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Irony on OccasionFrom Schlegel and Kierkegaard to Derrida and de Man$
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Kevin Newmark

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780823240128

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823240128.001.0001

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Friedrich Schlegel and the Myth of Irony

Friedrich Schlegel and the Myth of Irony

Chapter:
(p.15) One Friedrich Schlegel and the Myth of Irony
Source:
Irony on Occasion
Author(s):

Kevin Newmark

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823240128.003.0002

The question of the philosophical significance of irony is paradoxical to the extent that it was first posed in a theoretical manner by Friedrich Schlegel, whose own seriousness as a philosopher will always remain in doubt. This chapter examines that paradox by following the way a seminal study by Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe and Jean-Luc Nancy, The Literary Absolute, addresses the relation between philosophy and literature within the main texts of German romanticism. Can the “non-serious” dimension of literature be addressed adequately by philosophy without being reduced to a philosophical concept of the serious that it will always also resist? The response involves a consideration of the literary “image” and the way that its appearance (Schein) both invites and interrupts philosophical comprehension. The image as it is deployed in Schlegel's texts enacts a mode of ironic fragmentation that by extension unsettles any philosophical claim to understand the limits of its own discursive practices.

Keywords:   Friedrich Schlegel, Myth, Irony, Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe and Jean-Luc Nancy, German romanticism, Image, Schein, Fragment, Chance, Madness

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