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Lateness and Modern European Literature$
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Ben Hutchinson

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198767695

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198767695.001.0001

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‘Fin de Siècle and No End’: The Austrian Art of Being Late

‘Fin de Siècle and No End’: The Austrian Art of Being Late

(p.214) 11Fin de Siècle and No End’: The Austrian Art of Being Late
Lateness and Modern European Literature

Ben Hutchinson

Oxford University Press

The Wiener Moderne has long been established as a pivotal moment in the development of modernity, and it plays an important role in the European narrative of constructions of lateness. Chapter 11 focuses on how the key terms Epigonentum, Fin de siècle, and Dekadenz express variations on lateness in the Viennese literature of the latenineteenth century. Focusing in particular on essays and poems by figures such as Hermann Bahr and Hugo von Hofmannsthal, as well as on cultural criticism by the likes of Carl Spitteler, Max Nordau, and Otto Weininger, the chapter explores the extent to which Viennese modernity is predicated on a sense of arriving too late, after the perceived high point of European culture. Hermann Broch’s era-defining cliché ‘the Gay Apocalypse’ captures the Dionysian duality at the heart of the period: modernity is understood to be dying, but this is not necessarily a bad thing.

Keywords:   Wiener Moderne, Hermann Bahr, Hugo von Hofmannsthal, Stefan Zweig, Carl Spitteler, Max Nordau, Otto Weininger

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