am 24. März 1997
Carl E. Schorske has aptly chosen Vienna to explore the development of the birth of modernism. At the turn of the century, Vienna, with its wide lane Ringstrasse and intellectual attracting cafés was a stage; and it is only fitting that people strode across this stage with a sense of purpose and graduer which influences much of what we think of as "modern" whether it be art, music or thought. From Schnitzler to Freud to Klimt, Schorske shows how the stage like facade of Vienna was built during an era of decay; an era where the empire found itself on the brink of destruction and the industrial revolution had cleanly severed peoples' ties to traditions which had given life meaning. And the loam of decay, a well-spring of desperation, caused the great thinkers of Vienna to search for something to hold onto as one century slipped into the next. Schorke, with a clean prose style, captures the search for meaning across a number of intellectual and cultural movements in Vienna. The history of Vienna at the turn of the century reads like the history of modern thought and Schorske does a remarkable job of convincing his readers that, truly, the desperation felt at the end of the Hapsburg empire was not merely an Austrian phenomena, but a cultural wave which swept across the world and which, on stage, in psychology and in art, still carries in its wake the most contemporary of ideas.
To learn more about fin-de-sicle Vienna, try Arthur Schnitler's "The Road into the Open." Frederic Morton's, "A Nervous Splendor" and Hilde Spiel's, "Vienna's Golden autumn."
am 6. Mai 1997
Schorske employs the vision of a garden (Eden) to dramatize how deeply the changes of modernization were felt in Vienna. Just as Adam and Eve were forced out of the perfect garden, so where Viennese forced to redefine their perspectives of what High Culture was and what importance was. By analyzing creators of elite culutre and the revolution they inspired, Schorske tells a story of Vienna and its thrust into the modern world