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Poetik des zwischenraumes. Zur sprachlichen kulturkritik und physiognomischen historizität am beispiel von Walter Benjamin und ausgewählten schriften seiner zeit [Poetic of the space in-between. On linguistic culture critique and physiognomic historicity in modernity. Exemplified through Walter Benjamin and selected writings of his time]

posted on 2023-06-07, 19:45 authored by Leena A Petersen
Language and the imagistic can be regarded as key figures of modern perception. The present thesis provides a comparative analysis of the role and development of both elements in 19th and early 20th-century German intellectual culture, focusing particularly on Walter Benjamins philosophical reflections. The title of the thesis, Poetics of the Space In-between, recurs on Benjamins physiognomic historiography and his simultaneous attempt of a culture critique. By using methods of modernity, the essential imagistic elements of the 17th to the 20th century are to be permeated in an intuitive way. The space in-between can be located between language and the imagistic. It can be regarded as offering a potential physiognomic knowledge of reality. Here, one can detect the caesura, with the help of which Benjamin intends to establish a historiography of modernity beyond a methodical integration of mythical elements. The starting point of the present doctorate is the assumption that in modernity one can perceive a turn from the linguistic as medium of knowledge and world experience towards the imagistic. The transition from rational knowledge of Enlightenment ideas through and within the medium of language towards an understanding of the world as imagistic phenomenon can be located in a space in-between. Within the analysed period, reason has lost its dominating significance. Instead, doubts occur regarding the project of Enlightenment. Consequently, new ways to grasp, represent and criticise reality have to be discovered. Central concepts in this context are, e.g., the modern experience, memory, individuation, secularisation and the role of concreteness. The topic to be considered is thus the form of process, Verlaufsformen, to use an expression of Benjamin, in which language crisis and the rise of imagery are expressed. Benjamins work will be examined because his writings represent a conglomeration of fin-de-sicls tendencies on the one hand and embody a very particular form of culture critique between strategy and immanence on the other. Regarding this, both his early works as well as his late works are of concern. Sources were, furthermore, found in the literary and theoretical works listed in Benjamins record of his own reading as well as in his correspondences and references in his own texts.


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Universitätsverlag Winter



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Beitra¨ge zur neueren Literaturgeschichte

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