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Theory as Practice: A Critical Anthology of Early German Romantic Writings

Jochen Schulte-Sasse General Editor
Haynes Horne
Andreas Michel
Elizabeth Mittman
Assenka Oksiloff
Lisa C. Roetzel
Mary R. Strand
Copyright Date: 1997
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 496
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  • Book Info
    Theory as Practice
    Book Description:

    In light of recent, dramatic revisions in criticism of European-particularly German-Romanticism, this anthology brings together key texts of the movement, especially those written in the last quarter of the eighteenth century by Fichte, Schelling, Novalis, August Wilhelm Schlegel, and Friedrich Schlegel, among others. Jochen Schulte-Sasse is professor of German and comparative literature at the University of Minnesota and coeditor (with Wlad Godzich) of the Theory and History of Literature series at the University of Minnesota Press. Haynes Horne (University of Alabama), Andreas Michel (Indiana University), Assenka Oksiloff (New York University), Elizabeth Mittman (Michigan State University), Lisa C. Roetzel (University of Rochester), and Mary R. Strand each received a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota.

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-8729-9
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  3. Preface
    (pp. ix-x)
    Jochen Schulte-Sasse
  4. List of Abbreviations
    (pp. xi-xii)
  5. General Introduction Romanticism’s Paradoxical Articulation of Desire
    (pp. 1-44)
    Jochen Schulte–Sasse

    In the past two to three decades, the criticism of European—in particular German—Romanticism has undergone vast revision. Among the revisionist literature that appeared during this time, Paul de Man’s essay “The Rhetoric of Temporality,” first published in 1969, may very well have had the greatest impact in reshaping common perceptions of Romanticism. De Man claims in the essay to have developed “a historical scheme that differs entirely from the customary picture,” according to which Romanticism fits neatly into the overall emergence of a “modern” notion of art.¹ He maintains, in fact, that conventional criticism domesticates the radical insights...

  6. 1 Critique in the Wake of German Idealism
    (pp. 45-154)
    Elizabeth Mittman and Mary R. Strand

    In approaching early German Romanticism as both a philosophical movement and a model for an aesthetic practice, it is tempting to look to the “Earliest Program for a System of German Idealism” as a conceptual and chronological starting point. The concerns outlined in this short text, which opens this volume—and whose authorship remains unclear to this day, but which has been attributed alternately to Hegel, Hölderlin, and Schelling—are echoed in many of the other texts that follow. The primary interest of this early text, which was written in 1796, lies in its unique presentation of the central concerns...

  7. II Theory of Aesthetics
    (pp. 155-286)
    Andreas Michel and Assenka Oksiloff

    In Early German Romanticism, reflection on art and its philosophical role in society reached a peak. Around 1800, August Wilhelm Schlegel, Friedrich Schlegel, and Novalis (as well as the philosopher Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph von Schelling) fundamentally rearticulated the relationship between philosophical and aesthetic investigation. In their writings, the fine arts and, in a more general sense, the aesthetic attitude as such are held up as the fulfillment of philosophical reflection.

    Until the eighteenth century, art had primarily been a means for the dissemination and reproduction of the values and tastes of the ruling culture. To guarantee the perpetuation of this...

  8. III The Fragmentary Imperative
    (pp. 287-358)
    Haynes Horne

    As the student who struggles with the heterogeneous writings of Jena Romanticism often has cause to regret, the group promulgated no manifesto. Denied the reassurance of a single text whose concept could delineate, unify, and thus complete a Romantic field, the reader is left to grapple with what appears to be an aggregate of disparate writings. Even identifying the genre to which any particular text belongs can prove to be a contentious issue, as the discussion surrounding the “Fragment of the Three Tendencies” indicates (see note 13). The lack of critical and historical agreement about the tenets defining Early Romanticism...

  9. IV Toward a Theory of the Feminine
    (pp. 359-462)
    Lisa C. Roetzel

    In Early German Romanticism, the body of work becomes the female body as the feminine is merged with philosophy. Novalis’s inscription of his bride Sophy and philosophy under the same name in the epigraph can be seen as a cipher for the introduction of the feminine into the Romantic project as a whole. The naming defines philosophy as feminine and establishes the centrality of the feminine to Romantic critique. Under this equation, both woman and the discourse of philosophy become the object of study. A blurring occurs between the boundaries of Sophy and philosophy. It becomes unclear whether Sophy should...

  10. Bibliography
    (pp. 463-469)
  11. Sources for Translations
    (pp. 469-470)
  12. Index
    (pp. 471-480)
  13. Back Matter
    (pp. 481-481)