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Text And Translation: Prologue

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Chapter Summary

This prologue contains a text of Fragments from the Estate of a Young Physicist. The text contains a fictional "biography" of the physicist written by the author himself, seven hundred aphorisms dating from as early as 1797. The lengthy prologue, an autobiographical excursion under the thin guise of a biography of the physicist, connects to the fragments in several important ways. Structurally, it acts as a framing narrative to explain to the reader how the project came to be, positing a natural connection between life and work which the Romantics would likely have admired. The prologue also provides insights into the methodology of the scientist and his idiosyncratic strategies of organization. The prologue's peculiar status as a fictive biography (or third-person autobiography), which holds a decidedly marginal position within the larger tradition of autobiographical writings, is also noteworthy.

Keywords: autobiographical excursion; idiosyncratic strategies; Romantics

10.1163/ej.9789004183674.i-722.6
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    Key Texts of Johann Wilhelm Ritter (1776-1810) on the Science and Art of Nature — Recommend this title to your library
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