For a long time confined to a few editions and studies, Karl Wolfskehl’s life and work have enjoyed a renewed interest in the past few years, encouraged by an intensive editorial process, among other things. Important documents, especially letters, dating back to the years of Wolfskehl’s forced exile in Italy and New Zealand, have been recovered from the archives. Along with his extensive oeuvre, his correspondence with exponents of the contemporary German(-Jewish) intelligentsia represents a written version of a life-long conversation, where the former ‘Zeus von Schwabing’ strove to (re-)unify the heterogeneous elements which formed his culture, elements which he perceived as incessantly growing apart. This culture was, as Wolfskehl himself stressed even in difficult times when he had reason to fear his fate, ‘Jewish, Roman and German at the same time’. During his life, Wolfskehl witnessed crucial events in German literature and culture from the fin de siècle to the mid-twentieth century: from his bohemian years in Munich and Stefan George’s circle, through the Hölderlin Renaissance and the enthusiastic reception of the First World War, up to his intensive activity as freelance essayist and journalist in the Weimar period. A wide-ranging re-evaluation of Wolfskehl’s role in these crucial moments requires a thorough examination of his essay production, which has not so far been done. The present contribution aims to attempt a chronological evaluation of his essays, with particular attention to the early writings (before 1920), where he tried, in a unconventional manner, to join culturally conservative and irrational divagations with reflections on manifold topics. The conjecture underlying this paper is that Wolfskehl’s vast knowledge and multiple interests, along with his linguistic virtuosity, were already evident in his early essay oeuvre. He could deal profoundly and apparent effortlessly with very different issues, from Old German poetry to modern bibliophilia, from drinking songs to Jewish themes.
|Titolo:||Karl Wolfskehl als Essayist um die Jahrhundertwende (1894–1914)|
CASTELLARI, MARCO (Primo)
|Parole Chiave:||Wolfskehl - essay - German-Jewish literature|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore L-LIN/13 - Letteratura Tedesca|
|Data di pubblicazione:||mar-2010|
|Tipologia:||Book Part (author)|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||03 - Contributo in volume|