Download 1910: The Emancipation of Dissonance by Thomas Harrison PDF

By Thomas Harrison

The 12 months 1910 marks an fabulous, and principally unrecognized, juncture in Western background. during this perceptive interdisciplinary research, Thomas Harrison addresses the extreme highbrow fulfillment of the time. targeting the cultural weather of heart Europe and paying specific awareness to the lifestyles and paintings of Carlo Michelstaedter, he deftly portrays the reciprocal implications of alternative discourses--philosophy, literature, sociology, song, and portray. His superbly balanced and deeply expert research presents a brand new, wider, and extra bold definition of expressionism and exhibits the importance of this circulation in shaping the creative and highbrow temper of the age.1910 probes the recurrent topics 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 fundamental issues of expressionism: a feeling of irresolvable clash in human lifestyles, 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 by way of the intelligentsia to shield essentially the most venerable assumptions of eu tradition. This ideological desperation, he claims, used to be greater than a religious prelude to global conflict I: it was once an unheeded, prophetic critique.

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Extra resources for 1910: The Emancipation of Dissonance

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However, no sooner does a creature achieve a condition in time than it finds itself in another subsequent time, making the life of the present no life at all, but just a succession of different moments, without duration or extension. Praesens nullum ha bet spatium, St. Augustine had said in The Confessions (XI, 15 [20]): the present occupies no space. Such experience is not "being," but flux and becoming, eternal variance and impermanence. In historical time, as Schopenhauer had argued a century earlier, all things are ruled by a craving or will.

Whatever has been said about my being a humanist," Kokoschka confesses in his autobiography, "I do not really love humanity; I see it as a phenomenon, like a flash of lightning from a clear sky, a serpent in the grass": The human soul's propensity for goat-like leaps, its tragedy, its sublimity, and also its triviality and absurdity, attracted me, as a visitor to the zoo is attracted by the idea of observing the life of his own forebears. . 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.

At this junction of materialism and spirituality, Kandinsky describes his language of form and color as constructed out of a series of self-propagating oppositions: warm and cold, light and dark, concentric and eccentric, activity and passivity (Kandinsky 1909–11: 161–195; Cheetham 1991: 76–77). The two poles between which art has always found its place— namely, objective "impression" and subjective "expression"—come to meet at their extremes. "Realism = Abstraction / Abstraction = Realism. The greatest external dissimilarity becomes the greatest internal similarity " (Kandinsky 1912a: 245).

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