Hermann Broch, Visionary in Exile: The 2001 Yale Symposium
The Austrian novelist Hermann Broch ranks with Kafka and Musil among the three greatest 20th-century Austrian novelists and belongs to the century's most gifted novelists in German from whatever country. He established his reputation with The Sleepwalkers, a trilogy of political and philosophical novels. His best-known work is The Death of Virgil, a long, challenging work in a lyrical, exuberant, and sometimes nearly incomprehensible style, a kind of cerebral stream-of-consciousness of the dying Virgil. Broch also wrote extensively about modern art and architecture, Hofmannsthal, and mass psychology. He has a special connection to Yale, as he lived the last years of his life there after having escaped Austria in 1938. The participants in the Yale Symposium of April 2001 are among the world's most prominent Broch scholars. Fourteen of their presentations have been extensively revised for this volume, which focuses on Broch as critic and as novelist and dramatist. Topics include Broch's views on kitsch and art, and on drama; his cultural criticism; his cooperation with Borgese and Arendt; his theory of mass psychology; history in his works, Ernst Kretschmer's influence on him; Virgil and Celan's Atemwende; Jean Starr Untermeyer's translation of Virgil; guilt and the fall in Those without Guilt; and Broch reception in Japan. Paul Michael Lützeler is Distinguished University Professor of German at Washington University St. Louis and editor of Broch's collected works. MATTHIAS KONZETT is associate professor of German at Yale; WILLY RIEMER is associate professor of German at the University of Delaware, and CHRISTA SAMMONS is curator of the German collections of the Beinecke Library at Yale.
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