Goethe, J. Hamburger Ausgabe, Hg. Hansen, K. Empfindsamkeiten Passau, Rothe, Horkheimer, M. Kant, I. Werkausgabe, Hg. Weischedel Frankfurt aM, Suhrkamp, Kleinschmidt, E. Geschlechterdifferenz und Affekt in der Sprachpoetik des Kittler, F. Kondylis, P. Koschorke, A. Mediologie des Leibniz, G. Lenz, J. Luserke, M. Mason, H. Mog, P. Studien zu Psychogenese und Literatur im Nolting, W. Studien zu einer Geschichte der literarischen Empfindung, Hg.
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Pikulik, L. Riedel, W. Hg Der ganze Mensch. Anthropologie und Literatur im Jahrhundert Stuttgart, Metzler, , — Liebe und Ehe.
Schiller, F. Schlaeger, J. Stedman eds. Titzmann, M. Wegmann, N. Diskurse der Empfindsamkeit. Jahrhunderts Stuttgart, Metzler, This paper focuses on the part played by the ethnic group still called Gypsies and Zigeuner — the Romany nation — in the tradition of German counterculture, and finds several of the above modalities exemplified in the history of their literary representation.
The first part of the paper examines the cultural anthropology and literary image of the Romanies in the epoch around as emblematic of the role of art and of the Gypsies in early modern German culture. The thesis is that the representation of the Romanies around consistently followed the agenda of an aesthetic counter1 We define modernity with Silvio Vietta as a cultural macroepoch lasting from the late eighteenth to the late twentieth century, and characterised by the inner continuity of a small number of basic features across several, superficially distinct stylistic microepochs.
The basic features are exhibited in elemental form in Early Romantic culture: the historically new claims to untrammeled autonomy of reason and subject which entail the end of traditional metaphysics and the domination of nature, but also provoke the counter-discourse of experimental-utopian cultural criticism which is modern art.
See Vietta, 7— Only in the twentieth century was this ultimately colonialist stance overcome.
Romanies in modern and postmodern German literature are still the locus of counter-cultural utopian emancipatory energies. However, the twentieth-century utopia rests for the first time on a hybrid or dialogical notion of authentically intercultural communication: the post-Orientialist representation of the German Gypsy voice. As already indicated, we see the key term counter-culture as implying the notion of utopia.
There is a vast amount of internal variation in the literary utopian genre per se. Gypsies, Utopias and Counter-Cultures in Modern German Cultural History 45 Romantics however modify this representative strategy in two typically modernist ways. Thus Hardenberg presents the theocratic Middle Ages in the context of post-Revolutionary chaos as a lost and future ideal of political constitution. Second, however, these utopian designs are ironically reflected and relativised in the texts themselves, revealed modernistically as merely provisional, experimental and provocative in function something non-specialists perennially overlook when they try to define Romantic politics see Malsch and Kurzke.
Thus despite the attempt to overcome distance, and to embed the utopia in everyday reality, the Romantics in fact also preserve one fundamental characteristic of the utopian tradition in literature, namely the insight that the realisability of a utopia is not in itself an indicator of its value, which lies elsewhere only Karl Mannheim would disagree.
Mannheim argues that only an historically realised utopia qualifies as authentic, the rest qualifying merely as ideologies.
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Pikulik, 13— Norm, says Pikulik 13—14 , means two negative things for the Romantics: the everyday and that which is determined by convention; each examplifies a kind of compulsion. To take Hardenberg again, there are explicit signs of this only towards the end of his career. In Heinrich von Ofterdingen we find the first proper Romantic encounter with utopian Oriental alterity, when the figure of the imperialist Crusader is contrasted with his Muslim prisoner, the Saracen poetess Zulima — with decidedly negative consequences for Germano-Christian selfesteem.
For the Gypsies figure here as the ultimate ideal of human perfection, as ultimate cultural mediators, in short, as the ultimate Bohemian counter-culture of early nineteenth-century philistine Biedermeier. At one level the tale concerns how this inauthentic artist meets his aesthetic Nemesis.
The treatment of the border theme is where the interculturality comes in. It is important to note that the company in the tavern is a representative selection of pretty much all the member nations of the Habsburg empire and its neighbours: Austrians, Tiroleans, Savoyards, Italians, Croats, Germans, plus a representative of the former enemy, the Frenchman Devillier not to mention Turks and others in the inset tales.
But the greatest contrast is with two others, in fact the chief characters of the tale. They achieve this by a variety of means, usually aesthetic in nature and involving the creation of order or the discrimination of truth from falsehood. For example Michaly, whom the narrator likens to a second Orpheus Brentano, , quells an outbreak of multicultural chaos in the tavern by playing his violin at a strategic moment and imposing Orphic order. She also makes peace between the aesthetic entrepreneurs, and even rediscovers her own lost beloved, the sceptical Frenchman Devillier.
They create intercultural harmony between the bewildering mix of nations and cultures that is the Habsburg state and there is plenty of evidence that Brentano seriously intended this as a political utopia. They rescue love from oblivion and re-unite divided partners.
In short, Michaly and Mitidika transcend any kind of boundary — political, cultural, aesthetic, sexual — in order wherever they act to restore wholeness and harmony, and Brentano does not shrink from promoting messianic associations around their person. And, to focus more narrowly, the two Gypsies, representatives of Oriental otherness in war-torn and philistine Europe, are the ultimate symbol of late Romantic selfunderstanding, vehicles of one of the last versions of the Romantic poetic utopia, symbol of healing for all the ills of Biedermeier Germany or Austria. But it is precisely the Romantic selection of the Gypsy — among all possible Oriental ethnic groups — which is most remarkable about this tale.
For of course the Romantic Gypsy utopia entirely fails to correspond to the reality of Gypsy life around Gypsies, Utopias and Counter-Cultures in Modern German Cultural History 49 degree than even the Jewish nation Jews were at least tolerated absolutely the most despised ethnic group. Naturally this had to do with their vagrant status and irredeemably low public esteem. In every German state save Austria they were obliged by law on pain of death as vogelfrei to cross the border of wherever they happened to be. With no national territory, they were therefore obliged to make their home everywhere and nowhere, de facto outside of society, in fields and forests — in nature, and to make their scarce living by disreputable trades or theft.
The negativity and marginalisation of the Gypsies rather like that of woman in patriarchal discourse paradoxically only increased their suitability as a poetic symbol of sheer Otherness, and precisely this is what Brentano exploits. Nicholas Saul and Susan Tebbutt 50 lithe physicality as a Naturvolk which Brentano gleefully translates into his particular brand of aestheticised eroticism and their historical trajectory the myth of the return to Egypt, which Brentano translates into Romantic Heilsgeschichte.
But this criticism is hardly the point. For none of this prevented the Gypsies around from serving as the perfect symbol of everything a Romantic utopian looked for. This is also the case for much of the nineteenth century in Germany, through texts which cannot be explored here,8 at least up to Thomas Mann, whose Gypsies symbolise everything Gustav Aschenbach is not. The Romantic paradigm of the Gypsy, then, which effectively silences the Gypsy voice even as it preaches emancipation and transcendence, exerts a dominating influence over the literary representation of the Gypsy in the nineteenth century.
It thus inaugurated and controlled the discourse on the Gypsy for this period. We shall now consider to what extent this received discourse of the Gypsy retained its power in the twentieth. Counter-Cultures and the Twentieth Century In the eighteenth and nineteenth century the presentation of the Romany universe in normal German culture tended to be restricted to the Orientalist mode. It was an oppositional life-style, a bohemian liberated and liberating space, an escapist aesthetic utopia, which was available to cultivated Germans either in literature or in life.
After Adorno signalled the perils of attempting to produce poetry after Auschwitz, and it is equally hard to see how after the extermination of half a million European Romanies the cultural history of the German-speaking world could continue unabashed to present the world of the Gypsies as a utopia.
It was not until the s that Romany voices were raised and the dystopian spaces around the Gypsy experience acknowledged. Ethnicity and the Search for Utopia in the Early Twentieth Century Among the Expressionist writers and artists at the start of the twentieth century there was an enthusiasm for other cultures, for other peoples, whether they lived in Europe or beyond. Otto Mueller — — who reputedly had Gypsy blood and spent several extended periods with Eastern European Gypsies — created images of their proud independent culture.
In an exhibition in Bonn in some images of Gypsies bore witness to the ethnicity and individuality of the Romanies, rather than showing them as outsiders.
Yet this artistic utopian landscape peopled by bronzed bodies, by angular and often distorted facial features, and scruffy clothing, defiantly staring out at the viewer, this glorification of what appeared more like a primitive tribe, was pronounced unacceptable, likely to inspire only disgust. Although these works portrayed the reconciliation of man and nature, and opposed urbanised civilisation, they were considered decadent, not in line with Nazi classicist ideals of beauty. The images of Gypsies flowing from the brushes and charcoal of Mueller and Pankok were thus among the many banned by Hitler as degenerate in the infamous Exhibition of Entartete Kunst in Munich in Their works were proscribed, removed from public view, consigned to the storerooms of the galleries.
After this cultural cleansing, Pankok comments in on how only one of the many Gypsies he had painted had actually survived the Holocaust. The others fell, victims of ethnic cleansing. In his speech on Post Acknowledgement of Dystopia After the Romanies were no longer officially persecuted. But does this mean that they ceased to be part of a counter-cultural group? The fact that some forty years after the end of the war many Gypsies had still not received compensation from the German and Austrian governments was proof enough of the continuity of anti-Gypsyism.
In cultural terms Romanies still do not form part of the dominant discourse and are marginalised. At a time when the heyday of socially critical literature in Germany was over, the Austrian writer Erich Hackl began to emerge as the champion of the underdog, the exposer of the iniquities suffered by various minority groups, be they in Europe or South America. Interwoven with the story of the life of the young Gypsy girl Sidonie Adlersburg, who is adopted by an Austrian family, and later deported to a concentration camp, is the reflective discourse around later governmental and public responses to these events.
The key issue is Gadzo non-Romany complicity in the crimes. Gypsies, Utopias and Counter-Cultures in Modern German Cultural History 55 issue of the play, but the bomb explodes before the play begins. For Jelinek it is the cultural representation of the deaths, and the media indifference and insensitivity, the oscillation between images of misery and banality, the failure to see beyond the surface, which intrigues.
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The play is not only about the deaths but their memorialisation, the place which they take in history. Yet in both works they emerge as an important part of the literary counter-culture, and illustrate the cultural diversity of the contemporary German-speaking world. How do the minority group themselves react, respond, generate a new genuine counter-culture? Written down some fifty years after the end of the war, these autobiographies highlight the counter-culture, the culture of the Romanies, which was targeted for extermination 12 Cultural history does not only relate to works of literature.
Cultural memorials to the past can also be seen as an attempt to acknowledge dystopia.
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