Different Feelings about a Seascape | Heinrich von Kleist (1810)


Caspar David Friedrich, The Monk by the Sea, 1808–10


“How wonderful it is to sit completely alone by the sea under an overcast sky, gazing out over the endless expanse of water. It is essential that one has come there just for this reason, and that one has to return. That one would like to go over the sea but cannot; that one misses any sign of life, and yet one senses the voice of life in the rush of the water, in the blowing of the wind, in the drifting of the clouds, in the lonely cry of the birds … No situation in the world could be more sad and eerie than this—as the only spark of life in the wide realm of death, a lonely center in a lonely circle.”


Heinrich von Kleist, “Different Feelings about a Seascape by Friedrich on which is a Capuchin Monk,”, 1810


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