Hermann Broch Northwestern University Press, 2001 Library of Congress PT2603.R357S3813 2000 | Dewey Decimal 833.912
Murder, lust, shame, hypocrisy, and suicide are at the center of The Guiltless, Hermann Broch's postwar novel about the disintegration of European society in the decades preceding the Second World War. Broch's characters--apathetic, cruel, or indolent--are trapped in their indifference, prisoners of a "wakeful somnolence." They may mention the "imbecile Hitler," yet they prefer sex or a nap to any social action. Broch thought such ethical perversity and political apathy paved the way for Nazism and hoped that by revealing Germany's underlying guilt he could purge indifference from his own and future generations. In The Guiltless, Broch captures how ennui--a very human failing--evolves into something dehumanizing and dangerous.
Hermann Broch (1886-1951) is remembered among English-speaking readers for his novels The Sleepwalkers and The Death of Virgil, and among German-speaking readers for his novels as well as his works on moral and political philosophy, his aesthetic theory, and his varied criticism. This study reveals Broch as a major historian as well, one who believes that true historical understanding requires the faculties of both poet and philosopher.
Through an analysis of the changing thought and career of the Austrian poet, librettist, and essaist Hugo von Hofmannsthal (1874-1929), Broch attempts to define and analyze the major intellectual issues of the European fin de siècle, a period that he characterizes according to the Nietzschean concepts of the breakdown of rationality and the loss of a central value system. The result is a major examination of European thought as well as a comparative study of political systems and artistic styles.
Ornament as Crisis explores the ways in which the novels of Hermann Broch’s Sleepwalkers (Schlafwandler) trilogy participate in and employ the history of architecture and architectural theory.
Beginning with the visual and architectural experiences of the figures in each novel, Sarah McGaughey analyzes the role of architecture in the trilogy as a whole, while discussing work by Broch’s contemporaries on architecture. She argues that The Sleepwalkers allows us to better understand how literature responds and contributes to social, theoretical, and spatial concepts of architecture. Ornament as Crisis guides readers through the spaces of Broch’s mdernist masterpiece and the architectural debates of his time.
The Unknown Quantity
Hermann Broch Northwestern University Press, 2000 Library of Congress PT260.R657U6313 2000 | Dewey Decimal 833.912
Mild and sensitive Richard Hieck endured a quietly difficult childhood in Germany. But from his father Richard inherited an interest in the night sky, learning to love the constellations and to take comfort in the strength of Orion and the warm radiance of Venus. His choice to pursue mathematics offers him the discipline he craved as a child.
Published in 1933, The Unknown Quantity is Hermann Broch's study of the underlying chaos-and finally the impossibility-of life within a society whose values are in decay. As Richard seeks to reconcile the conflicting demands of love and science, of passion and reason, societal and family values begin to undermine him and those in orbit around him.