No physical discipline had more expectations attached to it around 1800 than the study of electricity. The literary and philosophical avant-garde of the 1790s took an active part in the debate on its ideological status. The transfer between literature and science, which was by no means only one-way, succeeds through a concept of symbol developed by authors such as Novalis and Wilhelm Ritter in their engagement with the philosophy of their age. However, this synergy soon becomes the problem rather than its solution, as in the case of Kleist, for example.
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