Aesthetic/Erotic Intuition: Hölderlin, Shelley, and the Islands of the Archipelago

  • William S. Davis


In this chapter I argue that we can best read an enigmatic scene of erotic encounter from Hölderlin’s Hyperion through comparison with a paradigm of aesthetic production outlined by Schelling at the end of System of Transc endental Idealism. In a sense, Hyperion constructs his lover, Diotima, as an aesthetic object. We thus find in the scene an erotic variation of Schelling’s concept of the transformation of “intellectual intuition” into “aesthetic intuition .” I compare this scene from Hyperion with Percy Shelley’s Epipsychidion (1821), a poem that likewise includes a mysterious erotic encounter on a Greek island. The comparison allows us to read an erotically charged version of intellectual intuition within Shelley’s poem as well.


Hölderlin Percy Shelley Epipsychidion Diotima Aesthetic intuition Erotic intuition 


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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • William S. Davis
    • 1
  1. 1.Program in Comparative LiteratureColorado CollegeColorado SpringsUSA

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