German Romantics Imagining India : Friedrich Schlegel in Paris and Roots of Ethnic Nationalism in Europe

When, some two centuries ago, German Romantics turned their backs on modernity – industrialisation, urbanisation, commerce and secularisation – they turned to ancient India. For them, India exemplified the primordial uni
When, some two centuries ago, German Romantics turned their backs on modernity – industrialisation, urbanisation, commerce and secularisation – they turned to ancient India. For them, India exemplified the primordial unity of mankind with this and the afterworld. For sections of the emerging nationalist movement in Germany, found the deployment of India handy to question the cultural hegemony, and eventually break the political dominance, of France. They tried to surpass the French, who claimed the ancient Roman heritage, by claiming an even older heritage for the Germans. Friedrich Schlegel for example suggested that the German language, and not the French, stood in unbroken continuity with ancient Sanskrit. For Romantics such as he, Sanskrit, the oldest surviving Indo-European language, was closest to the language of original divine revelation. This lead Schlegel to romanticise India in a way that stood in marked contrast to the Orientalist clichés current in other parts of Europe at the time. For him, the link between Sanskrit and German made Germany the true oriental self of Europe. The importance of this particular representation of India for the German national movement is underlined by the great number of university chairs that sprang up in the course of the nineteenth century: twenty two in Germany as opposed to only three in the United Kingdom. This paper explores the particular kind of ‘inverse’ Orientalism of the Germans in the context of its recent post-colonial critique.
show moreshow less

Export metadata

  • Export Bibtex
  • Export RIS

Additional Services

    Share in Twitter Search Google Scholar
Metadaten
Author:Michael Dusche
URN:urn:nbn:de:hebis:30:3-233512
URL:http://www.goethezeitportal.de/fileadmin/PDF/kk/df/postkoloniale_studien/dusche_romantics_imagining_india.pdf
Parent Title (German):Goethezeitportal
Publisher:Goethezeitportal
Document Type:Article
Language:English
Date of Publication (online):2011/11/23
Year of first Publication:2011
Publishing Institution:Univ.-Bibliothek Frankfurt am Main
Release Date:2011/11/23
SWD-Keyword:Deutschland; Indogermanisch; Nationalismus; Orientalismus; Schlegel, Friedrich von
Pagenumber:20
First Page:1
Last Page:20
Note:
A previous version of this paper was presented on 1 March 2011 at the workshop "Expanding Horizons of History" at Manonmaniam Sundaranar University in Tirunelveli, India. On 5 April 2011 the present version of the paper was presented at the International Symposium of the Orient-Occident Research Group at the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna, Austria.
Institutes:Extern
Dewey Decimal Classification:830 Literaturen germanischer Sprachen; Deutsche Literatur
Sammlungen:GiNDok
BDSL-Classification:BDSL-Klassifikation: 14.00.00 Romantik > 14.03.00 Geistes- und Kulturgeschichte
Licence (German):License Logo Veröffentlichungsvertrag für Publikationen

$Rev: 11761 $