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In their public and private writings, lesbian poets Michael Field (Katharine Bradley and Edith Cooper) and Amy Levy reflected the greater freedoms, including university education and physical mobility, of the New Woman. They travelled in Germany and Switzerland for professional development, aesthetic stimulation, and leisure. Europe as an aesthetic theatre underwrote new poems and provided imaginative stimuli for Michael Field, but they also moved from Anglocentric to Anglo-German perspectives and ethnoexocentrism during extended stays in Germany, when they also enhanced their German skills. The private writings of Amy Levy and Michael Field both mention the sexual danger that could accompany foreign travel. Katharine Bradley’s The New Minnesinger (1875) also shared interests in translation with Levy. Levy began translating German poets while attending Newnham College, Cambridge; Germany and German language became most closely associated for her with Heine and the Jewish identity she shared with him. Her travels additionally inspired minor short fiction susceptible to normative or queer readings. Queer sexuality also informs poems she inscribed to Vernon Lee, whom she loved; this cluster also reflects Levy’s in-depth cultural exchange with the poetry of Heine.
An iconoclast in religion and marriage in 1854–5, Marian Evans, later George Eliot, was a more conventional female traveller than her precursors in Chapters 2 and 3 due to her limited listening and speaking skills and her reliance on her partner George Henry Lewes for travel arrangements and social contacts. Her potential for cultural exchange was also limited by her desire to avoid encountering scandalous gossip that had followed her from England. Evans’s discernibly greater interest in German intellectual men than women additionally meant that she neither had nor took the opportunity to form a female friendship network in the mid-1850s. Thus, unlike Jameson or Howitt, she never met Goethe or Goethe’s friends (aside from Fanny Lewald). Eliot’s limited ethnoexocentrism also manifested itself in her public and private writing about German Jews, most notably Heinrich Heine. The chapter analyses in detail one of Evans/Eliot’s best-known essays, ‘German Wit’, in which Evans erases Heine’s Jewish identity to posit him as a German writer qualified to succeed Johann von Goethe in greatness. Though she would later have known about Heine’s Jewish origins, they remained erased when she revised her 1855 anonymous essay into George Eliot’s posthumously published essay of 1884.
After Hegel the Philosophy of Freedom becomes increasingly illiberal. Whereas for Hegel the nation-state was a middle ground between the extreme Left and Right, Marx, Nietzsche and Heidegger embraced revolutionary visions of a future transformation of mankind in which the state vanishes. Hegel extolled classical Greece for its balance between democracy, Platonic philosophy and high culture. Nietzsche and Heidegger instead embraced the pre-Socratic view of existence as war – more suited to their revolutionary stances. They still agreed that historicism could provide a unified account of life rivaling Plato in scope. That belief was shattered by the Fact/Value distinction, which restored Rousseau’s dualism between nature and freedom and made it a permanent chasm. Belief in a comprehensive theory of history was further discredited by totalitarian movements like Marxism-Leninism and National Socialism which used it to deify tyranny. Academically, the Philosophy of Freedom fragmented into Critical Theory, Postmodernism and Hermeneutics. Politically, radicals like Lenin, Fanon, Shariati and Dugin adapted it to their extremist purposes. Given its arguably dangerous political implications, I conclude by asking: Was the Philosophy of Freedom a mistaken path that should never have been taken? Or might it still contribute to liberal education today?
‘Hearing Selves’ outlines the problem of the divided subject as manifested in philosophical discourse around the turn of the nineteenth century as well as in several of Schumann’s favourite authors such as Jean Paul and E. T. A. Hoffmann. Against this backdrop we may better understand Schumann’s creation of his alter egos Florestan and Eusebius and his whimsical questioning of subjective identity. Subsequently, this chapter delves more deeply into the musical features that make a sense of divided subjectivity palpable, examining the conflicting voices and sense of irony present in Schumann’s Lieder of 1840, above all his settings of Heine, alongside the split levels of discourse created in instrumental music through the use of tonal dualism, textural interleaving, and the use of metric dissonance to suggest a conception of the self as an agglomeration of diverse bodily rhythms subsisting through overlapping temporal processes.
Chapter 3 is dedicated to Hegel’s student, the poet Heinrich Heine. It provides an account of Heine’s life and his personal relations to figures such as Hegel and Marx. An analysis is given of Heine’s On the History of Religion and Philosophy in Germany, with specific attention paid to the role he ascribes to Hegel. Heine portrays Kant and Fichte as philosophers of the revolution and Schelling as the philosopher of the Restoration. If Schelling is the villain, then Hegel is the hero of the story of German philosophy that Heine wants to tell. Hegel is portrayed as the high point of the development of the revolution of German thought. Heine compares the revolution of the mind that took place in Germany with the French Revolution that took place in the real world. He predicts a great German revolution that will begin a new period in European history. An interpretation is given of Heine’s poem “Adam the First,” which takes up some of the motifs from Hegel’s analysis of the Fall. An account is also given of Heine’s “The Silesian Weavers,” a poem written on occasion of the rebellion of weavers in Silesia in Prussia in 1844.
The Introduction presents the philosopher G. W. F. Hegel and raises questions about the influence of his Berlin lectures in the 1820s. A remarkable generation came to learn from him, which included figures such as Ludwig Feuerbach, Bruno Bauer, Max Stirner, David Friedrich Strauss, and Heinrich Heine. After his death a second generation of students came to Berlin and were inspired by his legacy. Among these were Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, Søren Kierkegaard, Ivan Turgenev, and Mikhail Bakunin. All of these thinkers testify to the special intellectual atmosphere in Berlin that arose in connection with Hegel’s philosophy both during his lifetime and in the decades after his death. The present work takes as its point of departure the intellectual milieu at the University of Berlin, which was the fountain of inspiration that nourished the leading figures of the age. The introduction defines Hegel’s concepts of alienation and recognition, which are taken as the guiding themes for a study of philosophy in the nineteenth century. A handful of critical theses are sketched.
These conclusions to the entire book begin by comparing ancient Near Eastern war memorials preserved in the archeological record, on the one hand, to biblical war commemoration that has been transmitted for millennia, on the other. Where one was carved in stone and displayed in competing palaces, the other was conducted in the framework of a single, yet composite, narrative (a “movable monument”). In contrast to what we encounter in ancient Egypt and Western Asia, the societies of the East Aegean produced forms of war commemoration that are much more similar to the biblical writings. After presenting a selection of this evidence from ancient Greece, the chapter examines some of factors that help explain the commonalities between “Athens and Jerusalem.” It then turns back to Wellhausen and reflects on the larger implications of the book for political theology.
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