Saturday, October 27, 2007

The enchantment of the world

Rüdiger Safranski's book on Romanticism is a genuinely exciting account of German intellectual history. By Ulrich Greiner

An excerpt:

So why isn't Romanticism a closed chapter? Safranski writes: "With their discomfort with normality, the Romantics anticipate the discomfort with the 'demystification of the world through reason' that Max Weber would raise critically a century later. "The victory march of technical-industrial thinking and its crass materialism was unstoppable. Germans did not follow Max Weber's wise advice: to learn to live with demystification. In part they didn't want to, in part they couldn't and that remains true to date. Because modernity, which relies on reason and at best ends in reason, kept picking up its pace. Which is why Romanticism keeps returning as an place of desire – unfortunately, often in its darkest form. All the more important to recall its light, brilliant beginning, those beautiful young men and their intelligent women. What they were and wrote constitutes the undeniable peak of German intellectual history.

details here

Related post: Two models of "disenchantment" and two models of "re-enchantment"

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