Between Herder and Luther: Carlyle’s literary battles with the devil in his Jean Paul Richter essays (1827, 1827, 1830) and in Sartor Resartus (1833-34)

Malecka, Joanna Aleksandra (2013) Between Herder and Luther: Carlyle’s literary battles with the devil in his Jean Paul Richter essays (1827, 1827, 1830) and in Sartor Resartus (1833-34). MPhil(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

Full text available as:
[img]
Preview
PDF
Download (965kB) | Preview

Abstract

‘Between Herder and Luther: Carlyle’s literary battles with the devil in his Jean Paul Richter essays (1827, 1827, 1830) and in Sartor Resartus (1833-34)’ examines the position allocated to the representation of the devil in Carlyle’s early religious thought. It reads the development of Carlyle’s devilish imagery as stemming from his aspiration to give a new symbolic form to the Lutheran creed. The essays on Jean Paul Richter are exemplary here of Carlyle’s imaginative depiction of Jean Paul between Herder’s and Luther’s thought thereby preparing the ground for the theological discussion in Sartor. This thesis argues for a reading of Sartor which is rooted deeply within Carlyle’s religious concerns. The central position of the devil in the text transforms it into a cleverly designed joke at the expense of the readers. The failure to recognise the devil’s textual machinations in Sartor has often resulted in a misled emphasis upon the mystical and philosophical themes which in my reading are demonstrated to be no more than alluring ‘clothes’ or masks camouflaging the text’s dramatic religious tensions. Chief among these is Sartor’s rejection of God’s grace and its substitution with Richter’s concept of humour. Jeanpaulian humour functions as a masking device which obfuscates a deep disapproval and ‘censure’ of life in Carlyle’s reformed Lutheran/Calvinist creed. This intensely negative perception of human life as irredeemably corrupted by devilish presence finds expression in the imagery of cutting, censoring, and castrating present in Richter’s texts, and echoed in Carlyle’s Sartor Resartus (‘Tailor Retailored’). This thesis reads the ‘German Canaan’ to which Sartor directs its readers as the demonic empire of the main hero of Carlyle’s text, Professor Teufelsdröckh, 'the Devil’s Dung’.

Item Type: Thesis (MPhil(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Keywords: Thomas Carlyle, Luther, Jean Paul Richter, devil, humour, grace
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > Scottish Literature
Funder's Name: UNSPECIFIED
Supervisor's Name: Carruthers, Prof. Gerard
Date of Award: 2013
Depositing User: Miss Joanna Aleksandra Malecka
Unique ID: glathesis:2013-4343
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 04 Jun 2013 11:21
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2013 11:21
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/4343

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Downloads

Downloads per month over past year