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Marginal ModernityThe Aesthetics of Dependency from Kierkegaard to Joyce$
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Leonardo Lisi

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780823245321

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823245321.001.0001

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Johan Ludvig Heiberg and the Autonomy of Art

Johan Ludvig Heiberg and the Autonomy of Art

(p.56) (p.57) CHAPTER TWO Johan Ludvig Heiberg and the Autonomy of Art
Marginal Modernity

Leonardo F. Lisi

Fordham University Press

Chapter 2 examines the textual and social dimensions of the aesthetics of autonomy at the Scandinavian periphery, in order to lay the background for the rise of the alternative aesthetics of fragmentation and dependency that oppose it. The chapter does so by turning to the now largely neglected figure of Johan Ludvig Heiberg, the leading representative of the early nineteenth-century Danish Golden Age. Heiberg embraced the aesthetics of autonomy, not only as an artistic principle, but with the explicit aim of using it as a means to contain the emerging forces of capitalism. To Heiberg, the anarchy and fragmentation that characterize the new social and economic system threaten to become incompatible with the traditional unifying political and cultural values of Denmark's absolute monarchy. In the construction of organic works of art, this contradiction can be symbolically overcome by staging the ultimate identity of these opposing social spheres.

Keywords:   J. L. Heiberg, Aesthetics of Autonomy, Danish Golden Age, Capitalism, Literature and Economics

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