Vienna's dreams of Europe : culture and identity beyond the by Katherine Arens

By Katherine Arens

Vienna's desires of Europe places ahead a powerful counter-narrative to the existing tale of Austria's position in Europe because the Enlightenment. For a millennium, Austrian writers have used pictures of Europe and its hegemonic tradition as their political and cultural reference issues. but in discussions of Europe's realms, Austria seems to be in basic terms as an afterthought, regardless of that its precursor states-the Holy Roman Empire, the Austrian Empire, and Austria Hungary-represented a globalized ecu cultural area open air the dominant paradigm of nationalist colonialism. Austrian writers this day confront reunited Europe in complete acknowledgment of Austro-Hungary's multicultural background, which combines quite a few nationalities, ethnicities, and cultural varieties, together with ancestors from the Balkans and beyond.

Challenging typical money owed of 18th- via 20th-century eu imperial id development, Vienna's desires of Europe introduces a gaggle of Austrian public intellectuals and authors who've because the 18th century construed their very own public as eu. operating in several phrases than latest theorist-critics of the hegemonic West, Katherine Arens posits a political identification resisting 2 hundred years of ecu nationalism.

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Sollte aber wohl das Publikum von Richtern und Kennern dergl. Einfälle billigen, die gar zu deutl. verraten, daß nicht der Mann, an den diese Briefe gerichtet sind sondern der Schriftsteller ein solcher temporair Invalide ist, der seine eigene lange Weile vertreibt—und seine gesunde Urteilskraft zur Lust oder aus eigennützigen Absichten, wie die Bettler, zum Krüppel macht. Kein Bergmann wird durch diese Briefe gebessert werden; der ist zu tumm sie zu lesen; kein Wieland an seinem guten Namen viel verlieren, vielleicht dadurch für sich und seine Leser oder Anhänger gewinnen—kein Philosoph einem Witzling mehr zutrauen als einer privilegierten Akademie” (Lessing, 827).

See W. E. , for a brief recapitulation of the issue; Reinhard Urbach, Die Wiener Komödie und ihr Publikum, for a readable overview of the theater history; and Yates and McKenzie, eds, Viennese Popular Theater, for a recent collection introducing major issues on the dramaturgy of the Volkstheater. 23 “Der Komödiantenstand gilt ihm als Beruf mit besonderer Verantwortung für die Öffentlichkeit” (Sonnenfels, 364). 36 Vienna’s Dreams of Europe relative unavailability of German-language plays, however, Sonnenfels saw a theater that could draw on foreign models, even French ones, while serving “our nationality” and the development of a moral public.

Sonnenfels’ cultural perspective on the theater is expanded in Chapter 2, as Austria’s most famous nineteenthcentury dramatist, Franz Grillparzer, fashions another dialogue with the aesthetics of the era. Seen biographically, Grillparzer’s philosophical opposition to the increasingly dominant paradigms of aestheticnational leadership familiar from Weimar Classicism and Romanticism eventually led him to withdraw from the public culture of Vienna’s stages. Yet he, too, picks up threads of that era’s conversation about the purpose of national theater—creating in it a public, transnational, and Introduction: Austria as a Challenge to Europe 21 historically literate space of discussion, educating its audiences into critical perceptions about the hegemonies dominating their lives rather than inculcating fixed ideologies.

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