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Download A Companion to the Works of Stefan George by Jens Rieckmann PDF

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By Jens Rieckmann

Stefan George (1868-1933) is besides Hugo von Hofmannsthal and Rainer Maria Rilke one of many pre-eminent German poets of the 20th century. He additionally had a tremendous, albeit debatable and provocative function in German cultural heritage. it truly is often agreed that he performed an important half within the transition of German literature to Modernism, relatively in poetry. whilst he used to be an outspoken critic of modernity. He believed that simply an all-encompassing cultural renewal may possibly keep smooth guy. even though George is frequently associated with the l'art pour l'art circulation, and even though his creative cognizance used to be shaped by means of ecu aestheticism, his poetry and the writings that emerged from the poets and intellectuals he accrued round him within the George Circle are peculiarly a scathing remark at the political, social, and cultural scenario in Germany on the flip of the century. George, who was once imbued with the belief of the poet as a prophet and priest, observed himself because the Messiah of a brand new Hellenism and a brand new Reich led via an highbrow and aesthetic elite inclusive of males who have been bonded jointly via their allegiance to a charismatic chief. a few of the values that George proclaimed, between them a glorification of energy, of heroism and self-sacrifice, have been seized upon via the nationwide Socialists, and therefore his writings and people of his circle have been thought of through a few to be proto-fascist. It didn't aid his popularity that once the second one global conflict a lot of the feedback of his works was once practiced by means of uncritical, hagiographic George worshippers.

In contemporary years, notwithstanding, there was a renewed and independent curiosity between students and critics in George and his circle. The wide-ranging and unique essays during this quantity discover anew George's poetry and his contribution to Modernism, the relation among his imaginative and prescient of a brand new Reich and fascist ideology, and his significance as a cultural critic.

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George, Stefan. Einleitungen und Merksprüche der Blätter für die Kunst. Ed. G. P. Landmann. Düsseldorf: Küpper vormals Georg Bondi, 1964. George, Stefan, and Ida Coblenz. Briefwechsel. Eds. Georg Peter Landmann and Elisabeth Höpker-Herberg. Stuttgart: Klett-Cotta, 1983. 22 JENS RIECKMANN Glöckner, Ernst. Begegnung mit Stefan George: Auszüge aus Briefen und Tagebüchern, 1913–1934. Ed. Friedrich Adam. Heidelberg: Lothar Stiehm, 1972. Hofmannsthal, Hugo von. Sämtliche Werke. Vol. 31. Ed. Ellen Ritter.

On this occasion newspapers proclaimed him to be the judge and prophet of his time. In 1929 George was celebrated together with Woodrow Wilson, Georges Clemenceau, Hindenburg, Gandhi, and Lenin as a contemporary figure who had become a legend (Norton ix). The publication in 1930 of Friedrich Wolters’s biased George biography, Stefan George und die Blätter für die Kunst: Deutsche Geistesgeschichte seit 1890 marks a turning point in the reception 16 JENS RIECKMANN of George’s works. Wolters presented George as the spiritual father of the imminent renewal of Germany (Petrow 17).

George has no use for raw or unprocessed nature, or for insufficiently cultivated language. In the case of language, there is a potential problem for a writer in the fact that to refine words means to estrange them from communicative norms, or indeed from communication at all. In its extreme form this dilemma threatens to become a kind of analogue, in linguistic terms, of the 36 WILLIAM WATERS closed fantasy realm everywhere meaningfully set against, but nowhere able to form a bridge to, things as they are.

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