Contagion: Sexuality, Disease, and Death in German Idealism and Romanticism

Although the Romantic Age is usually thought of as idealizing nature as the source of birth, life, and creativity, David Farrell Krell focuses on the preoccupation of three key German Romantic thinkers―Novalis, Schelling, and Hegel―with nature’s destructive powers―contagion, disease, and death.

Table of Contents


Part One: Thaumaturgic Idealism: Novalis’s Scientific-Philosophical Notebooks of 1798-1800
1. The First Kiss
2. A Poetics of the Baneful
3. Touching, Contact, Contagion
4. The Artist of Immortality

Part Two: Tormented Idealism: Schelling’s First Projection of a System of Nature Philosophy (1799)
5. First Projection: An Outline of the Whole
6. Sexual Opposition, Inhibition, Contagion
7. The Bridge to Death
8. The Ultimate Source of Life

Part Three: Triumphant Idealism: Hegel’s Early Philosophy of Nature in the Jena Realphilosophie of 1805/06
9. Nature’s Seductive Impotence
10. Turned to the Outside: The Dialectic of Genitality
11. Turned to the Inside: The Dialectic of Death
12. Conclusion: A Triumph of Ashes

DOWNLOAD: (.pdf)

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