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1905 - A Literary Response to Modernity

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This talk deals with representative works of German and Hapsburg fiction ca. 1905—a literature produced by the genius of Thomas Mann (1875-1955), Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926), Robert Musil (1880-1942) and Franz Kafka (1883-1924), registering swiftly changing perceptions of human time and space owing to the frenetic pace of Central European modernization—of technical innovations in the manufacture of commodities; of the acquisition of wealth, producing changes in class-structure; of the growth of cities, creating centers of simultaneous but dissociated activity requiring new medial connection—processes greeted by some writers as matters of great intellectual interest, by others as signs of the pathological breakdown of older norms and values. Stanley Corngold, time, space, Thomas Mann, Rainer Maria Rilke, Robert Musil, Franz Kafka, modernity, Georg Lukacs, symbolism, duality, fiction, german, perception modernization, norms, values, literature, early 20th century, 19th century, Goethe, prose