Goethe's Concept of the Daemonic: After the Ancients - Studies in German Literature, Linguistics, and Culture (Hardback)Angus Nicholls (author)
Hardback 325 Pages / Published: 01/06/2006
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For Plato, the daemonic is a sensibility that brings individuals into contact with divine knowledge; Socrates was also inspired by a "divine voice" known as his "daimonion." Goethe was introduced to this ancient concept by Hamann and Herder, who associated it with the aesthetic category of genius. This book shows how the young Goethe depicted the idea of daemonic genius in works of the Storm and Stress period, before exploring the daemonic in a series of later poetic and autobiographical works. Reading Goethe's works on the daemonic through theorists such as Lukacs, Benjamin, Gadamer, Adorno, and Blumenberg, Nicholls contends that they contain arguments concerning reason, nature, and subjectivity that are central to both European Romanticism and the Enlightenment. Angus Nicholls is Claussen-Simon Foundation Research Lecturer in German and Comparative Literature at the Centre for Anglo-German Cultural Relations in the Department of German, Queen Mary, University of London.
Publisher: Boydell & Brewer Ltd
Number of pages: 325
Weight: 666 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 15 mm
Nicholls's excellent monograph must surely be the most comprehensive and the most analytic discussion of the daemonic to date....Nicholls has provided a study that is...truly inspiring. JOURNAL OF EUROPEAN STUDIES Nicholls outlines with unusual erudition and broad knowledge of the subject matter the tension between the subjective and objective in Goethe's concept of the demonic. GERMAN STUDIES REVIEW [A] well-thought out and well-written book. Nicholls is able to summarize the vast corpus of Goethe scholarship, while at the same time offering new interpretations of several well-known works. NEW PERSPECTIVES ON THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY Nicholls argues that the daemonic is not simply of bibliographical significance but was a philosophical concern for Goethe which he brought to bear on a range of contemporary debates.... [T]he concept of the daemonic deserves attention in our time when rationality is in crisis. FORUM FOR MODERN LANGUAGE STUDIES In this solidly researched book, which represents a significant contribution to our understanding of `Goethe's concept of the daemonic,' Nicholls offers the reader many stimulating insights and viewpoints. GOETHE JAHRBUCH The story of Goethe's turn from the Geniezeit to classicism has been told many times before, but seldom in such philosophical detail or with such a range of references to European intellectual history. MODERN LANGUAGE REVIEW ...Nicholls's intelligent and deeply researched book opens new windows onto Goethe's philosophical return to the daemonic throughout his works. It is a major contribution to scholarship, and will doubtless inspire new readings of individual works as well as of the dynamic links in Goethe between philosophy, science, literature, and aesthetics. GERMAN QUARTERLY Nicholls's intelligent and deeply researched book opens new windows onto Goethe's philosophical return to the daemonic throughout his works. It is a major contribution to scholarship, and will doubtless inspire new readings of individual works.. GERMAN QUARTERLY
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