New PDF release: 1910: The Emancipation of Dissonance

By Thomas Harrison

ISBN-10: 0520200438

ISBN-13: 9780520200432

ISBN-10: 0585184313

ISBN-13: 9780585184319

The yr 1910 marks an wonderful, and principally unrecognized, juncture in Western background. during this perceptive interdisciplinary research, Thomas Harrison addresses the extreme highbrow fulfillment of the time. concentrating on the cultural weather of heart Europe and paying specific consciousness to the lifestyles and paintings of Carlo Michelstaedter, he deftly portrays the reciprocal implications of other discourses--philosophy, literature, sociology, tune, and portray. His superbly balanced and deeply educated research presents a brand new, wider, and extra formidable definition of expressionism and indicates the importance of this move in shaping the creative and highbrow temper of the age.1910 probes the recurrent issues and obsessions within the paintings of intellectuals as diversified as Egon Schiele, Georg Trakl, Vasily Kandinsky, Georg Luk?cs, Georg Simmel, Dino Campana, and Arnold Schoenberg. including Michelstaedter, who devoted suicide in 1910 on the age of 23, those thinkers shared the fundamental matters of expressionism: a feeling of irresolvable clash in human life, the philosophical prestige of loss of life, and a quest for the character of human subjectivity. Expressionism, Harrison argues provocatively, used to be a final, determined test via the intelligentsia to guard one of the most venerable assumptions of eu tradition. This ideological desperation, he claims, used to be greater than a non secular prelude to global battle I: it was once an unheeded, prophetic critique.

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Suffering, searching, tormented souls with a deep rift, caused by the collision of the spiritual with the material. . The living element of living and "dead" nature. Consolation in the appearances of the world—external, internal. Premonitions of joy. The call. Speaking of the hidden by means of the hidden. Is this not content? Is this not the conscious or unconscious purpose of the compulsive urge to create? (Kandinsky 1910a: 82) The modern, if not eternal, content of art is the collision of the spiritual and the material, or human experience as a clash of fundamental, ontological difference.

Another, composed of historical materialists, makes its classic attack on idealism and "impressionistic" philosophers in Vladimir Lenin's Materialism and Empirio-criticism (1909). Others include behaviorists, experimental psychologists, sociologists, and psychoanalysts, though each group will have its defectors (Carl Jung, for one). Representatives of either side of the debate will try to discredit their antagonists' position or reinterpret it as a bad version of their own. Idealists will describe scientific materialism as a possible worldview among many, while neopositivists will claim that idealism is no more than a linguistic misunderstanding.

I could have foretold the future life of any of my sitters at that time, observing, like a sociologist, how environmental conditions modify innate character just as soil and climate affect the growth of a potted plant. (Kokoschka 1974: 36–37) If anything, what Kokoschka empathizes with is the dehumanization of his subjects, in the same way that Schiele distorts the body he represents to the point of brutalizing it. In both, the line between empathy and aggression is hard to fix. To empathize with one's fellow creatures means to imagine their experience so vividly that one comes to feel it oneself.

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1910: The Emancipation of Dissonance by Thomas Harrison


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