Nineteenth-Century Philosophy and Contemporary Theory

Edited by Tilottama Rajan & David L. Clark

Subjects: Comparative Literature
Series: SUNY series, The Margins of Literature
Paperback : 9780791422588, 386 pages, January 1995
Hardcover : 9780791422571, 386 pages, January 1995

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Table of contents



Speculations: Idealism and its Rem(a)inders
Tilottama Rajan and David L. Clark

 I: Between Idealism and Deconstruction

Fictions of Authority: Kierkegaard, de Man, and the Ethics of Reading
Christopher Norris

Mimesis and the End of Art
John Sallis

"The Necessary Heritage of Darkness": Tropics of Negativity in Schelling, Derrida, and de Man
David L. Clark

Language, Music, and the Body: Nietzsche and Deconstruction
Tilottama Rajan
II: Rethinking the Subject

Stubborn Attachment, Bodily Subjection: Rereading Hegel on the Unhappy Consciousness
Judith Butler

The Ring of Being: Nietzsche, Freud, and the History of Conscience
Ned Lukacher

Immediacy and Dissolution: Notes on the Languages of Moral Agency and Critical Discourse
Thomas Pfau

"Non-Identity": The German Romantics, Schelling and Adorno
Andrew  Bowie
III: Reinscribing History

Complementarity, History, and the Unconscious
Arkady Plotnitsky

Reconstructing Aesthetic Education: Modernity, Postmodernity, and Romantic Historicism
Eric Meyer

The Romanticism  of Contemporary Ideology
Paul Hamilton
IV: The End(s) of Theory

The Return of the Romantic
jean-Pierre Mileur

Moments of Discipline: Derrida, Kant, and the Genealogy of the Sublime
Mark Cheetham

On Death and the Contingency of Criticism: Schopenhauer and de Man
Stanley Corngold

Notes on Contributors


This is a study of the relationship between postmodernism and post-enlightenment German thought reading the contemporary theoretical scene through its nineteenth-century counterpart and examining the intersections.


Focusing on nineteenth-century philosophers from Schelling and Hegel to Nietzsche, and on contemporary theorists from Derrida to Kristeva and Lyotard, the essays in this book suggest that the two areas are most similar at the points where they seem most unlike. Tracing the links of contemporary thought to its nineteenth-century precursors, the authors explore such issues as the re-theorizing of history and the subject, the limits and persistence of the metaphysical, and the ends of theory.

Tilottama Rajan is Professor in the Department of English and the Centre for the Study of Theory and Criticism at the University of Western Ontario. She is the author of Dark Interpreter: The Discourse of Romanticism and The Supplement of Reading: Figures of Understanding in Romantic Theory and Practice. David L. Clark is Associate Professor of English at McMaster University. He is coeditor of (with Donald Goellnicht) New Romanticism: Theory and Critical Practice.


"This book does much more than reassess certain currents in poststructuralism by returning to its preoccupation with such writers as the Jena Romantics, Hegel, Nietzsche, and Freud. This book reminds us that poststructuralism is indeed only part of a larger coming to terms with philosophical issues of post-enlightenment theory. The writing in this book is characterized by integrity, care, andand brilliance. What is remarkable about this book is less its overall conception than its superb execution. " — Alice Kuzniar, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill