The Genealogy of the Romantic Symbol

Hardcover | December 17, 2007

byNicholas Halmi

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Despite its widely acknowledged importance in and beyond the thought of the Romantic period, the distinctive concept of the symbol articulated by such writers as Goethe and F. W. J. Schelling in Germany and S. T. Coleridge in England has defied adequate historical explanation. In contrast toprevious scholarship, Nicholas Halmi's study provides such an explanation by relating the content of Romantic symbolist theory - often criticized as irrationalist - to the cultural needs of its time. Because its genealogical method eschews a single disciplinary perspective, this study is able toexamine the Romantic concept of the symbol in a broader intellectual context than previous scholarship, a context ranging chronologically from classical antiquity to the present and encompassing literary criticism and theory, aesthetics, semiotics, theology, metaphysics, natural philosophy,astronomy, poetry, and the origins of landscape painting. The concept is thus revealed to be a specifically modern response to modern discontents, neither reverting to pre-modern modes of thought nor secularizing Christian theology, but countering Enlightenment dualisms with means bequeathed by theEnlightenment itself. This book seeks, in short, to do for the Romantic symbol what Percy Bysshe Shelley called on poets to do for the world: to lift from it its veil of familiarity.

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Despite its widely acknowledged importance in and beyond the thought of the Romantic period, the distinctive concept of the symbol articulated by such writers as Goethe and F. W. J. Schelling in Germany and S. T. Coleridge in England has defied adequate historical explanation. In contrast toprevious scholarship, Nicholas Halmi's study ...

Educated at Cornell University and at the University of Toronto, Nicholas Halmi currently teaches English and comparative literature at the University of Washington in Seattle. He has lectured on Enlightenment and Romantic topics, particularly the concept of the symbol, in the US, Canada, UK, and Germany. He has been Advisory editor o...

other books by Nicholas Halmi

Format:HardcoverDimensions:222 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.71 inPublished:December 17, 2007Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199212414

ISBN - 13:9780199212415

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Table of Contents

AcknowledgementsAbbreviations1. Defining the Romantic Symbol2. Burdens of Enlightenment3. Uses of Philosophy4. Uses of Theology5. Uses of MythologyAppendix: The So-called 'Oldest Programme for a System of German Idealism'Bibliography