Oct 1, 2011
The German Quarterly
In this essay I compare the poetic thought of Holderlin with the systematic Idealism of his intellectual peer, Hegel. Although they share a single intellectual genealogy and manifest similar Idealist tendencies, Holderlin's poetry presents the reader with a decidedly non-Hegelian religious phenomenology suggestive of transcendence. Images of physical and historical interruption are key to this phenomenological effect, and they motivate the characteristically Holderlinian language of supplication, gratitude, and grace. I conclude that the poet's work is “rhetorically heterogeneous,” reflecting the mixed philosophical and religious impulses of the German Enlightenment.