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By Thomas Harrison

The yr 1910 marks an incredible, and principally unrecognized, juncture in Western background. during this perceptive interdisciplinary research, Thomas Harrison addresses the intense highbrow fulfillment of the time. targeting the cultural weather of heart Europe and paying specific realization to the existence 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 expert research offers a brand new, wider, and extra formidable definition of expressionism and exhibits the importance of this circulation in shaping the creative and highbrow temper of the age.1910 probes the recurrent subject matters and obsessions within the paintings of intellectuals as different 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 basic matters of expressionism: a feeling of irresolvable clash in human life, the philosophical prestige of demise, and a quest for the character of human subjectivity. Expressionism, Harrison argues provocatively, was once a final, determined try out via the intelligentsia to shield the most venerable assumptions of eu tradition. This ideological desperation, he claims, used to be greater than a religious prelude to international battle I: it was once an unheeded, prophetic critique.

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1910: The Emancipation of Dissonance

The 12 months 1910 marks an incredible, and mostly unrecognized, juncture in Western heritage. during this perceptive interdisciplinary research, Thomas Harrison addresses the intense highbrow success of the time. targeting the cultural weather of center Europe and paying specific realization to the existence and paintings of Carlo Michelstaedter, he deftly portrays the reciprocal implications of other discourses--philosophy, literature, sociology, tune, and portray.

Extra info for 1910: The Emancipation of Dissonance

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This conjunction of moon and sun, of dying and rebirth, is all that remains after the formal orientations of rhetoric have lost their force. But so strange is such a conjunction that Michelstaedter is unable to devote more than thirty of the one hundred fifty pages of his Persuasion and Rhetoric to it. To acquire a broader sense of what Michelstaedter means by persuasion we must return to Buber and to a text that he too wrote in 1910. Persuasive Life-Experience In "The Way of the Tao" Buber describes almost the very thing that Michelstaedter means by persuasion as "fulfillment" or "perfection.

That there was a rift between it and his life? Trakl, also a suicide, spends more time depicting the dark than the luminous dimensions of holy experience. Campana ends his days among the insane. Schoenberg never outgrows his polemical bearing toward his own epoch, upholding to the end the estranged and maligned independence of the creative artist. As a current in art and thought, expressionism at large is certainly more taken by the (rhetorical) deficiencies of being than by any of its self-justifying persuasions.

However, as his intellectual curiosity prevails over the technical study of art, Michelstaedter enrolls in the University of Florence. His interests take him to the theoretical roots of humanism itself. By 1909 he has decided to write a thesis on the concepts of persuasion and rhetoric in Plato and Aristotle. His dissertation and creative writings thus show the same objective as his figurative art, and precisely the one he finds increasingly rare in contemporary culture: integration of intention and ― 70 ― expression.

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