Essays in Romanticism

The Production of Transparency: Hölderlinian Practices

Essays in Romanticism (2016), 23, (2), 155–174.

Abstract

This essay explores the idea that the last, post-1806, Hölderlin is a speculative poet, a poet that achieves the transparent inscription of a neutral nature to which speculation as such aspires. I compare Hölderlin’s project at this period to the Deleuzian conception of perversity in the Logic of Sense, arguing that the poems map a new regime of sense by means of three perverse practices: desubjectivation, intemporalisation and abstraction (or the creation of phantasms). I consider each of these practices in turn in terms of Hölderlin’s own attitude as well as the poems themselves. What emerges is a series of concepts that characterise Hölderlinian speculation: the window, the asylum, secular time, measureless wonder, utopia and the specularised death drive.

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Author details

Whistler, Daniel