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This book studies the role played by Jews in the explosion of cultural innovation in Vienna at the turn of the century, which had its roots in the years following the Ausgleich of 1867 and its demise in the sweeping events of the 1930s. Dr Beller shows that, among the personnel of leading society, Jews were predominant throughout most of Viennese modern high culture. Thus any attempts to dismiss the 'Jewish aspect' of the intelligentsia are necessarily refuted. The book then goes on to explain this 'Jewish aspect', disclaiming any unitary, static model, but adopting an historical approach which sees the 'Jewishness' of Viennese modern culture as a result of the specific Jewish backgrounds of most the of leading cultural figures and their own reactions to being Jewish. The culture of fin-de-siècle Vienna, it is claimed finally, was born out of the vivid encounter between the Jewish background and the Viennese context.
Reviews & endorsements
' … this work commands enormous respect for its percipient and sensitive handling of an outstanding generation of Jews.' L'EylahSee more reviews
'Beller's is a bold, exciting, and largely convincing attempt to explain content in terms of origins. It is not the last word, but it will take its place as a major contribution.' London Review of Books
'The book blossoms into a lucid, intellectual study, culminating in a discussion of the ethical links between the work of Arnold Schonberg, Karl Kraus and Ludwig Wittgenstein … the argument is exciting.' The Times Higher Education Supplement
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- Date Published: March 1991
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9780521407274
- length: 284 pages
- dimensions: 227 x 149 x 17 mm
- weight: 0.35kg
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
List of tables
Part I. Jews in Viennese Culture and Society: The Statistical Perspective:
1. Who was a Jew in Vienna at the turn of the century?
2. How Jewish was fin-de-siècle Vienna?
3. The social context
4. Education and class - the position of the Jews in Viennese society
Part II. The Jewish Background to Viennese Culture:
5. Jewish consciousness: Jewish mind?
6. The distance from tradition
8. Ethics and the individual
9. The Enlightenment
10. German culture
13. The ethics of outsiders: the cultural response
Conclusion: Vienna and the Jews in perspective
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