By Neil H. Donahue
Greater than the other avant-garde stream, German Expressionism captures the innovative depth of twentieth-century modernity in all its contrasts and conflicts. In non-stop eruptions from 1905 to 1925, Expressionism dissatisfied reigning practices within the arts: in its such a lot consultant style of portray and the visible arts, robust figurations and dynamic abstractions supplanted placid realism, and a palette of vividly luminescent shades eclipsed subdued earth tones. In literature, the swap used to be both stark: a heady intellectualism mixed with dramatic gesture, photo visions, exuberant feelings and pressing proclamations --along with a brand new experience of the unexplored efficiency and capability of uncooked language -- to forge forceful types of verbal expression. Expressionism brought into paintings, either visible and verbal, a surprisingly new depth with many elements and lots of faces. This quantity offers German Expressionism by way of its literature, that is a ways much less identified within the English-speaking international, with essays by means of prime students on Expressionism's philosophical origins, its thematic preoccupations, and its divergent stylistic manifestations in and throughout diversified genres through writers whose universal bond is depth and whose strains at the web page learn just like the gouges of a woodcut. An interdisciplinary part addresses Expressionism's gender kin, how girls seemed within the literature after which disappeared from literary background, and the way the cultured impulses of Expressionism entered into movie as a brand new know-how of expression, a brand new kind of visible narrative. This quantity demonstrates how, among its origins in philosophy and its afterlife in movie, Expressionism's aesthetic energies stretched and revised the limits of traditional literary genres into greatly new and varied kinds: in lots of methods, the margins are important to the experimental artwork of Expressionism. This quantity gains figures corresponding to Georg Kaiser, Walter Hasenclever, and Ernst Toller in drama; Gottfried Benn, Georg Heym, Else Lasker-Sch?ler, and Georg Trakl in poetry; Alfred D?blin, Carl Einstein, and Carl Sternheim in prose, to call quite a few. opposed to the history of the journals, exhibitions, and anthologies, the caf? assembly areas and public lifetime of Expressionism, the volume's hugely concentrated, intrinsic analyses of texts and complete overviews of extrinsic contexts (and of the main updated learn) exhibits the fervor and complexity of the interval and its effulgent literary formations. Neil H. Donahue is Professor of German and Comparative Literature at Hofstra collage.
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Extra resources for A Companion to the Literature of German Expressionism (Studies in German Literature Linguistics and Culture)
The Fall of Wallenstein, or the Collapse of Narration? ” In A Companion to the Works of Alfred Döblin, ed. Roland Dollinger, Wulf Koepke, and Heidi Thomann Tewarson, 75–92. Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2003. ———, ed. Invisible Cathedrals: The Expressionist Art History of Wilhelm Worringer. University Park: Penn State Press, 1995. Donahue, Neil, and Doris Kirchner, eds. Flight of Fantasy: New Perspectives on Inner Emigration in German Literature, 1933–1945. New York and London: Berghahn Books, 2003.
Afrikanische Legenden. Berlin: Rowohlt, 1925. ———. Bebuquin, oder die Dilettanten des Wunders. In Werke, 1:73–114. ———. Negerplastik. In Werke, 1:245–392. ———. Werke. Vol. 1, 1908–1918. Ed. Rolf-Peter Baacke. Berlin: Medusa, 1980. Eisner, Lotte. The Haunted Screen: Expressionism in German Cinema and the Influence of Max Reinhardt. Trans. Roger Greaves. Berkeley, CA: U of California P, 1973. Orig. publ. as L’Ecran Démoniaque. Paris: Le Terrain Vague, 1952. Goebbels, Joseph. Michael: A Novel. New York: Amok Press, 1987.
Noch hob ihr Haupt so hoch niemals die Sphinx! Du aber siehst am Wege rechts und links Furchtlos vor Qual des Wahnsinns Abgrund weinen! (MHD, 40) [Song and giant cities, dream-avalanches, Faded lands, poles without glory, The sinful women, perils and heroism, Spectral brewings, storm on iron rails. In cloudy distances the propellers drum. Nations melt away. Books turn into witches. The soul shrinks to tiny complexes. Art is dead. The hours move in swifter circles. O my age! So indescribably mutilated, So without star, so existentially poor in knowledge As you no other age seems to have been.
A Companion to the Literature of German Expressionism (Studies in German Literature Linguistics and Culture) by Neil H. Donahue