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Since the turn of the twenty-first century, especially, fantasists have begun to experiment with new ways of combining the values of critique with the values of affirmation.
After some flirtation with legal practice and public service, he received an important research commission from the (the leading social science association under Gustav Schmoller’s leadership) and produced the so-called East Elbian Report on the displacement of the German agrarian workers in East Prussia by Polish migrant labours.
Greeted upon publication with high acclaim and political controversy, this early success led to his first university appointment at Freiburg in 1894 to be followed by a prestigious professorship in political economy at Heidelberg two years later.
This dissertation considers why fantasy has been so slow to be valued in literary circles, how those conditions are changing, and the implications of these changes for the broader topic of literary value. It has become commonplace to observe, on the one hand, the increasing significance and ubiquity of cultural productions, and on the other hand, the waning significance of the humanities in higher education.
Literary study, in particular, has seemed to be in danger of losing the basis for its justification.
Over the last several decades, critique has become one of the most popular means of justifying the study of literature, as a practice of awakening resistance to ideological forces.
And yet, literature has much more to offer besides critique, such as the affirmative values of communication, integration, and well-being.
Together, these two theses helped launch his reputation as one of the founding theorists of modernity.
In addition, his avid interest and participation in politics led to a unique strand of political realism comparable to that of Machiavelli and Hobbes.
Recent shifts in literary value point towards the inclusion of affirmative practices of construction, in addition to negative practices of deconstruction.
Taking up these trends, this dissertation interprets how recent fantasies work to reconstruct the grounds for faith in literary value.