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Weimar Culture - The Outsider as Insider (Anglais) Broché – 2 janvier 2002

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Weimar Culture - the Outsider as Insider A study of German culture between the two wars, this book brilliantly traces the rise of the artistic, literary, and musical culture that bloomed ever so briefly in the 1920s amid the chaos of Germany's tenuous post-World War I democracy, and crashed violently in the wake of Hitler's rise to power. Includes a new Introduction. 16 illustrations. Full description

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Par Claude Lorrain TOP 1000 COMMENTATEURS le 8 novembre 2012
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
Difficile de ne pas aborder Weimar culture avec un préjugé très favorable, en raison du respect porté à l’universitaire américain Peter Gay, dont l’itinéraire force l’admiration (voir mon commentaire sur le récit autobiographique My German Question qu’il publia en 1998).

Paru trente ans plus tôt, Weimar culture propose un panorama d'un intérêt documentaire incontestable, avec en annexes une excellente « Brève histoire politique de la République de Weimar », une riche bibliographie et un index bienvenu.

Au risque de sembler trop savant à ceux qui connaissent assez peu de chose des années vingt en Allemagne, et pourront avoir le sentiment d’être submergés par trop de détails, mais de paraître trop superficiel aux spécialistes de telle ou telle discipline, l’auteur se livre à une recension méticuleuse des événements les plus marquants de la vie culturelle sous la République de Weimar, dont il distingue trois phases : troubles de 1918 à 1924, années dorées de 1925 à 1929, puis commencement de la fin, jusqu’à la nomination de Hitler à la chancellerie en janvier 1933. Comme tous les domaines sont abordés (science, philosophie, musique, architecture, peinture, littérature, théâtre, cinéma…), très nombreux sont les auteurs cités et les œuvres mentionnées, d’où parfois un certain effet de catalogue.

Insistant à juste titre sur l’importance du Bauhaus, ou encore sur « l’école de Francfort », et donnant toute leur place à l’expressionisme comme à la nouvelle objectivité, P.
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Amazon.com: 4.3 étoiles sur 5 15 commentaires
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The caveat here is you need to have a keen ... 13 septembre 2016
Par Mike the Bookie - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
The caveat here is you need to have a keen interest in Weimar. It helps If you've previously read Christopher Isherwood's Berlin Diary (the source of the play Cabaret). If the answer to both the above is yes, and if you are also interested in what happens when a wealthy country is stripped bare by war and reparations thereafter, then this book is a must. It has the clarity of research and of writing, the immediacy of history that keeps repeating itself, and all the warning signals that would help any society of learned folk understand the need to make 'never again' meaningful instead of just a sometime slogan.
72 internautes sur 75 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A Rich Perspective on Weimar Germany 26 juillet 2006
Par Ronald H. Clark - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
I found this, as with Gay's other books, to be an extremely useful analysis. We tend to think of Weimar as the "new Periclean age" of Germany between the wars--rich in culture and artistic expression and experimentation. Gay does a very solid job of covering a number of topics in 145 pages. Among other subjects, Gay discusses expressionism; architecture (including Gropius and Bauhaus); the Warburg and Frankfurt Institutes; poetry and the German imagination; the rejection of politics during this period; the new realism in art, such as that of George Grosz (but no discussion of da-da); the "new objectivity"; youth movements; the impact of modernism; Heidegger and other philosophers; and Spengler and history. Among the most interesting sections is one on the expressionist cinema. Gay concludes with a brief, yet suggestive, analysis of what went wrong with Weimar and why it came to be rejected by most Germans prior to WWII. Particularly important in this regard, was the legacy of Versailles which tarnished all that Weimar politically (and perhaps artistically) had been able to accomplish. First published in 1968, the book contains a valuable bibliography (up to that point) and an interesting appendix "A Short Political History of the Weimar Republic." Norton has produced a most pleasant paperback edition, with some very fine illustrations and graphics. Compact but abundant with insights for those interested in this period.
35 internautes sur 39 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A Grave Phenomenon 25 août 2008
Par M. Fetler - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
Peter Gay's elegant tale takes up an old theme, the connection between culture and politics, that recalls ancient Greek debate about art and society. Artists and politicians, outsiders and insiders, have much in common. Weimar deserves a close look for two reasons. More than other times and places, it nourished great writers, musicians, architects, film-makers, and painters, whose work has continued to delight and inform. Also, it was a time of political upset, a Prussian-styled monarchy, deposed after the humiliation of World War I, gave way to a creative social-democratic government that wilted during the great depression, and foreshadowed the rise of fascism and World War II.

Gay puts forward the idea that culture is " in continuous, tense interaction with society, and expression and criticism of political realities. This mixture of intimacy and hostility between art and life is characteristic of all modern society." Political extremism provokes crisis and a reaction, that in turn may be followed by extreme counter-reaction. Blood will have blood. Feeding on and fueling the political turmoil, culture flourishes. The idea of culture existing outside of politics is a delusion. Weimar showed that there were two connected Germanies: "the Germany of military swagger ... and the Germany of lyrical poetry."

In a small way the book itself illustrates the point. It was first published in 1968, as the war in Vietnam boiled over, and the U.S. turned from an era of expanding democracy under Johnson to right-wing conservatism under Nixon. When it was republished in 2001, fortunes evaporated as the the dot-com stock-market imploded, terrorists rained down war on U.S. soil, and government again turned sharply from an expansive democracy under Clinton to reactionary conservatism under Bush. What could be more timely than a beautifully written book that links cultural flowering to poltical confusion?

In six brief chapters Peter Gay uses Freudian images to trace the birth, growth, and death of the Weimar Republic. He describes the November 1918 revolution after Germany's defeat in World War I, and the establishment of the Republic at Weimar as a "revolt of the sons." Of course, Weimar's expressionist culture had roots that stretched before 1918. But it flourished abundantly during the Republic. Without a single message, Weimar had a unifying theme: the pursuit of a renewed, peaceful humanity, the "son's revolt against the father ... a bid for rational freedom against irrational authority."

Weimar's artistic contempt for politics and longing for renewal ironically furthered the Nazi cause. Ironically, because the Nazis despised expressionist culture. Rainer Maria Rilke, in calling for a universe in which love and suffering, life and death, form a harmonious whole, "in calling for something higher than politics, helped to pave the way for something lower - barbarism." Martin Heidegger, a most subtle philosopher-poet and benighted Nazi sympathizer, found reason and intellect to be inadequate guides to the secret of being. Thomas Mann proudly proclaimed himself to be unpolitical. Gay calls these feelings a "hunger for wholeness," defined by the pursuit of culture for its own sake, a strong need for community, the dismissal of reason, the yearning for heroes, and unquestioning submission to authority.

Counter-revolution follows revolution and in Gay's Freudian model the "revenge of the father" comes after the "revolt of the sons." Following the social-democratic revolution in 1918, art and politics were in a time of innovation. Between 1924 and 1929 there was prosperity and stability. The arts displayed a new, matter-of-fact, objectivity. In 1924 a wiser Thomas Mann, now seeing connections between politics and life, published "The Magic Mountain."

Berlin became a cultural center with a lively theater scene (Brecht), film (The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari), music (Furtwangler, Walter), architecture (Gropius' Bauhaus school of architecture), and journalism. The excitement, celebration, sexual freedom, and hustle of Berlin led some to describe it as dancing at the edge of a volcano. If there was hedonism, there was much else of enduring value.

After 1929 unemployment rose, the economy sank, the newspapers overflowed with right-wing propaganda, and "the country was inundated by the rising tide of Kitsch, much of it politically inspired." Nazis led riots against Remarque's film, "All Quiet on the Western Front." Brecht's "Threepenny Opera" taunted the choice of the middle class for a full belly over morality. In a fit of black humor Gay notes, "There was a whole genre of novels dealing with the suicides of young high school students ... and its popularity reflected widespread interest in a grave phenomenon." By 1933 the expressionist artists dispersed and the Nazis began to labor in earnest.

"Weimar Culture" provides a useful introduction to German Kultur und Politik between 1918 and 1933. More important, the book persuasively illustrates a model for understanding how they interact. Political tides influence art, and art colors politics.
1 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 amazing writer--every page filled with insights 25 août 2014
Par M. West - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
Peter Gay is a treasure--brilliant, amazing writer--every page filled with insights. I am truly awed by his knowledge, perspective, and abilities.
1 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Five Stars 28 octobre 2014
Par WILLIAM - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
Perfect!!!
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