Hermann Broch wrote two of the most significant novels of German modernism, The Sleepwalkers and The Death of Virgil, which established his importance to German literature. His writings on democracy, mass delusion and internationalism are more obscure. Embracing Democracy examines the central political, social and psychological tenets of Broch’s concept of «total democracy» as an expression of the synthesis of his European intellectual development – his Viennese Bildung – and his new position as an exile from fascism.
This book chronicles Broch’s experiences from the founding of the Austrian First Republic to his exile in the United States (1918 to 1951). The author traces two seemingly contradictory narratives in Broch’s political consciousness. On the one hand, Broch held an intellectual position in his post-exile political theory that was consistent with the philosophy of history, psychology and epistemology of his Viennese milieu. On the other hand, he significantly reconceived the utility of politics for his theory of value construction, while also becoming more involved in political activism. This book provides new perspectives on the work of Hermann Broch beyond his literary œuvre and offers insights into the development of political theory among exiled European intellectuals in the United States.
|Publisher:||Lang, Peter Publishing, Incorporated|
|Product dimensions:||5.91(w) x 8.86(h) x (d)|
About the Author
Donald L. Wallace is Assistant Professor of History at the United States Naval Academy. He is an intellectual historian of Central Europe with a special interest in European intellectual immigration to the United States in the twentieth century.
Table of Contents
Contents: Introduction: Broch's theory of value construction, his philosophy of history, and his theory of «Total Democracy» – Metropolis of Kitsch: The Ethical Source of Broch's Politics: Broch's intellectual milieu in fin-de-siècle Vienna, including his relationship to positivism, neo-Kantianism, philosophical irrationality, assimilation and critical modernism, ego psychology, and liberalism – Politics of Disengagement, 1914 to 1936: Broch's political activities and attitude in the Austrian First Republic based on his personal writings and published essays – The Sleepwalkers and Modernity: Broch's political engagement expressed through his first novel, The Sleepwalkers – Politics of Engagement: Broch's biography in American exile and his unpublished work on mass delusion – America and Democracy: Broch's theory of total democracy and his critique of American democracy – Conclusion: The contribution of Broch's life and work to the debate over humanism and liberalism.