By Jens Rieckmann
Stefan George (1868-1933) is besides Hugo von Hofmannsthal and Rainer Maria Rilke one of many pre-eminent German poets of the 20th century. He additionally had an enormous, albeit debatable and provocative position in German cultural historical past. it really is commonly agreed that he performed an important half within the transition of German literature to Modernism, fairly in poetry. whilst he used to be an outspoken critic of modernity. He believed that merely an all-encompassing cultural renewal may well store glossy guy. even though George is frequently associated with the l'art pour l'art stream, and even though his inventive attention was once shaped by means of eu aestheticism, his poetry and the writings that emerged from the poets and intellectuals he accrued round him within the George Circle are principally a scathing statement at the political, social, and cultural scenario in Germany on the flip of the century. George, who was once imbued with the belief 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 way of an highbrow and aesthetic elite such as males who have been bonded jointly via their allegiance to a charismatic chief. the various values that George proclaimed, between them a glorification of energy, of heroism and self-sacrifice, have been seized upon by way of the nationwide Socialists, and thus his writings and people of his circle have been thought of by way of a few to be proto-fascist. It didn't support his recognition that when the second one global struggle a lot of the feedback of his works was once practiced through uncritical, hagiographic George worshippers.
In contemporary years, in spite of 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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Additional resources for A Companion to the Works of Stefan George
Hofmannsthal, Hugo von, und Rudolf Pannwitz. Briefwechsel 1907–1926. Ed. Gerhard Schuster. : S. Fischer, 1994. Keilson-Lauritz, Marita. Von der Liebe die Freundschaft heißt: Zur Homoerotik im Werk Stefan Georges. Berlin: Verlag rosa Winkel, 1987. Landmann, Edith. Gespräche mit Stefan George. Düsseldorf/Munich: Helmut Küpper vormals Georg Bondi, 1963. Landmann, Georg Peter. Vorträge über Stefan George. Düsseldorf/Munich: Helmut Küpper vormals Georg Bondi, 1974. Landmann, Georg Peter, ed. Stefan George und sein Kreis.
See: Karl Wolfskehl, Jahrbuch für die geistige Bewegung 1 (1910), 14. 24 For the most recent discussion of George’s reaction to the events of 1933 see Norton, 723–37. 25 Quoted in Franz-Karl von Stockert, “Stefan George und sein Kreis. Wirkungsgeschichte vor und nach dem 30. ” Ed. Beda Allemann. (Bonn: Bouvier, 1983), 75. 26 See Petrow, 37–38 and Klaus-Jürgen Grün, “Politisches Schweigen. ” Zeitschrift für Geschichtswissenschaft 42 (1994), 505–6. 27 The letter is quoted in Petrow, 40. According to Petrow it was published either in the Weltwoche of 22 or 29 December 1933.
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). The advantage has been imperfectly maintained. The tenets concerning poetry and art that George himself set forth — even in this same introduction, implying a precept in the act of disclaiming such a thing — have become as well known as most of his verse.