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Building on recent investigations into affinities between early German Romanticism and French post-structuralism, this study brings together the work of Jacques Derrida with the writings of one of early Romanticisms most important theorists, Friedrich von Hardenberg (1772-1801), better known as Novalis. In contrast to recent criticism, which traces the historical path from Romanticism to modern theory in broad strokes, this book undertakes comparative readings of Novaliss and Derridas texts on literature and philosophy. The book focuses on the significance both writers accord to paradox and argues that readings which are attuned to paradox can better appreciate the proximity of Romanticism and post- structuralism. As well as their affirmation of paradox, the texts of Novalis and Derrida testify to a profound respect for the Other, and the close readings of selected texts reveal remarkable similarities in their thinking on literature, philosophy and representation, and on the intricate interrelation between language, identity and desire.