1910

1910

by Thomas Harrison
     
 


The year 1910 marks an astonishing, and largely unrecognized, juncture in Western history. In this perceptive interdisciplinary analysis, Thomas Harrison addresses the extraordinary intellectual achievement of the time. Focusing on the cultural climate of Middle Europe and paying particular attention to the life and work of Carlo Michelstaedter, he deftly portrays…  See more details below

Overview


The year 1910 marks an astonishing, and largely unrecognized, juncture in Western history. In this perceptive interdisciplinary analysis, Thomas Harrison addresses the extraordinary intellectual achievement of the time. Focusing on the cultural climate of Middle Europe and paying particular attention to the life and work of Carlo Michelstaedter, he deftly portrays the reciprocal implications of different discourses—philosophy, literature, sociology, music, and painting. His beautifully balanced and deeply informed study provides a new, wider, and more ambitious definition of expressionism and shows the significance of this movement in shaping the artistic and intellectual mood of the age.

1910 probes the recurrent themes and obsessions in the work of intellectuals as diverse as Egon Schiele, Georg Trakl, Vasily Kandinsky, Georg Lukàcs, Georg Simmel, Dino Campana, and Arnold Schoenberg. Together with Michelstaedter, who committed suicide in 1910 at the age of 23, these thinkers shared the essential concerns of expressionism: a sense of irresolvable conflict in human existence, the philosophical status of death, and a quest for the nature of human subjectivity. Expressionism, Harrison argues provocatively, was a last, desperate attempt by the intelligentsia to defend some of the most venerable assumptions of European culture. This ideological desperation, he claims, was more than a spiritual prelude to World War I: it was an unheeded, prophetic critique.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Focuses on the year 1910 as the pivot for the fading of traditional harmonies and the rise of dissonance in all the major art forms. The atonal music of Schoenberg, Berg, and Webern; the distraught poetry of Trakl, Campana, and Rilke; the militant philosophy of Lukacs, Simmel, and Buber; the abstract or subjectivist paintings of Kandinsky, Schiele, and Kokoschka. Notes parallels in epidemics of suicide, ethnic conflict in Europe, and the appearance of Halley's Comet. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780520200432
Publisher:
University of California Press
Publication date:
04/12/1996
Pages:
278
Product dimensions:
0.75(w) x 6.00(h) x 9.00(d)

Meet the Author


Thomas Harrison, Visiting Associate Professor of Italian at the University of California, Los Angeles, is the author of Essayism: Conrad, Musil and Pirandello (1992).

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