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Download Geoffrey Hartman : romanticism after the Holocaust by Pieter Vermeulen PDF

By Pieter Vermeulen

This finished account demonstrates how Hartman's dedication to the efficiency of aesthetic mediation informs a distinct place in present debates approximately ethics, media, and memory.>

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Additional info for Geoffrey Hartman : romanticism after the Holocaust

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But how can we simply assume the truthfulness of historical particulars? In his important 1938 essay “Figura,”10 Auerbach constructs an opposition between allegorical interpretation, on the one hand, and the Christian exegetical principle of the figura (more commonly known as typology) on the other. While allegory abstracts historical particulars into ahistorical meaning, the figura distinctively maintains the historical particularity of the two events it connects by interpretation: “figura is something real and historical which announces something that is also real and historical”; it distinguishes itself by “the historicity both of the sign and what it signifies” (Auerbach 1984: 29, 54).

The narrative of Wordsworth’s Poetry offers a varied catalogue of applications of the principle of affirmation through reflexivity that I outlined in the previous section. Wordsworth’s imagination manages to affirm its essential relatedness to nature throughout its growing awareness of its seeming independence from it. The development of the story is propelled by an imaginative movement that simultaneously affirms the priority of nature and its own increasing reflexive distance from it. The book is at least comparable to the Phenomenology of Spirit in that it applies this movement to ever new natural contents and ever new poetical devices, in the same way that Hegel’s book proceeds through the repeated application of a movement of Aufhebung.

In Wordsworth’s mature style, “[t]he strongest contrasts become blendings” in which “[n]othing is denied its own mediatory role,” “yet nothing is defined into absolute independent singleness” (166–8, 187). For Hartman, Wordsworth’s “potentiality of interchange points to the ethics of metaphor and perhaps of poetry as a whole” (186). Hartman’s interpretation of Wordsworth combines a remarkable trust in the unhindered continuity of nature and mind with a particular investment in a rhetoric of trauma, shock, negativity, and death.

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