flower is a historical novel based on the youth of 18th-century poet Friedrich von Hardenberg, better known by his pen name Novalis. Fitzgerald shares, in an uncharacteristic author’s note, that she drew much information from a German edition of Novalis’ complete works, diaries and letters. I say uncharacteristic because her novels are always brimming with fascinating historical detail one wonders from where she produced, and yet she never felt ...more
Penelope Fitzgerald schreibt ähnlich wie Antonia S.Byatt einen Stil, der an eine Tuschezeichnung erinnert, fein, zierlich, detailgenau - doch nicht wie in The Children's Book, das ein wenig blutleer bleibt, ist die Blaue Blume voll von den Gerüchen, Farben und Atmosphären der Epoche Novalis', Fichtes und Goet ...more
My personal reaction to the book is that it is a good book, but not a great one.
Historical fiction is just about my favo ...more
Penelope Fitzgerald was a gifted writer who could make something out of very little and in unlikely circumstances. With the The Bookshop she made a memorable story out of a middle-aged woman starting a bookshop in a disused, damp (a telling detail) building in a small English rural town against formidable opposition. Here she attempts something more ambitious ...more
Para mí Fitzgerald es mi tabla de salvación cuando los mares d ...more
NYT reviewer Michael Hofmann wrote of The Blue Flower: It is an interrogation of life, love, purpose, experience and horizons, which has found its perfect vehicle in a few years from the pitifully short life of a German youth about to become a great poet -- one living in a period of intellectual and political upheaval, wh ...more
Each chapter is short, almost vignette like in 3 or 4 pages, and although there is a narrative running throughout, each short story has a point to it which may or may not be rel ...more
The book ...more
تنتمي هذه الرواية الى جنس البيوغرافيا اذ أنها "تؤرخ" لحياة الشاعر الألماني نوفاليس أحد رواد الرومانسية
يحسب للكاتبة الانجليزية بينلوبي فيتجيرالد نقلها الدقيق لألمانيا القرن الثامن عشر من خلال الاهتمام بتفاصيل
الحياة الاجتماعية حينا و الحرص على ابراز خصوصية البلدات الألمانية أحيانا أخرى
لكن ذلك لا يخفي وهنا في سرد الأحداث التي كثيرا ما اتسمت بالبطئ الشديد ما جعل الرواية ثقيلة الوطأة على النفس في عدة مواضع
زد على ذلك الترجمة التي أكد المترجم على الصعوبات التي واجهها في نقل هذا العمل ...more
(As for the occasional comparisons between Jane Austen and Penelope Fitzgerald, I would say that I find Fitzgerald more psychological and Austen more social. That is to say, it seems to me that there is somewhat more invest ...more
One of the most perfect novels I have ever read. Dry and ironic but deeply compassionate in tone and it's almost impossible to believe that the author didn't live in the late 18th century so vivid is the depiction of life in Germany at that time. Absolutely wonderful-a small masterpiece.
I was surprised and delighted, then, with how vital Penelope Fitzgerald's novel on the writer Novalis feels. Born to a large and impoverished family of low German nobility, Fredrich von Hardenburg was a poet and philoso ...more
This is a Bildungsroman about Friedrich von Hardenberg, son of an impoverished aristocrat, whose poetry, published under the name Novalis, would come to define the mystical side of German Romanticism, a quest for an ideal harmony of man and nature symbolized by the Blue Flower. But Fitzgerald merely hints at the poet's later (but short) life in this lean, succinct book. Instead she shows him at home with his strict religious father and many siblings, impressing his professors at Jen ...more
And here is what it is: an historical novel based on the life of the German Romantic poet Friedrich von Hardenberg, known as Novalis. In 55 brief chapters, in spare but perfectly chosen detail, Fitzgerald conveys the everyday details of life in genteel households ...more
Sad story of love and loss in an era of a class systems of nob ...more
|Literary Award Wi...: The Blue Flower - Chapters 28 - 55||5||9||Apr 11, 2017 09:54AM|
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|صدر حديثا - كتب و...: الوردة الزرقاء - بينيلوبي فيتزجيرالد||3||81||Sep 16, 2015 10:01AM|
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Fitzgerald was the author of nine novels. Her novel Offshore was the winner of the Booker Prize. A further three novels — The Bookshop, The Beginning of Spring and ...more