The Doppelg+nnger or Double presents literature as the double of philosophy. There are historical reasons for this. The genesis of the Doppelg+nnger is literature's response to the philosophical focus on subjectivity. The Doppelg+nnger was coined by the German author Jean Paul in 1796 as a critique of Idealism's assertion of subjective autonomy, individuality and human agency. This critique prefigures post-War extrapolations of the subject as decentred. From this perspective, the Doppelg+nnger has a family resemblance to current conceptualizations of subjectivity. It becomes the emblematic subject of modernity. This is the first significant study on the Doppelg+nger's influence on philosophical thought. The Doppelg+nger emerges as a hidden and unexplored element both in conceptions of subjectivity and in philosophy's relation to literature. Vardoulakis demonstrates this by employing the Doppelg+nger to read literature philosophically and to read philosophy as literature. The Doppelg+nger then appears instrumental in the self-conception of both literature and philosophy.
Fordham University Press