Vietta, Silvio. Werenskiold, Marit. The Concept of Expressionism: Origin and Metamorphoses. Michael Bullock. New York: International UP, Formprobleme der Gotik. Herbert Read. Fragen und Gegenfragen: Schriften zum Kunstproblem. Bruckmann, Reprinted in Fragen und Gegenfragen: Schriften zum Kunstproblem, — Zeller, Bernhard, ed. Mai bis 31 Oktober Marbach: Deutsches Literaturarchiv, Even if we allow for a modicum of rhetorical overstatement in this remark, we cannot help but come away with the view of Nietzsche as an intellectual giant whom the Expressionists adopted as the flag-bearer of their movement.
GRAY Martens, This assertion is confirmed by the formative impact Nietzsche had on the intellectual profiles of most of the leading spokespeople of the Expressionist generation. Nietzsche also figures prominently in the intellectual biography of Franz Pfemfert, the publisher of the influential Expressionist journal Die Aktion, who used this publication to disseminate texts both by and about Nietzsche Martens, 46— Most important, perhaps, is the fact that Nietzsche and his works were heralded by both the vitalistic-Dionysian line of Expressionist thinkers and the politically activist strain of Expressionism.
Thus we might go so far as to claim that to the extent that Expressionism is a unitary phenomenon and has a unified nucleus at all, this nucleus is constituted by the thought and the person of Friedrich Nietzsche. The reasons for the limitation to this work are manifold: First, Nietzsche himself clearly affirmed the significance this text assumed in his intellectual genesis when he republished it towards the end of his philosophical career, in spite of the sometimes scathing critique to which he subjected this piece of intellectual juvenilia in the foreword to this new edition.
This continued significance of Geburt is corroborated by the fact that Nietzsche himself came back to this book repeatedly throughout his life, deliberating on its central ideas — especially the dichotomy between the Apollinian and Dionysian approaches to art — and its place in his intellectual development see especially Ecce Homo, KSA — Nietzsche himself confirms the persistence of this Freudian slip when he writes in Ecce Homo that he has repeatedly seen his work cited under this skewed title KSA However, he is not satisfied with simply using abstract logic to demonstrate his claims — as is often the case in philosophical aesthetics — but instead wants to bring this point concretely before the eyes of his readers by presenting them with a historical example.
In other words, the examination of Greek tragedy, its emergence and decline, and the role of the Apollinian and Dionysian principles in this historical development — the substance, in short, of the first twelve sections of Geburt — serve merely as a demonstrative example of this larger argument about the nature of aesthetics as such, which is the true focus of this text. This is the same status, I will argue, that we can accord to the aesthetic practice of literary Expressionism: standing between the scientifically theorized mimesis of Naturalism and the radical non-representationalism of Dada, it represents a transitional aesthetics that does not yet abandon the requirement of representation, but which moves beyond traditional conceptions of mimesis by applying representational techniques not to the physical world, but instead to the metaphysical domain.
This metaphysical mimesis is a program, I will claim, that the Expressionists adopt from Nietzsche. His very valorization of drama, and of tragedy in particular, as the highest literary form takes its cue from the thought of Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, whom Nietzsche greatly admired,12 and Schiller, who devoted many essays not only to general problems of aesthetics, but specifically to the theater as a social institution. To be sure, Nietzsche explicitly rejects the moralizing component in the dramatic theories of these predecessors, but in so doing he is simply following the lead already inaugurated by Schopenhauer Similarly, Lessing and Schiller have already outlined conceptions of drama as the most effective literary form, allowing it to be deployed for the transformation of cultural and political institutions.
But Nietzsche goes on to argue that the Schillerian distinction is not broad enough to encompass all the artistic manifestations he has in mind. This empirical world, for Schopenhauer, is hence a world of semblance, a secondary product of the will. Schopenhauer thus re-evaluates traditional aesthetic theory, based on the Aristotelian concept of mimesis, by asserting that art is not the mimetic representation of the phenomenal world, but rather of the Platonic ideas that underlie the objects that constitute the sphere of phenomenal appearances These ideas themselves are immediate objectifications of the will , , and as representations of these archetypal ideas, art gives a deeper, more authentic picture of the will than if it were a mere mimetic representation of the phenomenal world.
However, as we know, Schopenhauer interprets music as an exception even to this general rule governing the arts; music does not copy Platonic ideas, as do the other arts, rather it is a copy of the will itself and hence stands on the same level of ontic value as the phenomenal world, which is also a direct copy of the will In other words, Schopenhauer differentiates three possible modes of representational mimesis for art that stand in a clear hierarchy. At the top of this hierarchy stands music, which, as the least mediate form of representation, provides a direct copy of the will itself GRAY ontic level equal to that of the phenomenal world itself.
Dionysian artists are thus the most authentic artists in the sense that they imitate in their own creative process that primordial creative act by which the phenomenal world itself is born. This is what Nietzsche means when he writes in Geburt that Dionysian artists are no longer merely artists as creators of works of art, but actually become works of art themselves 30 , or when he argues that the creative act of the genius must fuse with that primordial act of creativity out of which the world itself originarily issued 47— In this formulation Huebner has implicitly elided the basic distinction between idealism and realism.
And this, in fact, is the point: for Expressionism — as for Schopenhauer — the realm of ideas has assumed the character of the real, even of the hyperreal. But, the Expressionists might justifiably retort, anticipating a phrase popularized in the United States during the s, What is reality? First, it presents an early formulation, from within the camp of Marxist thinkers, of what in the thought of Theodor Adorno will blossom into a full-fledged suspicion of all totalizing worldviews as totalitarian constructions.
He no longer seeks anything in its totality, a totality that also includes all the natural cruelty of things. Taking as his point of departure the widespread sense of malaise commonly associated with the advent of modern culture, Nietzsche offers a critical analysis of the causes of this discontent. Ist Wissenschaftlichkeit vielleicht nur eine Furcht und Ausflucht vor dem Pessimismus? Eine feine Notwehr gegen — die Wahrheit? Und, moralisch geredet, etwas wie Feig- und Falschheit? Is reverence for science perhaps nothing but fear of and flight from pessimism?
A refined defense mechanism against — truth? And, moralistically speaking, something like faintheartedness and falsehood? Geburt, 12— And Nietzsche believes the malaise of modernism derives from the fact that his contemporaries have generally recognized the limits of rational thought but nonetheless refuse to admit or embrace these limits.
An art that practices metaphysical mimesis, such as Attic tragedy, becomes an antidote to the deceptions of Apollinian or Socratic culture, a machete that both cuts through the veil of ideological self- deception and offers a form of non-deceptive, non-ideological consolation. The Expressionists would embrace this view of art as an instrument of cultural and ideological critique.
2. Weltkrieg – tiaraat
Both, in fact, are clear in their assertion that the will only appears in diverse — but differentially evaluated — forms of semblance. GRAY Dionysian artist of intoxication, or, finally — as is the case, for example, in Greek tragedy — simultaneously an intoxicating dream-artist; Nietzsche thus argues that all art is mimetic, but that one can distinguish three subcategories of mimetic art, one purely Apollinian, one purely Dionysian, and one that melds and intermingles these two, for which Greek tragedy stands as the historical model.
Even at this early stage in his treatise Nietzsche then goes on to provide a first glimpse into how he imagines this interaction occurring in the Attic tragedy he will valorize as the pinnacle of art. The tragic artist is, first and foremost, a Dionysian artist. We recognize once more, then, that Nietzsche frames his arguments as a contribution to the much broader context of aesthetic theory in general, specifically as a redefinition of the applicability of mimesis.
When he shifts from the aesthetic to a more psychological or existential explanation of the interaction between the Apollinian and Dionysian principles of art, Nietzsche proposes a relationship of fundamental interdependence between the horror of Dionysian reality and the concomitant necessity for the redemptive semblance invoked by the Apollinian dream world. We understand in this context precisely what Nietzsche means when he claims that the world — that is, empirical reality and existence — is only justified as an aesthetic phenomenon Geburt 17, 47, : reality, in all its existential abomination, requires semblance as an eternal palliative.
This should not lead one to believe, however, that all semblance, all illusion is by definition good. On the contrary, the escapism of absolute semblance is precisely what Nietzsche lambastes in Wilhelminian Germany, with its reliance on the deception of science and the fanciful illusionism of its art, represented in Geburt by the genre of classical opera — GRAY good and bad mimesis. On the contrary, it is Dionysian mimesis of the existential horror of the will as filtered through the transfiguring second-order mimesis of Apollinian image that Nietzsche holds up as the high-water mark of artistic achievement, as exemplified for him in Attic tragedy.
And yet in this regard it does not represent a world that is arbitrarily fantasized into the space between heaven and earth; rather, it is a world whose reality and credibility are equal to those that the believing Hellene attributed to Mt. Olympus and all its occupants.
The world of tragedy, by contrast, is a creative imitation that exists on the same order of ontic reality as does the world of phenomenal existence itself, and once again Nietzsche turns to the metaphor of the Olympian gods to exemplify this concept. He goes on to extrapolate from this comment a general maxim about the reality and truth of the poetic world.
The contrast between this authentic truth of nature and the cultural mendacity that poses as the sole form of reality is similar to that between the eternal core of things, the thing in itself, and the totality of the phenomenal world. Thus mimesis in Nietzsche takes on positive connotations when it is related either directly to the representation of this metaphysical core, as in the case of music, or when mimesis functions as a palliative that makes this tragic recognition palatable, rather than providing ideological escape from this ultimate tragic insight.
This new dithyramb represents a kind of program music that alienates musical art from its true mission, the direct mimetic representation of the will, by recasting it as the imitator of the phenomenal world. This limitation to mimesis of the phenomenal world of appearances, to the semblance of semblance is, for Nietzsche, the very definition of degeneracy in art, especially in music. In some of his unpublished notes for Geburt Nietzsche is much more lucid on this point. One type reveals itself to us in the form of sensations of pleasure and displeasure and accompanies as a never absent thoroughbass all the other ideational expressions.
In other words, feelings of pleasure and displeasure are universal sensations, and as such they are those forms of ideation that link us most closely with the pre-individual ground of existence. Universality, in short, becomes the measure of authenticity because it points to that realm of experience — the Dionysian — that antedates the principium individuationis, the fragmentation of originary oneness into the manifoldness of distinct individuals.
What is perhaps most significant about the cited passage, however, is that immediately after identifying these two genres of ideation, Nietzsche shifts to the manner of their representation, concentrating initially on the way they express themselves in language. This constitutes, as it were, the music of speech. From here it is but a short step to the pathos, attention to rhythm and meter, and emotionality of Expressionist literary language. The mimetic object of such speech is not the logos, not the conceptual realm of ideation, but the sub-conceptual, psychological domain of primordial emotions.
Or, put another way, why, and in what sense, is music the origin of tragic art and myth? Only because these allegorical images are born of music itself does their semblance contain a dimension of authenticity: these images, as images, are adequate to the Dionysian element they allegorically represent. Indeed, as Nietzsche explains a few pages later, this allegorical representation itself retains the mimetic capacity inherent in music. Denn der Mythus will als ein einziges Exempel einer ins Unendliche hinein starrenden Allgemeinheit und Wahrheit anschaulich empfunden werden.
Genuinely Dionysian music presents itself to us as just such a universal mirror of the world will; the visual phenomenon refracted in this mirror immediately expands for our emotions into the replica of an eternal truth. It is, in essence, a kind of synaesthetic metamorphosis, a transformation of what is manifest in rhythm, meter, and sound into the Apollinian sphere of the visual. It is difficult to imagine a more emphatic and powerful defense of the ultimate reality of allegorical portrayal.
But what is this symbolization of particular universality if not allegory? Subjectivism is only the proper word here if we identify it with that core level of experience below the sphere of the phenomenal that Nietzsche identifies with the Dionysian; it is, perhaps, subjective, but it is nonetheless, for Nietzsche and the Expressionists, a shared subjectivism. The drive to discover a level of universal truth and reality below the everyday dimensions of the phenomenal world was one of the characteristic traits of the Expressionist artists.
One began to dissolve the surrounding reality into irreality, and to penetrate beyond the realm of appearances to the essence; , Es wird so lange gesucht in seinem eigentlichsten Wesen, bis seine tiefere Form sich ergibt, bis das Haus aufsteht, das befreit ist von dem dumpfen Zwang der falschen Wirklichkeit. It goes beyond this. It is pursued in its most authentic essence until its more profound form comes to the fore, until a house emerges that is freed from the dull constraints of false reality. Decades before Husserl, Nietzsche emerged as the philosopher of what we might call a phenomenological aesthetics, an aesthetic theory that exploited the principle of representational mimesis as a revelatory strategy for the essence of existence.
In the writers of German Expressionism he found these blood relatives, a group of artists with the analytical and retrospective abilities to grasp and apply the metaphysical mimesis he advocated in this first work of modern aesthetic theory. Throughout this essay, translations from the German are my own.
To my way of thinking, this conception underestimates the special enchantment Nietzsche held for the Expressionist writers. See Sweet, The same can be said for the scientific or Socratic worldview. For Benn Nietzsche is the greatest genius of the German language; Frantz Clement calls Nietzsche the first patheticist of modernism Hillebrand, ; Richard Dehmel and Heinrich Mann revere him as a linguistic innovator Hillebrand, , ; and Otto Flake calls him the master of the German language Hillebrand, Bennett, Benjamin. Berry, Wanda Warren. Bloch, Ernst. Bronner, Stephen Eric, and Douglas Kellner.
Passion and Rebellion: The Expressionist Heritage. New York: J. Bergin, De Man, Paul. New Haven: Yale UP, Drost, Mark P. Edschmid, Kasimir. Foster, Jr. Princeton: Princeton UP, Hillebrand, Bruno, ed. Forschungsergebnisse: Nietzsche und die deutsche Literatur. Deutsche Texte Nietzsche und die deutsche Literatur: Texte zur Nietzsche-Rezeption, — Huebner, Friedrich Markus. Kellner, Douglas. Lacoue-Labarthe, Philippe. Martens, Gunter. McGinn, Robert E. Meyer, Theo. Nietzsche und die Kunst.
Nietzsche, Friedrich. In Kritische Studienausgabe, — Kritische Studienausgabe. Giorgio Colli and Mazzino Montinari. Nussbaum, Martha C. Christopher Jenaway, — Pinthus, Kurt. Porter, James I. Rampley, Matthew. Nietzsche, Aesthetics and Modernity. Rethy, Robert. Ritter, Mark. Rolleston, James. Schopenhauer, Arthur. Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung. Wiesbaden: Brockhaus, Sokel, Walter H. Staten, Henry. Sweet, Dennis. Taylor, Seth. Monographien und Texte zur Nietzsche-Forschung, vol. Berlin: De Gruyter, Vietta, Sylvio, and Hans-Georg Kemper.
Munich: Fink, Zweig, Stefan. The question is not only vague and ambiguous, but exceptionally difficult to answer, because we do not have criteria that would provide us with the necessary information to correctly pose the question. Indeed, there exists a general, albeit somewhat tentative, consensus of scholarly opinion that the works of writers published in avant-garde periodicals between and the early s may be termed Expressionist. However, these are purely external and accidental criteria, conveying little about the shared formal, stylistic, and thematic characteristics of these writers.
Nevertheless, they do provide a point of departure for subsequent study. Perhaps the question can be posed in this way: What are the inherent or formal characteristics shared by the many writers whose works appeared in avantgarde periodicals, book series, and anthologies between and or that would entitle us to call them Expressionist? Would a characterization that would allow a comparison to Romanticism or Naturalism be preferable? Despite the fact that in these much longer and betterresearched literary movements terminological ambiguity still persists indeed, over-generalization is intrinsic to any definition of genre , the terms Romanticism and Naturalism are nevertheless based upon far more concise and accepted criteria than the constant vacillation found in the term Expressionism.
In this essay, the question of what criteria would be most suitable to define Expressionism will be addressed, specifically in respect to a single literary genre, namely, narrative prose. SOKEL a poetics of narration that would enable us to devise a coherent theory of Expressionist prose. Among the writers of Expressionism there was little theoretical reflection.
It is therefore much more difficult to assess the theory of Expressionism than that of Romanticism or Naturalism. The wellknown commentaries of Kasimir Edschmid, Paul Kornfeld, and Georg Kaiser, among others, have virtually nothing to say about formal, stylistic, and structural aspects of Expressionist literature.
In the years between and he had already contributed many concrete and important ideas about Expressionist prose, so much so that we may use it as the basis for an Expressionist theory of epic prose. It is impossible to speak of a single coherent theory of narrative prose in Expressionism. In short, we meet with a multiplicity of theoretical points of view, and thus we must investigate further to discover a common denominator shared by the various theories of Expressionist narrative prose.
However, this also aptly illustrates an important difference in their theories of narrative. Psychological motivation, circumstantial determination, and causality cannot be ascribed to the genre of epic, which is based upon description and naturalistic representation. The nouveau roman is mentioned in this connection to underscore the fact that the two most prominent Expressionists start out from entirely different theories of prose.
This tradition also includes Naturalism and Futurism, as well as Kafka and the nouveau roman. Indeed, Naturalism sets out to abolish the intervention of the narrator situated between external reality and the reader. Accordingly, he exhorts the Expressionist to follow in the footsteps of Realist and Naturalist techniques of narration. Edschmid too viewed Expressionism as a further elaboration of Naturalism, but elevated it to a visionary plane.
He is less concerned with literary technique than he is with conveying a specific worldview. This is an essential difference between the two authors. He opposes form to idea, but form is more than a mere technique, it is the idea of form based on Platonic philosophy, an existential concept and part of his worldview. Deeply indebted to Nietzsche, his literary theory is ultimately derived from Romanticism and German Idealism.
Not only his idealism, but also his style and sentence structure are reminiscent of Friedrich Schlegel. In general he traced the prevalent ideas of his generation back to Nietzsche. Einstein wished to revive free, creative spontaneity, and sovereignty of mind playfully exploring the multifarious possibilities of thought. In Einstein the narrator is to be present in his reflections and ideas, mediated by a character who constantly ponders and comments upon the narrative.
Indeed, reflection replaces depiction. Instead of Anschaulichkeit or three-dimensional plasticity , scenic evocation and images, we are given intellectual discourse. The fundamental difference between these two leading tendencies in Expressionist prose is evident in the use of language: specifically, in the construction of sentences.
They both tend towards structural concision, forcefulness, and terseness of expression. This concise use of speech is a unique quality common to the greater part of Expressionist narrative prose and brings us close to a definition of its narrative technique. However, we find evidence of such syntactic terseness and concision expressed in different ways in the two separate groups of Expressionist writers. In the former, syntactic brevity and ellipsis prevail, while in the latter an aphoristic sententiousness predominates. However, this distinction is most tentative and must be examined in the context of narrative perspective and structure.
Subordinate clauses explaining or describing motivation are missing, and syntax is reduced to its most basic elements. This entailed a sparseness of words, the rejection of discursive reasoning, and the avoidance of ornamental figuration. His views on narrative technique are essentially anti-psychological. However, he embraces psychiatry, since, in his view, it restricts itself to the simple notation of events and actions as such. The narrative ideal articulated in this opposition between psychology and psychiatry finds clear expression in the sentence structure and language of the short stories and novels in his Expressionist phase; that ideal requires a paratactic style, in which syntactic subordination very nearly ceases to exist.
The stones blackened; the scissors got hot; he let them drop. Even though the subject of the sentence is mentioned only once, each clause is an independent sentence, joined to the other not by subordination, but rather coordination. If the subject er he were repeated, in place of each semicolon we could place a period and this would not impair the syntactic coherence.
Therefore, it is not the brevity of the sentences, but their paratactic coordination that constitutes this style. The elimination of syntactic subordination defines the very essence of Expressionist style. Only what actually occurs gets stated. The absence of any sort of commentary, of any narrative intervention, presupposes the paratactic principle of Kinostil. It is impossible to make an absolute distinction between naturalistic representation and the perspectives of the figures or persons in a novel, the latter fully developed in the technique of stream of consciousness.
He employs a mixture of the two. In these instances, gesture is utilized as an essential compositional technique. It is employed to symbolize the inner life of the character, which conventionally is done by a narrator. Abstractions, sentiments, and ideas are not always successfully transformed into concrete imagery and visual representation.
This transformation can only occur when dialogue and stream of consciousness usurp the conventional function of narration. However, the generous use of similes in the narrative serves to make the narrative point of view more subjective. To be sure, Heym never employs rhetorical commentary. SOKEL intends to influence the reader, as for example in this novella. Leonhard Frank — makes more extreme and direct use of rhetorical figures in his prose works. Moreover, the interjection of opinions into the narrative invokes generalizations surpassing the limits of the text.
The narrator seeks to persuade the reader by a particular choice of words. Thus the narrative depicts a worldview and seeks to demonstrate a truth that the author wants to propagate. We shall refer to this technique, employed by many important prose writers in Expressionism, as parabolic narrative. The distinction between parables told in the first and in the third person is of little relevance here.
Reason and Its Other
The paratactic style is also indebted to the bible. Sentences often begin with Und, a common feature of exemplary prose, and the succession of events and statements suggests a life of wandering on earth, expressing edifying views of the holy figure from the point of view of a devout and loving disciple. Borrowing from Schopenhauer and materialism, Ehrenstein seeks to demonstrate the senselessness and absurdity of existence. It is above all Mynona — who made the most extensive use of the parabolic form. Like Leonhard Frank, Mynona addresses topics beyond the story, and the interjections of the narrator determine the meaning of the tale.
The narrator himself is marked through the use of grotesque irony. His madness is shown from a critical and sovereign point of view. It is a negativity that leads to the spiritual essence of being. His sketches are ironic-grotesque parables, illustrations of nonsense, beyond which lies a deeper spiritual meaning. Here the reemergence of authorial intention is deemed necessary. As is the case in the works of Jean Paul, E. Hoffmann, Raabe, and later Musil, authorial intentionality prevails.
SOKEL narrator absolute status, denies him absolute reality.
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They all reject the narrative technique of representation, that is, of Bauen as a goal in itself. As for Mynona, parable is effective in two ways, namely, through philosophical dialogue, and grotesque fantasy. These two components characterize the dialogue as well as the circumstances, situations, and figures in the novel.
The dialogue contains opinions and points of view that constitute the content of the novel. The narrative is not objective; it is subjective, intellectual and amorphous, a merely thematic aspect of the narrative structure. Ideas appear and find formulation in the text.
In Bebuquin, character development is secondary to the ideas, which are what interested Einstein. These cogitations are formulated as aphorisms and accompanied by astonishing, absurd, and fantastic events. One example taken from Bebuquin illustrates the interweaving of these aspects in this first Expressionist novel:. Es handelte sich um den Gedanken, der logisch war, woher auch seine Ursachen kamen.
Wir sind nicht mehr so phantasielos, das Dasein eines Gottes zu behaupten. Bebuquin, sehen Sie einmal. He felt in this contradiction no animation, but rather release, repose. It was not negation that was fun. He despised these pretentious grumblers. He despised this uncleanliness of dramatic man. Yet the reasons were secondary.
It was the thought that mattered, which was logical, whatever its origins. He wanted to take it a little easy after his death, since he did not yet know anything for sure about immortality. But unfortunately you will probably have no success since you assume only a logical and a non-logical. There are many types of logic, my friend, at war within us and the alogical derives from that battle. We are no longer so lacking in imagination as to claim the existence of a God. All shameless capitulation to the concept of unity speaks only to the laziness of your fellow humans.
Bebuquin, take a look. However, he does not provide guidance or an interpretation, as is often the case in Mynona. That clearly represents an instance of allegorical and parabolic language. SOKEL epigrams. The self-reflections of the main character — in part or totally identified with the narrator — spontaneously transform external events into intellectual or cognitive experience and transmute every action of the plot into stream of consciousness. This narrative technique is employed by Gustav Sack in Ein verbummelter Student An Idle Student, written —13, published , by Gottfried Benn in his collection of stories Gehirne Brains, , and by Flake in Stadt des Hirns City of the Brain; in Flake the title itself clearly expresses this intellectualization of narrative.
We now turn to the use of allegory in Expressionist narrative prose, which is closely associated with the use of fantasy. In this skull things appear silver-plated and wonderfully polished an image obviously symbolizing the intellect. The especially fantastic nature of the image provides a vehicle to convey ideas. With writers who employ allegory, such as Kubin, Meyrink, and Kafka, two fundamental tendencies of epic or prose Expressionism come together: namely, naturalistic, scenic, concrete representation and intellectual parables.
In Kafka, however, the central idea, as expressed through images or material objects, ultimately remains unknown, and his allegories therefore permit an infinite number of interpretations. In Einstein, Meyrink, and Kubin, the meaning of the allegory is more accessible. With allegorical clarity, these linked ideas appear as the visionary content of the narrated sequence of events.
The meaning of the bureaucracies appearing in these works is so multivalent that it remains inseparable from the representation in the work and remains irreducible to any simple equation with specific ideas. Linguistically speaking, we cannot define any of the Austrian writers using allegory, whether they are from Prague or from Vienna, as Expressionists. The general stylistic features of Expressionist prose parataxis, ellipsis, syntactic distortion do not apply to the narrative styles of Kafka, Meyrink, Kubin, or Musil.
Here, syntactic complexity and subordination still remain the rule. Therefore, those authors cannot be included among the Expressionists. While the aforementioned features cannot be applied to that group of authors, the Expressionist use of narrative perspective, form, and structure certainly can. We have already drawn attention to stylistic parallels and relations between Musil and Einstein. Kafka plays a special role in the development of narrative technique in Expressionism, evident in the way he intensifies the ambiguity of the parabolic-allegorical forms of narration, widely used by Expressionists.
In regard to narrative perspective, Kafka develops to an extreme the exclusion of the omniscient narrator. These prose works, among the most interesting and finest narrative works produced by Expressionism, all convey a distorted view of the world narrated from the very personal viewpoint of the main character, who in three of these works is insane. The petty bourgeois is revealed as a fantastically macabre and grotesque menace. Mann maintained the same grotesque intensity of narrator perspective through large sections of the book. Nonetheless, there exists between Kafka and the other Expressionists an essential distinction in regard to the use of figural perspective.
The internal point of view, the point of orientation for narrated events, is entirely coherent in Kafka, untouched by any reference to an external reality. However, from a linguistic point of view, we cannot consider him a true Expressionist. This example shows us that we must proceed with nuanced care when seeking to define Expressionist prose. After this discussion of narrative perspectivism, let us now again turn to linguistic features of Expressionism in order to reiterate that the two fundamental features of its prose were the pursuit of the utmost compression of language and syntactic distortion.
We observe that aphorisms predominate whenever naturalistic representation yields to the expression of ideas. Aphorisms deal with generalizations and as such refer to ideas beyond the text, to a region shared by reader and narrator. Events and characters assume secondary importance; the identical relationship of the narrated events to reality external to the narrative is of primary importance. Aphorisms disturb the autonomy of the fictional world represented in the narrative.
Aphorism is linked to irony. The irony of Einstein and Mynona rests upon the keen awareness of the abyss that separates the world of ideas from empirical reality. In the works of Alfred Lichtenstein — , which depict the milieu of the Berlin artistic community, ironic anecdotes, composed of aphorisms, are the most prominent feature of the narrative. In order to live decently, one has to be a scoundrel; Aphorisms convey a philosophy or a truth about life in concise wording of universal applicability.
The escalation of the aphorism from a sentence into a scene, anecdote, or even story by necessity leads to parable. Two flies are drowned in an inkpot, and in this grotesque and trivial event the narrator finds an illustration of the tragic meaninglessness of existence. The distinction between the parables of Lichtenstein and Ehrenstein and those of Mynona is that the latter, despite his use of irony and relativity, permits the Platonic idea to shine through, as the eternal possibility of intellectual freedom.
In contrast, the former two writers demonstrate the absurdity of life by grotesquely combining the trite and ridiculous with sorrow and tragedy. However, in Kafka, the incomprehensible defeats all attempts at interpretation. SOKEL employed parables. The sentence structure and linguistic aberrations transform his stories into ironic, or rather, burlesque parables. This widespread tendency toward ellipsis in Expressionist prose has however also an entirely different cause that the admirer of Sternheim, Gottfried Benn, formulates as follows:.
However, beneath those differences lies a deeper affinity uniting these authors in their shared antipathy toward psychology, namely, the rejection of causality as a sufficient explanation of human behavior and of the world. In both of these currents of Expressionism, the writers are bent on eliminating the opposition between the self and external reality, between subject and object, between inside and outside. In a formal and linguistic respect, inner monologue achieves the elimination of the subject-object opposition.
In these writers, the distinction between inner and external reality ceases to exist. Everything flows together. A narrative structure of shifting perspectives and absence of narrative orientation makes the reader feel everywhere and nowhere at all. Moreover, such a narrative technique is the ultimate triumph of literary Naturalism; for the narrator by relinquishing the role of reporter allows the characters an unmediated expression of fictional reality.
Annulling the distinction between dialogue and narrative achieves complete autonomy of the text. This form of inner monologue is more radical than anything encountered in Naturalism. It deconstructs syntax by means of radical ellipsis and destroys the mimetic representation of reality. It undermines the coherent narrative logic presupposed in Naturalism, that is, causality, argument, and order. Developing out of Naturalism, the narrative technique of inner monologue became a normative form and visionary experience in Expressionism, composed of musical leitmotifs. Instead of sentences expressing a logically coherent world, Broch utilizes sequences of associative appositions.
That omission of predicates and the liquefying of sentences into a stream of language suggests a reaching out toward infinity. The essays in that volume all followed the same format, with no notes and no page numbers for citations. The current translation now provides page numbers to the most recent available editions, rather than to the edition available when the article was first published.
Additional notes are thus from the editor, not the author, as are all English translations. Works Cited Beissner, Friedrich. Stuttgart: W. Kohlhammer, Walter Muschg. Olten and Freiburg im Breisgau: Walter-Verlag, Olten and Freiburg im Breisgau: Walter, Leipzig: Kurt Wolff, ; Stuttgart: Reclam, Ehrenstein, Albert. Fritz Martini, 72— Werke: Band 1, — Rolf-Peter Baacke, with assistance from Jens Kwasny. Frank, Leonhard.
Der Mensch ist gut. Potsdam: Kiepenheuer, ; repr. Heym, Georg. Prosa und Dramen. Karl Ludwig Schneider. Hamburg und Munich: Heinrich Ellermann, Hollier, Denis. A New History of French Literature. Kafka, Franz. Hochzeitsvorbereitungen auf dem Lande und andere Prosa aus dem Nachlass. Max Brod. New York: Schocken Books, Lichtenstein, Alfred. Gesammelte Prosa. Klaus Kanzog. Zurich: Arche, Mierendorff, Carlo. Otto Best, — Mynona Salomo Friedlaender. Prince, Gerald. Sack, Gustav. Prosa, Briefe, Verse. Sternheim, Carl.
Wilhelm Emrich and Manfred Linke. Darmstadt and Neuwied: Luchterhand, Walser, Martin. Beschreibung einer Form. Munich: C. Hanser, Tiere in Ketten. Berlin: Fischer, ; Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, Wendler, Wolfgang.
Carl Sternheim: Weltvorstellung und Kunstprinzipien. Zeller, Bernhard. Mai bis Oktober The drama of Expressionism with its incantations and bombast also seems uncongenial to audiences in the twenty-first century. Yet the lyric poetry and short prose of Expressionism retains a capacity to shock, to unnerve, and to shatter habitual modes of perception: the Expressionist period abounds in short works of intense narrative experimentation, some successful, some less so, but which all put on display the energy and ambitions of the day to reform the genre.
Such texts exhibit, despite the time that has now elapsed since their composition, remarkable virtuosity and freshness. Indeed, the formal and linguistic experimentation by the authors I shall discuss in this chapter makes their work not only challenging but also of enormous literary-historical significance. As a literary movement Expressionism is conventionally dated between and It is characterized as sharing with other movements around the turn of the century, variously categorized as neo-Romanticism, Symbolism, Impressionism or Jugendstil, a rejection of scientific positivism and its artistic counterpart of Naturalism in literature and painting.
Expressionism proper seeks to take that opposition to Naturalism to a new formal extreme, insisting that its aim is not a naturalistic depiction of the external world, nor even an impressionistic capturing of the shifting patterns of light on the surface of that reality, but an intuitive grasp of essence. The theoretical underpinning of Expressionist writing suggests an eclectic appropriation of ideas current in art history and philosophy.
Its precondition is a confident relationship between man and nature, which produces an art of immanence. But Worringer considers that much of the history of art falls outside this canon, and he postulates a diametrically opposed tendency, namely an urge to abstraction, which in turn produces an art of transcendence. This art springs from a spiritual unrest, a disturbed relationship with nature, which is manifest, in different ways, in primitive man, in Egyptian art, in Gothic art, but also characterizes modern civilization and its discontents.
But in bringing together primitivism, transcendence, and abstraction, Worringer lays the foundation for much of the thinking about both art and literature in the Expressionist period. His reflections on art supply the Expressionists with a rationale for formal distortion and linguistic dislocation. Developments in philosophy around and immediately after the turn of the century offer interesting parallels to Expressionist theory.
In one or two incidences one may speak of influence, but the process of reception is usually far less precise. Heinrich Rickert, a Neo-Kantian philosopher of the Baden school, published in a work entitled Die Grenzen der naturwissenschaftlichen Begriffsbildung The Limits of Conceptualization in the Natural Sciences, , a landmark in the rejection of scientific positivism. As Jost Hermand has pointed out, the impact of this work was felt far beyond the realm of philosophy in art history and literary criticism 1—6.
While the natural scientist seeks to distill universally applicable laws from this Mannigfaltigkeit or multifariousness , the historian seeks to arrive at historical concepts that, though not obtained by the same process as scientific concepts, have equal status with them. The aim of the artist is now to provide knowledge of the world by a process of conceptualization that runs counter to scientific positivism; artistic and cultural value lie not in a mimetic reproduction of the empirical world but in a process by which the particularity of an object may be distilled.
The outbreak of the First World War shattered the bourgeois complacency of Wilhelminian society, and both the disastrous course of the war and the Bolshevik revolution further polarized political opinion. What is striking is the fact that writers on both sides of this political spectrum, the anarchists and the communists, asserted the revolutionary nature of their artistic enterprise, arguing that the new modes of perception, the new ways of seeing, represented a radical break with what was deemed bourgeois conventionality.
Influenced by the physicist Ernst Mach and the art historian Conrad Fiedler, as well as by contemporary writers like Paul Scheerbart, Einstein produced a novel that eschewed psychological verisimilitude in the interest of constituting a metaphysical, quasi-religious reality. Art is concerned not with the depiction of objects but with the structuring of a way of seeing.
The totality that thus comes into being is transcendent. If one ignores questions about the existence of the object and disregards everything contingent, one arrives at the essence das Wesentliche , a recurrent term in the theoretical writings of the Expressionists. In a society in which objects appear alienated, cut off from human purposes, phenomenological reduction appeared, particularly, one suspects, to non-philosophers, to offer a new opportunity to repair the subject-object dichotomy, and, by bridging the gap between man and things in themselves, to heal the sense of alienation that afflicts modern man.
Carl Einstein, as a theorist of modern art, supplies much of the terminology found in the theoretical statements of the Expressionist generation. Reacting to the overweening claims of scientific positivism in the late nineteenth century, the art theory of the early twentieth century offers an antidote to overly civilized and overly cerebral society, celebrating instead both the primitive and the medieval.
Both were convinced that formal distortion reflected a new way of seeing, a revolutionary act of perception, though Sternheim, as an opponent of the war, was increasingly keen to assert analogies between his literary strategy and that of the French Realist tradition. It was only around , after his conversion to the belief that all literature was broadly political in nature, that he sought to present all his prose works, even those written earlier, as depicting underlying social realities. From onwards Sternheim began to justify his own literary production as realism, as the distillation of prevailing values, as a chronicle of contemporary attitudes and assumptions.
Before an ambivalence characterizes his stories, positive and negative elements are fused, and his heroes seem capable of fulfilling themselves within society. After , his stories become more overtly critical and his heroes seem capable of realizing their individuality only outside a corrosive European mentality. After the stories reveal his overt intention of diagnosing what Sternheim sees as contemporary evils, of exploring collisions between radical individualism and social conformism.
Sternheim, who is better known as dramatist for his prewar comedies such as Die Hose The Bloomers, , turned to prose for two reasons: his move to Belgium in made it more difficult for him to remain in touch with theatrical circles in Berlin, and once war was declared, his drama was effectively banned from the German stage. Busekow begun in November and completed in January presents an eponymous hero with no conventionally heroic qualities.
Puny, myopic, and pusillanimous, Busekow enters police service because he is prevented from fulfilling his royalist enthusiasm in the army. As his colleagues condescendingly observe, he is a born policeman. His life of service to the Prussian state compensates him for a childless, loveless marriage. Then, through his encounter with the prostitute Gesine, he gains a sense of his own human worth. His duties as a traffic policeman, through which his ambition, then his fulfillment, are signaled, are instrumental in his death. With his unmistakably Prussian name, he is on the lowest rung of the ladder that constitutes the authoritarian state.
He is a typical underling, sublimating his personal inadequacy in royal devotion.
Dialect in Regional German Detective Novels
The heroic manliness of the ages streamed forth from him; , Sternheim, as he does with his prewar comedies, depicts the least heroic of individuals and seems to invite the reader to adopt a comfortably superior position and to view Busekow as a caricature of servility. The subtlety of Busekow seems to derive from its intriguing combination of critical and affirmative elements of social commentary. In a second of his stories, Napoleon, written early in , Sternheim picks on another unlikely candidate for heroic stature.
Born in, of all places, Waterloo, in , Napoleon starts out as a cook and then becomes a waiter in Paris. His life is divided into four phases, each marked by a changed attitude to food. In his early days in Paris he is obsessed with nutritional value, scorning both the undernourished and the obese customer, and he becomes interested in the opposite sex only when he chances upon a mother breast-feeding. He is attracted to Susanne only because of her powerful build. Political developments then intervene: during the Paris Commune Valentine is shot and Napoleon imprisoned.
On his release he reverts to a materialist theory of calorific value, despising the nouveau riche and hankering after the departed aristocracy. He becomes sardonic, embittered, and cynical, and eventually runs away from Paris, renounces acquisitive materialism and returns to his Belgian roots.
Now, as a waiter, he regains self-respect and is appreciated by his customers. He comes to accept the world as it, repudiating ambition and the desire to influence others. His death, which closes this period of contentment, completes the cycle of his life. But in the event, he lives up to his name, scaling the culinary heights of Paris and even outdoing his illustrious namesake by taking Russia by storm. Sternheim uses his hero to register the changing values of Europe after and to explore alternative attitudes to life, alternative ways of seeing the world.
Napoleon oscillates between a desire to influence his public both positively and negatively and a kind of aesthetic detachment, an acceptance of the world as it is. These extremes embody the two artistic possibilities between which Sternheim himself fluctuates. Meta is a figure whose mundane life is consecrated to domestic service. Hard-working, deferential, and unassuming, she develops into a passionate woman, her imagination fired by the popular romances that constitute her staple reading.
She is transformed into a powerful figure who exploits her position in the household to seduce her employer, embroil her mistress in an adulterous affair, and dominate the family through blackmail. This phase ends abruptly when Meta is confronted and dismissed. Oneness with the natural world, a kind of secularized unio mystica, is conveyed in the language of a German mystical tradition, but Sternheim, who affirms its intuitive grasp of ultimate truths, would undoubtedly have dissociated himself from its otherworldliness.
In Ulrike Sternheim creates a character who is the epitome of Prussian values. Ulrike is brought up to accept the Lutheranism, patriotism and stern sense of duty conventionally associated with Prussia. She becomes aware that her own Prussian values are responsible for the carnage she witnesses.
Her response is a flight into exoticism: in the company of Posinsky, a Jewish painter, who enthuses about African art, she begins to regress into a primitive idyll of uninhibited sexuality, culminating in her death in childbirth. There is more than circumstantial evidence that Sternheim was embroidering material here about the relationship between Countess Aga von Hagen, the embodiment for him of Prussian values, and Carl Einstein, author of Negerplastik, who was working for the German military government in Belgium.
You only need sand, potatoes, and Luther to capture the essence; , But the story is more complex than simply a depiction of individual fulfillment. Sternheim is, as in the other stories examined above, concerned to present the embodiment of a set of values, in this case Prussian values which Sternheim, among others, came to regard as responsible for the war , and then to supply a massive dose of primitivism as an antidote. In affronting the sensibilities of his readers, Sternheim challenges their social and political values, and he cannot have been surprised that his story was banned.
But the other pole is a phenomenological acceptance of the world as it is, epitomized for him in the painter van Gogh. The debate between these respective positions is explored at length in his Gauguin und van Gogh Stylistic virtuosity is not an end, but a means to an end; that end is maximum expressive force. He wants to shock readers out of their habitual expectations.
A comparison of his earlier and later versions of the stories is revealing. Definite and indefinite articles are excised, again removing distinctions between the general and the particular. His narrator simply chronicles events that are essential to the character depicted, eschewing psychological differentiation, to produce a single definitive statement, once and for all. His prose, in subsequent editions, becomes more intensely concentrated, more dislocated, more absolute. That it also becomes less accessible and less readable is an inevitable consequence.
Sternheim credits Benn with the sage advice of stripping out adjectives from his prose. Benn always regarded his experience as an army medical officer in Belgium during the war as the most stimulating and productive phase of his career, retaining an affection for Brussels that lasted throughout what became a long life see Grimm.
The Brussels colony could hear the sound of the gunfire at the front, but they lived an almost timeless civilian existence. The first story, which gave its name to the volume, supplies the narrative impetus for the whole collection. In film, space is to a certain extent immediately present, though in a different way than in texts: while mental projections of space produced for the reader need constant actualization, space in film must also be modelled so as to correspond to patterns of perception.
The camera also displaces the speaker from the picture and intensifies the impression of two-dimensionality as a result. In the visualization of the interaction between characters, two-dimensional silhouette images are alternated with three-dimensional spaces of action. These are, for their part, geometrically organized by a network of horizontal and vertical lines, along which the camera continues to move. The conscious representation of two-dimensionality and the reference to two- dimensional systems of representation have systematic origins in the cinematic adaptation of literature.
The reference to texts requires the transformation of narrated spaces into evocative images. The white fade-in picks up on a development in painting on canvas that Kandinsky ushered into a self-reflective phase by making demands on the presentation of the white surface in painting Kandinsky — , while Aleksandr Rodtschenko referred to the square on the pure white surface as the most essential form of painting see Spielmann ff.
On the other hand, the white fade-in performs a media- specific transformation that makes the viewer conscious of the difference between the media of film and literature. In the medium of film, the constant change between fade-in, image, and voice-over reconstructs the act of reading with its combination of spoken sign, mental image, and its visualization.
Moreover, in Berlin Alexanderplatz this process is symbolically condensed. The withdrawal from the simulation of perspective is remarkable because film originally started with the opposite intention. Faust, Lighting, a clear differentiation between black and white, and cinematic architecture all support a continuing dramatization of spatial depth. It is also supported by a moving camera, a characteristic of German filmmakers.
Yet the concentration on structured space, which has been adopted by commercial Hollywood cinema in particular, decreases over time. Planimetrical cinematic techniques reestablish themselves in spite of these developments influenced by the transition to colour film with its more limited scope for depth of focus and reinforced by the transition from wide-angle lenses to telephoto lenses with greater focal length, which initially supported dramatizing effects.
Planimetrical techniques of filming hold the cinematic image to be the result of layers parallel to the picture and no longer as depth of space with diagonal vanishing lines. Vivre sa vie, are examples of this cf. Bordwell 25— At the same time, however, modernist cinema, which emerged in the s, works against the illusionism of classic Hollywood cinema through its narrative experiment with open endings and characters or plots with double meaning. It also demonstrates the artificiality and constructed character of the images by plani- metrical image designs.
Bordwell He relates them to photography, cartography, and illustrated charts of the natural sciences, and he makes the viewer aware of the historicism of picture techniques in the process. He consciously creates visual clusters, while other directors try to implement one of the historically developed principles of constructing space. Greenaway is convinced that the art of film has just reached the stage of cubism and, for the most part, does not take into account the possibilities inherent in its multitude of perspectives.
Symmetrical image construction, tableaus, a static camera, or, in terms of painting, frame, central perspective, and image symmetry, all create a centripetal arrangement of the image area that is comparable to a painting on canvas but contrasts with the centrifugal tendency of cinematic images. This arrangement is reminiscent of the organization of perspective during the Renaissance with such visual structuring aids as grids or views through doors and windows Spielmann; cf.
His construction of the image unites viewfinder and lens on one axis, and the clip is organized according to a central perspective with the help of the framed picture plane. The image as a whole is broken up into a setting of boxed images that are presented through various masks, from the simple circular form of an iris shot to complex collages of various picture forms and formats. This strategy replaces the sequential presentation of images commonly used in film.
All this shows the unfolding of a special effect in film that relates the fabric of space and of time to one another. In contrast to the use of fading, typical of film, framing, the breaking up of the image into several image boxes, fixes moments and in doing so changes the three-dimensional space of the action into a more or less documentary image-space similar to a photograph.
This fixation breaks through the imaginary production of illusion, and the connection between the static images and the voice-over underlines this analytical character. If one observes this change in the medium of film towards a self-reflexivity that seems to be reserved for experimental film, then the question arises whether, in the age of media, there is not a new, but only differently defined, separation taking place between reflexivity and suggestiveness, and between profound and trivial forms of representation. While the schematization of perception in video games draws its suggestive power more and more from the octagonal simulation of three-dimensionality, replacing the picture of the original with the digital image, reflected art aims on the one hand to make the viewer aware of these processes of transformation and, on the other hand, opens a depth of space of imagination that needs no digital simulation.
It does this by alternating a three-dimensional perspective with planimetrical images, sometimes even by insisting on the planimetrical picture. Works Cited Alpers, Svetlana. Kunst als Beschreibung. Cologne: DuMont, Artaud, Nicolas-Louis. Paris: Rignous, Barck, Karlheinz, et al. Leipzig: Reclam, Baudelaire, Charles. Claude Pichois. Paris: Gallimard, Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, Paris, Presses Universitaires de France, Munich: Hanser, Bordwell, David. Clausberg, Karl. Crary, Jonathan.
Techniques of the Observer. On Vision and Modernity in the Nineteenth Century. Cambridge: MIT, Eisenstein, Sergej. Das dynamische Quadrat. Schriften zum Film. Leipzig: Reclam, , — Ender, Gunnar. Mit Roomancer auf Tour im Rechner. Fechner, Gustav Theodor. Elemente der Psychophysik. Die Ordnung der Dinge. Gibson, James J. Gombrich, Ernst H. Bild und Auge. Neue Studien zur Psychologie der bildlichen Darstellung. Lisbeth Gombrich. Stuttgart: Klett-Cotta, Kunst und Illusion. Zur Psychologie der bildlichen Darstellung.
Stuttgart: Belser, Medien-Zeit, Medien-Raum. Zum Wandel der raumzeitlichen Wahrnehmung in der Moderne. Vienna: Passagen, Hegel, G. Eva Moldenhauer and Karl Markus Michael. Helmholtz, Hermann von. Handbuch der physiologischen Optik. Leipzig: Voss, Sabine S. Cuxhaven: Junghans, Braunschweig: Vieweg, Die Tatsachen in der Wahrnehmung. Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buch- gesellschaft, Henry, Michel. Philosophy and Phenomenology of the Body. Girard Etzkorn, The Hague: Nijhoff, Hoffmann, Christoph.
Munich: Fink, Raum und Verfahren: Interventionen. Humboldt, Alexander v. Entwurf einer physischen Erdbeschreibung. Stuttgart: Cotta, — Joubert, Joseph. Paul de Raynal. Paris: Didier, Kafka, Franz. Gesammelte Werke. Max Brod. Der Verschollene. Jost Schillemeit. Kritische Ausgabe. Kandinsky, Wassilij. Beitrag zur Analyse der malerischen Elemente. Introduction by Max Bill. Kesser, Caroline. Eine Wirkungs- und Rezeptionsgeschichte. Berlin: Reimer, Kittler, Friedrich A.
Lambert, Johann Heinrich. Schriften zur Perspektive. Leonardo da Vinci. Marianne Schneider. Munich: Schirmer-Mosel, Mach, Ernst. Jena: Fischer, Erkenntnis und Irrtum: Skizzen zur Psychologie der Forschung. Leipzig: Barth, Maturana, Humberto R. Autopoiesis and Cognition: The Realization of the Living. Dordrecht: Reidel, Boston: Random House, Matzker, Reiner. Wahrnehmungs- und erkenntnistheoretische Aspekte der Medientheorie und Filmgeschichte.
Die Gutenberg-Galaxis. Das Ende des Buchzeitalters. Bonn: Addisonwesley, Understanding Media. Handbuch der Physiologie des Menschen. Koblenz: J. Zur vergleichenden Physiologie des Gesichtssinnes. Leipzig: C. Cnobloch, Gedanken zur 3D-Kartographie, Didaktik und Plato. Musil, Robert. Reinbek: Rowohlt, Der Mann ohne Eigenschaften. Reinbek: Rowohlt. Naumann, Barbara, ed. Vom Doppelleben der Bilder: Bildmedien und ihre Texte. Paech, Joachim, ed. Stuttgart: Metzler, Panofsky, Erwin.
Perspective as Symbolic Form. New York: Zone Books, Oxford: Oxford UP, Proust, Marcel. A la recherche du temps perdu. Contre Sainte-Beuve. Rennert, Helmut. Rodtschenko, Alexandre. Rost, Andreas, and David Bordwell, eds. Zeit, Schnitt, Raum. Digitaler Schein. Schlegel, Friedrich. Ernst Behler, et al. Philosophische Vorlesungen [—]. Jean-Jacques Anstett. Schopenhauer, Arthur. Paul Deussen. Munich: Pieper, Spielmann, Yvonne. Warning, Rainer. Chateaubriand — Flaubert — Proust. Aufbruch zur Moderne.
Karl Maurer, Winfried Wehle. Winkler, Hartmut. Der Film und die digitalen Bilder. Wolf, Hertha. Michael Wetzel, Hertha Wolf. Rutschky 79 Das Schisma des Jahrhunderts zwischen literaler und visueller Kultur ist in erster Linie eine Frage der Theoriepolitik. Denn ob platonisches Bilderdenken, alt- testamentarisches Bilderverbot, theologisch-politischer Bilderstreit oder ut-pictura- poiesis-Poetik: jede Kultur zu jeder Zeit war auch immer eine visuelle Kultur. In Diskussionen des Jahrhunderts, die das Visuelle als paradigmatische Entdeckung feiert, positiv wie negativ notwendig naiv.
Sie feiert oder verdammt nicht das Sichtbare generell, sondern das technische Bild: die Fotographie, das Kino, das Fernsehen oder das digitale Bild, und weiter auch nicht die Geschichte des technischen Bildes, sondern die Aufhebung der Geschichte im Bildlichen. Der Text muss unsichtbar sein. Waren Texte zuvor langsamer und weniger effektiv? Nietzsche beschwert sich schon im Damit ist alles und nichts gesagt. Denn jede Theorie, die von dieser Differenz ausgehend organisiert ist, steht vor der Entscheidung, ob sie mit dieser Differenz beobachtet, oder ob sie die Differenz selbst beobachtet.
Graf Lessing Was sie jedoch nach der geistigen Seite hin gewinnt, verliert sie ebenso wieder nach der sinnlichen. Das ist kein Zufall. An ihre Stelle tritt das Symbol als Gedankenfigur. Im Symbol wird das Sichtbare eine Idee, die die Differenz zwischen Sichtbarem und seiner Beschreibung aufhebt, in der Allegorie war sie eine Beschreibung, die ihre Distanz zum Beschriebenen aufrechterhielt. In der Literatur des Dabei verschwindet das technische Bild aus der Literatur. Die Literatur wird Bildung. Wie auch die bildende Kunst Bildung wird. Die neuen technischen Sensationen der Panoramen dominieren Ende des Jahrhunderts und die Entdeckung der Fotographie im Jahrhundert die Bildpolitik.
Die Philologie des Jahrhunderts schreibt im Namen des Symbols Literaturgeschichten, Literaturkritik und Literaturinterpretation. Literaturtheorie: Im I wird erst wieder mit Paul de Mans literarischer deconstruction positiv an Bedeutung gewinnen. Das literarische Wort wird auf seine gesellschaftliche Funktion hin befragt, als Wort aber bleibt es konkurrenzlos unbefragt. Aber auch hier ist Theoretisierung von Text und Bild in Bezug auf die Literatur in gewissem Sinne naiv, wenn sie nun die semiotischen Vorzeichen einfach umkehrt, um dem Bild die Reverenz zu erweisen.
Eicher 12— Aber weder die Literatur noch ihre Theorie hat die Bilder angefasst. Der aufgehende Mond im Kinderlied, die aufgehende Blume im Liebeslied machen noch keinen lyrischen Text aus. Es geht um die Notwendigkeit des Missverstehens von Sprachbildern, seien sie alte Stereotypen oder neu gepresste. Denn ob frisch oder versiegelt, neu oder alt, im Sprachbild lauert die Tradition des Textes. In diesem Sinne benutzt es alte Bilder neu. Das Gedicht steht in der Tradition selbst-reflexiver poetischer Schreibweisen.
Auf die Geborgenheit traditioneller Literatur- und Kunstinterpretation kann man sich im positiven wie negativen Sinne verlassen zur akademischen Brinkmann-Rezeption vgl. Gross 17— Auf dem hier gezeigten Bild Abb. Was man sieht und was man liest sind zwei Bilder. Aufzug, 4. Aber welche Lesart auch immer: Abb. Foto und Gedicht als ein Text. Auch das geht noch im Fahrwasser der Textexegese.
Der Text unterstellt sich noch, den Sinn anzuleiten, die Interpretation zu lenken. Das ist alles so richtig wie es nicht falsch ist. Warum Godzilla Abb. Aber all das ist schon wieder die Tradition der Texte. Das eigentliche Problem verschiebt sich immer weiter. Denn welche Passagen des Textes beziehen sich auf die Bilder? Als Leser von Texten, die das Bild umgehen, ist man ungeeignet, den Bildern ein Bedeutungsmonopol zuzugestehen. Oder dass hier Sprachkritik als Wirklichkeitskritik vorliegt vgl. Urbe 70— Godzilla und Kadmos. Ich brauche die Bilder nicht, um das zu lesen.
Warum etwas ist wie es ist? Fensterscheiben in Autos, die den Fahrer nicht erkennen lassen. Ein Mann und ein Junge, die auf die Betrachter zukommen und durch sie hindurch sehen, weil sie sie nicht sehen. Viel Glas, viel hindurchzusehen, aber alles matt.
Aufschriften liest man nicht, man sieht sie, nebenbei. Was sie zeigen, ist allenfalls die Zeigbarkeit. Die Kunstwissenschaft hat ihren Bilderkanon, wie die Filmwissenschaft mit dem ihren begonnen hat. Die Philologie blickt noch in die Ferne. Die Philologie, die heute nicht fernsieht, wird an der neueren Literatur vorbeischreiben. Ob das gut ist, oder schlecht, steht hier nicht zur Debatte.
Der sichtbare Mensch oder die Kultur des Films. Baumgarten, Alexander Gottlieb. Hans R. Hamburg: Meiner, Benjamin, Walter. Gesammelte Schriften. Bickenbach, Matthias. Boehm, Gottfried, Hrsg. Was ist ein Bild? Boehm, Gottfired, und Helmut Pfotenhauer, Hrsg. Ekphrasis von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart. Bohn, Volker, Hrsg. Brinkmann, Rolf Dieter. Brinkmann, Der Film in Worten 95— Neue amerikanische Szene. Reinbek bei Hamburg: Rowohlt, Der Film in Worten. Brinkmann, Standphotos — Gedichte — Brinkmann, Standphotos 91— Brinkmann, Der Film in Worten — Dirscherl, Klaus, Hrsg.
Bild und Text im Dialog. Passau: Wissenschaftsverlag Rothe, Eicher, Thomas. Eicher, Thomas, und Ulf Bleckmann, Hrsg. Bielefeld: Aisthesis, Evans, Jessica, und Stuart Hall. Visual Culture: The Reader. London: Sage Graf, Fritz. Gross, Thomas. Grzimek, Martin. Harms, Wolfgang, Hrsg.
Text und Bild, Bild und Text. DFG Symposion Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich. Eva Moldenaur und Karl Markus Michel. Hoesterey, Ingeborg, und Ulrich Weisstein, Hrsg. Columbia: Camden House, Kant, Immanuel. Kritik der Urteilskraft. Kravagna, Christian, Hrsg. Privileg Blick. Kritik der visuellen Kultur. Berlin: ID-Archiv, Karl Basler. Berlin: Aufbau-Verlag, Zweisprachige Ausgabe. Melville, Stephan, und Bill Readings. Durham: Duke UP, Miller, J. Cambridge: Harvard UP, Mirzoeff, Nicholas. Nicholas Mirzoeff. London: Routledge, Mitchell, William T.
Neuber, Wolfgang. Entwurf zu einer mnemonischen Emblematiktheorie. Nietzsche, Friedrich. Giorgo Colli und Mazzino Montinari. Postman, Neil. Urteilsbildung im Zeitalter der Unterhaltungsindustrie. Rutschky, Michael. Sanders, Barry. Der Verlust der Sprachkultur. Selg, Olaf. Aachen: Shaker-Verlag, Rolf Dieter Brinkmann.
Stafford, Barbara Maria. Kunstvolle Wissenschaft. Amsterdam: Verlag der Kunst, Striedter, Jurij, Hrsg. Russischer Formalismus. Texte zur allgemeinen Literaturtheorie und Theorie der Prosa. Tynjanov, Jurij. Ueding, Gert. Urbe, Burglind. Wagner, Peter, Hrsg. Essays on Ekphrasis and Intermediality. Berlin: de Gruyter, Wellbery, David E. Winckelmann, Johann Joachim. Stuttgart: Reclam, Liebe Dein Symptom wie Dich selbst! Berlin: Merve, This has been the question at the centre of most international debates on documentary since the s.
The work of Trin T. Minha and Claire Johnston is representative of this trend. In contrast, when looking at the East German documentary tradition, it is almost impossible to find this type of formal self-reflexivity. The close relationship between the documentary film and television studios was strictly enforced, which meant that a great majority of documentary films were commissioned by the state for television.
Heimann; Rother Like other documentarists who came before her, Misselwitz focusses in particular on aspects of everyday socialist life. While scripts for feature films and the audio of documentary footage were screened for inflammatory language, the images remained relatively uncensored.
As other scholars have suggested cf. On the one hand, these films provide an escape from larger, overtly political topics. Die Kamera hebt nichts hervor, diskreditiert niemanden, idealisiert nichts. Like so many other social theorists, Eduard Schreiber sees this focus on women and the everyday of socialism as an awareness on the part of artists that women functioned as a site of crystallization for social contradiction and rupture: [Die Frauen] tragen die Last der gesellschaftlichen Entwicklungen, auch deren Deformationen, bis in den privatesten Bereich hinein.
Therefore, both notions — truth and authenticity — are not absolutes, but rather textual constructs that have critical value. Both Sonja Michel and Julia Lesage have argued for the importance of certain realist structures for achieving feminist goals in filmmaking. Thus, in using this technique, Misselwitz participates in the demystification of the past by providing women a public forum in which they can speak about their lives and articulate new knowledges — new truths — of socialist experience Lesage ; Michel ; on the talking-heads technique cf. The film does not limit itself to one space and time, as is often the case in previous East German documentaries that focus on a single woman, on women working in a particular brigade, or on women working in one factory or living in one town.
Personal Narratives Group. Nichols 54— Im Krankenwagen. The image is replaced with a second still of two girls receiving diplomas, while the sound of the opening sequence a passing train is replaced by the sound of creaking. The still image is replaced by a medium shot of a man cranking the railroad gate open. Misselwitz asks to see the tattoos decorating his chest and back, wondering aloud what kind of women he has inscribed there. Having been born a daughter, rather than the son for whom her father had longed, she was a mixed blessing.
While she is born into a state of supposed gender equality, her sex is clearly presented as a barrier. Further, this sequence illustrates that alternative forms of history writing, like the diary or autobiographical forms, give voice to experiences that are often silenced in official narratives — here, the supposed gender equality in the GDR. As the camera moves slowly through the hall, Misselwitz recounts the first time she left her small town: Mit neunzehn Jahren verlasse ich diese Stadt, um meine Wege zu gehen.
Berufsausbildung, Hochzeit, Scheidung. Eine feste Arbeit, Geburt der Tochter, zweite Ehe. Studium mit Kind, zweite Scheidung. Beharren auf sinnvolle Arbeit. This section of the monologue functions like an abbreviated Lebenslauf noting major life changes: work, marriage, divorce; work, childbearing, marriage, university study, divorce; work.
It also functions as a commentary on the previous third of the opening sequence, in which Misselwitz obliquely suggests that all official attempts to enact emancipation from above through social policy — marriage and divorce rights, inexpensive housing for married couples, access to higher education and job training — have only partially alleviated the problems women face in society. The challenges of single motherhood and its naturalized meanings; see Behrend; Hornig and Steiner; Nagelschmidt; H. This narrative device invites the viewer to join Misselwitz in a personal journey that is also a public attempt to rewrite history through dialogue.
From inside the train car, the camera looks out the window as the train passes through the countryside. Auf der Reise werden wir miteinander reden [ The numerous secondary screens in the film — like the photos and the tattoos — reflect on the visual medium and its tendency to objectification. Thus, in looking out the window of the train, the camera suggests the problems with the documentary gaze. Although the camera does not include Misselwitz in the frame, her presence is made clear through her voice in dialogue with Hillu.
She begins by talking about her marriages, the first having occurred after becoming pregnant at age nineteen. Und auch von meinem Kollektiv war ich die einzige Frau [ In this single monologue, Hillu very clearly and concisely expresses both the gender inequality in the GDR and the astonishment at how that inequality has been maintained. And although her expectations, informed by official discourse, are contradicted by her personal experiences, Hillu continues to express some surprise.
Are the two positions reconcilable? Further, it asserts the visual ideology with which Misselwitz is attempting to engage. The camera cuts to a medium shot of a dark room in which a worker is banging pipes. As the worker emerges, back first with coveralls and hard hat on, it is not clear that this is a woman.
However, after emerging from the second dark room, Christine turns briefly to face the camera. The camera follows her at a medium shot as she walks along seemingly endless pipes in the dark factory, banging them along the way, the noise of the machines sometimes drowning out the sounds of the pipes. The camera cuts to a medium close-up of Christine as she sits writing in the work log. Here, the viewer discovers that she makes this trip eight times per hour, banging the pipes to keep the soot from settling, ensuring its release into the air above the factory town.
Their conversation begins with a long shot of a small cluster of houses with the smokestacks of the factory in the distance. The image creates a sense of isolation that was not felt during the previous encounter with Hillu. The viewer also becomes acutely aware of the geographic and class differences between the women being interviewed. The image of the tiny, isolated town directly contrasts with the hustle and bustle of the Berlin train station.
Her interpretation of this long chapter in her life reveals little more than disappointment. Her fears and isolation stem from the troubles she has with Ramona. She is on the verge of tears. Her mouth is turned down and trembles as she talks. She looks down at the table and her eyes are glassy. Nein, gar niemand. Gar niemand.
Aber das wird praktisch in unserer Gesellschaft gar nicht akzeptiert. Das wird gar nicht geachtet. In doing so, she also shifts from a generalized discourse to an extremely personalized discourse. Becker and Greenberg; Eghiagian; Gries; and Helwig. Misselwitz restructures the truth of social and gender equality in the GDR by confronting the viewer with the marginalization of women like Christine and her daughter and compelling the viewer to contemplate his or her own participation in that marginalization. Misselwitz turns her attention at the end of the film to the problem of girlhood in a sequence that focusses on two runaways.
Here, questions of equality and emancipation are constructed from the perspective of marginalization, for which the two young punks, Kerstin and Anja, become markers. Misselwitz focusses particularly on the gendered image as a way of creating a bridge for identification between the mainstream viewer and the marginalized girls. Throughout the scene, the girls look almost directly into the camera toward Misselwitz, who seems to be positioned just outside of the frame, and the sound of passing trains can be heard sporadically above them.
Their pose against the trestle is nonchalant and lazy, suggesting boredom and disaffection. The placement of the girls below the tracks, rather than inside a train car as in other interviews, is crucial. Misselwitz begins by asking how and why it is that they have run away. Es hat uns allet angekotzt. War eenfach zu viel. Was hat euch angekotzt? Die Vorschriften und allet. Wollten praktisch durchsetzten, allet wat wir machen wollten [ Doch, ick finde, dat wollte ick ooch erreichen.
Rather, their hatred of rules, parental and communal expectations is a typical marker of youthful rebellion and has been portrayed in several DEFA feature films cf. The larger social critique of this sequence becomes most obvious in the following scene, in which we discover that, after the period of filming, Kerstin and Anja are punished by the state for not following social rules. The viewer watches Kerstin and Anja depart the scene, walking the tracks hand in hand, laughing. Der Vater kommt von der Nachtschicht, um sich von seiner Tochter zu verabschieden.
The camera then cuts to a medium close-up of Anja standing on the train platform. Her worried look is directed again just to the left of the camera at Misselwitz. Her hair is no longer spiked and dyed white, and it is pulled back into a ponytail. She is no longer wearing her punk clothes, but rather a pair of jeans and a buttoned-down shirt with matching earrings.
In this final scene, after Anja has boarded the train and is about to depart, she meets Misselwitz at the open window of her train car. No longer outside or underneath the tracks, Anja has assumed her place in the normal everyday of the GDR. Rather, Anja is being shipped off, most likely to be forgotten by that very normal everyday that the train represents. As the train pulls away, Misselwitz waves good-bye. Finally, the camera cuts to a perspective from inside a train car looking out onto the passing winter landscape, as the sound of the train continues from the previous scene.
As we watch her depart, we are forced also to imagine and identify with her perspective as she sets out on her journey to the youth camp. Denn letzten Endes, man hat nur ein Leben. The camera pans the ocean with the horizon falling into the centre of the frame. It is faint, but it is there. In taking the perspective from the ship towards the horizon, this final sequence hints at an optimistic sense of movement and accomplishment in the final voice-over. Yet this sequence is ambiguous. As asserted at the beginning of this essay, while the film presents a variety of perspectives and voices, Misselwitz maintains a certain level of artistic control over the text.
Instead, the black and white of the film blurs the sky into a monotone grey, leaving the viewer to seek the warmth of summer elsewhere. As a result, the song takes on an ironic tone that underscores the grey ambiguity of the image. To the expansive nothingness of the sea? New York: Pergammon, Behrend, Hanna. Berghahn, Daniela. New York: Manchester UP, DEFA, Bielefeld: Kleine, Byg, Barton. Davies, Carole Boyce. Sidonie Smith and Julia Watson. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, Eghiagian, Greg.
Erens, Patricia, ed. Issues in Feminist Film Criticism. Bloomington: Indiana UP, Feinstein, Joshua. Gal, Susan. Gries, Sabine. Heimann, Thomas.
Helwig, Gisela. Cologne: Verlag Wissenschaft und Politik, Hornig, Daphne, and Christine Steiner. Initiativgruppe Geschlossener Jugendwerkhof Torgau. Joy Webster Barbre. Berlin: Jovis, Klein, Gerhard, dir. Lambrecht, Christine. Halle-Leipzig: Mitteldeutscher Verlag, Koepp, Volker, dir. Leben und Weben. Wieder in Wittstock. Wittstock III. Wittstock, Wittstock.
BRD, Lesage, Julia. Erens, ed. Merkel, Ina. Die DDR in den 50er Jahren. Berlin: Elefanten Press, Michel, Sonya. Misselwitz, Helke, dir. James Dean lernt kochen. Mulvey, Laura. Feminist Film Theory: A Reader. Sue Thornham. Nichols, Bill. Introduction to Documentary. Nickel, Gitta, dir. Wir von ESDA. Nickel, Hildegard Maria. Eva Kolinsky. New York: St. Joy Webster Barbre et al. Schenk, Christina. Ilse Nagelschmidt. Schieber, Elke. Schmidt, Sabine. Schreiber, Eduard. Scott, Joan W.
Smith, Sidonie, and Julia Watson. Women, Autobiography, Theory. Madison: U of Wisconsin P, Summerfield, Penny. New York: Routledge, Wander, Maxie. Berlin: DTV, Winston, Brian. Alan Rosenthal. Berkeley: U of California P, Zimmermann, Peter, ed. Geschichte des dokumentarischen Films in Deutschland. Talk to Her! Press Book Conversely, the final scenes from Masurca Fogo convey the hope that follows loss.