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Title: An openness towards the other : paradox, aphorism and desire�in the writings of Novalis and Derrida
Author: Kennedy, Clare
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2006
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This study is a comparative reading of the texts of Friedrich von Hardenberg (Novalis) and Jacques Derrida. The main focus is on the importance Novalis and Derrida accord to paradox and on the role of the Other in their texts. The introduction considers questions of reading and misreading, and examines the ways in which both writers seek to complicate oppositional thinking, concluding that this is the key to wide variations in the reception of their works. Chapter 1 deals with the philosophy of consciousness and the paradoxical status of the absolute or the absolutely-other (‘tout-autre’). The second chapter examines the opposition between philosophical and literary writing, and the mergence of ‘literary theory’ in the era of German Romanticism. Chapter 3 focuses on literature, and the ways in which it subverts notions of representation and totality, through the strategies of nonclosure, fragmentation and self-reverentiality. The final chapter looks at similarities in the way Novalis and Derrida articulate the interrelation between separation, language and desire, and compares their ways of describing the structures through which we relate to other people in love and friendship. Building on recent investigations into the modernity of early German Romanticism, the aim of the study is not simply to apply poststructuralist theory to an early Romantic writer, but rather to provide close readings of selected texts in order to identify affinities between Novalis and Derrida. As well as respect for alterity and affirmation of paradox, there are remarkable similarities in their perspectives on philosophy, literature and representation, as well as on the interrelation between language, identity and desire.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available