Poetry and Experience (Wilhelm Dilthey : Selected Works)

Poetry and Experience (Wilhelm Dilthey : Selected Works)

Wilhelm Dilthey, Rudolf A. Makkreel, Frithjof Rodi

Language: English

Pages: 206


Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

This is the fifth volume in a six-volume translation of the major writings of Wilhelm Dilthey (1833-1911), a philosopher and historian of culture who has had a significant, and continuing, influence on twentieth-century Continental philosophy and in a broad range of scholarly disciplines. In addition to his landmark works on the theories of history and the human sciences, Dilthey made important contributions to hermeneutics and phenomenology, aesthetics, psychology, and the methodology of the social sciences. This volume presents Dilthey's principal writings on aesthetics and the philosophical understanding of poetry, as well as representative essays of literary criticism. The essay "The Imagination of the Poet" (also known as his Poetics) is his most sustained attempt to examine the philosophical bearings of literature in relation to psychological and historical theory. Also included are "The Three Epochs of Modern Aesthetics and its Present Task," "Fragments for a Poetics," and two final essays discussing Goethe and Hlderlin. The latter are drawn from Das Erlebnis und die Dichtung, a volume that was acclaimed on publication as a classic of literary criticism and that continues to be a model for the geistesgeschichtliche approach to literary history.

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literature as the formation of a new world-view. There Goethe is given the prominent role of initiating a new method of "Anschauung" (intuition). This idea was also expressed in Dilthey's public lecture of 1867 in Basel where he claims that "Goethe's searching eye still directs what we are doing today""--an allusion to his own endeavor to sum up the achievements of what he called "the literary and philosophical movement in Germany between 177.0 and 1800." There is, however, another line of

to me a different interpretation. At her death, Diotima predicts with prophetic power that Hyperion would emerge from the ruins of his dreams—"your days of poetry are already germinating."9° The prologue of the novel announces its theme as "the resolution of dissonances in a particular character."'" This can be understood as saying that the conflict in Hyperion based on the two tendencies of his nature is now resolved and that in the reestablished relation to an all-healing nature, the basis has

be published in volume 6 will make clear, Dilthey attached great importance to poetry for its ability to complete our lived experience of reality without attempting to make it absolute. This distinguishes the poetic expressions of world-views from their religious and philosophical expressions. Religious world-views attempt to define the meaning of human existence by appealing to an invisible transcendent framework. Philosophical world-views attempt to comprehend the mystery of the universe by

condensation of the life-experience of the poet, which in turn is the integration of historical and psychological forces intersecting in the life of that individual, can at best have a typical significance.4 The work of the poet cannot claim to have a universal validity as such, even though its specific constituents may exert an effect on the reader in terms of the kinds of universal laws we analyzed earlier. Poetry is the meaningful articulation of lived experience and therefore never reducible

constitution and education of a people of a given period stand in such a relationship of reciprocal dependence and affinity. Then an intensively and widely operative factor inevitably produces effects in a large number of these coordinated facts which impart a common imprint, a mark of kinship, to all of these. Thus, the rational and mechanistic spirit of the seventeenth century put its stamp on the poetry, the politics, and the warfare of that period. 2.3o 162. POETICS Furthermore, human

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