Literature and art in 1900 were characterised by the conflict between the perception of decline and the hope of renewal. Analysis of literary, philosophical and critical theory texts illustrates that some authors were not merely passive observers of the crisis, they also experienced it first-hand in their writing. This crisis subsequently became the model for a new form of linguistics.
The lecture is part of the ‘Science in Perspective’ course programme: students will learn about literature, art and philosophy at the turn of the 20th century with case studies featuring literary, epic, dramatic and discursive texts from around 1900 which are characterized by the conflict between the perception of decadence, decay and death on the one hand, and hope of rebirth, renewal and rejuvenation on the other hand. Analysis of these texts illustrates that several authors not only observed the language crisis, the increasing awareness of the impossibility of representation through language, which was accompanied by a questioning of the self (I), but they also experienced it in their writing. This crisis subsequently became the model for a new form of linguistics. These literary forays, and indeed other ideological and political thinking and models of salvation and future at the time, including socialism, anarchy, psychoanalysis and Zionism will also be addressed in the lecture.
The reading list includes literary texts and discursive texts, amongst others, from Stéphane Mallarmé, Stefan George, Hugo von Hofmannsthal, Arthur Schopenhauer, Friedrich Nietzsche, Lou Andreas-Salomé, Ernst Mach, Hermann Bahr, Richard Dehmel, Christian Morgenstern, Sigmund Freud, Bertha Pappenheim, Else Lasker-Schüler, Arthur Schnitzler, Theodor Herzl, Robert Walser and Thomas Mann.