By Neil H. Donahue
Greater than the other avant-garde circulation, 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, strong figurations and dynamic abstractions supplanted placid realism, and a palette of vividly luminescent shades eclipsed subdued earth tones. In literature, the switch was once both stark: a heady intellectualism mixed with dramatic gesture, image visions, exuberant feelings and pressing proclamations --along with a brand new feel of the unexplored efficiency and strength of uncooked language -- to forge forceful types of verbal expression. Expressionism brought into artwork, either visible and verbal, a surprisingly new depth with many features and plenty of faces. This quantity offers German Expressionism when it comes to its literature, that's some distance much less recognized within the English-speaking international, with essays via best students on Expressionism's philosophical origins, its thematic preoccupations, and its divergent stylistic manifestations in and throughout diverse 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 kinfolk, 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 expertise 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 bounds of traditional literary genres into enormously new and diversified kinds: in lots of methods, the margins are imperative to the experimental paintings of Expressionism. This quantity beneficial properties figures similar 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 heritage of the journals, exhibitions, and anthologies, the caf? assembly locations and public lifetime of Expressionism, the volume's hugely centred, intrinsic analyses of texts and accomplished overviews of extrinsic contexts (and of the main up to date learn) indicates 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)
Some of the most intense prose of the Expressionist generation belongs to figures better known as poets, such as Georg Trakl, Georg Heym, and especially Gottfried Benn, whose prose proceeds from and culminates in the sort of rhapsodic moments and “absolute ciphers” (Chiffren) that characterize his poetics in general and his own poems. Though the prose of this period has emerged to bridge the former divide between Modernism and Expressionism and to extend the range of the theoretical discussion or debate about Expressionism, the centerpiece of literary Expressionism remains lyric poetry.
German Expressionist Plays. New York: Continuum, 1997. Serke, Jürgen. Die verbrannten Dichter: Berichte, Texte, Bilder einer Zeit. Frankfurt am Main: Fischer, 1980. Sokel, Walter. ” In Expressionismus als Literatur: Gesammelte Studien, ed. Wolfgang Rothe, 153–70. Bern: Francke, 1969. ———. The Writer in Extremis: Expressionism in Twentieth-Century German Literature. Stanford: Stanford UP, 1959. Sokel, Walter, ed. Anthology of German Expressionist Drama: A Prelude to the Absurd. Ithaca and London: Cornell UP, 1963, 1984.
Benn, Gottfried. ” In Autobiographische und vermischte Schriften, vol. 4 of Gesammelte Werke. Wiesbaden: Limes, 1961. ———. a. “Bekenntnis zum Expressionismus”]. In Essays — Reden — Vorträge, vol. 1 of Gesammelte Werke, ed. Dieter Wellershoff, 240–56. Wiesbaden: Limes, 1959. ———. ” In Autobiographische und vermischte Schriften, vol. 4 of Gesammelte Werke, 393–95. Wiesbaden: Limes, 1961. Berman, Russell. ” In Fascism, Aesthetics, and Culture, ed. Richard J. Golsan, 56–66. Hanover and London: The UP of New England, 1992.