"What do the few existing mystics still do? -- They more or less mold the raw chaos of already existing religion. But only in an isolated, insignificant manner, through feeble attempts. Do it in a grand manner from all aspects with unified efforts, and let us awaken all religions from their graves, newly revivify and form the immortal ones through the omnipotence of art and science."
"The analytical writer observes the reader as he is; accordingly, he makes his calculation, sets his machine to make the appropriate effect on him. The synthetic writer constructs and creates his own reader; he does not imagine him as resting and dead, but lively and advancing toward him. He makes that which he had invented gradually take shape before the reader's eyes, or he tempts him to do the inventing for himself. He does not want to make a particular effect on him, but rather enters into a solemn relationship of innermost symphilosophy or sympoetry."
"They actually like it if a work of literature is a little wicked, especially in the middle; only the sense of propriety must not be offended outright, and finally, everything must have a happy ending."
"German writings attain popularity through a great name, or through personalities, or through good connections, or through effort, or through moderate immorality, or through accomplished incomprehensibility, or through harmonious platitude, or through versatile boredom, or through constant striving after the absolute."
"The following are the universally fundamental laws of literary communication: 1. one must have something to communicate; 2. one must have someone to whom to communicate it; 3. one must really communicate it, not merely express it for oneself alone. Otherwise it would be more to the point to remain silent."
"The French Revolution, Fichte's Theory of Knowledge, and Goethe's Wilhelm Meister are the three greatest tendencies of the age. Whoever takes offence at this combination, and whoever does not consider a revolution important unless it is blatant and palpable, has not yet risen to the lofty and broad vantage point of the history of mankind."
"The two basic maxims of the so-called historical criticism are the postulate of the common and the axiom of the ordinary. Postulate of the common: everything really great, good, and beautiful, is improbable, since it is extraordinary and therefore at least suspect. Axiom of the ordinary: our conditions and environment must have existed everywhere, for they are really so natural."
"There are three kinds of explanation in science: explanations which throw a light upon, or give a hint at a matter; explanations which do not explain anything; and explanations which obscure everything."
"Separate religion from morality, and you have the true energy for evil within man, the terrible, cruel, devastating, and inhuman principle which naturally lies in his spirit. Here the division of the indivisible punishes itself most awfully."