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The Tragic Absolute


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Exposes the core of tragic absolutes in German Romantic and Idealist philosophy.

Table of Contents

Key to Works CitedIntroduction
1. The Oldest Program toward a System in German Idealism
The Philological Dispute
Das alteste Systemprogramm des deutschen Idealismus: Text and Translation
The Tragic Absolute?2. Three Ends of the Absolute
Absolute Inhibition: Schelling
Absolute Separation: Hoelderlin
Absolute Density: Novalis
A Note on Absolute and Relative Death3. At the Stroke of One
A Peripheral Reading of Schelling's Treatise on Human Freedom
Excursus on Sehnsucht: Languor, the Languid, and Languishment
The Peripheral Reading (continued)
An Indifferent Reading of Schelling's Treatise on Human Freedom4. God's Trauma
The Earliest Notes toward Schelling's The Ages of the World
The Genealogy of Time, and the Golden Age
Trauma, Repression, and the Absolute Past
An Excursion to Samothrace5. God's Footstool
From the 1811 Draft of Die Weltalter, with Variants from the 1810
Stuttgarter Privatvorlesungen and the 1827-1828 System der Weltalter
From the Sketches toward the Second Proposed Volume of
Die Weltalter, "The Present"
The Olympian Zeus of Pausanias's Guide to Greece
The Forlorn Foot of Divinity6. Brazen Wheels
Freedom to Burn: Schelling's Tenth Letter
Absolute Mythology: The 1802-1803 Philosophy of Art
The Klang of Music, the Fine Arts, and Tragedy
Ironclad Necessity7. Voices of Empedocles
"Dame Philosophy Is a Tyrant"
Essence or Accidents?
Nefas or Destiny?
Formal Aspects of the Three Drafts of Hoelderlin's Mourning-Play
Rhea's Disappearance and the Rise of the Doppelganger8. Hoelderlin's "Translations" of Sophocles
The Labors of Translation
The Reviews
Absolute Intensity and the Task of the Translator
Translating "Theatrality"9. A Small Number of Houses in the Tragic Universe
At the Center of Aristotle's Thought: The Poetics
Divine Betrayal: Hoelderlin's "Notes on Oedipus"
In the Figure of Death: Hoelderlin's "Notes on Antigone"

10. Hoelderlin's Tragic Heroines
Three Commentaries: Kommerell, Reinhardt, Loraux
Jocasta's Shadow, Antigone's "Ath, Niobe's Tears, Danae's Gold
Return to Jocasta11. Antigone's Clout
Lacan on the Essence of Tragedy
Lacan on the Tragic Dimension of Psychoanalytic Experience
Antigone between Two Deaths, Two Births12. Nietzschean Reminiscences
Not a Single New Goddess?
"Against the Oncoming Night"
Kavqarsi~ and "Ekstasi~ in Absolute Music, Absolute Rhythm
The Tragic AbsoluteAppendix: Plot Summaries of The Death of Empedocles

About the Author

David Farrell Krell, Professor of Philosophy at DePaul University, is author of several books, including Postponements (IUP, 1986), Of Memory, Reminiscence, Writing (IUP, 1990), Daimon Life (IUP, 1992), Infectious Nietzsche (IUP, 1996), and Contagion (IUP, 1998).


"This is vintage Krell--he is as always, a reader in the best sense of the word... " Dennis J. Schmidt "Krell is a strong and often eloquent writer ... I regard this to be one of his most important works..." Jason M. Wirth

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