9780804738484

Silent Urns

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780804738484

  • ISBN10:

    0804738483

  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2000-07-01
  • Publisher: Stanford Univ Pr
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Summary

The study of Greece as an icon of culture appears to be as old as Greece itself, as if, like Pallas Athene springing from the head of Zeus, its cultural significance had attained full maturity at birth. In Silent Urns, the author reveals how Greece attained such significance as the result of the attempt to reconcile individuality, freedom, history, and modernity in eighteenth-century aesthetics. He argues that Winckelmann's History of Ancient Art (1764) produced this reconciliation by developing a concept of culture that effectively defined our modern understanding of the term, as well as our sense of what it is to be modern. From this reconciliation, Greece emerges as the form in which culture is first conceptualized as a historically and politically defined category. In readings of works by Keats, Schelling, Aeschylus, Shelley, and Holderlin, the author studies different aspects of Winckelmann's conceptualization of culture as it passes into Romantic Hellenism. Through these readingsin which individuality, identity, freedom, the tragic, and memory are all discussedthe book demonstrates how Romanticism took issue with the legacy of Greece that emerged in the eighteenth century, and did so in the name of a freedom that our cultural modernity no longer recalls.

Author Biography

David Ferris is Associate Professor of Comparative Literature at the Graduate Center, City University of New York. He is the author of Theory and the Evasion of History and the editor of Walter Benjamin: Theoretical Essays (Stanford, 1996).

Table of Contents

Preface xi
Introduction 1(15)
Greece and the Invention of Culture: Winckelmann
16(36)
The Silence of Greece: Keats
52(33)
The Choice of Tragedy: From Keats to Schelling
85(23)
The History of Freedom: From Aeschylus to Shelley
108(26)
The Time of Judgment: Shelley's Prometheus Unbound
134(24)
The Recall of Thought: Holderlin
158(43)
Notes 201(42)
Index 243

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