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Gothic Romance

Autobiography and Natural Science in the Age of Romanticism: by Bernhard Kuhn

By Bernhard Kuhn

Bernhard Kuhn's examine uncovers a primary connection among the autobiographies and clinical writings of Rousseau, Goethe, and Thoreau that refutes the now entrenched thesis of the 'two cultures.' As he examines those 3 consultant writers, Kuhn unearths the medical personality of autobiographical writing whereas demonstrating the autobiographical nature of normal technological know-how. An unfolding drama emerges, during which Romantic interval writers are visible retaining what smooth tradition is decided to wreck aside.

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For a long time the brilliant chimera of that ardor Seduced my mind, made my character inflexible; But in spite of so many eVorts have these empty fictions Banished the passions from my heart? Only God is allowed, only the Supreme Essence To be always happy both alone and by itself; For man, such as he is in mind and heart, Remove the passions, there is no longer any happiness. It is you, dear Parisot, it is your lovable commerce That made me tractable from the coarse man I was Then I recognized how charming it is To join a little amusement to wisdom.

Letter to M. Bordes29 You whom Apollo himself guides to the games of Parnassus, You deign to incite a timid muse; Too indulgent judge of my weak attempts, 9 10 Autobiographical Poems In encouraging me your taste cedes to your goodness. But, alas! for giving myself scope, I do not have The warlike assurance of a lively athlete; And from the first steps, anxious and astonished, Breath abandons me and I give up the prize. Bordes, worthy to judge my just alarms: See what are the struggles, and what are the arms.

But saying what one thinks is always a great advantage for speaking well, good faith serves as rhetoric, honesty as talent, and nothing is more similar to eloquence than the tone of a man who is strongly persuaded. I was attacked from all directions and how would I not have been? I had had some success in the world and treated the learned people badly. Moreover people were so accustomed to confusing wisdom with knowledge that even good people were alarmed at seeing what they had admired for such a long time being accused.

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