Jennifer Anna Gosetti-Ferencei

in Exotic Spaces in German Modernism

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199604128
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191729362 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Modern Languages and Literature Monographs


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The exploration and imagination of exotic spaces allows authors not only to expand the topography of the modern literary imagination, but also to examine and contest the modern understanding of the European self and the familiar world which it ordinarily inhabits. The observation, imagination, or appreciation of exotic foreign topographies in works by Hofmannsthal, Hesse, Dauthendey, Mann, Zweig, Kafka, Musil, Benn, Kubin, and Brecht, provokes critical self-reflection about modern European forms of consciousness. The theoretical context for this critical self-reflection includes some of the major thinkers of German modernity, including Simmel, Weber, Nietzsche, Schopenhauer, Worringer, and Freud. Revealed are radically different possibilities for understanding and for living life, recognition of the precariousness of the familiar world. These works testify to the power and relevance of imagination, of cultural memory and expectation, of history, emotion, and the aesthetic sensibility in our experience of the world as a shifting symbolic topography.

Keywords: exotic topography; Thomas Mann; Hugo von Hofmannsthal; Hermann Hesse; Max Dauthendey; Franz Kafka; Stefan Zweig; Robert Musil; Gottfried Benn; Alfred Kubin; Bertolt Brecht

Chapter.  3510 words. 

Subjects: Literature

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