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RealpoetikEuropean Romanticism and Literary Politics$
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Paul Hamilton

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199686179

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199686179.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 16 September 2021

The Cosmopolitan Novalis

The Cosmopolitan Novalis

(p.144) (p.145) 6 The Cosmopolitan Novalis

Paul Hamilton

Oxford University Press

This chapter is about the implications of Novalis’s argument asserting that our inability to gain direct access to our transcendental self means that self-consciousness is a dramatic construction. The thesis, stemming from Novalis’s intense study of Fichte, at first sounds ferociously abstract. Its ramifications, though, are varied and accessible. Novalis is shown to change Fichtean self-consciousness into a colourful, socially engaged political practice. The fact that poetry, comparably, cannot be sustained in pure form but most refigure itself prosaically is another variation on the main theme of this book. Specifically, Novalis also imagined the community in which the self gained definition as firstly, Europe, and then the world of which Novalis makes us citizens by definition. His Hymnen an die Nacht go further to find expression for the inexpressible unconscious repeatedly inferable from our successive recreations of the self.

Keywords:   Fichte, self, Europe, cosmopolitanism, unconscious, prose

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