Fiction Fun! continues June 4 with The Blue Flower by Penelope Fitzgerald. (Please note that this is a change of date from May 28.)
Fiction Fun! is held in the Conference Room from 7:30 PM to 9:00 PM.
All are welcome!
Join Gary Hall in the discussion of Penelope Fitzgerald’s award winning book, The Blue Flower.
(From Houghton Mifflin Harcourt website)
Friedrich Leopold, Baron von Hardenberg (1772—1801), was born in Oberwiederstadt, Germany, studied law, philosophy, and history, worked as a government auditor at Weissenfels, and—under the pseudonym Novalis became known as the “prophet of Romanticism.” Best known for his Sacred Songs (1799) and Hymns to the Night (1800), Novalis left unfinished two prose narratives, the more important of which, Heinrich von Ofterdingen, centers on a mystical young poet in search of a mysterious blue flower.
Penelope Fitzgerald has taken the facts of Novalis’s short life and fashioned a remarkable, poetic novel of irrational love, passionate thought, and the transfiguration of the commonplace. The Blue Flower, chosen nineteen times in England as the 1995 “Book of the Year,” also presents an uncannily convincing view of landscape and life in late-eighteenth-century Saxony —its small towns, universities, estates, and people, from humble to noble.
In her inimitably magical way, Fitzgerald reconstructs Fritz von Hardenberg’s formative years, from his childhood in a large family through the death in 1797 of his beloved Sophie von Kühn, as well as the society that he sought to transform and transcend. It is Fritz’s inexplicable, impetuous love for the plain, twelve-year-old Sophie, however, that is both focus and fulcrum for this “quite astonishing. . . masterpiece.” (New York Times Book Review)