Wolfgang has resolved to quit the theatre because the power of his art once brought tears to the eyes of a chief of police.
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He does not suggest the Brechtian solution, the alienating of his audience to parallel the alienated conditions under which they live, but in practice Heinrich Mann adopts this shock-tactic approach. It is liberalism itself that is on trial, and Wolfgang is its tired and decadent representative. The truth is overwhelmingly on the side of progress, but the verdict like the verdict of history in the short term perversely goes the wrong way. A novel which is a study of the deformation of the German character can hardly be anything but bitter. Here Mann is closer to Gabriele Reuter than to any of the other novelists who have been considered in this chapter.
Reuter too shows us what her heroine might have become; Agathe at one point stumbles upon an unsuspected talent in herself for academic research, a career she has as much hope of pursuing as she does of becoming Pope. At the end of Aus guter Familie they gather in their scores at a spa resort for the treatment of this ailment, their blood necessarily lacking the appropriate masculine? The dehumanising process Hessling undergoes becomes especially clear in his relationship with Agnes, the woman he abandons for careerist reasons.
When Diederich brutally decides to break off the relationship with her, for the very reason that apart from her lack of a dowry he has become genuinely emotionally involved with her, he deploys the vicious argument that she is a morally unsuitable match, having slept with him before marriage. Der Untertan is a diagnosis of the pre-fascist mentality. If we seek positive aspects in the novel, they are to be found in its vitality and in a Nietzschean love of the truth, but also in the passion for democracy incorporated above all in the figure of the revolutionary, old Buck.diromadfa.tk
In Der Untertan, there is a minor parallel in an unobtrusive 43 a l a n ba n c e moment where, after his fall from eminence in Netzig, old Buck encounters some young people as they emerge from school. He saw in these faces full of the future once more the fullness of hope with which he had throughout his life gazed into the faces of human beings.
A recent translation of Buddenbrooks is that of John E. Reed London, On the later influence of e. Despite her wildness and spontaneity, Effi seems preternaturally self-controlled by comparison with the disturbed young women in the Freud— Breuer case histories: Anna O. A fictional exploration of the self, running parallel with the new psychologies, needed a different range of narrative devices and expressive techniques.
Innovation can mean moving backwards as well as forwards. Some of the major modern German novelists carry out their explorations of sexuality, identity and the unconscious within narrative frameworks inherited or selected from classical German culture. A fuller discussion of this tradition is given by Russell Berman in chapter 6 below. We do not sense the recalcitrant otherness of other people. It conveys little about development through interaction: about how the self is shaped by responding to others and by affecting them in return. The inwardness of the Bildungsroman offers a fictional space to be charted with the help of the new psychologies; but it also challenges its modern exponents to find convincing ways of connecting inward experience with social and political realities.
At the turn of the century two antithetical conceptions of the self were available, each with a long ancestry. One located the self in consciousness; the other saw the self as rooted in the body and accessible to consciousness only with great effort. This scepticism fitted well with the anti-metaphysical tirades of Nietzsche, who dismissed the self as a mere projection of the grammatical notion of the subject.
It encouraged the deep doubts about the continuity of the self that we find in the early poetry of Hugo von Hofmannsthal, but also focused attention on memory 47 r i t c h i e ro b e rt s o n as the thread holding consciousness together. If Machian empiricism returns to the Enlightenment, then psychoanalysis is rooted in Romanticism. For the Romantics, the human mind is ultimately at one with nature, embedded in a cosmic unity, which is unknown to our normal consciousness: we become aware of our cosmic affinities only in altered states such as dreams or hypnosis.
Freud found that by hypnotising his patients he enabled them to recover memories concealed beyond the reach of the introspection practised by empiricist psychology. He developed a conception of the self as deeply layered.
If for Mach the unity of the self depended on the slender thread of memory, for Freud it was based on those experiences which had been consciously forgotten but survived in the unconscious, sometimes emerging in disguised form as dreams, parapraxes or neurotic symptoms. And that was only the personal unconscious. His rebellious disciple Jung went further, claiming to discover in the unconscious a range of universal symbols or archetypes which also find expression in myth and religion. All the novels to be discussed here were written by and about men, at a time when, thanks in part to the increased visibility of women in public life, models of masculinity were diverse and often defensive.
And this made possible a new understanding of male homosexuality. The son of an Austrian engineer and nephew of an army officer, Musil attended military academies before going to university. He studied first engineering at Stuttgart, then philosophy, physics and mathematics at Berlin, where he wrote a thesis on Mach.
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In his novel, which centres on a sensitive adolescent amid uncomprehending adults, he tries to capture the nuances of consciousness, including quasi-mystical experiences which defy the limitations of language. The novel recounts his attainment of heterosexual masculinity, understood as involving detachment and self-control. His parents, though affectionate, are no better at understanding the peculiar feelings he is trying to articulate. He recalls how, in his early childhood, his nurse took him to play out of doors, in a wood, and left him alone for a few minutes; when he realised that he was on his own, he felt as though the trees were standing round looking at him.
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Another strange experience befalls him in the course of the book: one afternoon, while lying on his back gazing upwards, he notices how unspeakably distant the sky is. This perception makes real to him the concept of infinity. Though familiar with this concept from mathematics lessons, he now thinks about its meaning and feels it to be deeply disquieting.
He begins to realise the limits of reason. He does not see how one can perform a sum using an entirely imaginary quantity and arrive at an answer; it is like crossing a bridge of which only the first and last supports are intact.
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Torless concludes that the values and assumptions of his society are likewise not necessary but conventional. They are a set of fictions which have to be accepted if one is to go on living. Another set of experiences which the adult world does not acknowledge is sexual. Torless not only feels strangely attracted by Basini, but senses an obscure connection between Basini and his quasimystical experiences. Having discovered that Basini has stolen money, Reiting and Beineberg resolve to punish him.
The punishment takes place in a little room under the roof which the boys have discovered and fitted out as a den. Eventually Basini gives himself up to the headmaster, and is expelled from school for theft. The activities of Reiting and Beineberg are never revealed.
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He practises on Basini a refined, intellectual sadism, unlike the brutal sadism of his fellow pupils. But he shows his identification when, feeling unable to explain his obscure sensations to the teachers, he runs away from school. Musil tells us pp. He has aesthetic rather than moral standards. He does not regret his participation in the torture of Basini: it leaves behind the drop of poison which removes the banal health of his soul and makes it more refined and sensitive. His personal life was turbulent. His novels may be seen as self-therapy. Demian ; trans.
Hesse focuses on inner experience, showing how Sinclair, as a child, projects his own internal divisions outwards as the parental world of order, security and light, and the outside world of darkness, violence and menace.
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The quiet authority of his fellow pupil Max Demian guides him through a development whose goal is his own independence — of parents, teachers, pastors and ultimately of Demian. This polarity of darkness and light is set within an ultimately Romantic vision of the cosmos as a dynamic, amoral unity. Sinclair is stirred by a recurrent dream about the ambivalent, bisexual Abraxas, who recalls both his mother and Demian.
The Demian household is part of a community of spiritual seekers, devoted to new cults and ancient religions, but all individualists in contrast to what Demian, in Nietzschean imagery, identifies as the false community of the herd. Demian predicts that the world will be renewed through death, and that renewal will be led by outstanding individuals who respond to the call of fate as Moses, Caesar, or Napoleon once did.