Petersdorff, Dirk von
Zum Selbstverständis romantischer Intellektueller
[Talking in Mysteries. Intellectual identity in early German Romanticism]
Series:Studien zur deutschen Literatur 139
Aims and Scope
This work advances the thesis that the symbolism of the ancient mysteries was of central significance for the self-interpretation of the early generation of German Romantics. Literary works and writings on the theory of art by Schlegel, Schleiermacher, Novalis, Loeben and Eichendorff draw upon this source to outline an exclusive form of 'knowledge' that is neither mythodological nor general and can only be communicated by special modes of discourse. The resulting form of intellectual identity formation is interpreted here as a reaction to modernization processes taking shape in society and in the communication of knowledge. With a view of doing justice to the connotative richness of these Romantic writings, there are also detailed chapters on Antiquity and the immediate wellsprings of Romantic self-interpretation to be found in German Enlightenment thinking.