The conception of popularity in the enlightenment and romanticism

  • It can hardly be disputed that the theme of popularity is central to the Enlightenment. Popularity is the sociality equivalent to the individual appeal: 'Dare to know.' Parallel to this runs the following imperative: 'Dare to encourage your neighbour and your fellow man and woman to think on their own – even though they do not belong to the erudite elite.' It is also undeniable that Romantic authors and philosophers polemically attempted to tear down the popularity project of the Enlightenment, their main criticism being its tendency towards mediocrity. It is less well known that Romantic authors and philosophers themselves, around the turn of the nineteenth century, made popularity their central concern. To quote Friedrich Schlegel in the journal Athenaeum: 'The time of popularity has come.' This article explores the Romantics' alternative conception of popularity, with especial reference to Johann Gottlieb Fichte and the Grimm Brothers. To this end, it is helpful to reconstruct the background of the Romantic attempt to create an independent concept of popularity: the debate between Immanuel Kant and the German popular philosopher Christian Garve on the necessity, possibilities, and limits of popularity.

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Author:Günter OesterleGND
Parent Title (English):Romantik : Journal for the Study of Romanticisms
Publisher:Aahus University Press
Translator:Laura Zieseler
Document Type:Article
Year of Completion:2022
Year of first Publication:2013
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2022/03/25
Tag:Enlightenment; German Literature; Popularity; Romanticism
GND Keyword:Romantik; Popularität; Aufklärung; Literatur; Deutsch; Kant, Immanuel; Fichte, Johann Gottlieb; Schlegel, Friedrich von; Brüder Grimm; Garve, Christian
Page Number:16
First Page:37
Last Page:52
Dewey Decimal Classification:8 Literatur / 83 Deutsche und verwandte Literaturen / 830 Literaturen germanischer Sprachen; Deutsche Literatur
Sammlungen:Germanistik / GiNDok
BDSL-Klassifikation:14.00.00 Romantik / BDSL-Klassifikation: 14.00.00 Romantik > 14.11.00 Stoffe. Motive. Themen
12.00.00 18. Jahrhundert / BDSL-Klassifikation: 12.00.00 18. Jahrhundert > 12.08.00 Aufklärung
Licence (German):License LogoDeutsches Urheberrecht