By Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht
Reading, we find, is an experiencing of particular moods and atmospheres, or Stimmung. those moods are on a continuum such as a musical scale. They current themselves as nuances that problem our powers of discernment and outline, in addition to language's power to trap them. maybe the simplest we will be able to do is to indicate of their path. Conveying own encounters with poetry, track, portray, and the radical, this e-book therefore gestures towards the intangible and within the technique, constitutes a daring security of the subjective adventure of the arts.
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Extra resources for Atmosphere, Mood, Stimmung : On a Hidden Potential of Literature
At the beginning of the Second World War, for example, the great Romance philologist Karl Vossler—who had already written a number of essays in the 1920s that may be taken as meditations on Stimmung—published a book on the poetics of loneliness in seventeenth-century Spain. At least from today’s perspective, his reading derived a mood—and perhaps a sense of hope, too—from the lyrical mysticism of Jewish Marranos. I suspect that Vossler understood this component of the texts he examined as a “consolation of philosophy,” which he meant to oppose to the threats and commandments of silence that were present in Germany at the time.
By way of the sixteenth-century picaresque novel, I believe, it is possible to experience an atmosphere of tension between everyday life and religious orthodoxy that must have been typical of Counter-Reformation Spain. Shakespeare’s sonnets open a world of erotic desire inseparable from specific material surroundings. Diderot’s Neveu de Rameau, through its title figure and his environment, confronts us with an almost overwhelming roughness of attitude that may have been prevalent in the years before the French Revolution.
From the end of the sixteenth century on, the picaresque novel participated in—and articulated—this climate of duplicity. One hundred years later, it had become divided into two largely independent spheres of life.
Atmosphere, Mood, Stimmung : On a Hidden Potential of Literature by Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht