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Complementary Modes of Representation in Keats, Novalis, and Shelley

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Irena Nikolova

This book explores the crisis of Romantic representation by regarding the literary text not only as a figuration of what lies beyond it, but by also considering how its figures are involved in more complex interactions among inner visions, textual representations, and their subsequent interpretations. This approach to the problem of representation aims at redefining the indeterminacies of the Romantic text by analyzing it in terms of the Romantic process of becoming, of its self-revisions, and self-interpretations. Instead of locating differential structures within the text that denote the impossibility of reconciling conception and expression, this book seeks to reconstruct the text as a totality by suggesting that its different modes of representation do not contradict, but complement each other. The construction of the paradigm of complementarity, based on German Romantic aesthetics and German and English Romantic literature, is positioned as an alternative to the approaches of deconstruction.