The Erotics of War in German Romanticism

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Bucknell University Press, 2006 - History - 293 pages
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In The Erotics of War in German Romanticism, Patricia Anne Simpson explores the ways early nineteenth-century German philosophers, poets, and artists represent war and erotic desire. The author argues that gender is connected to a larger debate about the construction of the self in relation to a community at a time that this definition is under revision. She analyzes the culture of war as it shapes the bonds of fraternal, familial, and eventually national identity. Simpson defines the "erotics" of war as discursive attempts to assert the priority of ethical identity and citizenship over individualized desire. The seemingly ancillary problem of female desire emerges not as a marginal issue, but as the focal point of a debate about identity. Casting a wide evidentiary net, this study draws examples from literature, the visual and decorative arts, journalism, and military journals to demonstrate the centrality of war to national discourse in the early nineteenth century.
 

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Contents

War and the National Imaginary
28
To Become A Man Hölderlins Hyperion Project
57
The Essential Duel Karoline von Günderrode on the Margins of War
94
The Erotics of War in Kleists Penthesilea
118
The Gender of Nation Goethe Karl Friedrich Schinkel and Ernst Moritz Arndt
154
RetroRomanticism Bettina Brentanovon Arnim Writes to the King
189
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Page 39 - While, on the one hand, war makes the particular spheres of property and personal independence, as well as the personality of the individual himself, feel the force of negation and destruction, on the other hand this engine of negation and destruction stands out as that which preserves the whole in security.

About the author (2006)

Patricia Anne Simpson is an assistant professor of German at Montana State University in Bozeman.

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