Department of German Studies / The University of Arizona / Spring 1995
Love, Madness, and Decay in
Instructor: Dr. Thomas Kovach
An introduction to the culture of turn-of-the-century Vienna, one of the birthplaces of Modernism. The work of writers, artists and architects, composers, and thinkers in various fields will be studied against the background of the political and social history of the last years of the Habsburg Monarchy.
Available for purchase at ASUA Bookstore:
Carl E. Schorske, Fin-de-Siècle Vienna: Politics and Culture (Vintage Books)
Arthur Schnitzler, Plays and Stories (Continuum)
Hugo von Hofmannsthal, Three Plays (Wayne State)
Sigmund Freud, The Interpretation of Dreams (Avon)
Karl Kraus, In These Great Times (Chicago)
Other required texts will be available as handouts from the office of the Department of German Studies, 571 MLB upon payment of a Xerox fee, or will be available at the library reserve desk.
Optional text (highly recommended)
Barbara Jelavich, Modern Austria: Empire and Republic, 1815-1986 (Cambridge)
Regular attendance — 20% of grade (there are 30 class meetings; every 3 unexcused absences will lower this portion of your grade by a full letter)
Two short papers (4-5 pages typewritten, double-spaced; the first will be due in mid-Feburary, the 2nd around mid-April) — 30% of grade. These are not intended to be research papers; rather, they should contain your own reflections on works studied and issues raised in class.
Midterm examination (in class on Thursday, March 2) — 20% of grade
Final exam (Tuesday, May 9, 2:00-4:00 PM) — 30% of grade
These exams will consist of some identifications of quotes and terms, along with two essay questions.
Please note that the above percentages do not represent a precise formula, but are a general indication of the approximate relative weight of course components.
January 12 Course introduction. Background of Habsburg Empire through 1848.
Recommended reading: Jelavich, Introduction and Chapter 1 (pp. 3-71)
January 17 Crisis of Austrian Liberalism post-1848
Required reading: Schorske Chapter 6, "The Transformation of the Garden"
Recommended reading: Jelavich, Chapter 2 and Conclusion of Part 1
January 19 "Playboys and Aesthetes": Early works of Schnitzler and Hofmannsthal
Required: Schorske, Chapter 1: "Politics and the Psyche"
Schorske, "Introduction" recommended but not required.
January 24 Schnitzler, "Flirtations"; begin "La Ronde"
January 26 Conclude Schnitzler, "La Ronde"
Hofmannsthal, "Death and the Fool";
January 31 Hofmannsthal: Poems, "Poetry and Life" (Handout)
The Crisis of the Ego: Ernst Mach and "The Analysis of Sensations" (handout)
February 2 Hofmannsthal: "A Letter" (handout)
Hofmannsthal, "Electra" (begin discussion)
February 7 Conclude "Electra"
Schnitzler, "The Green Cockatoo" (handout);
February 9 Schnitzler, "The Green Cockatoo" (conclude discussion); "Lieutenant Gustl"
February 14 Regeneration through Art: Transition from the Nineteenth Century to Modernism
Hofmannsthal, "The Cavalier of the Rose" (handout; required listening)
February 16 Gustav Mahler and the Third Symphony (required listening, required readings by McGrath on reserve)
February 21 The Ringstraße and Otto Wagner (Schorske, Chapter 2: "The Ringstraße, its critics, and the birth of urban modernism")
February 23 Gustav Klimt and the Secession (Required reading is Schorske, Chapter 5: "Gustav Klimt: Painting and the Crisis of the Liberal Ego")
Recommended: Readings from Peter Vergo, The Arts in Vienna on library reserve
February 28 Catchup and review session
March 2 Midterm exam
March 7 Jewish Vienna: Anti-Semitism and the New Politics
Schorske, Chapter 3: "Politics in a New Key: An Austrian Trio"
Readings in Beller and Wistrich (library reserve)
March 9 Continue discussion of Anti-Semitism and the New Politics
March 21 The Birth of Psychoanalysis
Schorske, Chapter 4: "Politics and Patricide in Freud’s Interpretation of Dreams"
Readings in Freud: Skim Chapter 1, read Chapters 2, 3, and 4 carefully, along with the following sections in chapters 5, 6, and 7: pp. 196-209 (The Dream of the Botanical Monograph), pp. 221-231 (Rome dreams), pp. 241-253 (Revolutionary dream), pp. 294-300 (Oedipus complex), pp. 315-318 (Botanical Monograph revisited), pp. 463-467 (Dream about father)
Reread Schorske, Chapter 4
March 23 Continue on Freud and Psychoanalysis
March 28 Modernism: Karl Kraus and the Puritans
Kraus: Essays from In These Great Times to be announced
March 30 Continue discussion of Kraus essays
April 4 Schorske, Chapter 7: "Explosion in the Garden"
Required readings by and about Adolf Loos (reserve and handouts)
Required listening: Arnold Schoenberg
April 6 Conclude discussion of Loos and Schoenberg
The Aftermath of World War I and the Collapse of the Habsburg Monarchy Recommended: Jelavich, Chapter 3
April 11 Kraus, Excerpts from "The Last Days of Mankind" (from In These Great Times)
April 13 Conclude "The Last Days of Mankind"
April 18 Hofmannsthal, "The Difficult Man" (handout)
April 20 Conclude "The Difficult Man"
April 25 Hofmannsthal, "The Tower" (1927 version)
April 27 Conclude "The Tower"
May 2 Catchup and review