Poetic critique — is that not an oxymoron? Do these two forms of behavior, the poetic and the critical, not pull in different, even opposite, directions? For many scholars working in the humanities today, they largely do, but that has not always been the case. Friedrich Schlegel, for one, believed that critique worthy of its name must itself be poetic. Only then would it stand a chance of responding adequately to the work of art.
Taking Schlegel’s idea of poetische Kritik as a starting point, this volume reflects on the possibility of drawing these alleged opposites closer together. In light of current debates about the legacy of critique, it investigates whether a concept such as poetic critique (or poetic criticism) lends itself to enriching our intellectual practice by engaging with the poetic potential of criticism and the critical value of art and literature.