Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Scopus Web of Science® Altmetric
Type: Book chapter
Title: 'Barely explicable power of the word, that separates and conjoins' : Gottfried Benn's Problems of Poetry and their poetology of existence
Author: Hajduk, S.
Citation: German and European Poetics after the Holocaust: Crisis and Creativity, 2011 / Hoffmann, G., Magshamhrain, R., Pajevic, M., Shields, M. (ed./s), pp.137-157
Publisher: Camden House
Publisher Place: Rochester, NY, USA
Issue Date: 2011
ISBN: 1571132902
Editor: Hoffmann, G.
Magshamhrain, R.
Pajevic, M.
Shields, M.
Statement of
Stefan Hajduk
Abstract: Gottfried Benn's oeuvre is important for the history of German postwar poetics not least because it exemplifies the relationship between crisis and creativity that marks the period. In Benn's own crisis period of inner emigration after 1934, culminating in 1938 with the Nazi ban on publishing his work, a ban that was continued under Allied occupation until 1948 because of Benn's initial support of National Socialism, continuities, interruptions and new beginnings are discernible in the content, form, and particularly the poetics of his work. In terms of continuity, for instance, poetic subjectivity occupies a central position during this period at the level of both textual aesthetics and the aesthetics of production. Subjectivity remains central despite an internal shift in emphasis from the Dionysian, prelogical nature of the ecstatic self toward a static consciousness of the Other in Apollonian melancholy. Discontinuity, however, determines Benn's Expressionist, onesided concentration on the poetological aspects of dissolution of the self, “Wirklichkeitszertrümmerung” (smashing of reality), and the grandeur of loss. Coincidentally, Benn's outline of his project “Phase II,” with its double perspective of neo-avant-garde and neo-renaissance, hints at a renewal of the dynamics of modernism. This poetics, which anticipates postmodernism, was developed during the fifth year of the Second World War when Benn, then serving as a medical officer, once more turned his existential crisis into poetic creativity in deserted barracks on the Eastern Front, facing the military disasters of the summer of 1944.
Rights: Copyright © 2011 by the Editors and Contributors
DOI: 10.7722/j.ctt81ng6
Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest
German publications

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
  Restricted Access
Restricted Access998.79 kBAdobe PDFView/Open

Items in DSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.