Apprenticeships as Experiments of Form. Configurations of Possibility in the Novel around 1800

Anja Lemke
Professor of Modern German Literature, University of Cologne
November 29, 2021
4:30 pm
math formula on parchment

Image:  Friedrich Schlegel, Philosophische Fragmente, Zweite Episode, II.

The new aesthetic appreciation of the novel around 1800 is linked to its ability to deal with contingency - one of the central challenges of modernity. It is first and foremost its lack of form that allows the genre to observe and depict the epistemological and sociopolitical transformations connected with this challenge. By taking a look at Goethe’s Wilhelm Meister and Schlegel’s reflections on the novel, this lecture seeks to examine the relation between the lack of form and the configurations of possibility.