9780810118782

The Janus Face of the German Avant-Garde: From Expressionism Toward Postmodernism

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780810118782

  • ISBN10:

    0810118785

  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2002-03-01
  • Publisher: Northwestern Univ Pr
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Summary

Among the avant-garde of the early twentieth century, the German movement remains one of the least understood in the current avant-garde and modernism debates. Rainer Rumold fills this gap with a first large-scale reassessment of the heyday and afterlife of German expressionist and Dada productions as a prolonged crisis of literary culture.

Mapping avant-garde activity in Germany in a series of critical constellations from roughly 1918 to the post-World War II period, Rumold divides its history into three phases: the "revolt" of contradictory discourses in the teens and twenties; the conservative reversal vs. a radicalized anti-art stance of the avant-garde in exile; and the "post-avant-garde". The latter is viewed as a unique step toward the postmodern represented in the late (postfascist) work of the once-radical expressionist Gottfried Benn and that of the neo-avant-gardists Helmut Heissenbuttel and Hans Magnus Enzensberger. Throughout, Rumold notes a symptomatic oscillation between the avant-garde's wish to abolish "art" and the apotheosis of art as a for

Author Biography

Rainer Rumold is a professor of German at Northwestern University. He has written on Helmut Heissenbuttel and is the author of Gottfried Benn und der Expressionismus and the coeditor of The Ideological Crisis of Expressionism and Eugene Jolas's Man from Babel.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii
Introduction ix
Part One. The Historical Avant-Grade and Literary Crisis
Expressionism: The Janus-Faced Agon
3(35)
The Dadaist Anti-Art Event in Zurich and Berlin, or The Return of the Literary Text
38(21)
Part Two. The Crisis of the Avant-Grade in Political Exile
From Weimar Culture to Political Exile: Two Phses/Faces of the Crisis of the Avant-Grade
59(32)
The Self-Effacement of the Avant-Grade Author, or The Metamorphosis of Surrealist Myth into Action: Carl Einstein and the Anarchist Movement during the Spanish Civil War, 1936-1937
91(19)
The ``Image Sphere'' versus Metaphor: Walter Benjamin Debating Expressionism--the Reconstruction of a Critical Constellation from Surrealism to Film, 1925--1937
110(27)
The Avant-Grade against Itself: George Grosz and Bertolt Brecht from Postexpressionist Berlin to the American Exile and the Postwar Cold War Aftermath
137(16)
Part Three. The Avant-Garde at a Standstill
Gottfried Benn and Nietzsche, 1937--1938: The Aporia of Writing History in ``Wolf's Taven,''
153(17)
Utopia/Dystopia: From Expressionism to Hans Magnus Enzensberger---the Avant-Garde at a Standstill
170(29)
Notes 199(40)
Index 239

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