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Title: Rudolf Kassner and Hugo von Hofmannsthal : criticism as art : the reception of Pre-Raphaelitism in fin de siècle Vienna
Author: Rizza, Steve
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1996
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From their first meeting in 1901 to his death in 1929 Hugo von Hofmannsthal was an avid admirer of Rudolf Kassner's work. This study focuses on the origins of their friendship in their shared interest in nineteenth-century English art. Its aims are to reassess both writers' critical reception of Pre-Raphaelitism and give a fuller account of their relationship. Chapter one traces this relationship from Hofmannsthal's enthusiastic reading of Kassner's volume of critical essays on nineteenth-century English art, Die Mystik, die Kunstler und das Leben (1900), to Kassner's late essays on the poet. The body of the chapter analyses Hofmannsthal's three essays on English artists broadly classified as Pre-Raphaelites - 'Algernon Charles Swinburne' (1892), 'Walter Pater' (1894), and 'Uber moderne englische Malerei' (1894). The origins of Hofmannsthal's critical engagement with Pre-Raphaelitism are presented in the context of his association with Stefan George and the aesthetic programme of the Blatter fur die Kunst. The textural analyses draw attention to Hofmannsthal's understanding and practice of criticism as art, and to the changing images of aestheticism in these essays, his journals, and the lyrical drama Der Tor und der Tod (1893). Chapter two presents the development of Kassner's conception of criticism in his work and correspondence of the 1890s. The opening examines Kassner's provincial origins and his university education in Vienna and Berlin with particular reference to his rejection of orthodox academic positivism. The second section analyses Kassner's literary debut, the short story 'Sonnengnade' (1896), revealing the autobiographical dimension of the text and its significance for Kassner's early understanding of criticism. The third section examines Kassner's earliest work of criticism, his lost doctoral dissertation 'Der ewige Jude in der Dichtung' (1896), recently published in fragmentary transcript.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available