Material and Social Relations in Friedrich von Hardenberg's Heinrich von Afterdingen

by Mottram, Robert Earl

Abstract (Summary)
In an attempt to widen interpretations, this study first explores the myths associated with Friedrich von Hardenberg, commonly known as Novalis, which have resulted in the neglect of material interpretations of his works. After an introduction to Hardenberg's theory of the Self and Karl Marx's theory of alienation, an analysis of Hardenberg's most widely read work, Heinrich von Afterdingen, demonstrates how Hardenberg was as concerned with the material and the social relations among human beings and their labor as he was with their spiritual endeavors. The self-development of Heinrich, the main character in Afterdingen, is chronicled in this study with special attention given to his material existence as well as the material existence of the people he encounters. This study demonstrates that Afterdingen can be read as a handbook for the development of the Self according to the theories of Hardenberg and Marx, in which the Self cannot favor the spiritual realm, or inner existence, at the expense of its material and social relations. Rather, these two spheres are both important for full self-development.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Hiltrud Arens; Elizabeth Ametsbichler; James McKusick

School:The University of Montana

School Location:USA - Montana

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:modern and classical languages literatures


Date of Publication:08/07/2008

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