Abstract

This article sets out from a hitherto overlooked connection between literature and philosophy in the Jena Romantic period. In Ludwig Tieck’s translation of Cervantes’ Don Quixote (1799) there is a direct interpolation of a major philosophical concept: the Spanish hazaña—describing the undertakings of the hero, meaning “heroic deed” or “exploit”—is translated as Tathandlung, the neologism Fichte had forged in the first Wissenschaftslehre (1794). This gives rise not to an abstract question of poetry’s relation to thought but a complex constellation of responses within the literary politics of Jena Romanticism, from the place of Fichte to the role of translation, as well as the theory of the novel, in which, in the quarrel over Don Quixote, the Romantic “transcendental poesy” becomes subverted. I show that Friedrich Schlegel responds with a strategy in which one of the professed collective and collaborative ideals of Romantic thought—symphilosophy—comes to exclude Tieck’s position, applying the framework of Plato’s Ion. The ironic position Schlegel claims can thus, I argue, be constructed as a response, in Platonic terms, to the un- or even antiphilosophical rhapsode—the ionic position—perceived in the poetic practice of Tieck.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1934-2810
Print ISSN
0026-9271
Pages
pp. 42-68
Launched on MUSE
2016-03-15
Open Access
No
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