Bahr, Hermann, “Die Moderne,” Moderne Dichtung. Monatsschrift für Literatur und Kritik, 1.1 (1890) : 13.
“We are likely to be at an end, at death of an exhausted mankind, and these are but the last convulsions. We are likely to be at a beginning, at birth of a new mankind, and these are but the avalanches of spring. We ascend toward God or we fall, fall into night and extermination – yet, there is no persistence.”
Cf. Bachleitner, Norbert, “Hermann Bahr und die französische Literatur in den Jahren 1889/90,” Hermann Bahr – Mittler der europäischen Moderne, ed. Johann Lachinger, Linz : Adalbert-Stifter-Institut des Lands Oberösterreich, 2001, 145-159.
Haupt, Sabine and Stefan Bodo Würffel, ed., Handbuch Fin de Siècle, Stuttgart: Alfred Kröner Verlag, 2008, 165.
Jacques Le Rider was the first to allude to the correlation of anti-Semitism and aestheticism, arguing that the problem of Jewish identity, which many Young-Vienna authors had to face, drove them even deeper into an escapist style of writing, sealing themselves off from a disagreeable and conflict-prone reality. Cf. Le Rider, Jacques, Modernité viennoise et crises de l’identité, Paris : Presses Universitaires de France, 1990 ; and recently Les juifs viennois à la Belle Epoque, Paris : Èditions Albin Michel, 2013.
Altenberg, Peter, Ashantee, Berlin: S. Fischer Verlag, 1897, 127.
Some Jewish writers, like Karl Kraus and Otto Weininger, even took up an anti-Semitic stance, becoming striking examples of so-called ‘Jewish self-hatred’.
Bahr, Hermann, “Der junge Herzl,” Der jüdische Student, 10.5 (1913): 171. “Do you know, what Theodor Herzl was, when I first met him ? He was a member of a German-national fraternity.”
Dethloff, Klaus, ed., Theodor Herzl oder Der Moses des Fin de Siècle, Wien et al : Böhlau, 1986, 13.
Cf. Stanislawski, Michael, Zionism and the Fin de Siècle, 13f. The Dreyfus affair was an anti-Semitically motivated conviction and later rehabilitation of the French captain Alfred Dreyfus between 1894 and 1906. It ignited strong public interest in France and most European cities.
Dethloff, Klaus, ed., Theodor Herzl oder Der Moses des Fin de Siècle, 18f.
Beller, Steven, “Herzl’s Tannhäuser: The Redemption of the Artist as Politician,” Austrians and Jews in the Twentieth Century, ed. Robert S. Wistrich, New York : St. Martin’s Press, 1992, 45.
Pawel Ernst, The Labyrinth of Exile. A Life of Theodor Herzl, New York : Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1989, 226.
Dethloff, Klaus, ed., Theodor Herzl oder Der Moses des Fin de Siècle, 29.
Herzl, Theodor, Der Judenstaat. Versuch einer modernen Lösung der Judenfrage, Zürich : Manesse, 1988, 7.
“I’m not inventing anything [...] neither the historical Jewish condition nor its ways to be resolved. [...] In order to describe this attempt of answering the Jewish Question with one word, it must not be called a ‘fantasy’, but at most a ‘combination’. I have to defend my concept against its treatment as utopia. [...] I could easily choose to gain literary success by less effort, if I made this plan into the irresponsible lecture of a novel, for a public that wants to be entertained.”
Ibid. 75. “We want to give a new home to the Jews. Not by violently pulling them out of their grounds, but instead by carefully digging them out with all their roots and transplanting them into a better soil.”
Schorske, Carl, Fin-de-Siècle Vienna. Politics and Culture, New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 1980, 164. Schorske also points to the close connection between Zionist and anti-Semitic fascistic aesthetics, contrasting Herzl with his political counterparts, the national socialists Georg von Schönerer and Karl Lueger.
Bachleitner, Norbert, “Zionistische Propaganda durch literarische Fiktion. Die Belletristik in Theodor Herzls Zeitschrift Die Welt (im Vergleich mit Dr. Blochs Österreichischer Wochenschrift),” Populäres Judentum. Medien, Debatten, Lesestoffe, ed. Christine Haug et al, Tübingen : Max Niemeyer Verlag, 2009, 66.
Wistrich, Robert S., “Theodor Herzl: Between Myth and Messianism,” Theodor Herzl: From Europe to Zion, ed. Mark H. Gelber and Vivian Liska, Tübingen : Max Niemeyer Verlag, 2007, 8.
Cf. Stanislawski, Michael, Zionism and the Fin de Siècle. Cosmopolitanism and Nationalism from Nordau to Jabotinsky, Berkely et al, University of California Press, 2011, 112f. According to Stanislawski, Lilien was positively obsessed with stylizing Herzl as the perfect athletic and vital Jew of modern times, shaping his body according to the concept of Max Nordau’s ‘Muskeljude’ (muscular Jew), a well-trained and fearless Jew, ready to fight for his rights, and member of an offensive Zionist policy.
The following editions of Die Welt trace the novel’s development: 3.42 (1899): 7, 4.32 (1900): 13-15, 5.14 (1901): 19-21, 2.5 (1902): 18, 6.41 (1902): 11.
Herzl, Theodor, Altneuland, Berlin/Leipzig: Hermann Seemann, 1902, 1f. “Dr. Friedrich Löwenberg was sitting at the round marble table of his coffeehouse in deep melancholy. [...] The pale, sick waiter welcomed him sincerely. Löwenberg took a polite bow to the likewise pale till girl with whom he never talked. He then sat down at the round reading table, drank his coffee, read all newspapers that the waiter offered him assiduously. And after having finished the daily and monthly journals, comic papers and trade journals, which would never take less than one and a half hours, he would talk to friends or pass on to lonely daydreams. More precisely : there once had been talks, now it was but reverie, since the two good fellows, who used to spend these peculiarly hollow and charming evening hours in the Café Birkenreis with him, had both passed away within the last two months. Both of them had been older than him and like the one, Heinrich, wrote in his suicide note to Löwenberg before shooting a bullet in his head : “it was, so to speak, chronologically consequent for them to become desperate sooner than him.”
Schnitzler, Arthur, Der Empfindsame, Gesammelte Werke. Die erzählenden Schriften, Bd.1, Frankfurt a. Main : S. Fischer Verlag, 1961, 255. “The young people were quite distressed today. They were commemorating Fritz Platen who had a good many times sat next to them, talking, smiling, drinking coffee, smoking. One evening, eight days ago, he did not show up, but stayed at home, sat down at his desk and shot a bullet into his head. Nobody knew why.”
Herzl, Theodor, Altneuland, 21.
Ibid. 33. Kingscourt praises “the real, genuine, deep loneliness, without desire and combat. The completely true return to nature.”
Bahr, Hermann, Der Garten, Wirkung in die Ferne und anderes, Wien: Wiener Verlag, 1902, 66. “People are downright silly and always believe to only having to acquire as much as possible in order to be happy. However, the world is unable to endow us with anything and the whole world lies within ourselves.”
Cf. Hadomi, Leah, “Altneuland. Ein utopischer Roman,” Juden in der deutschen Literatur, ed. Stéphane Mosès, Frankfurt a. Main : Suhrkamp, 1986, 210-226.
Clemens Peck, in his detailed illustration of Altneuland’s genesis, evaluates its utopian location in the Cook archipelago as part of a colonial discourse. Peck also alludes to Herzl’s unaccomplished plan of writing a comedy called ‘Die Männerinsel’ (Island of Men) that the Viennese author outlined in the same year of 1899, while starting to work on Altneuland. Herzl’s ‘Island of Men’ was, however, planned to be invaded by shipwrecked women. Cf. Peck, Clemens, Im Labor der Utopie. Theodor Herzl und das Altneuland-Projekt, Berlin : Jüdischer Verlag, 2012, 263ff.
Cf. Rieckmann, Jens, “Ästhetizismus und Homoerotik : Hugo von Hofmannsthals Das Bergwerk zu Falun”, Orbis Litterarum 44 (1989) : 97. The corresponding scene from Das Bergwerk zu Falun can be found on page 131 in : Hofmannsthal, Hugo von, Gesammelte Werke. Dramen II, ed. Bernd Schoeller, Frankfurt a. Main : S. Fischer Verlag, 1979.
Dekel, Mikhal, The Universal Jew. Masculinity, Modernity and the Zionist Moment, Evanston, IL : Northwestern University Press, 2010, 107.
Herzl, Theodor, Altneuland, 47. “Alas ! Faith had died, youth had died, the father had died – and before him loomed Jerusalem’s city walls in a magical lunar brightness. Hot tears welled in his eyes. He was overwhelmed. He stopped, and tears slowly rolled down his cheeks.”
Dekel, Mikhal, The Universal Jew. Masculinity, Modernity and the Zionist Moment, 99.
Beer-Hofmann, Richard, Der Tod Georgs, Berlin: Fischer Verlag, 1900, 8. “[...] the wistful longing that sometimes befell him.”
Ibid. 9 “[...] the moon floated in between clouds filled with rain, framed by a rusty brown and its light poured down the roofs.”
Ibid. 9. “[...] serpent bodies spotted with moonlight.”
Herzl, Theodor, Altneuland, 78. “However, it was a different atmosphere than during that very night in Jerusalem twenty years earlier. Back then, Friedrich saw the moonbrighted death in front of him, and now a sundelighted life.”
Cf. Ibid. 108 & 295.
In his elaborate review of Herzl’s book, Achad Haam deplores the lack of Jewish culture in the old new land. Haam was Herzl’s Eastern European adversary who is known for establishing a so-called ‘Cultural Zionism’ that intended to foster Jewish culture instead of founding a Jewish nation as aimed for by political Zionism. Haam, Achad, “Altneuland,” Die Welt 3.4 (1903) : 241. “Europeans, European habits, European inventions. No particular Jewishness.”
Herzl, Theodor, Altneuland, 301f. “I take comfort in the fact that everything, that was, still exists. [...] This means, that even my dreams are eternal, since other people are going to dream them, once I have departed. Beauty and wisdom do not disappear, although their creators eventually die. [...] What is the consequence ? That we shall seek to propagate beauty and wisdom on this earth until our last moment. After all, we ourselves are the earth.”
This work was the third volume of Kralik’s threepart philosophic compendium entitled Weltweisheit (worldly wisdom), consisting of Weltwissenschaft (worldly metaphysics), Weltgerechtigkeit (worldly ethics) and the mentioned Weltschönheit (worldly aesthetics).
Kralik, Richard, Weltschönheit. Versuch einer allgemeinen Ästhetik, Wien : Carl Konegen, 1894, 222f. “We live for the sake of living beautifully, acting beautifully, dying beautifully, and to praise the artist who conceived of that wonder [...]. You cannot abolish death, neither the evil nor inequality nor injustice ; however, you can gild the world by dint of the magic light of beauty and turn it into paradise through your poem.”
Cf. Herzl, Theodor, Altneuland, 294f.
Ibid. 183. “Mrs. Littwalk smiled lugubriously : “My dear child [Friedrich], I am quite contended. I am, after all, almost in the Garden of Eden. Look outside, Doctor, what lies in front of me. Is it not the Garden of Eden ?” As she had told him, Friedrich went to the balustrade and gazed at the landscape. There lay the shimmering Sea of Galilee. Spring had softened the water’s edges and distant heights. Beyond the steep declivity of the Golan Heights, mirrored in the Sea. [...] And to the left, still closer the peaceful bays, the lovely beaches, the land of Galilee, Magdala, Tiberias, the new lithic jewel, surmounted by the dark castle ruin’s walls on the mountain. And verdancy and blooming everywhere, a young, fragrant world.”
This prose sketch is part of Altenberg’s first publication Wie ich es sehe (1894): Altenberg, Peter, Wie ich es sehe, 4. Aufl., Berlin : S. Fischer Verlag, 13. “The next evening, Ms. E. paddled alone in a small boat – – – . She floated slowly along the shore – – – . There was the dark green and thick line of the chestnut trees next to the gray Cyclops-like quay walls, followed by a small wooden mansion with a dying poet inside, followed by another one out of brick with wrought-iron candelabra and a dying matrimony and two blooming children inside, followed by the garden of the duchess who had lost a son that she had never possessed. There were black hazelnut bushes hanging into the water, followed by meadows with fine swamp grass and golden dandelion [...].”
Cf. Beller, Steven, “Herzl’s Tannhäuser: The Redemption of the Artist as Politician,” 50f.
Wachten, Johannes, “Theodor Herzl als Literat,” Theodor Herzl und das Wien des Fin de Siècle, ed. Norbert Leser, Wien et al : Böhlau, 1987, 158. Wachten concludes that “there is no deep rift between Herzl as Zionist and writer.”Haut de page