restricted access The Crisis of Subjectivity: The Significance of Darstellung and Freedom in E. T. A. Hoffmann’s “The Sandman”


E. T. A. Hoffmann’s work has been largely unrecognized in philosophy. The aim of this essay is to correct this oversight by an examination of his presentation of subjectivity in “The Sandman.” The presentation of the subject reached a point of crisis with Kant and thus became the central question for German Romanticism. This crisis prompted a “will to system” first taken up in “The Earliest System Program of German Idealism,” in which the spirit of philosophy is captured through literary depiction. I argue that a possible resolution to this crisis is presented in “The Sandman,” therefore establishing Hoffmann’s philosophic interest.