By Jens Rieckmann
Stefan George (1868-1933) is in addition to Hugo von Hofmannsthal and Rainer Maria Rilke one of many pre-eminent German poets of the 20 th century. He additionally had a massive, albeit arguable and provocative position in German cultural heritage. it truly is in general agreed that he performed an important half within the transition of German literature to Modernism, fairly in poetry. while he used to be an outspoken critic of modernity. He believed that in simple terms an all-encompassing cultural renewal may perhaps keep sleek guy. even though George is frequently associated with the l'art pour l'art stream, and even if his inventive cognizance was once shaped by means of eu aestheticism, his poetry and the writings that emerged from the poets and intellectuals he accumulated round him within the George Circle are principally a scathing statement at the political, social, and cultural state of affairs in Germany on the flip of the century. George, who was once imbued with the assumption of the poet as a prophet and priest, observed himself because the Messiah of a brand new Hellenism and a brand new Reich led by means of an highbrow and aesthetic elite which include males who have been bonded jointly via their allegiance to a charismatic chief. the various values that George proclaimed, between them a glorification of strength, of heroism and self-sacrifice, have been seized upon via the nationwide Socialists, and as a result his writings and people of his circle have been thought of through a few to be proto-fascist. It didn't aid his acceptance that once the second one global warfare a lot of the feedback of his works used to be practiced by way of uncritical, hagiographic George worshippers.
In contemporary years, despite the fact that, there was a renewed and impartial curiosity between students and critics in George and his circle. The wide-ranging and unique essays during this quantity discover anew George's poetry and his contribution to Modernism, the relation among his imaginative and prescient of a brand new Reich and fascist ideology, and his value as a cultural critic.
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Extra info for A Companion to the Works of Stefan George
Subsequently George’s writings and those of his circle were considered to be protofascist by some, most notably by Georg Lukács, who saw in George an ideological precursor of Hitler (34), a view apparently shared by George’s recent biographer Norton. Conceding and emphasizing that George’s “Secret Germany” was not identical with Nazi Germany, he argues nevertheless that it would be “dishonest or naïve not to recognize the preparatory role [George] played” in helping to make the crimes committed by the Nazis “thinkable” (Norton xvii).
Heidelberg: L. Schneider, 1950. Winkler, Michael. George-Kreis. Stuttgart: Metzler, 1972. Woods, Gregory. A History of Gay Literature: The Male Tradition. New Haven/ London: Yale UP, 1998. Zeller, Bernhard, ed. N. Munich: Kösel Verlag, 1968. The Poetry Stefan George’s Poetics William Waters “ W IR HALTEN ES FÜR EINEN VORTEIL,” observes the first issue (1892) of George’s journal Blätter für die Kunst, “dass wir nicht mit lehrsätzen beginnen sondern mit werken die unser wollen behellen und an denen man später die regeln ableite” (Einleitungen 7).
Instead of being cast (4), the clasp will now be wrought (7). Structurally too the second stanza shows an “excess” over the first: the “wie” comparison of a single line (2) is met by a “wie” comparison of three lines (6–8). ” Blitzend becomes a second, additional answer to kühl, though the compound feuerrot in itself already answered one image (coolness) with two (heat and color). ” This excess charge comes across as defiantly, or at least unabashedly, transgressive. The poet’s choice is gaudy and of reduced usefulness; it draws attention to its own immoderacy and artificiality.