By Neil H. Donahue
Greater than the other avant-garde move, 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 so much 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 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 feel of the unexplored efficiency and capability of uncooked language -- to forge forceful types of verbal expression. Expressionism brought into artwork, either visible and verbal, an incredibly new depth with many features and lots of faces. This quantity provides German Expressionism by way of its literature, that's a ways much less identified within the English-speaking global, with essays via top students on Expressionism's philosophical origins, its thematic preoccupations, and its divergent stylistic manifestations in and throughout diversified genres by way of writers whose universal bond is depth and whose traces 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 heritage, 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 enormously new and diverse types: in lots of methods, the margins are important to the experimental artwork of Expressionism. This quantity good points figures comparable 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 historical past of the journals, exhibitions, and anthologies, the caf? assembly areas and public lifetime of Expressionism, the volume's hugely centred, intrinsic analyses of texts and entire overviews of extrinsic contexts (and of the main updated study) 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 college.
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Additional info for A Companion to the Literature of German Expressionism (Studies in German Literature Linguistics and Culture)
Caligari (The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, 1920). Like the Expressionist stage from Kokoschka on, film drew heavily upon painting to reduce or abstract the three-dimensional stage space of the acting and transform the actors into pictorial elements, as Lotte Eisner noted in her famous study The Haunted Screen: Expressionism in the German Cinema and the Influence of Max Reinhardt (originally published in France as L’Ecran Démoniaque in 1952). 18 Caligari’s three set designers, Herman Warm, Walter Röhrig, and Walter Reimann, were in fact associated with the Sturm circle of Berlin Expressionism and set about using “zigzag delineations designed to efface all rules of perspective.
See the studies by Torgovnick, Rubin, Jill Lloyd, Berman, and Pan. ” The term “pathos” had many cognates and paraphrases in the journalistic literature of the day, and derives from theories of Erlebnis (Dilthey) and Einfühlung (Lipps; Riegl), and relates also to primitivism in the period, and to the notion of the Expressionist Schrei, leading ultimately to the sound poems of Dada. Its anti-intellectual intonations should not call into question its broad and deep intellectual roots and affinities; pathos marks the desire to overcome and reconfigure traditional modes of expression.
See Hans-Jürgen Schmitt’s collection of essays related to the debate, and David Bathrick’s essay for a good summary of the debate. 26 A figure such as Oskar Loerke reflects the phenomenon of “inner emigration,” but unlike Gottfried Benn or a lesser figure such as Karl Krolow, also the anguish of conscience in that impossible position, as well as the fruitful use of the Expressionist legacy (in poetry) to write poetry that is both complex and concrete. For the first full review of the concept of inner emigration in English, along with essays on the circumstances of individual writers, see the collection Flight of Fantasy: New Perspectives on Inner Emigration in German Literature, 1933–1945, eds.