Friedrich Holderlin: Essays and Letters on Theory

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SUNY Press, 1988 - Philosophy - 193 pages
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Holderlin's essays and letters constitute essential documents for an understanding of the transitional period from neo-classical poetics to what can only be characterized as a unique and, in its frequently experimental structure, essentially modernist poetics.

This book contains virtually all of Holderlin's theoretical writings translated for the first time. In spite of the great significance of Holderlin's ideas for contemporary critical thought, most of his highly important theoretical oeuvre has been unavailable to English readers until now. Here also are a number of letters which chart the development of Holderlin's thought on issues that today remain fundamental to poetics and philosophy.

The work's critical introduction discusses both the historical genesis of Holderlin's theoretical writings out of the enlightenment as well as their systematic interaction with post-Kantian Idealism. Through interpretations of three short fragments, Pfau indicates that it would be insufficient to consider Holderlin as the mere precursor of the great systematic philosophers of German Idealism--Fichte, Schelling, and Hegel. Instead, Holderlin's earliest theoretical fragments already mark a turn away from the rigorous systematicity that underlies the philosophical discourse of his contemporaries. Holderlin's theoretical writings may be the most seminal texts in the widely discussed interimplication of Idealistic philosophy and Romantic poetry and poetics.
 

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Contents

Critical Introduction
1
On the Law of Freedom
33
The Perspective from which We Have
39
Reflection
45
On the Operations of the Poetic Spirit
62
On the Difference of Poetic Modes
83
The Significance of Tragedies
89
Becoming in Dissolution
96
To his Brother
127
To Immanuel Niethammer
131
To his Brother
133
To his Brother
136
To Neuffer
141
To Schelling
145
To Casimir Ulrich Bohlendorff
149
To Casimir Ulrich Bohlendorff
152

Remarks on Oedipus
101
Remarks on Antigone
109
Selected Letters
117
To his Mother
119
To Neuffer
121
To Hegel
124
The Oldest SystemProgram of German Idealism
154
Notes
157
Glossary
183
Selected Bibliography
184
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