Geist and Zeitgeist: The Spirit in an Unspiritual Age

Geist and Zeitgeist: The Spirit in an Unspiritual Age

by Hermann Broch
     
 
From one of the giants of European literature, six essays never before published in English.

Hermann Broch achieved international recognition for his brilliant use of innovative literary techniques to present the entire range of human experience, from the biological to the metaphysical. Concerned with the problem of ethical responsibility in a world with no unified

Overview

From one of the giants of European literature, six essays never before published in English.

Hermann Broch achieved international recognition for his brilliant use of innovative literary techniques to present the entire range of human experience, from the biological to the metaphysical. Concerned with the problem of ethical responsibility in a world with no unified system of values, he turned to literature as the appropriate form for considering those human problems not subject to rational treatment.

Late in life, Broch began questioning his artistic pursuits and turned from literature to devote himself to political theory. While he is well known and highly regarded throughout the world as a novelist, he was equally accomplished as an essayist. These six essays give us a fascinating glimpse into the mind of one of the twentieth century's most original thinkers.

Author Biography: Hermann Broch (1886-1951) was born in Vienna. He studied philosophy and mathematics, was active in labor relations, and wrote sociological and literary essays. At the time of his death he was researching mass psychology at Yale University.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Though best known to American scholars as an unsung master novelist (The Death of Virgil; The Sleepwalkers), Austrian-born Broch (1886-1951) also penned challenging, provocative essays. The six collected here, among the few to have been translated into English, represent the dominant themes in Broch's writings. For most of his life, the author concerned himself with the role of art in an era he felt was undergoing a "dissolution of values." Indeed, all but one of these essays are based on Broch's belief that Western culture had lost its unifying value-set, and was thus floundering, ethically and esthetically, as it waited for the emergence of another prevalent set of values. Not surprisingly, he champions art that represents universal human experience; he repeatedly cites James Joyce's Ulysses as being uniquely of its time, even as it revived the principles of Homeric myth. In "Evil in the Value-System of Art," Broch argues that kitsch, because it is imitative rather than original and seeks beauty rather than truth, is "the evil in art." Broch's ideas and ideals are nothing if not rarified, but the rigor of his thought and the strength of his belief in art's ability-duty, even-to restore a culture's universal mythic knowledge is striking. (Jan. 1) Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781582431680
Publisher:
Counterpoint Press
Publication date:
01/07/2003
Pages:
228
Product dimensions:
6.29(w) x 9.24(h) x 0.88(d)

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George Steiner
Broch is the greatest novelist European literature has provided since Joyce.

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