From Romanticism to Critical Theory explores the philosophical origins of literary theory via the tradition of German philosophy that began with the Romantic reaction to Kant. It traces the continuation of the Romantic tradition of Novalis, Friedrich Schlegel and Schleiermacher, in Heidegger's approaches to art and thruth, and in the Critical Theory of Benjamin and Adorno.
Andrew Bowie argues, against many current assumptions, that the key aspect of literary theory is not the demonstration of how meaning can be deconstructed, but rather the relevation of how questions of language and literature change modern philosophical conceptions of thruth. He shows how the dialogue between literary theory, hermeneutics and analytical philosophy can profit from a re-examination of the understanding of language, thruth and literature in modern German philosophy.
From Romanticism to Critical Theory will provide a vital new introduction to central theoretical questions for students of philosophy, literature, German studies, cultural and social theory.
`Bowie argues brilliantly and persuasively for the continued relevance of the romantic project for contemporary thought…in the past few years I have found few books that display such a sovereignty with regard to the most difficult philosophical and aesthetic issues of the past two centuries.' - Robert Holub, University of California, Berkeley
`Bowie's study is an impressive and thoughtful contribution to an important debate…he provides a rich intellectual context for the understanding of modern and postmodern culture in general and of recent critical theory in particular' - Martin Swales, University College, London
'Bowie manages to tease out insights from the thinkers he discusses with remarkable dexterity,' - Austin Harrington, Radical Philosophy
'Bowie's splendid book … remains at all times demanding, intelligible and highly readable … immensely impressive … the book is certain to be referred to for a long time to come and should be acquired by all university libraries.' - BARS Bulletin and Review
'This is an essential contribution to Romantic studies, and one that should set the terms of the debate for many years to come.' - Romanticism