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Idealistic Studies

Volume 33, Issue 2/3, Summer/Fall 2003

Willi Goetschel
Pages 203-217

Heine’s Spinoza

A key moment in Spinoza reception, Heine's writing gains sharper theoretical contours when read with careful attention to the way in which he appropriates Spinoza. Heine's portrayal of Spinoza in his On the History of Religion and Philosophy in Germany does not only represent a critical intervention in the project of intellectual history writing that argues for Spinoza's thought to be constitutive for modernity, but Spinoza's presence can also be traced in his poetry and fiction. Heine's original appropriation of Spinoza stages a new way to read Spinoza in the conjunction of Jewish emancipation and German idealism that allows him to advance the claim for both Spinoza's radical critical role in modernity and to legitimate his own poetic project.

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