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Thomas Pfau

Alice Mary Baldwin Distinguished Professor of English
English
Duke Box 90015, Durham, NC 27708-0015
312 Allen Bldg, Durham, NC 27708

Selected Publications


Response to My Interlocutors

Journal Article Modern Theology · April 1, 2024 Full text Cite

Incomprehensible Certainty Metaphysics and Hermeneutics of the Image

Book · June 2022 Like Pfau's previous book, Minding the Modern, Incomprehensible Certainty is a major work. With over fifty illustrations, the book will interest students and scholars of philosophy, theology, literature, and art history. ... Cite

Exploring Christian Literature in the Contemporary and Secular University

Journal Article Christianity and Literature · September 1, 2021 Both of us teach in the Duke English Department and hold secondary appointments in the Duke Divinity School. In this essay, we reflect on impediments to teaching Christian literature in contemporary English departments, in particu-lar the naturalistic, ant ... Cite

Kantian Aesthetics as "soft" Iconoclasm

Journal Article Logos (United States) · June 1, 2021 Full text Open Access Cite

Absolute Gegebenheit: Image as aesthetic Urphanomen in Husserl and Rilke

Chapter · November 23, 2020 My essay opens with a brief review of Husserl's 1905 lectures on "Phantasie und Bildbewusstsein. " It then moves on to consider how, in his short monograph on Rodin and the letters on Cezanne, Rilke develops a phenomenology of image experience that complem ... Full text Cite

“Superabundant being”: Disambiguating Rilke and Heidegger

Journal Article Modern Theology · January 1, 2019 Rilke’s impact on the generation of writers reshaping philosophy and theology during the interwar years is arguably without parallel. Within this constellation, the case of Heidegger as a reader of Rilke presents unique challenges. For Rilke’s poetry neith ... Full text Open Access Cite

Expanding Romanticism's Spatiotemporal, Disciplinary, and Conceptual Boundaries

Journal Article Keats-Shelley Journal · January 1, 2019 Cite

On attention

Journal Article Salmagundi · March 1, 2017 Open Access Cite

A Modern Coleridge: Cultivation, Addiction, Habits

Journal Article STUDIES IN ROMANTICISM · 2016 Open Access Cite

History without Hermeneutics: Brad Gregory’s Unintended Modernity

Journal Article The Immanent Frame · November 2013 Featured Publication Link to item Cite

Meta language and visual experience in The Stechlin

Journal Article German Quarterly · October 1, 2013 Full text Open Access Cite

review of Tilottama Rajan, Romantic Narrative (Johns Hopkins UP, 2010)

Journal Article The Eighteenth Century: Theory & Interpretation · October 2013 Link to item Cite

Response to My Interlocutors

Journal Article Modern Theology · April 1, 2024 Full text Cite

Incomprehensible Certainty Metaphysics and Hermeneutics of the Image

Book · June 2022 Like Pfau's previous book, Minding the Modern, Incomprehensible Certainty is a major work. With over fifty illustrations, the book will interest students and scholars of philosophy, theology, literature, and art history. ... Cite

Exploring Christian Literature in the Contemporary and Secular University

Journal Article Christianity and Literature · September 1, 2021 Both of us teach in the Duke English Department and hold secondary appointments in the Duke Divinity School. In this essay, we reflect on impediments to teaching Christian literature in contemporary English departments, in particu-lar the naturalistic, ant ... Cite

Kantian Aesthetics as "soft" Iconoclasm

Journal Article Logos (United States) · June 1, 2021 Full text Open Access Cite

Absolute Gegebenheit: Image as aesthetic Urphanomen in Husserl and Rilke

Chapter · November 23, 2020 My essay opens with a brief review of Husserl's 1905 lectures on "Phantasie und Bildbewusstsein. " It then moves on to consider how, in his short monograph on Rodin and the letters on Cezanne, Rilke develops a phenomenology of image experience that complem ... Full text Cite

“Superabundant being”: Disambiguating Rilke and Heidegger

Journal Article Modern Theology · January 1, 2019 Rilke’s impact on the generation of writers reshaping philosophy and theology during the interwar years is arguably without parallel. Within this constellation, the case of Heidegger as a reader of Rilke presents unique challenges. For Rilke’s poetry neith ... Full text Open Access Cite

Expanding Romanticism's Spatiotemporal, Disciplinary, and Conceptual Boundaries

Journal Article Keats-Shelley Journal · January 1, 2019 Cite

On attention

Journal Article Salmagundi · March 1, 2017 Open Access Cite

A Modern Coleridge: Cultivation, Addiction, Habits

Journal Article STUDIES IN ROMANTICISM · 2016 Open Access Cite

History without Hermeneutics: Brad Gregory’s Unintended Modernity

Journal Article The Immanent Frame · November 2013 Featured Publication Link to item Cite

Meta language and visual experience in The Stechlin

Journal Article German Quarterly · October 1, 2013 Full text Open Access Cite

review of Tilottama Rajan, Romantic Narrative (Johns Hopkins UP, 2010)

Journal Article The Eighteenth Century: Theory & Interpretation · October 2013 Link to item Cite

Minding the modern: Human agency, intellectual traditions, and responsible knowledge

Book · January 1, 2013 Thomas Pfau argues that the loss of foundational concepts in classical and medieval Aristotelian philosophy caused a fateful separation between reason and will in European thought. Pfau traces the evolution and eventual deterioration of key concepts of hum ... Cite

Mourning Modernity:: Classical Antiquity, Romantic Theory, and Elegiac Form

Journal Article · September 18, 2012 This article looks at literary theory. It locates that problematic integral in modernity's dramatically altered experience and conception of time. While the centrality of time to modern theory is hardly in doubt, an acutely temporal dimension also shapes e ... Full text Open Access Cite

A certain mediocrity: Adam Smith’s moral behaviorism

Chapter · January 1, 2012 A distinguishing feature of Smith's Theory of Moral Sentiments is its striking reversal of emphasis, away from the Humean drama of volatile and non-cognitive passions and toward reaffirming the continuity of a more settled kind of affect. In an attempt at ... Full text Cite

Rethinking the image: With some reflections on G. M. Hopkins

Journal Article Yearbook of Comparative Literature · January 1, 2011 Open Access Cite

European Romantic Review: Introduction

Journal Article European Romantic Review · October 1, 2010 Full text Cite

Bildungsspiele: Vicissitudes of socialization in Wilhelm Meister's apprenticeship

Journal Article European Romantic Review · October 1, 2010 This essay scrutinizes the narrative logic of Goethe's Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship (1796), widely regarded as the most paradigmatic instance of the European Bildungsroman. Of particular concern is whether the formal and psychological self-organization ... Full text Open Access Cite

“Romanticism and Form” special issue

Journal Article European Romantic Review · 2010 Cite

NASSR 2009 Conference Volume

Journal Article European Romantic Review · 2010 Cite

Between sentimentality and phantasmagoria: German lyric poetry, 1830–1890

Chapter · January 1, 2010 Während sich nun diese [romantische] Schule ihrem Ableben näherte, veränderte sich mehr und mehr die Physiognomie der Zeit. Die Revolution, der Liberalismus, die Technik, die materiellen Tendenzen, die Cultur, die Alles beleckt, die Philosophie, die den le ... Cite

The letter of judgment: Practical reason in Aristotle, the Stoics, and Rousseau

Journal Article Eighteenth Century · January 1, 2010 This essay explores the revival of ancient conceptions of "judgment" in Rousseau's La Nouvelle Heloise. In contrast to the reductionist and potentially irrational thrust of "decision" and "opinion" in modern political theory (e.g., Carl Schmitt), Aristotel ... Cite

Review of Colin Jager The Book of God: Secularization and Design in the Romantic Era

Journal Article Romanticism and Victorianism on the Net, no. 25 · 2009 Link to item Cite

Romantic Theory: Forms of Reflexivity in the Romantic Era

Journal Article Comparative Literature · June 1, 2008 Full text Cite

Beyond liberal Utopia: Freedom as the problem of modernity

Journal Article European Romantic Review · April 1, 2008 This essay critiques the concept of the punctual or autonomous self that served as the foundation of classical liberalism and its moral philosophy, beginning in the work of A. Smith, T. Paine, and I. Kant. Grounded in the language of rights, personal liber ... Full text Cite

Of ends and endings: Teleological and variational models of romantic narrative

Journal Article European Romantic Review · April 1, 2007 This essay sketches the antithesis between a teleological and a variational model of development (Bildung) in nineteenth-century thought, with a particular focus on narrative. I argue that, in the course of that century, the initially dynamic logic of Bild ... Full text Cite

Beyond Liberal Utopia: Freedom in the Nineteenth Century

Journal Article European Romantic Review · 2007 Link to item Cite

Editor’s Introduction: Medium and Message in German Modernism

Journal Article Modernist Cultures · October 1, 2005 Full text Cite

Romantic Moods: Paranoia, Trauma, and Melancholy, 1790-1840.

Book · 2005 The study studies mostly lyric forms as imaginative encryptions of Romanticism’s changing political, economic, and cultural conditions. The study correlates paranoia, trauma, and melancholy with discrete phases of British and German Romanticism. Figures ce ... Link to item Cite

The Rhetoric of Romantic Prophecy

Journal Article Comparative Literature · September 1, 2003 Full text Cite

The voice of critique: Aesthetic cognition after Kant

Journal Article Modern Language Quarterly · September 1, 1999 Full text Cite

Taming the Chaos: English Poetic Diction Theory Since the Renaissance

Journal Article Modern Language Quarterly · June 1, 1999 Full text Cite

Politics, Philosophy, and the Production of Romantic Texts

Journal Article Studies in Romanticism · 1999 Full text Cite

Reading beyond Redemption: Historicism, Irony, and the Lessons of Romanticism

Journal Article Critical Introduction to Lessons of Romanticism, Duke UP · 1998 Cite

Rhetorical and cultural dissolution in Romanticism - Introduction

Journal Article SOUTH ATLANTIC QUARTERLY · 1996 Cite

Review of Edwin Stein’s Woodworth’s Art of Illusion

Journal Article Studies in Romanticism · 1990 Cite

Review of Wordsworth's Art of Allusion by Edward Stein

Journal Article Studies in Romanticism · 1990 Link to item Cite