Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller (1759-1805) was a German writer, primarily known as a dramatist, poet, and literary critic. Das Ideal und das Leben (Life and the Ideal, 1795) is a philosophical poem. The Oxford Reference reports that the poem was “first published in 1795 in No. 9 of Die Horen, with the title ‘Das Reich der Schatten’. Schiller changed this in 1800 to ‘Das Reich der Formen’, and adopted the present title in 1804.” Edward Bulwer-Lytton (1803-1873), writer and politician, translated the poem in 1844 as Ideal and Actual Life. Bulwer-Lytton began his novel Paul Clifford (1830) with the lines: “It was a dark and stormy night,” which is the name of the annual conference for bad opening lines. Madeleine L’Engle, who was inspired by MacDonald, begins her 1962 fantasy A Wrinkle in Time with these words, as does Snoopy when he plays the World Famous Author in the comic strip Peanuts.
Schiller, Friedrich Von, "Phantastes Chapter 16: Life and the Ideal" (1795). German Romantic and Other Influences. 18.
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