The paper thoroughly discusses biographic, aesthetic, literary, and philosophical premises of Adalbert Stifter's Foreword (to 'Bunte Steine'), taking into consideration plurality of prevailing interpretations, the latest ones as well. The influence of the 'soft law' for literary work of Stifter is discussed as well. On further investigation of traditional and modern determinants of the conception (parallels with Wolff, Leibniz, Kant, Humboldt, Herder, Bolzano, 'Lebensphilosophie', Schiller, Goethe, Winckelmann, Jean-Paul, Cicero, Seneca), it should be emphasized, however, that Stifter's 'law of gentleness' is a dialectical, dramatic conception rather, with inner inconherence, than a classical doctrine.
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