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Journal of the History of Sexuality -
"An exceptionally informative and lively study of the emergence of modern ways of thinking about sexuality in Austria at the turn of the century."
According to Luft, Otto Weininger viewed human beings as bisexual and applied this theme to issues of creativity and morality. Robert Musil developed a creative ethics that was closely related to his open, flexible view of sexuality and gender. And Heimito von Doderer portrayed his own sexual obsessions as a way of understanding the power of total ideologies, including his own attraction to National Socialism. For Luft, the significance of these three writers lies in their understandings of eros and inwardness and in the roles that both play in ethical experience and the formation of meaningful relations to the world-a process that continues to engage artists, writers, and thinkers today.
Eros and Inwardness in Vienna will profoundly reshape our understanding of Vienna's intellectual history. It will be important for anyone interested in Austrian or German history, literature, or philosophy.
“The theme of Eros and inwardness . . . refers to the possibility of inward perception preventing disintegration into violence. Inwardness failed in the cases of Weininger and the young Doderer, whose confusions became personally and socially disastrous. Luft’s illuminating book ably takes on the difficult and essential task of detailing those confusions and their consequences.”
"Luft has written three valuable essays on Otto Weininger, Robert Musil, and Heimito von Doderer, with special attention to their attitudes to questions of sexuality, gender, the erotic, ethics and the psyche.”
Excerpted from Eros and Inwardness in Vienna: Weininger, Musil, Doderer by David S. Luft Copyright © 2003 by David S. Luft. Excerpted by permission.
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Chapter One: Science and Irrationalism in Vienna, 1848-1900
Thinking about Sexuality and Gender
Chapter Two: Otto Weininger's Vision of Gender and Modern Culture
Gender and Character
Gender and Method
Gender and Ethics
Gender and Modernity
Chapter Three: Love and Human Knowledge
Science and the Writer
Sexuality and Ethics
Ideology and Soul
Gender and the Other Condition
Chapter Four: Sexuality and the Politics of the Fascist Era
The War and the Writer
The Novel and National Socialism
Eros and Apperception, 1938-1955
Ideology and the Novel