Romanticism and the Material Fragment
An unnamed man (probably Friedrich Schlegel) cuts out silhouettes of himself to give away as party favors.
So begins the longest fragment (#336) to appear in the programmatic Early Romantic Athenäumsfragmente of 1798, one that is attributed to theologian and philosopher Friedrich Schleiermacher. Papercutting is hidden in plain sight at the center of German Romanticism’s self-theorization. My lecture will discuss the material, papery aspects of the Romantic fragment, focusing on the gendered violence of scissors across a number of canonical and non-canonical figures.