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By Melissa S. Lane, Martin A. Ruehl

The poet Stefan George (1868-1933) was once the most very important cultural figures in glossy Germany. His poetry, in its originality and influence, has been ranked with that of Goethe, Hölderlin, or Rilke. but George's achieve prolonged a ways past the field of literature. in the course of his final 3 many years, he attracted a circle of disciples who subscribed to his homoerotic and aestheticist imaginative and prescient of existence and sought to rework it into truth. The works and regarded the circle profoundly affected the highbrow and cultural attitudes of Germany's expert heart classification from the start of the 20 th century, and are hence the most important to Germany's cultural and highbrow background. The transition from the aestheticist, cosmopolitan values the circle embraced within the early 1900s to the extra explicitly political and patriotic perspectives lots of its individuals espoused throughout the Weimar Republic either conditioned and mirrored a momentous transformation in German notion. The intersection of tradition and politics within the George Circle has bought little cognizance in English-language scholarship earlier. This quantity contains contributions from significant students in either English- and German-speaking nations. Its viewers contains students and scholars of German languages and literature, German historical past, and reception of the classics, between different fields. members: Adam Bisno, Richard Faber, Rüdiger Görner, Peter Hoffmann, Thomas Karlauf, Melissa S. Lane, Robert E. Lerner, David Midgley, Robert E. Norton, Ray Ockenden, Ute Oelmann, Martin A. Ruehl, Bertram Schefold.

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Extra resources for A Poet's Reich: Politics and Culture in the George Circle

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He, too, conceived of his role as a prophet and educator in more expansive, national terms and hoped to make an impact beyond the community of his disciples. Ultimately, however, his goals were paedagogical rather than political. As he had remarked in one of the Merksprüche: Wenn eine ganze gruppe von deutschen menschen • ob auch in beschränkter zahl und auf beschränktem gebiet • Jahrzehnte hindurch . . in diesem sinne einer geistigen haltung ja einer lebensführung spricht und handelt • ja ihr höchstes bestreben sieht so kann daraus für die gesamte bildung und für das gesamte leben mehr wirkung ausströmen als aus einer noch so staunenswerten sachlichen entdeckung oder einer neuen Weltanschauung.

While espous- THE GEORGE CIRCLE 27 ing the classic aestheticist doctrine of l’art pour l’art (“eine kunst frei von jedem dienst”), George still implied that art could and should not be remote from life. The relationship between art and life would remain a central — and complicated — theme in the writings of George and his disciples. The contributors to the early volumes of the Blätter, though they were eager to redefine the meaning and purpose of art, initially at least failed to consider how this new art could be brought about and how it would affect life (B, 3:5).

61 See Hoffmann, Stauffenberg und seine Bruder, 501–2. 62 Max Kommerell to Johann Anton, 24 December 1930, quoted in Hoffmann, Stauffenberg und seine Bruder, 493. 63 Hildebrandt, Erinnerungen an Stefan George, 120. 64 These included Max Kommerell, Johann and Wolfgang Anton, Walter Elze, and Rudolf Fahrner. See Groppe, Macht der Bildung, 273–76. ” See Wolters, Stefan George, 521. The Jewish Ullstein family owned one of the biggest publishing houses of Europe and ran some of the leading liberal newspapers in Germany before 1933.

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