The Romantic Circumstance: Novalis between Kittler and Luhmann


Romanticism was a philosophical movement concerned with the question of orders—orders of things, of persons, of being. Friedrich von Hardenberg, the Early German Romantic who called himself Novalis, writes that “only [the infinite stone] is firm (in itself) // it is the dos moi, pu sto [give me a place to stand] of Archimedes” (Hardenberg III 91). It is strange to find, among the foundational texts of Early German Romanticism, anything having to do with foundations. The movement has often been characterized as “anti-foundational” (Frank, Philosophical Foundations; Frank “Ordo inversus”) and even occasionalist (Schmitt). And yet statements revealing a fascination with figures of intervention, revolution, and altering are hardly rare in Novalis’s works.

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