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Tracing Global Democracy by Vladimir Biti

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3 The Janus Face of Literary Bildung Education and/or Self-Formation?

3.1 “Having the other” and “being the other”

Friedrich Schlegel’s transfer of literature’s theatre of operation from the external social and political scene to the interior of the national self is usually considered to have established the principal difference between the Romanticist and Enlightenment idea of literary Bildung. Following Herder’s redefinition of language as no longer an instrument of external communication but a repository of an overall way of thinking (Denkart) passed on and treasured by previous generations, the Romanticists relegate literature from the collective public sphere of education to the private individual domain of self-formation. Although they ...

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