“It is as ridiculous to yearn for a return to that original fullness as it is to believe that with this complete emptiness history has come to a standstill. The bourgeois viewpoint has never advanced beyond this antithesis between itself and this romantic viewpoint, and therefore the latter will accompany it as legitimate antithesis up to its blessed end.”(1)
This passage is interesting not only because it reveals Marx’s attitude towards Romanticism (he acknowledges the essence of the Romantic critique, even while in a dialectical stance situating himself beyond the antithesis), but also because it suggests that the Romantic perspective will only disappear with its antagonist, capitalist society.
Moreover, the implicit definition of the Romantic viewpoint given in the passage–the aspiration to return to an original plenitude–constitutes the germ of the conception of the…
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