High and Low Cultures: German Attempts at Mediation
Reinhold Grimm, Jost Hermand
University of Wisconsin Press, 1994 - History - 140 pages
As the editors write in this volume, "while the dichotomy of 'high' and 'low,' classical and popular, elitist and trivial has occupied theorists of culture for centuries, very few of them have paid more than scant attention to the various attempts at mediating between these two levels of cultural endeavor." The essays collected here, most delivered at the twenty-second Wisconsin Workshop in October, 1991, address exactly this aspect of cultural studies, using modern Germany as their canvas.
The contributors range across the entire breadth of German cultural life, analyzing developments in the arts, literature, poetry, architecture, and cinema, as well as looking at contemporary writing by women and at changes in cultural depictions of sexuality. Germany's political paroxysms throughout the last hundred years figure prominently in the evolution of its cultural consciousness, so there is in these essays a strong sense of "nation": invented, perfected, lost, and recovered, but always fascinating.
A totally homogenized German culture, one devoid of any higher aspirations, will be the impoverished result of postmodernism, the editors warn. It is their goal to "remind those who are all too eager to overlook the losses occurring in this process that this tendency can also--besides its positive democratic aspect--lead to one-dimensionality."
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18th century aesthetic American Anna Wimschneider Arnold Schonberg Arnold Zweig artist attempts at mediation autonomous avant-garde beautiful become Berlin Bieler's bourgeois Brecht concept critics Degenerate Art Deutsche deutschen discourse Eisler Elfriede Jelinek Ernst expressionist fascist female feminine Feuchtwanger's Goya fiction film Frau Fritz gaze gender German Goya's Grimm and Jost Hanns Eisler high and low Hinz historical novel Hitler Ibid ideology images Jelinek Johann Jost Hermand Kunst language Lion Feuchtwanger literary literature low culture Lust machine male Malerei Manfred Bieler masculine mass culture Metropolis modern modernist mother Munich musical culture Musik myth narrative narrator Nazi neue painter Peter Handke political position production Quoted readers reading realism Reich Reinbek Reinhold Grimm represented role Rolf Dieter Brinkmann sexual social socialist structure sublime Thea von Harbou Thomas Mann tion traditional trivial volkish Weimar Weimar Republic Werke woman women workers writing styles