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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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Transcendental Masturbators: Jean Paul's Siebenkäs

Transcendental Masturbators: Jean Paul's Siebenkäs

Chapter:
(p.240) Chapter Seven Transcendental Masturbators: Jean Paul's Siebenkäs
Source:
Uncivil Unions
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226136950.003.0008

This chapter illustrates how a critic of early Romanticism, Jean Paul, could precisely mobilize the problematic in exploding the Romantic metaphysics of marriage. Siebenkäs found Jean Paul leveling a more general critique at the Romantics and at Fichtean Idealism. This novel has been called “the first German marriage novel.” It appeared at a time in which the theory of marriage and the theory of self-consciousness were curiously intertwined. Jean Paul's critique of philosophical language threatened the self-understanding of German Idealism, construing it as a radicalization rather than a partial repudiation of the Enlightenment. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's Wahlverwandtschaften showed that a married couple has sex while committing imaginary adultery. The erotics in the Wahlverwandtschafte imagined the four partners (real and imaginary) in four different sexual arrangements.

Keywords:   marriage, Jean Paul, Romantic metaphysics, Siebenkäs, philosophical language, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Wahlverwandtschaften

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