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Platons Erfindung. Des Wahnsinnigen Dichters

Ekstasis und Enthusiasmos als poetisch-religiöse Erfahrung

Schlesier, Renate

Zeitschrift für Ästhetik und Allgemeine Kunstwissenschaft, Bd. 51 (2006), Iss. 1: S. 46–61

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Schlesier, Renate


The characterization of the poetic act as a state of irrationality and ecstasis does not, as Plato pretends (followed by many interpreters until today), correspond to the oldest ancient Greek tradition – allegedly documented by the earlier poets as well –, but is Plato’s invention. As part of this invention Plato identifies for the first time in history poetical inspiration with divine possession. Plato’s subversive invention of the mad poet is the basis for his model of the philosopher who himself shall dispose of enthusiasm, as the poet does, but who shall moreover dispose of intellectuality.