The Blue Flower

Weird dreamlike book set in Germany in the 1790s. Fritz, the poet, must find work as a Salt Mine Inspector in order to earn wages respectably as a member of the nobility. He falls for a 12 year old girl, Sophie, whom he calls “my Philosophy.” His brother Erasmus also falls in love with her. Oddly reminiscent of Woolf’s The Waves, each character stating something but not necessarily in conversation with the others.
Sophie becomes ill, several operations performed to attempt to save her. Goethe visits, she says nothing except that the city they are in is bigger than where she came from.
I was most interested in the character of “the Bernhard”, the youngest of Fritz’s brothers and sisters. “I’m going out to walk by the river in the darkness. That is the effect the music has had on me.” Early in the story, he runs away from home and wedges himself in a riverboat. Inexhaustibly drawn to water. In the afterword, we learn that he dies by drowning a few years after the story ends.
Reco’d by Five Dials to “anyone with a pulse” but I beg to differ.