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Hölderlin and the Romantics: The Paradigm of Writerly Necessity in Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe and Jean-Luc Nancy's The Literary Absolute

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)770-790
Number of pages21
Issue number3
Published1 Apr 2016

King's Authors


In this paper, I am concerned with the relation between Friedrich Hölderlin and the journal of the Early German Romantics, the Athenaeum (1798–1800). I read Jean-Luc Nancy and Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe’s The Literary Absolute (L’absolu littéraire, 1978) in order to show how Hölderlin emerges as, in Maurice Blanchot’s words, the “non-romantic essence of romanticism.” In this way, I examine how “Hölderlin” functions as a paradigm of the literary absolute, and how this paradigm first makes possible Nancy and Lacoue-Labarthe’s identification of literature as absolute.

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