A landmark book from one of the truly original scholars of our time: a magnificent revelation of turn-of-the-century Vienna where out of a crisis of political and. A Pulitzer Prize Winner and landmark book from one of the truly original scholars of our time: a magnificent revelation of turn-of-the-century Vienna where. ‘Fin de Siecle’ Helped Restore Vienna to its Rightful Place on the Carl E. Schorske: The Man Who ‘Wrote the Book’ on Vienna (Photo: Victoria Oscarrson).
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Fin-De-Siecle Vienna by Carl E. Schorske | : Books
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Fin-de-Siècle Vienna: Politics and Culture by Carl E. Schorske
Politics and Culture by Carl E. A landmark book from one of the original scholars of our time: It is also a moving vindication of historical study itself, in the face of modernism’s defiant suggestion that history is obsolete. Craig, The New Republic “A profound work Paperbackpages. Published February 1st by Vintage first published To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
Lists with This Book. Jul 01, Miriam rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: This reads more like a collection of topical essays than a book — because, in fact, it was precisely that. The chapters were written as individual studies, not all at the same time, and later compiled into this book. As a result it is not always vlenna smooth, but many of the chapters are brilliant and Schorske has unusually vivid prose for an academic. In the twentieth century Europe tried to assert independence from its past, self-defining “Modern” as the antithesis of “ancient”; in t This reads more like a collection of topical essays than a book — because, in fact, it was precisely that.
Hence, one of the tropes of svhorske period was the search for new self-definitions.
Individuals and groups alike sought for new identities and systems of belief. The weakening authority of history sped up the process of change as it liberated people to create new forms. The social and political disintegration of Vienna created a particularly fertile and ahistorical culture.
Mar 17, AC rated it liked it Shelves: I found this book quite off-putting, and though the author is enormously learned, I feel the book is somewhat overrated. I ended up skimming vast tracts of it hence the category: Part of the problem is me – I know very little about this period -as fascinating as it obviously is – and have had difficulty reading the few literary works I’ve tried — though that clearly is something I plan to contin I found this book quite off-putting, and though the author is enormously learned, I feel the book is somewhat overrated.
Part of the problem is me – I know very little about this period -as fascinating as it obviously is – and have had difficulty reading the few literary works I’ve tried — though that clearly is something I plan to continue working on. German is a VERY difficult language for me; literary german is incomprehensible; and to approach authors like Musil and Broch in translation is especially challenging. But as to Schorske, he himself is neither fish nor fowl. He is not an historian or by his own admission an expert on Austria; he is not an art historian or literary historian or literary critic – he is a “cultural historian” and that, I’m afraid to say, means that he has only a mish-mash of a method.
It is quite erudite and rotund rhetorical, lots of adjectives – many of them signifying little or nothing – but I never felt I came away having been given analytical insight into any of the figures I was reading about.
In other words, for all the work at reading this, I got little nourishment, and effectively decided to move on. I know that my views on this book will either strike others as foolish – or even MARK me and my limitations for all to see — and I accept that. This IS one of the biggest gaps in my knowledge, and possibly I’d have a more favorable view of this book if I knew more about it.
I’ve got two more on deck – and would welcome any further suggestions. View all 16 comments. Jun 28, Jevana rated it really liked it Shelves: Aug 22, Alex Zakharov rated it really liked it.
Books like these tend to fail, and fail quite badly. Fusing politics, art and history without overplaying one of the areas, superficially brushing over another or stitching together a flavorless vignette of second-rate ideas is surprisingly hard to do. And yet Schorske succeeds quite nicely and in eight related but essentially standalone essays he paints a portrait of the Austro-Hungarian empire from its optimistic classical liberal inspired beginnings to a rather inglorious decline.
As points o Books like these tend to fail, and fail quite badly. As points of stability were eroded in the areas of politics, art and culture the psyche of the nation was disintegrating along with the rest of it. Rest are notes to self: Once you open up the democratic franchise it is difficult to impose constraints that would keep the nation well-governable. Sure, Fukuyama keeps finding examples which exhibit a balance of accountability, law and competent bureaucracy but they all seem transient.
Both brought about anti-Semitism which beget Zionism through a pretty interesting path of Theodore Herzl. Nationalists were threatening the unity of the empire through disintegration, Zionists through secession.
All in conflict with paleo-liberals. Both left their marks on architecture early, and luckily neither one took his vision to its full fruition as most their later and more radical designs never made it past proposal state. Klimt, the Secession — soft conflation of subject and object, passion when depicted is depersonalized.
Carl E. Schorske: Scholar of Vienna’s Golden Age
And so Klimt is confused about reality, while Kokoschka refuses to deal with it. Of course today our world is full of Kokoschkas who are convinced that the vision of their subjective inner-self IS in fact reality.
The metaphor of the garden in the last 2 chapters was fine for the most part but crumbling badly at the edges. On the other hand, nice finish with Arnold Schoenberg freeing music from the oppressive hierarchy of diatonic scale by introducing democracy of tonalities.
And through the absence of hierarchy at the bottom he gives us a meta, emergent order on top. Is he seeding the roots for Ludwig von Mises and Austrian economics here? May 27, Erik rated it really liked it Shelves: I keep on coming back to this book as source of my fascination with the birth of Modernism.
Schorske’s book is a series of interconnected essays that can be read as stand alone essays, though best if read in order. The prose is a dense, though Schorske seems to cover every applicable topic – politics, art, social movements, high culture, low culture, etc. Everytime I read an essay in this book I have to get my graduate school mind back. Not for the beach. May 09, Luke rated it it was amazing Shelves: I don’t yet know what to make of this book, except that I loved it.
I’m going to have to think about it a bit more. Feb 03, James rated it it was amazing Shelves: Schorske provides a thorough overview of the culture of the Fin-de-Siecle with entries on literature, art, politics, the importance of the Ringstrasse, and the impact of Freud.
The importance of culture for literature and the rest of art is brilliantly propounded in this influential book. My favorite discussion is that of the “coffeehouse culture” which was a veritable hothouse for new ideas.
This book is the place to start for an understanding of the culture of this era. Carl Schorske is most likely the ultimate scholar on fin-de-siecle Vienna and provides excellent background, intimate details regarding daily life, city buildings, and analyzes Klimts work, as well as Egon Schiele and Oscar Kokoshka in excellent intricacy. Jan 02, Jon rated it really liked it. Since this book consists of seven more-or-less independent essays, I’ll review them as I read them.
Politics and the Psyche: Schnitzler and Hofmannsthal Schorske introduces the basic crisis that constitutes the decadence discussed in the other essays, namely the conflict between rational, capitalist Classical Liberalism, the ruling ideology of Viennese politics from the s to the end of the century, and a more irrational, instinctual “psychological man” who would come to constitute the mass Since this book consists of seven more-or-less independent essays, I’ll review them as I read them.
Schnitzler and Hofmannsthal Schorske introduces the basic crisis that constitutes the decadence discussed in the other essays, namely the conflict between rational, capitalist Classical Liberalism, the ruling ideology of Viennese politics from the s to the end of the century, and a more irrational, instinctual “psychological man” who would come to constitute the mass movements of the 20th century.
He suggests the salience of this conflict through the works of both Arthur Schnitzler, whose works explored the consequences of replacing rational politics with instinctual politics, and Hugo von Hofmannsthal, whose works expressed his desire to harmonize irrational instinct with politics through art. Given that he’s exploring turn of the century Vienna, it’s almost inevitable that Schorske’s analysis of the psyche relies to some extent on a Freudian interpretation of the mind, but the general concepts he presents are still valid and intriguing.
Fin-de-Siècle Vienna: Politics and Culture
The Ringstrasse, Its Critics, and the Birth of Urban Modernism The Ringstrasse was a district developed in Vienna, beginning in the s, out of what scjorske previously the city walls and surrounding earthworks. Schorske discusses the influence of Classical Liberalism on the early form of the buildings in the district, and the reactions by Camillo Sitte and Otto Wagner. Sitte had a literally pedestrian critique of the Ringstrasse; he would have preferred a district designed to resemble the ancient street grid of the city farl, one more pedestrian-oriented than movement-oriented, resembling Jane Jacob’s critiques of modernist planning several decades later.
Unlike Jacobs, however, Sitte’s critique was rooted in an artistic and historic ideology, rather than one based on personal experience with modernist planning. Wagner took the opposite view, one associated with ascendent modernism; he advocated for and indeed built buildings that clearly delineated commercial and residential functions, and even created plans for the infinite, rational expansion of Vienna.
Schorske subtly frames the reaction to the bourgeois style of the early Ringstrasse as a conflict between rational modernism and intuitive historicism. Politics in a New Key: In all three cases, presented one after the other, he identifies the reaction against rational politics as a shift away from the classical political spectrum, and towards one that reflects a mass psychology, one that paradoxically reflected the values of what Schorske calls a “pre-rationalist order.
Politics and Patricide in Freud’s Interpretation of Dreams Schorske works through Freud’s dreams, as detailed schoreke his eponymous interpretation thereof, to suggest that Freud viewed politics as ultimately the conflict between father and son, and that repressed sexual force mirrors the repressed force of a revolutionary people. I take slight issue with a Freudian interpretation of politics, but the section is nonetheless an interesting read.
Painting and the Crisis of the Liberal Ego This essay is a review of the artistic evolution of Klimt in light of the conflict between rationality, as identified through a representational, Classic mode, and sensuality, shown through various levels of abstraction and identification with Viennw sexuality. Schorske begins with his murals for various Ringstrasse buildings, done in an entirely representational, Classical style, and then discusses Klimt’s relationship with the Secession movement, in the context crl his paintings for the University schorkse Vienna and the political backlash they generated.
Explosion in the Garden: May 21, Rock rated it really liked it. During a test for a sociology class I took at Truman Community College in Chicago, I encountered a question that asked whether and how the contemporary United States was comparable to the Roman Empire as it collapsed.
After reading this book, I see more similarities to the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire: While I sfhorske to a fixation on Vienna, I think that anyone interested in history, art, or cities would enjoy this book, or at least part of it.
Jul 15, Justin rated it it was ok.