Reading Mahler: German Culture and Jewish Identity in Fin-de-Siècle Vienna

Hardcover (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $84.58
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (6) from $84.58   
  • New (5) from $84.58   
  • Used (1) from $99.96   


Gustav Mahler's music is more popular than ever, yet few are aware of its roots in German literary and cultural history in general, and in fin-de-siècle Viennese culture in particular. Taking as its point of departure the many references to literature, philosophy, and the visual arts that Mahler uses to illustrate the meaning of his music, Reading Mahler seeks to remedy this deficit, particularly in view of the interest the centennial of Mahler's death in 2011 will certainly generate. The book is designed for a broad readership: it helps audiences, critics, and those interested in musical and cultural history understand the context and meaning of the literary, philosophical, and visual influences on Mahler's music and thinking that may have been self-evident to middle-class Viennese a hundred years ago but are much more obscure today. It shows that Mahler's oeuvre, despite its reliance on texts and images from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, is far more indebted to fin-de-siècle modernism and to an eclectic, proto-avantgardist agenda than has been previously realized. Furthermore, Reading Mahler is the first book to make Mahler's position within German-Jewish culture its analytical center. It also probes Mahler's problematic relationship with the musical and textual legacy of Richard Wagner, often overlooked in existing scholarship. By integrating newer approaches in humanistic research -- cultural studies, gender studies, and Jewish studies -- Reading Mahler exposes Mahler's critical view of German cultural history and offers a new understanding of his music. ~~~~ CARL NIEKERK is Associate Professor in the Department of German, the Program in Comparative and World Literature, and the Program in Jewish Culture and Society at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Thought provoking . . . . Should be a part of all serious academic and public classical music collections. AMERICAN JEWISH LIBRARIES REVIEWS Although the Mahler literature is extensive and growing, one can find nothing quite like this volume.. Highly recommended. CHOICE Carl Niekerk's Reading Mahler is a notable addition to the composer's bibliography because it counters conventional images of Mahler as a "nostalgic modernist" or a "neoromanticist" . . . . Niekerk investigates Mahler in a rewarding and challenging way. His study also provides readers with a solid grounding in texts and sources that are not always considered in the field of Mahler studies. MUSICA JUDAICA ONLINE REVIEWS Riveting . . . . (A) compelling book, an example of interdisciplinary scholarship at its finest. It is a major contribution to our understanding of this pivotal epoch in Western civilization and represents an invaluable resource for any future research into the period as a whole. MODERN LANGUAGE REVIEW (Andrew Barker)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

Meet the Author

Carl Niekerk is Associate Professor in the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures, the Program in Comparative and World Literature, and the Program in Jewish Culture and Society at the University of Illinois / Urbana Champaign

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)