By Neil H. Donahue
Greater than the other avant-garde flow, German Expressionism captures the progressive depth of twentieth-century modernity in all its contrasts and conflicts. In non-stop eruptions from 1905 to 1925, Expressionism disillusioned reigning practices within the arts: in its so much consultant style of portray and the visible arts, robust figurations and dynamic abstractions supplanted placid realism, and a palette of vividly luminescent colours eclipsed subdued earth tones. In literature, the swap was once both stark: a heady intellectualism mixed with dramatic gesture, photograph visions, exuberant feelings and pressing proclamations --along with a brand new feel of the unexplored efficiency and power of uncooked language -- to forge forceful sorts of verbal expression. Expressionism brought into artwork, either visible and verbal, a surprisingly new depth with many features and lots of faces. This quantity offers German Expressionism by way of its literature, that's some distance much less identified within the English-speaking global, with essays by means of major students on Expressionism's philosophical origins, its thematic preoccupations, and its divergent stylistic manifestations in and throughout various genres by means of writers whose universal bond is depth and whose traces at the web page learn just like the gouges of a woodcut. An interdisciplinary part addresses Expressionism's gender relatives, how ladies seemed within the literature after which disappeared from literary historical past, and the way the classy impulses of Expressionism entered into movie as a brand new know-how of expression, a brand new kind of visible narrative. This quantity demonstrates how, among its origins in philosophy and its afterlife in movie, Expressionism's aesthetic energies stretched and revised the bounds of traditional literary genres into greatly new and assorted kinds: in lots of methods, the margins are important to the experimental paintings of Expressionism. This quantity good points figures reminiscent of Georg Kaiser, Walter Hasenclever, and Ernst Toller in drama; Gottfried Benn, Georg Heym, Else Lasker-Sch?ler, and Georg Trakl in poetry; Alfred D?blin, Carl Einstein, and Carl Sternheim in prose, to call quite a few. opposed to the history of the journals, exhibitions, and anthologies, the caf? assembly locations and public lifetime of Expressionism, the volume's hugely targeted, intrinsic analyses of texts and complete overviews of extrinsic contexts (and of the main updated examine) exhibits the fervor and complexity of the interval and its effulgent literary formations. Neil H. Donahue is Professor of German and Comparative Literature at Hofstra college.
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Additional resources for A Companion to the Literature of German Expressionism (Studies in German Literature Linguistics and Culture)
Marbach: Deutsches Literaturarchiv, 1960. Philosophical Background 1: Metaphysical Mimesis: Nietzsche’s Geburt der Tragödie and the Aesthetics of Literary Expressionism Richard T. 1 Indeed, if one were to mentally subtract Nietzschean ideas and stylistic influences from the intellectual and aesthetic storehouse of Expressionism, what would remain would hardly be recognizable as the artistic and intellectual-historical configuration we know today as literary Expressionism. Will to power; transvaluation of values; a vitalistically defined conception of life; the Zarathustrian Übermensch as the new human being; dithyrambic lyric style; the new pathos; immoralism; eternal recurrence; a scathing critique of the world of the Wilhelminian Bildungsbürgertum (educated bourgeoisie) — for whom Nietzsche, in the first of his Unzeitgemäße Betrachtungen (Unfashionable Observations), coined the derogatory term “Bildungsphilister” (“cultural philistine”; KSA 1:165);2 and finally, the concept of the Dionysian as a glorified irrationalism and an existential will to embrace the horror of existence: Expressionism would lose all its definition and distinctness if we sought to conceive it apart from these notions indebted to Nietzsche.
Will to power; transvaluation of values; a vitalistically defined conception of life; the Zarathustrian Übermensch as the new human being; dithyrambic lyric style; the new pathos; immoralism; eternal recurrence; a scathing critique of the world of the Wilhelminian Bildungsbürgertum (educated bourgeoisie) — for whom Nietzsche, in the first of his Unzeitgemäße Betrachtungen (Unfashionable Observations), coined the derogatory term “Bildungsphilister” (“cultural philistine”; KSA 1:165);2 and finally, the concept of the Dionysian as a glorified irrationalism and an existential will to embrace the horror of existence: Expressionism would lose all its definition and distinctness if we sought to conceive it apart from these notions indebted to Nietzsche.
In Anz, and Stark, Die Modernität der Moderne, 9–20. Werenskiold, Marit. The Concept of Expressionism: Origin and Metamorphoses. Oslo: Universitetsforlaget; New York: Columbia UP, 1984. INTRODUCTION 35 Worringer, Wilhelm. Abstraktion und Einfühlung: Ein Beitrag zur Stilpsychologie. Munich: Piper, 1908. In English: Abstraction and Empathy: A Contribution to the Psychology of Style. Trans. Michael Bullock. New York: International UP, 1953. ———. Formprobleme der Gotik. Munich: Piper, 1911. In English: Form in Gothic, later reprinted as Form Problems of the Gothic.
A Companion to the Literature of German Expressionism (Studies in German Literature Linguistics and Culture) by Neil H. Donahue