World Literature

A Poet's Reich: Politics and Culture in the George Circle by Melissa S. Lane, Martin A. Ruehl

By Melissa S. Lane, Martin A. Ruehl

The poet Stefan George (1868-1933) was once some of the most very important cultural figures in sleek Germany. His poetry, in its originality and influence, has been ranked with that of Goethe, Hölderlin, or Rilke. but George's succeed in prolonged some distance past the sector of literature. in the course of his final 3 a long time, he attracted a circle of disciples who subscribed to his homoerotic and aestheticist imaginative and prescient of existence and sought to rework it into fact. The works and considered the circle profoundly affected the highbrow and cultural attitudes of Germany's knowledgeable center classification from the start of the 20 th century, and are therefore an important to Germany's cultural and highbrow background. The transition from the aestheticist, cosmopolitan values the circle embraced within the early 1900s to the extra explicitly political and patriotic perspectives a lot of its individuals espoused through the Weimar Republic either conditioned and mirrored a momentous transformation in German suggestion. The intersection of tradition and politics within the George Circle has got little realization in English-language scholarship beforehand. This quantity comprises contributions from significant students in either English- and German-speaking international locations. Its viewers comprises students and scholars of German languages and literature, German historical past, and reception of the classics, between different fields. participants: Adam Bisno, Richard Faber, Rüdiger Görner, Peter Hoffmann, Thomas Karlauf, Melissa S. Lane, Robert E. Lerner, David Midgley, Robert E. Norton, Ray Ockenden, Ute Oelmann, Martin A. Ruehl, Bertram Schefold.

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Extra info for A Poet's Reich: Politics and Culture in the George Circle

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72 It was Friedrich Wolters who first used the label “staat” to describe the Circle and its structures, obviously alluding to Plato’s Republic which in the German translation is called Der Staat: see Norton, Secret Germany, 349. 73 Karlauf, Stefan George, 336. 74 Karlauf, Stefan George, 27, similarly observes that the seventh volume of the Blätter in 1904 was a turning point in this development, with the earlier volumes calling for the renewal of art in Germany and later ones for the formation of the Circle as a group around George as its lodestar.

It was not until 1919 that several of the smaller circles and individual associates of George came together in Heidelberg. Wolfskehl’s description of the Circle as a single, organically grown entity arguably applied to the Gesellschaft der Blätter für die Kunst, but it failed to capture the structure of the George Circle, which from 1910 onwards existed largely as a virtual community. 16 George’s affiliation, since 1905, with Friedrich Wolters, Berthold Vallentin, Kurt Hildebrandt and their Niederschönhausen Circle decisively shaped the public image of the George Circle as well as its future development.

43 E. Landmann, Gespräche mit Stefan George, 178, 182. For George’s anti-Catholicism, see also 100, 108, 196. George seems to have particularly relished the antipapal passages of Kantorowicz’s Kaiser Friedrich. See Landmann, Gespräche, 166. ” For George’s changed view of Prussianness, see his statement: “Von einem Haß gegen Preußentum und Bismarck ist seit dem ersten Weltkriege nichts zu spüren: wesentlich ist der Wille zum nationalen Halt. . ” Erinnerungen an Stefan George, 228. 45 Kurt Hildebrandt, Norm und Entartung des Menschen (Dresden: SibyllenVerlag, 1920).

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