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Uncivil UnionsThe Metaphysics of Marriage in German Idealism and Romanticism$
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Adrian Daub

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780226136936

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226136950.001.0001

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“Marriage Is the Most Exalted Secret”: Novalis on the Metaphysics and Semiotics of Marriage

“Marriage Is the Most Exalted Secret”: Novalis on the Metaphysics and Semiotics of Marriage

(p.105) Chapter Three “Marriage Is the Most Exalted Secret”: Novalis on the Metaphysics and Semiotics of Marriage
Uncivil Unions
University of Chicago Press

This chapter tries to illustrate that Novalis' use of marriage-as-model is far less arbitrary than some of his notes can make it seem. Novalis' political writings of marriage addressed a veritable carousel of the sexes, families, and dynasties. Faith and Love provided a sketch of a poetic state organized around and by a (royal) couple. The triple function of the concept of “love” inspired Novalis' central claim in Faith and Love. In combination with the somewhat later Political Aphorisms, Faith and Love offered an answer to the question that bedeviled Johann Gottlieb Fichte's metaphysics of marriage. His reflections on loving couples and their kingdoms in his fairy tales work through an increasingly dizzying calculus aimed at upsetting traditional structures of dominance opted for imbrication rather than hierarchization. Marriage exhibited the spontaneity and dignity of the forces of free attachment, and distressed any strictly paternalistic analogies between kingdom and household.

Keywords:   marriage, Novalis, Faith and Love, Political Aphorisms, Johann Gottlieb Fichte, metaphysics of marriage, kingdoms

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