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 Malaise of the "fin du siècle" (19th century)

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PaulRyckier
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PaulRyckier

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PostSubject: Malaise of the "fin du siècle" (19th century)   Malaise of the "fin du siècle" (19th century) EmptyFri 21 Feb 2020, 22:23

Sparked by Sylvain's thread about the time around 1900 and having learned during research for the roots of Fascism (and later Nazism) about the "special feeling" of fast changing society especially by the science evolution, social Darwinism (I discussed it with nordmann and he said that the term was not exact and I agreed, but so is the term coined in the time and so covers this term what people understood by it) and movements as eugenics and the survival of the fittest, not understood or misquoted by people, who wanted to use it in a Fascist way as the theories of Lebensraum. People weren't sure anymore of what happened with them and as revolt they became embedded in emotionalism, irrationalism, subjectivism and especially "vitalism", which was an essential characteristic of Fascism.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fin_de_si%C3%A8cle
From the wiki.
The major political theme of the era was that of revolt against materialismrationalismpositivismbourgeois society, and liberal democracy.[7] The fin-de-siècle generation supported emotionalismirrationalismsubjectivism, and vitalism,[8] while the mindset of the age saw civilization as being in a crisis that required a massive and total solution.[7]

I read this evening the article of Szabo referring to three works
The malaise of the fin du siècle Europe.
And in my humble opinion it was not in Europe alone but in the whole Western world of those days as far as Argentina and I guess as I read about the "long depression", which in my opinion influenced also the fin du siècle feeling (comments later in the message) up to Australia.
https://dalspace.library.dal.ca/bitstream/handle/10222/60306/dalrev_vol60_iss4_pp740_748.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y
About Szabo:
https://www.ualberta.ca/history-classics/people/emeriti/szabo

The Decline of Bismarck's European Order: Franco-Russian Relations. 1875-1890. By George F. Kennan. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1979. Pp. xii, 466. $25.00 (U.S.). Gold and Iron: Bismarck. Bleichroder, and the Building of the German Empire. By Fritz Stern. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1977. Pp. xxiv, 620. $17.95 (U.S.). Paper, N.Y.: Vintage Books, 1979. $7.95 (U.S.). Fin-de-siecle Vienna: Politics and Culture. By Carl E. Schorske. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1980. Pp. xxx, 378. $15.95 (U.S.). 

I read "Gold and Iron" from Fritz Stern and not the other two, but I am many times not agreeing with the comments of Szabo, but that is for later (if someone is interested in the thread Wink )

And an article from The Guardian comparing the fin du siècle from the 19th and 20th century:
https://www.theguardian.com/books/1999/dec/18/politics.history
Here you can learn again in my opinion a lot about the end of the 19th century feeling...

And nobody mentions it, but in my opinion and I think I read it in the book about Fascism of Payne too:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/349782.A_History_of_Fascism_1914_1945
"the long depression" had also a lot to do in the bad feeling and the malaise of the end of the 19th century, where all old stabilizing forces came in question?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long_Depression
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baring_crisis
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panic_of_1893
https://www.rba.gov.au/publications/rdp/2001/2001-07/1890s-depression.html

Kind regards, Paul.
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LadyinRetirement
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PostSubject: Re: Malaise of the "fin du siècle" (19th century)   Malaise of the "fin du siècle" (19th century) EmptySat 22 Feb 2020, 07:50

I've never read Heinrich Mann's Man of Steel about the thoroughly dislikeable Diederich Hesseling (Der Untertan in German).  I saw an adaptation of the book in the early 1970s with Derek Jacobi in the title role.  The only clip I could find was an audio one which was only a minute or so in length.  The story was written around the end of the First World War (well  might have been written earlier but was published in 1918 if my internet sleuthing is correct) but was about late 19th century Germany.  I don't remember the details but remember thinking it was well acted.  It depicted over slavish devotion to the system if I remember rightly though looking on the internet some critics say there was something satirical about the book.  A user review on IMDb says "This early tv appearance by Jacobi as weaselly, duplicitous social climber in imperial Germany showed what a star was in the making.  Alas, we can no longer enjoy his terrific performance because the series was not archived and is lost for good.  Very sad".  As the BBC don't seem to have archived the serial I can't look at it now and see if it has withstood the test of time.  I don't know what the BBC's criteria were/are for deciding whether or not to archive programmes.  There are clips of the 1967 BBC version of The Forsyte Saga around and they predate the adaptation of Man of Straw.
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PaulRyckier
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PostSubject: Re: Malaise of the "fin du siècle" (19th century)   Malaise of the "fin du siècle" (19th century) EmptySat 22 Feb 2020, 20:24

LiR, 

indeed not only Heinrich Mann with his "Der Untertan" (The man of straw)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Der_Untertan
And as you said the BBC mini series
https://genome.ch.bbc.co.uk/e20049c207fb47ad8eae86d738e76b58

but also his brother Thomas Mann, was critical about the bourgeoisie and especially the military, who had chosen not for the liberal ideals of the 1848 constitution, but for a submission to the state. Thomas Mann called it ironical: "General Dr von Staat".
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frankfurt_Parliament
The liberals had renounced their liberal soul and had become uncritical puppets of the state.

I read the reference for the first time in the critical book from von Krockow:
https://www.amazon.de/Christian-Graf-von-Krockow-Jahrhundert/dp/B0027UTXO0
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Germans-Their-Century-1890-1990-Christian/dp/071908086X
(I read it in French translation Wink)

And there von Krockow says: it seemed to be normal that military appeared in the parliament in uniform and with their medals. He proposes the "Sonderweg" along the Fisher thinking. But I don't agree always fully with the Fisher theory and also with what von Krockow says about that Sonderweg (that "special" German way)

And yes on their special German way the Wilhelminian Germany's story was also perhaps an example of the tens!ion of the "esprit du fin du siècle"?

NB: LiR while searching for my thread I saw something in Britain about the "aestetics" movement? Oscar Wilde?

Kind regards, Paul.
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