By Thomas Harrison
The yr 1910 marks an staggering, and principally unrecognized, juncture in Western historical past. during this perceptive interdisciplinary research, Thomas Harrison addresses the intense highbrow fulfillment of the time. targeting the cultural weather of center Europe and paying specific recognition to the lifestyles and paintings of Carlo Michelstaedter, he deftly portrays the reciprocal implications of alternative discourses--philosophy, literature, sociology, tune, and portray. His fantastically balanced and deeply knowledgeable research presents a brand new, wider, and extra bold definition of expressionism and indicates 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 lifestyles, the philosophical prestige of dying, and a quest for the character of human subjectivity. Expressionism, Harrison argues provocatively, was once a final, determined try out by means of the intelligentsia to protect probably the most venerable assumptions of ecu tradition. This ideological desperation, he claims, was once greater than a non secular prelude to global warfare I: it was once an unheeded, prophetic critique.
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Extra resources for 1910: The Emancipation of Dissonance
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. This Jewish Italian Austrian, who wrote nearly as fluently in Greek and Latin as in German and Italian, sought a single language for human comportment.
Lacking memory, I even lack hope. 40) My desire is the blaze of a furnace, and my annihilation like the abyss of the night. I know only how to rejoice, only how to suffer. I have no shelter from pain, nor temper my joy with reflection. (Boine 1915: 263) Not only would Michelstaedter have endorsed these fragments of his fellow Italian expressionist; he would also have understood the fluctuant condition of Boine's protagonist at the end of the novel Sin (Il peccato, 1913): He undulated in this abundant, tragic-joyful conception of the world as though in a bursting torrent; a violent and barbaric jubilation where limits are limitless, as though in a music whose melody is born from clashing disharmony .
Here subject and object, identity and difference, dissonance and consonance, pain and joy, dissolve into each other. Indeed, Michelstaedter reduces the entire panoply of human emotions to variations of pain and joy, dolore and gioia . Even emotions such as anger, remorse, envy, and boredom are only covers for these two basic responses to having and not having, being and not being, accomplishing and failing. The best description of the dissonant life of this I-that-is-no-I probably lies in the Fragments (Frammenti, 1915) of Michelstaedter's contemporary, Giovanni Boine, he too, like Slataper, a writer for La Voce : ― 75 ― 35) A blindman who loses his staff, I have discarded each one of your forms of logic.