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A Poet's Reich

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Stefan George (1868-1933) was one of the most important figures in modern German culture. His poetry, in its originality and impact, has been ranked with that of Goethe and Hölderlin. Yet George's reach extended beyond the sphere of literature. In the early 1900s, he gathered around himself a circle of disciples who subscribed to his vision of comprehensive cultural-spiritual renewal and sought to turn it into reality. The ideas of the George Circle profoundly affected Germany's educated middle class, especially in the aftermath of the First World War, when their critique of bourgeois liberalism, materialism, and scholarship (Wissenschaft) as well as their call for new forms of leadership (Herrschaft) and a new Reich found wider resonance. The essays collected in the present volume critically re-examine these ideas, their contexts, and their influence. They provide new perspectives on the intersection of culture and politics in the works of the George Circle, not least its ambivalent relationship to National Socialism.
Contributors: Adam Bisno, Richard Faber, Rüdiger Görner, Peter Hoffmann, Thomas Karlauf, Melissa S. Lane, Robert E. Lerner, David Midgley, Robert E. Norton, Ray Ockenden, Ute Oelmann, Martin A. Ruehl, Bertram Schefold.

Melissa S. Lane is Professor of Politics at Princeton University. Martin A. Ruehl is Lecturer in German Thought and Fellow of Trinity Hall, University of Cambridge.

Reviews

What makes this volume . . . so eminently enjoyable is the fact that while this new crop of George scholars largely agree to ignore the ideological pitched battles that marked George's postwar reception, they agree on little else. There is a spirited debate between the different contributors, and while none of them offer the simple answers to the question of the George circle's politics that proved so seductive after 1945, they each accentuate their answers differently. MONATSHEFTE

This volume tackles important questions. . . . [Some of the essays] provide incisive contributions to English-language research on George and the relationship between poetry, ethics, and politics. MODERN LANGUAGE REVIEW

This book is another in a long line of excellent Camden House publications. Highly recommended. CHOICE[Mark McCulloh]

Details

First Published: 08 Dec 2011
13 Digit ISBN: 9781571134622
Pages: 378
Size: 9 x 6
Binding: Hardback
Imprint: Camden House
Series: Studies in German Literature Linguistics and Culture
Subject: German Literature
BIC Class: DSB

Details updated on 01 Sep 2014

Contents

  • 1  Introduction
  • 2  The George Circle: From Künstlergesellschaft to Lebensgemeinschaft
  • 3  Stefan George's Homoerotic Erlösungsreligion, 1891-1907
  • 4  The Secret Germany of Gertrud Kantorowicz
  • 5  The Poet as Idol: Friedrich Gundolf on Rilke and Poetic Leadership
  • 6  Kingdom of the Spirit: The Secret Germany in Stefan George's Later Poems
  • 7  The Absentee Prophet: Public Perceptions of George's Poetry in the Weimar Period
  • 8  The Platonic Politics of the George Circle: A Reconsideration
  • 9  Political Economy as Geisteswissenschaft: Edgar Salin and Other Economists around George
  • 10  "Imperium transcendat hominem": Reich and Rulership in Ernst Kantorowicz's Kaiser Friedrich der Zweite
  • 11  Third Reich and Third Europe: Stefan George's Imperial Mythologies in Context
  • 12  From Secret Germany to Nazi Germany: The Politics of Art before and after 1933
  • 13  The George Circle and National Socialism
  • 14  Stauffenberg: The Search for a Motive
  • 15  Notes on the Contributors
  • 16  Index



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