Joyful Apocalypse: Vienna Around 1900
Listed in: German, as GERM-51
Christian Rogowski (Section 01)
Between 1890 and 1914, Vienna was home to such diverse figures as Sigmund Freud, Gustav Klimt, Gustav Mahler, Leon Trotsky, and-Adolf Hitler. Which social, cultural, and political forces brought about the extraordinary vibrancy and creative ferment in the capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire? The course will examine the multiple tensions that characterized "fin-de-siecle" Vienna, such as the connection between the pursuit of pleasure and an exploration of human sexuality, and the conflict between avant-garde experimentation and the disintegration of political liberalism. Against this historical backdrop we shall explore a wide variety of significant figures in literature (Schnitzler, Hofmannsthal, Musil, Kraus), music (Mahler, R. Strauss, Schnberg), and the visual arts (Klimt, Schiele, Kokoschka, O. Wagner, A. Loos). We will explore the significance of various intellectual phenomena, including the psychoanalysis of Freud and the philosophies of Ernst Mach and Ludwig Wittgenstein. We shall also trace the emergence of modern Zionism (Theodor Herzl) in a context of growing anti-Semitism, and discuss the pacifism of Bertha von Suttner in a society on the verge of the cataclysm of the First World War. Conducted in English, with German majors required to do a substantial portion of the reading in German. Second semester. Professor Rogowski.