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GHDL with Leonardo F. Lisi (John Hopkins University)

Faust I from the Margins of Modernity: Tragedy as Doubt in Goethe and Kierkegaard


In this paper, Leonardo F. Lisi argues for a new understanding of the formal organization of Part I of Goethe’s Faust and its implications for philosophy and history. Taking as his point of departure the striking difference between the Gretchen narrative and the scenes concerned with Faust and Mephistopheles’ “magical” exploits, he proposes that the play must be understood to center on the constitutive and irreconcilable contradiction between the narrative principles of contingency necessity. This structure is at odds with the conception of tragedy found in German idealist aesthetics and instead finds its most important elaboration in Kierkegaard’s theory of modern tragedy as the modality of doubt. To Kierkegaard, Faust becomes the representative of modernity not in the form of striving, but of stasis.

Die Veranstaltung wird organisiert in Zusammenarbeit mit dem Thematischen Netzwerk Principles of Cultural Dynamics.

Vortrag in englischer Sprache.