This course will explore how the political developments at the turn of the twentieth century shaped the culture of Vienna. The failure of liberalism after its brief period in power due to the economic crisis of the 1870s, the rise of anti-Semitic parties, and World War I caused vast cultural upheaval that may be seen in the period’s works of literature, music, art, architecture, philosophy of science, Zionism, and psychoanalysis. We will examine how writers, artists, and other cultural figures dealt with the devastation of World War I and the fall of the Habsburg Empire after centuries of rule. Finally, this course will trace how all of these aspects were prophetic of the worst catastrophes that the twentieth century would bring.
1. Schorske, Carl. Fin-de-siècle Vienna: Politics and Culture. Vintage, 1980. ISBN-10: 0394744780. ISBN-13: 978-0394744780.
2. Schnitzler, Arthur. Four Major Plays. Smith and Kraus Pub, 1999. ISBN-10: 1575251809. ISBN-13: 978-1575251806.
3. The Whole Difference: Selected Writings of Hugo von Hofmannsthal. Ed. J.D. McClatchy. Princeton University Press, 2008. ISBN-10: 0691129096. ISBN-13: 978-0691129099.
4. Freud, Sigmund. The Interpretation of Dreams. Basic Books, 2010. ISBN-10: 0465019773. ISBN-13: 978-0465019779.