- The Oxford Handbook of Spinoza
- Commonly Cited English Translations
- The Virtues of Geometry
- From Maimonides to Spinoza: Three Versions of an Intellectual Transition
- Spinoza and Descartes
- The Building Blocks of Spinoza’s Metaphysics: Substance, Attributes, and Modes
- But Why Was Spinoza a Necessitarian?
- The Principle of Sufficient Reason in Spinoza
- Spinoza and the Philosophy of Science: Mathematics, Motion, and Being
- Representation, Misrepresentation, and Error in Spinoza’s Philosophy of Mind
- Finite Subjects in the Ethics: Spinoza on Indexical Knowledge, the First Person, and the Individuality of Human Minds
- Spinoza on Skepticism
- The Highest Good and Perfection in Spinoza
- Spinoza on Mind
- The Intellectual Love of God
- The Metaphysics of Affects or the Unbearable Reality of Confusion
- Spinoza’s Unorthodox Metaphysics of the Will
- Spinoza’s Philosophy of Religion
- Spinoza’s Political Philosophy
- Leibniz’s Encounter with Spinoza’s Monism, October 1675 to February 1678
- Playing with Fire: Hume, Rationalism, and a Little Bit of Spinoza
- Kant and Spinoza Debating the Third Antinomy
- “Nothing Comes from Nothing”: Judaism, the Orient, and Kabbalah in Hegel’s Reception of Spinoza
- Nietzsche and Spinoza: Enemy-Brothers
- Spinoza’s Afterlife in Judaism and the Task of Modern Jewish Philosophy
- Spinoza’s Relevance to Contemporary Metaphysics
- Literary Spinoza
Abstract and Keywords
This chapter focuses on literary artists—that is, novelists, poets, and playwrights—who have shown fascination with Baruch Spinoza’s philosophy. The fictionalization of Spinoza’s life begins during the Enlightenment period and continues until today. The multifaceted literary attraction to Spinoza becomes only more remarkable when one considers how little it was reciprocated. For all the attention that literary artists have paid to Spinoza, he appears to have accorded little thought to the arts. This chapter first examines why Spinoza has paid little attention to the arts before turning to literary figures who have made Spinoza the central character of their work, including Gotthold Lessing, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Friedrich Hölderlin, Novalis, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, William Wordsworth, Heinrich Heine, Matthew Arnold, Herman Melville, George Eliot, Jorge Luis Borges, Zbigniew Herbert, Eugene Ostashevsky, Goce Smilevski, and Isaac Bashevis Singer. It concludes by discussing how compatible literary Spinoza is with philosophical Spinoza.
Rebecca Goldstein, Barnard College, Columbia University
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