The Law of Poetry
Studies in Hölderlin’s Poetics

Charles Lewis

Germanic Literatures 18

Legenda

23 September 2019  •  224pp

ISBN: 978-1-781887-29-5 (hardback)  •  RRP £80, $110, €95

ISBN: 978-1-781887-30-1 (paperback, 13 December 2021)  •  RRP £10.99, $14.99, €13.49

ISBN: 978-1-781887-31-8 (JSTOR ebook)

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The place of Friedrich Hölderlin (1770-1843) in European literature is assured, and his significance for the development of German philosophy widely acknowledged. Here the focus is more specifically upon his poetics: a body of reflections on the nature of poetry and the meaning of the poet's vocation. These are found in poems and letters, in difficult (and often fragmentary) theoretical writings, and — in the case of the 'Pindar Fragments' — texts in which the distinction between poetry and theoretical reflection seems to be overcome. Although Hölderlin's poetics is considered from various points of view, the themes that emerge most frequently are Hölderlin's notion of a 'poetic law' or 'poetic logic', and his conception of tragedy and of what might be called the 'anti-tragic'. Also included is a new translation of Hölderlin's 'Notes' on Sophocles, which are here provided with a commentary.

Charles Lewis received his Ph.D. in Philosophy from Cambridge University. He has taught at Princeton University, and held an Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship at the Free University, Berlin.

Reviews:

  • ‘[D]as zweite Kapitel [erschließt] Neuland: Dass Kleanthes’ Hymne an Zeus für die Eigentümlichkeit des anrufenden Gestus der Ode Natur und Kunst formativ gewesen sein könnte, stellt einen eindrücklichen Befund dar (33, 42 f., 55). Aus den produktiven Differenzen zur Hymne leitet Lewis anschaulich jene Kritik her, die Hölderlins poetologische Ode vollzieht, wenn sie die Anbetung Jupiters an dessen Eingedenken seiner Herkunft knüpft (43 f.). ... Lewis’ Studie beleuchtet durch innovative Ansätze die selbstreflexive Gestaltung poetischer Formen, wie Hölderlins Werk sie zeigt, und nähert sich so dem im Titel exponierten ‘poetischen Gesetz’.’ — Lisa Memmeler, Hölderlin-Jahrbuch 42, 2021, 325-328
  • ‘The achievements of the first part of Lewis’s monograph are complemented by a second part consisting of a new translation into English of both Hölderlin’s “Sophocles-Anmerkungen” and his fragment on “[d]ie Bedeutung der Tragödien,” along with extensive notes contextualizing Hölderlin’s interpretive gestures within his broader œuvre as well as within current debates in classical philology. In this respect, Lewis’s translations mediate not only between Hölderlin’s German and modern English, but also between a poetic commentary from the early nineteenth century and contemporary scholarship, continuing the “poetic logic” that he traces in Hölderlin, whose precise formulations also open to other voices before and after “his” time. The proximity of Lewis’s English rendition to Hölderlin’s German, as well as his erudite commentaries, will also make his translations a resource for future scholars and readers of Hölderlin.’ — Kristina Mendicino, Monatshefte 113.4, 2021, 688-691

Contents:

ix-ix

Acknowledgements
Charles Lewis
doi:10.2307/j.ctv16km00z.3

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x-x

Note On Editions and Translations
Charles Lewis
doi:10.2307/j.ctv16km00z.4

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xi-xii

Abbreviations and Conventions
Charles Lewis
doi:10.2307/j.ctv16km00z.5

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1-6

Introduction
Charles Lewis
doi:10.2307/j.ctv16km00z.6

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9-36

Chapter 1 Hölderlin and the Dialogue of Genres
Charles Lewis
doi:10.2307/j.ctv16km00z.7

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37-56

Chapter 2 Hölderlin’s Ode ‘Natur Und Kunst Oder Saturn Und Jupiter’ and Cleanthes’ ‘Hymn To Zeus’
Charles Lewis
doi:10.2307/j.ctv16km00z.8

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57-82

Chapter 3 the One-Sided Surface and the Wechsel Der Töne
Charles Lewis
doi:10.2307/j.ctv16km00z.9

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83-100

Chapter 4 Boileau and ‘Longinus’ in Hölderlin’s Sophokles-Anmerkungen
Charles Lewis
doi:10.2307/j.ctv16km00z.10

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101-120

Chapter 5 Hölderlin On Tragedy and Paradox
Charles Lewis
doi:10.2307/j.ctv16km00z.11

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121-144

Chapter 6 the Tragic and the Anti-Tragic: Pindarfragmente and Nachtgesänge
Charles Lewis
doi:10.2307/j.ctv16km00z.12

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147-184

the Sophokles-Anmerkungen
Charles Lewis
doi:10.2307/j.ctv16km00z.13

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185-186

Die Bedeutung der Tragödien ...
Charles Lewis
doi:10.2307/j.ctv16km00z.14

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187-204

Bibliography
Charles Lewis
doi:10.2307/j.ctv16km00z.15

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205-212

Index
Charles Lewis
doi:10.2307/j.ctv16km00z.16

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Bibliography entry:

Lewis, Charles, The Law of Poetry: Studies in Hölderlin’s Poetics, Germanic Literatures, 18 (Legenda, 2019)

First footnote reference: 35 Charles Lewis, The Law of Poetry: Studies in Hölderlin’s Poetics, Germanic Literatures, 18 (Legenda, 2019), p. 21.

Subsequent footnote reference: 37 Lewis, p. 47.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)

Bibliography entry:

Lewis, Charles. 2019. The Law of Poetry: Studies in Hölderlin’s Poetics, Germanic Literatures, 18 (Legenda)

Example citation: ‘A quotation occurring on page 21 of this work’ (Lewis 2019: 21).

Example footnote reference: 35 Lewis 2019: 21.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)


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