Irony As “Ferment Of Philosophical And Aesthetic Speculation” (By Friedrich Schlegel And Thomas Mann)


  • Yelena ETARYAN Brusov State University for Languages and Social Sciences



romantic irony, progressive universal poetry, negative-progressive meta-reflection, literary self-referentiality


The focus of our scientific contribution is German Romanticism with its early romantic concept of self-referentiality or romantic irony. In the article, according to Safransky (Safranski, 2007, p. 12), romanticism is considered not only as a literary era, but also as a ”mental attitude“ that can be imprinted in any era. Using the work of Thomas Mann as an example, we illustrate it by looking at the epoch of modernity. In the Romantic period irony became a philosophy of life and art. It is also a central concept for Thomas Mann. The goal of this scientific article is to demonstrate the consequent realization of the concept of (early) romantic irony of a self-reflective narrative in the work by Thomas Mann. In the article, as a conclusion, the thesis is put forward that Thomas Mann seeks to synthesize the spheres of knowledge and aesthetics, but this “synthesis” has a slightly different meaning than that of the early romantics. . The common ground of their concept of irony is mediating between opposites, but at the same time, these opposite sides are to be preserved in their specificity and can only be unified selectively. Another similarity that needs to be identified is the functionalization of art as criticism, in other words, of “literary criticism”.


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Author Biography

Yelena ETARYAN, Brusov State University for Languages and Social Sciences

Yelena ETARYAN (Assoc. Prof. Dr.) is the Lecturer of the Chair of German at Brusov State University for Languages and Social Sciences YSULS, Yerevan, Armenia. Her field of research is modern German literature. Her research interests are Metafiction and other forms of literary self-reference, functions and methods of literary self-reflection based on the texts of Thomas Mann and Günter Grass. Etaryan is the author of 1 monography and 50 scientific articles. She was a Georg Forster Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and is alumna of the DAAD and KAAD.


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How to Cite

ETARYAN, Y. (2020). Irony As “Ferment Of Philosophical And Aesthetic Speculation” (By Friedrich Schlegel And Thomas Mann). WISDOM, 14(1), 88–97.