Category: Briefe+Generation-Tagung

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Finding the way to the archive

Preparing my stay at the Literature Archive in Marbach, spending the week there working off mountains of information and then, when I came back. taking care of all that had remained pending didn’t stay clean of collateral damages. I haven’t blogged in a month: it is a shame, really. To make things worse, this infidelity to my blog happens precisely when I am trying to get more active within the editorial board of hypotheses and when I am organizing my first hypotheses workshop. I am not sure about the credibility I will bring to the workshop. “Hello, youngsters, let me...

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The father’s hand (3)

In part one of this series, I described how Immanuel Hermann Fichte was falsely accused of having presented a philosophical essay of his dead father Johann Gottlieb Fichte, wanting to make it pass for his own. The accusation was based on a denial of intellectual genealogy that had its roots in a commonly admitted rule according which sons of scholars should not operate in the same disciplinary field as their fathers, and certainly not publish together with them. In order to take Immanuel Hermann Fichte’s defense, August Boeckh opposed to it the bad reputation of Johann Heinrich Voß, whose cooperation...

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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...

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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”...

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The grandfather’s hand

I had intended to blog an English summary of the paper I gave on Thursday, but I will postpone the father’s hand (title of my paper) to go to the grandfather’s hand first. In her keynote at our conference of last week, Ulrike Vedder introduced the idea that all writing is testamentary and that reading is a way of communicating with the dead, especially when it comes to manuscripts of deceased persons. How come (was one question) that touching the manuscript of a dead person causes respect, emotion, creates a connection, instead of generating disgust for dead matter? When you hold...