The Continental Eliot

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This essay interprets "the continental Eliot" complementarily but differently: it situates her work in an ongoing tradition of continental philosophy that has profoundly shaped recent debates in critical theory and literary studies-especially debates about the value of the Enlightenment project and liberal modernity. This essay considers some ways in which Eliot and the Hegelians most relevant to her thinking might be interpreted as engaging these questions of contemporary theory. Its stormy reception, which led to Strauss being disbarred from academia, is explained instead by its thesis that the historical meaning of the Incarnation rests in the collectivity rather than in any one particular individual. Eliot's novels are all, in one way or another, stories of conversion, in which one or more characters rise from the hypersubjectivism associated with religion by the Left Hegelians to some larger vision of relatedness and their place in the world.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationA Companion to George Eliot
EditorsAmanda Anderson, Harry E Shaw
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781118542347
ISBN (Print)9780470655993
StatePublished - Apr 1 2013


  • Continental Eliot
  • Hegelians
  • Philosophy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities


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