Notes on a poem are like anatomical lectures on a piece of roast beef.
–August Wilhelm Schlegel, Aethenium Fragment 40
Believing in tradition and always straining at new insanities; frenetically imitative and proudly independent; awkward in what is superficial and accomplished to the point of dexterity in what is profoundly or gloomily ponderous; congenitally vapid but striving to be transcendental in feeling and outlook; comfortably and seriously entrenched against wit and frivolity, and inflamed by a sacred abhorrence of these qualities. Can you guess to what great body of literature these traits correspond?
–August Wilhelm Schlegel, Aethenium Fragment 58
[from Friedrich Schlegel: Philosophical Fragments, translated by Peter Firchow]