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Sandra Santana

The Labyrinth of the Word: Karl Kraus in Fin-de-Siècle Vienna

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Details

Acantilado

Non fiction

November 2011

368 pages

Essay, Human Studies

Original Title: El laberinto de la palabra

The singular literary production of Karl Kraus (Jicin, Bohemia, 1874 – Vienna, 1936), made up of essays, polemical articles, poems and aphorisms, exercised a powerful fascination upon an important section of the intellectuals of the last century: authors such as Theodor Adorno, Walter Benjamin and Elias Canetti made that clear in their writings. What is more, the pages of his book Die Fackel (La antorcha: El Acantilado, 220) are a very special place from which to observe the gestation of the acute linguistic crisis that affected the Austro-Hungarian Empire at a moment when it was in sharp decline. Basing itself upon Gustav Klimt’s painting, Arnold Schönberg’s music, Adolf Loos’s architecture, Hugo von Hofmannsthal’s literary writings and the philosophy of Fritz Mauthner and Ludwig Wittgenstein, the present work analyses, in the context of Vienna in the 1900s, some of the causes of a preoccupation with the nature of language, whose influence is still with us.

Prizes

Ciutat de Barcelona Prize 2011

Praises

«A book that serves to look back on the past – above all, the construction and establishment of an aesthetic period – and to read the future, to remember the need to identify and unmask the mechanisms whereby culture becomes fixed».
Patricia Almarcegui, ABC Cultural

«An extraordinary analysis of the verbal element in Karl Kraus».
Jordi Llovet, El País

«The Vienna of Karl Kraus, the capital city of the urn and the urinal».
Braulio García, Público

«In between the pole of a motherly, maternal language that sustains patriotic values and that of a language that is an erotic, desiderative labyrinth, the author develops that nucleus suggestively, intelligently and with great elegance».
Isidoro Reguera, El País

«A fascinating voyage across a world that is crumbling, an epoch that is in agony and which does not differ too much from the one we live in».
Eva Díaz, El Mundo

Details

Acantilado

Non fiction

November 2011

1 pages

Essay, Human Studies