By Egon Friedell
Cultural historical past of the fashionable Age: Renaissance and Reformation
Historian, thinker, critic, playwright, journalist, and actor, Egon Friedell was once a key determine within the striking flowering of Viennese tradition among the 2 international wars. His masterpiece, A Cultural background of the fashionable Age, demonstrates the highbrow universality that Friedell observed as guarantor of the continuity and regeneration of ecu civilization.
Following an excellent starting essay on cultural historical past and why it may be studied, the 1st quantity starts with an research of the transformation of the Medieval brain because it developed from the Black dying to the Thirty Years struggle. The emphasis is at the religious and cultural vortex of civilization, yet Friedell by no means forgets the ecu roots in pestilence, loss of life, and superstition that animate a opposite force towards cause, refinement, highbrow interest, and medical wisdom. whereas those values reached their apogee throughout the Renaissance, Friedell indicates that every cultural victory is precarious, and Europe used to be consistently at risk of slipping again into barbarism. Friedell's ancient imaginative and prescient embraces the total of Western tradition and its improvement. it's a constant probing for the divine within the world's direction and is, for that reason, theology; it really is study into the fundamental forces of the human soul and is, for that reason, psychology; it's the such a lot illuminating presentation of the sorts of nation and society and, for that reason, is politics; the main diverse choice of all art-creations and is, hence, aesthetics.
Thomas Mann appeared Friedell as one of many nice stylists within the German language. just like the works of the nice novelist, A Cultural heritage of the trendy Age deals a dramatic background of the final six centuries, exhibiting the riding forces of every age. the recent advent offers a desirable biographical cartoon of Friedell and his cultural milieu and analyzes his position in highbrow heritage.
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Extra info for A Cultural History of the Modern Age, Volume 1
The drawing rooms were full of pretty white flowers. Randolph and Jennie had their breakfast upstairs - in the little drawing room by themselves - a European custom. When everyone was present they came down but not for long as Jennie had to change into a very pretty blue and white striped dress for travelling and a white hat with a white feather. At 2 she bid us goodbye. A beautiful carriage with four grey horses and 2 postilions ... waited to carry them off to a chateau called Le Petit Val. Before 4 we were alone.
15 But when Randolph wrote telling Jennie of his father's pejorative comments about Jerome, Jennie was deeply offended and soon afterwards Leonard Jerome, too, withdrew his consent. *The Duke's reaction mirrored exactly that of Anthony Trollope's fictional character in the Palliser series in The Duke's Children, written in 1879, when the Duke of Omnium's son and heir Silverbridge fell in love with the rich daughter of visiting Americans. In this case there is no doubt that art was imitating life, for it all fell out in the novel exactly as it did in real life.
At night the two-mile-Iong Rue de Rivoli leading to the Place de la Concorde was illuminated by lamps hanging in every arch of the famous arcades, creating a 'river oflight' known as Ie cordon de lumiere, giving the impression that the city never slept. For Clara one of the greatest pleasures was shopping in the Rue de la Paix, where the leading fashion houses, the great names such as Worth and Doucet, had their shops, hidden behind modest exteriors. '8 Clara was not the only socially aspiring American matron in Paris.