Research Article


DOI :10.26650/LITERA2018-0012   IUP :10.26650/LITERA2018-0012    Full Text (PDF)

Music, Social Critique and Utopian Vision in The Spirit of Utopia and Dawn of Humanit

Nina Cemiloğlu

This article is about two important texts of German expressionism: Ernst Bloch’s The Spirit of Utopia (1918/1923) and Kurt Pinthus’ Dawn of Humanity (1919). The Spirit of Utopia is considered Ernst Bloch’s most important early philosophical work. Dawn of Humanity is regarded as the most representative and influential anthology of German expressionist poetry. Its editor is Kurt Pinthus. The aim of this article is to explore thematic affinities between The Spirit of Utopia and Dawn of Humanity. This article is divided into three parts: Introduction, main part and conclusion. The main part is subdivided into three sections: The first section deals with the conception of Dawn of Humanity as a symphony and with Bloch’s views on music. Special attention is given to the importance of the socalled humanity melody by Ludwig van Beethoven for Bloch and Pinthus. The second section focuses on social critique in The Spirit of Utopia and selected poems of Dawn of Humanity. The poems selected for discussion are: Alfred Wolfenstein’s City Dwellers and The Heart, Georg Heym’s The War, and Karl Otten’s Worker!. Special attention is given to the problems of isolation, alienation, exploitation and war. The third section attempts to trace utopian vision in selected poems of Dawn of Humanity and in The Spirit of Utopia. The poems selected for discussion are: Johannes R. Becher’s Human, Rise, Kurt Heynicke’s Gethsemane and Ernst Stadler’s Dialogue. This section pays special attention to the themes of brotherhood, reconciliation, communion, redemption, the cultural heritage and home.

DOI :10.26650/LITERA2018-0012   IUP :10.26650/LITERA2018-0012    Full Text (PDF)

Musik, Gesellschaftskritik und utopische Vision in Menschheitsdämmerung und Geist der Utopie

Nina Cemiloğlu

Dieser Artikel befasst sich mit zwei wichtigen Texten des deutschen Expressionismus: Ernst Blochs Geist der Utopie (1918/1923) und Kurt Pinthus’ Menschheitsdämmerung (1919). Geist der Utopie gilt als wichtigstes philosophisches Frühwerk Ernst Blochs. Menschheitsdämmerung wird als bedeutendste und einflussreichste Anthologie deutscher expressionistischer Dichtung angesehen. Ihr Herausgeber ist Kurt Pinthus. Ziel dieses Artikels ist es, thematische Bezugspunkte zwischen Geist der Utopie und Menschheitsdämmerung aufzuzeigen. Dieser Artikel gliedert sich in drei Teile: Einleitung, Hauptteil und Schlussbetrachtung. Der Haupteil ist in drei Teile untergliedert: Der erste Teil beschäftigt sich mit der Konzipierung von Menschheitsdämmerung als Symphonie und mit Blochs Auffassung von Musik. Besondere Aufmerksamkeit wird der Bedeutung der sogenannten Humanitäts-Melodie von Ludwig van Beethoven zuteil. Der zweite Teil befasst sich mit Gesellschaftskritik in Geist der Utopie und in ausgewählten Gedichten der Menschheitsdämmerung. Ausgewählt wurden die folgenden Gedichte: Städter und Das Herz von Alfred Wolfenstein, Der Krieg von Georg Heym, und Arbeiter! von Karl Otten. Besondere Aufmerksamkeit gilt den Problemen Einsamkeit, Isolation, Entfremdung, Ausbeutung und Krieg. Der dritte Teil unternimmt den Versuch, utopische Vision in ausgewählten Gedichten der Menschheitsdämmerung und in Geist der Utopie aufzuzeigen. Es wurden die folgenden Gedichte ausgewählt: Mensch stehe auf von Johannes R. Becher, Gethsemane von Kurt Heynicke, und Zwiegespräch von Ernst Stadler. Im Mittelpunkt stehen die Themen Brüderschaft, Aussöhnung, Gemeinschaft, Erlösung, kulturelles Erbe und Heimat.


EXTENDED ABSTRACT


This article is about two important texts of German expressionism: The Spirit of Utopia and Dawn of Humanity. The Spirit of Utopia was written by Ernst Bloch (1885- 1977), a German philosopher associated with the Frankfurt School of Critical Theory. The Spirit of Utopia was written between 1914 and 1917 and published in 1918. It was then revised by Bloch and appeared in a second edition in 1923. The Spirit of Utopia is considered Bloch’s first important philosophical work. It had a profound and lasting impact on many Frankfurt School thinkers, such as Theodor W. Adorno and Walter Benjamin (the latter was not a member, but, like Bloch, closely associated with the Frankfurt School). The Spirit of Utopia contains all the philosophical questions which preoccupied Bloch throughout his life and which found their most elaborate expression in his main philosophical work The Principle of Hope (1959). Dawn of Humanity is an anthology of German expressionist poetry. It was edited by Kurt Pinthus (1886-1975) and first published in 1919. Its complete title is Dawn of Humanity: Symphony of Most Recent Poetry. It is considered the most representative and influential anthology of German expressionist poetry. Its poems were written between 1910 and 1920. Dawn of Humanity contains poems by both well-known writers, such as Else Lasker-Schüler, Franz Werfel, Gottfried Benn, Johannes R. Becher and Georg Trakl, and by lesser known writers, such as Alfred Wolfenstein, Karl Otten, Kurt Heynicke and Ernst Stadler. As editor and critic, Pinthus was an important and influential advocate of German expressionist literature. Throughout his life he was committed to reconstructing and making accessible to the German reading public the life and work of writers who were persecuted by the Nazis from 1933 to 1945 and whose books were suppressed and destroyed by them. The aim of this article is to explore thematic affinities between The Spirit of Utopia and Dawn of Humanity. This article is divided into three parts: Introduction, main part, and conclusion. The main part is subdivided into three sections: 1. Dawn of Humanity as a symphony and Bloch’s philosophy of music, 2. Social critique in The Spirit of Utopia and selected poems of Dawn of Humanity, 3. Utopian vision in selected poems of Dawn of Humanity and The Spirit of Utopia. The first section deals with the conception of Dawn of Humanity as a symphony and with Bloch’s views on music. Special attention is given to the importance of the so-called humanity melody by Ludwig van Beethoven for Bloch and Pinthus. This section mainly refers to the following texts: Zuvor (Before) and Nach 40 Jahren (After 40 Years) by Kurt Pinthus and Philosophie der Musik (The Philosophy of Music) and Zur Theorie der Musik (About the Theory of Music) by Ernst Bloch. The former texts are prefaces to Dawn of Humanity and were published in 1919 and 1959 respectively. The latter texts constitute two chapters of The Spirit of Utopia. The second section of this article focuses on social critique in The Spirit of Utopia and selected poems of Dawn of Humanity. The poems selected for discussion are: Alfred Wolfenstein’s Städter (City Dwellers) and Das Herz (The Heart), Georg Heym’s Der Krieg (The War) and Karl Otten’s Arbeiter! (Worker!). Special attention is given to the problems of loneliness, isolation, alienation, exploitation and war. The third section attempts to trace utopian vision in selected poems of Dawn of Humanity and The Spirit of Utopia. The poems selected for discussion are: Johannes R. Becher’s Mensch stehe auf (Human, Rise), Kurt Heynicke’s Gethsemane and Ernst Stadler’s Zwiegespräch (Dialogue). The focus of this section is on the concepts of brotherhood, reconciliation, communion, redemption, the cultural heritage and home.


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References

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APA

Cemiloğlu, N. (2019). Music, Social Critique and Utopian Vision in The Spirit of Utopia and Dawn of Humanit. Litera: Journal of Language, Literature and Culture Studies, 29(1), 95-112. https://doi.org/10.26650/LITERA2018-0012


AMA

Cemiloğlu N. Music, Social Critique and Utopian Vision in The Spirit of Utopia and Dawn of Humanit. Litera: Journal of Language, Literature and Culture Studies. 2019;29(1):95-112. https://doi.org/10.26650/LITERA2018-0012


ABNT

Cemiloğlu, N. Music, Social Critique and Utopian Vision in The Spirit of Utopia and Dawn of Humanit. Litera: Journal of Language, Literature and Culture Studies, [Publisher Location], v. 29, n. 1, p. 95-112, 2019.


Chicago: Author-Date Style

Cemiloğlu, Nina,. 2019. “Music, Social Critique and Utopian Vision in The Spirit of Utopia and Dawn of Humanit.” Litera: Journal of Language, Literature and Culture Studies 29, no. 1: 95-112. https://doi.org/10.26650/LITERA2018-0012


Chicago: Humanities Style

Cemiloğlu, Nina,. Music, Social Critique and Utopian Vision in The Spirit of Utopia and Dawn of Humanit.” Litera: Journal of Language, Literature and Culture Studies 29, no. 1 (Dec. 2022): 95-112. https://doi.org/10.26650/LITERA2018-0012


Harvard: Australian Style

Cemiloğlu, N 2019, 'Music, Social Critique and Utopian Vision in The Spirit of Utopia and Dawn of Humanit', Litera: Journal of Language, Literature and Culture Studies, vol. 29, no. 1, pp. 95-112, viewed 2 Dec. 2022, https://doi.org/10.26650/LITERA2018-0012


Harvard: Author-Date Style

Cemiloğlu, N. (2019) ‘Music, Social Critique and Utopian Vision in The Spirit of Utopia and Dawn of Humanit’, Litera: Journal of Language, Literature and Culture Studies, 29(1), pp. 95-112. https://doi.org/10.26650/LITERA2018-0012 (2 Dec. 2022).


MLA

Cemiloğlu, Nina,. Music, Social Critique and Utopian Vision in The Spirit of Utopia and Dawn of Humanit.” Litera: Journal of Language, Literature and Culture Studies, vol. 29, no. 1, 2019, pp. 95-112. [Database Container], https://doi.org/10.26650/LITERA2018-0012


Vancouver

Cemiloğlu N. Music, Social Critique and Utopian Vision in The Spirit of Utopia and Dawn of Humanit. Litera: Journal of Language, Literature and Culture Studies [Internet]. 2 Dec. 2022 [cited 2 Dec. 2022];29(1):95-112. Available from: https://doi.org/10.26650/LITERA2018-0012 doi: 10.26650/LITERA2018-0012


ISNAD

Cemiloğlu, Nina. Music, Social Critique and Utopian Vision in The Spirit of Utopia and Dawn of Humanit”. Litera: Journal of Language, Literature and Culture Studies 29/1 (Dec. 2022): 95-112. https://doi.org/10.26650/LITERA2018-0012



TIMELINE


Submitted07.12.2018
First Revision15.04.2019
Last Revision24.04.2019
Accepted17.04.2019
Published Online01.06.2019

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