The father’s hand (2)

In part one, I described the way the mineralogist Weiß constructed the fiction of a collaboration between Immanuel Hermann Fichte and his father over the latter’s dead body. One of the persons who protected Immanuel Hermann Fichte most vigorously against the accusation of plagiarism was his former teacher August Boeckh. In order to foil Weiß’ assumption that Immanuel Hermann Fichte’s not explicitely quoting his father was a sure sign that the text had been written by the father himself, Boeckh wrote in his note:

“It is very natural for the son to want to avoid giving the impression that he is resuming his father’s philosophy, Continue reading “The father’s hand (2)”

The father’s hand (1)

Our conference “letter around 1800 – on the mediality of generation” was a step towards the modelization of interpersonal relationships within correspondence corpora in German in the early 19th century. It allowed me to experiment with categories like intellectual genealogies and the way they are reflected in the manuscripts of the letters themselves. My contribution dealt with a singular collaboration situation, the one between father and child. It was based on three case studies that showed mainly:

  • that it was considered as a sign of moral weakness for a son to walk in his father’s footsteps;
  • that the “sons of” sometimes turned to “second fathers” – with variable success;
  • that what was the rule for the sons was the exception for the daughters: they had to stick to their father and to evolve as their very shadow. Continue reading “The father’s hand (1)”