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Novalis et la théologie négative : le gouffre et le rêve dans le romantisme européen

Abstract : This thesis aims to read the German romantic poet Novalis in the light of negative theology. To establish its influence on his work, this thesis begins with a recount of Novalis’ religiosity in the context of his age, based on three hymnals with which he was familiar (respectively Lutheran, Roman Catholic and Moravian). After outlining Christianity at the end of the 18th century, it analyzes the evolution of Novalis’ religious feelings throughout his life, and the perceptible change which occurs from the great Christian year 1799 and beyond. The core of the thesis deals with the dialectic, linguistic and poetic strategies inherited from negative theology in Novalis’ literary works, as well the relationship between speech, imagery and the absolute. It describes the motives of descent, night, contemplation, reciprocal gazes, and mirrors and dreams as an access to a new form of knowledge, which ceases to be conceived as a way upwards to illumination, but as a gradual darkening downwards. At a crossroads between post Kantian philosophy and Christianity, Romanticism reclaims the inheritance of German mysticism and reverses the path leading to the absolute: this thesis finally argues that mirrors, dreams and endarkenment are key motives identifying a speculative family of authors among Romanticism. Thus it proceeds by comparison to highlight first the paradigmatic change occurring between Baroque, the Enlightenment and Romanticism, then the persistence of that very specific mental configuration throughout the 19th Century, in the works of several authors belonging to German, French and English Romanticism.
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Submitted on : Friday, March 30, 2018 - 9:54:25 AM
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Alexandra Besson. Novalis et la théologie négative : le gouffre et le rêve dans le romantisme européen. Littératures. Université de Lorraine, 2015. Français. ⟨NNT : 2015LORR0235⟩. ⟨tel-01754595⟩



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