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Schiller: Reform Consciousness to Change the World

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Chapter Summary

Johann Christoph Friedrich Von Schiller (1759-1805) spent all his life in what is now Germany. Schiller was a sparkling example of the capacity to 'live locally, think globally'. In the twenty-seven years between his first writings and death, Schiller covered an enormous amount of cultural ground. Schiller's brief professional life can be divided into three periods: an exuberant, revolutionary-liberation phase of youthful theatrical productivity; a historical-aesthetic phase exploring diverse themes touching on culture and civilization, beauty and art, human action and the question of freedom; and, a return-to-literature phase, during the years of association with Goethe. After 1785, Schiller's attention gradually shifted away from theater as he became preoccupied with the study of history. The prescience of Schiller's critical eye was remarkable. He explored the limits of intellectual conceptual analytics, proposed a novel form of renewal of aesthetic consciousness, and linked this all to a creative view of political progress.

Keywords: aesthetic consciousness; Germany; Johann Christoph Friedrich Von Schiller

10.1163/9789004260658_005
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