Issuu on Google+

V

ielfalt

A MCGILL GERMAN STUDIES STUDENT JOURNAL EINE STUDENTENZEITSCHRIFT DER MCGILL GERMANISTIK REVUE ÉTUDIANTE D’ÉTUDES ALLEMANDES DE MCGILL

VOLUME 4 | 2013—14


V

ielfalt

A MCGILL GERMAN STUDIES STUDENT JOURNAL EINE STUDENTENZEITSCHRIFT DER MCGILL GERMANISTIK REVUE ÉTUDIANTE D’ÉTUDES ALLEMANDES DE MCGILL

VOLUME 4 | 2013—14

MCGILL UNIVERSITY UNIVERSITY MCGILL MONTRÉAL MONTRÉAL


FEATURING ART BY: Anonym, Sofia Bachouchi, Sophie Chauvet, Andrea Garland, Sophie Reuss, Emory Shaw & Bastien Winant

COORDINATING EDITORS:

Élora Bussière-Ladouceur, Sophie Chauvet & Emory Shaw

EDITORIAL BOARD:

Victoria Aziz, Sofia Bachouchi, Andrea Garland, Magdalene Klassen, Patrick Lanouette, Genevieve Riccoboni, and Bastien Winant

CONTRIBUTORS:

Guillaume Benoit-Martineau, Sophie Chauvet, Anna Fitz, Magdalene Klassen, Elias Kühn von Burgsdorff, Frédérique Lefort, Anouk Millet, Lauren Sapic, Emory Shaw, Bianca Waked, and Andrew Wells

SPECIAL THANKS:

We would like to extend our thanks to the Arts Undergraduate Society, the German Students Association, the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures at McGill University, especially Karin Bauer, and to the Goethe-Intitut-Montréal for their generous support. Additional thanks to the The McGill Daily/Le Délit for the use of their facilities, and to members of the editing board, Andrea Garland and Bastien Winant.


V

ielfalt VOLUME 4

EDITOR’S NOTE / VORWORT..1

Emory Shaw, Sophie Chauvet & Élora Bussière-Ladouceur

DISPLACEMENT AND SPATIAL AWARENESS IN INGEBORG BACHMANN’S THREE PATHS TO THE LAKE ........................... 3

Lauren Sapic

DER AUSDRUCK DER EMOTION IN FRITZ LANGS METROPOLIS ...........................7

Sophie Chauvet

THE BOURGEOIS WHO WENT ASTRAY: OPPOSITIONS IN THOMAS MANNS TONIO KRÖGER ................................... 9

Magdalene Klassen

EINE ALTE NEUE EIGENSCHAFT: DER FLANEUR UND SEINE DUALITÄT IN “DER VERDÄCHTIGE”VON FRANZ HESSEL ...................................18

Anouk Millet

DISCOURSES OF FREUD’S WISH-FULFILMENT IN LIEUTENANT GUSTL ........... 23

Anna Fitz

THE WONDERS OF THE WORLD: LANGUAGE, ART AND THE SELF IN WITTGENSTEIN’S PHILOSOPHY ........................ 28 Bianca Waked

NAKED NIGHTS IN THE FORMER EAST ................... 31

Andrew Wells

CORRESPONDANCES ......... 33

Guillaume Benoit-Martineau

L’IMPORTANCE DU REGARD DANS LE PERSONNAGE DU «FLANEUR» ............................12

Emory Shaw

MIXED NARRATIVES ............17

THE SPARTACIST COUNTERREVOLUTIONARIES ............. 38

Frédérique Lefort

Sofia Bachouchi

RUN ........................................ 38

Elias Kühn Von Burgsdorff


Bastien Winant


Editor’s Note For its fourth edition, diversity and interdisciplinarity have once again been central to Vielfalt. After some vivid discussions and careful selection, the editing team is proud to introduce you to a fine collection of excerpts presenting a range of subjects united in their relevance to the study of German-speaking cultures. This is not to say, however, that it is only a disperse patchwork of student papers. Intertwined themes and ideas are to be found in this volume. Literary accounts of the Flaneur, mirrored by a modern interpretation of this Bewegung, make for an elaborate conceptualization of movement, space and discovery that is present throughout this edition. The city also figures prominently as a theme and setting for many of the texts, uniting subjects such as gender and identity onto a comprehensive platform. Despite this, analyses of language, a personal account by a foreigner in Germany, as well as a historical study, remind readers that in deviating from any coincidental thematic intersections, Vielfalt’s mandate to unite originality, diversity and distinction is being fulfilled. Twelve English, German and French language texts analysing film, literature, history and personal experience from the turn of the 20th century to present encompass the aforementioned themes. We hope that readers let their minds wander and revel in the depth ­of these texts which, once bound between these covers, provide an enjoyable and complementary cocktail of insights. –Emory, Sophie & Élora

Vorwort Zu ihrer vierten Ausgabe will sich die Vielfalt Zeitung erneut fachübergreifend und vielseitig zeigen. Aus vielen lebhaften Erörterungen und achtsamem Auswählen entstand eine feine, von Studenten geschriebene Werkensammlung, die ihnen die Redaktion mit Stolz präsentiert. Umfasst ist eine breite Palette an Themen, mit der Studie der germanistischen Kultur als Zusammenhang. In was mehr als eine lose Mosaik von Literaturberichten verbirgt sind miteinander verknüpfte Motive und Gedanken zu finden; die ein harmonisches und aufgeklärtes Bild schildern. Eine literarische Darstellung des Flaneurs, gespiegelt von einer modernen Interpretation dieser Bewegung, bieten durchgehend einen gründlichen Blick auf Raum, Wanderung, und Enteckung an. Auch die Stadt erscheint in den Texten häufiger weise als Thema und Rahmen, so dienend als gemeinsame Ebene für die harmonisierung verschiedener Gegenständen, wie Selbstverständnis oder Geschlecht. Leser können in dieser Ausgabe Vielfalts dennoch weiter erwarten, dass die Zeitung, das Streben nach der Vereinigung von Eigenwilligkeit, Vielseitigkeit, und Auszeichnung fortsetzt. Sprachanalyse, ein persönlicher Erfahrungsbericht, sowie eine historische Untersuchung, haben alle für eine gewisse Entfernung von diesen zentralen Themen erlaubt; und sorgen für eine Erinnerung dieser gewollten Vielfäligkeit in den Schriften. In insgesamt zwölf Texten werden die obenerwähnte Themen, mit dem Gebrauch der deutschen, französischen und englischen Sprache, durch das Untersuchen von Film, Literatur, Geschichte, und persönlichem Erlebnis vom 20. Jahrhundert bis zu heutigen Tagen, umfasst. Wir wünschen den Lesern bei der Entdeckung der Sorgfeltigkeit in den Schriften unserer Autoren ein großes Vergnünen; und hoffen, ihnen in den folgenden Seiten auf eine Wanderung der Gedanken einladen zu können. –Emory, Sophie & Élora Translated by Bastien Winant

1


Displacement and Spatial Awareness in Ingeborg Bachmann’s Three Paths to the Lake LAUREN SAPIC

I

n Ingeborg Bachmann’s Three Paths to the Lake, temporal displacement in tandem with issues of identity and globalization are pivotal when considering the effects of displacement on the characters of the novella. The connection between temporal displacement, spatial awareness, and personal identity are central themes that both construct each character, as well as rationalizing their life choices.1 Each and every character in the novella and their relationship with protagonist Elisabeth represent the extent to which temporal displacement ultimately leads to personal displacement, and questioning of national, personal, and cultural attachments. Ultimately, it is how Elisabeth relates to other characters and figures in her life that is informative of the displacement within it. Three Paths to the Lake follows the narrative of Elisabeth Matrei, an international journalist who struggles with her sense of self and placement within the world. It is often classified as a Frauengeschichte, or “women’s story”. Although every character in the text is displaced, it is through Elisabeth that this estrangement is most evident. The temporal and spatial divide Elisabeth experiences is expressed within the first few pages of Three Paths to the Lake itself, where Elisabeth’s reflections on spatial awareness while walking has a considerable significance and a transformative effect on the topography in which she travels and which she inhabits. When Elisabeth first returns to her childhood home of Klagenfurt, her mere presence breathes new life into the home.2 This is also extended to the regression in time when

2

she enters Austria from London and the sense of dislocation between her father waiting for her on Track Two and Elisabeth arriving on Track One.3 Elisabeth admits she feels more like herself in the familiar surroundings of home,4 and yet later states that there “wasn’t a place in the world” that didn’t carry some emotional baggage or hurt her somehow.5 Elisabeth neither feels at home in the woods she so often escapes to,6 nor at “home” itself.7 There is an obvious disconnect between Elisabeth individually and her surroundings in regards to time. Women her own age appear much older, and in France she experiences a metamorphosis from the “little Matrei girl” to a “personality”.8 Elisabeth’s age is in no way connected to her sense of self, which is evident when she is said to be “easily” mistaken for her much younger brother’s bride.9 She is also nicknamed “Tyrolienne” by her employer, which offers a few interpretations. First, “Tyrolienne” can signify someone from the County of Tyrol, which is now divided between Austria and Italy, but was once a Kronland of Austria-Hungary. Second, in French, “tyrolienne” means zip line, which represents Elisabeth due to her quick ascent in her career. These two interpretations of her nickname give insight to her divided self: she feels alienated by her nationality as well as by her sex in a maledominant field. From her previous life in Vienna, Elisabeth ends up traveling to India and China, and conversing with figures formally seen to her as simply famous names in newspapers and history books, such as Churchill and Hemingway.10 This is yet another example


of temporal escapism; Elisabeth escapes into a fantasy world where she associates with historical and literary greats that can be seen as false personalities or constructs. By escaping into this glamorous world, Elisabeth can also escape the displacement she returns to every day. This escapism and circular motion leads back and directly comments upon the trails Elisabeth takes on her walks. When she first starts out on her morning walks at the beginning of the novella, her movement follows a repetitive, regressive motion. For example, in one of her first walks, Elisabeth tries Trail Two, but then goes back to Trail One, just as mirrored on the train tracks in the first sentence of the novella.11 When she later walks part of the trail with her father, Elisabeth cannot linger, but prefers to “walk fast” and “think about other things” other than her surroundings.12 What appeals to her most about the trails is mirrored in what appeals to her most in her career and life; namely, the different possibilities each trail presents, how far she can walk along them, and what she can accomplish upon them, in what amount of time.13 And yet, near the end of the novella, these paths disappear altogether into a steep slope carried away by bulldozers.14 Ironically, it is only when Elisabeth and her father travel by means other than walking that they actually reach the lake named in the title, Three Paths to the Lake.15 This offers the understanding that the industrial has overtaken nature in another sense of removal and displacement. This divide also extends to Elisabeth’s work, where death is described as an “occupational hazard” and the photography she partakes in as a photojournalist places a lens and consequently a level of distorted reality between her and her subjects.16 In essence, what Elisabeth is so eager to record is presented as an “imitation of reality”, and not reality itself.17 This removal between her and the subject of her camera is why Trotta, Elisabeth’s past lover, was so highly critical of her work. While initially being “spared” covering the conflict in Algeria due to her sex, Elisabeth later decides to go, only to subsequently find shame at her vast separation from the subjects she is photographing when she reads the essay “On Torture,” which criticizes modern-day journalism

for attempting to put into words something that is inherently indescribable due to its level of atrocity.18 Although Elisabeth’s own stories of danger and intrigue at covering these events are later described as “fascinating,” Elisabeth recognizes their innate meaninglessness and becomes more detached from her occupation as a result.19 Trotta states earlier in the text that Elisabeth lives vicariously through her work, and that through yet another layer of temporal displacement, her photography will no longer be considered of any value years from now.20 It is only when Elisabeth reads the essay, “On Torture”, years after Trotta has died that she takes this consideration of Trotta’s as a valid judgement. While Elisabeth is occupationally displaced, she is also a part of one of the most radical sorts of deracination seen in the text. When Elisabeth moves to Paris, and when Robert moves to London and chooses to honeymoon in Morocco as opposed to Austria, it demonstrates how both Matrei “children” see themselves as outsiders in their own culture, unable to relate to their homeland and stuck on the periphery of any other country they inhabit or visit.21 This is demonstrated in Elisabeth’s inability to assign herself a new national identity as an American simply because she married one.22 This is also exemplified in Trotta’s attempts to prevent her from learning the French language any further than she already has, simply because a division of the mind into several languages and consequently cultures is another schism of identity that Elisabeth would have to deal with.23 Elisabeth’s brother Robert in particular is an extension of this deracination. He is repeatedly referred to as the only person that she can relate to and mirrors Elisabeth’s own actions.24 To an extent Elisabeth sees her brother as an extension of herself as well as theoretically the only person she can love fully because he is as uprooted as her. Her actions and attitudes in life are repeated through Robert’s actions and attitudes; both must leave their small Austrian town to experience life elsewhere. However, both are still disconnected from the place in which they live now as much as they were displaced from the Austrian town they left ini-

3


tially.25 This demonstrates how both Elisabeth’s and Robert’s sense of deracination is intrinsic and not isolated to geographical location; it is inherent. The connection between brother and sister is only furthered when one considers the lengths Elisabeth has gone to for Robert, or her attempts to find a suitable replacement for him. She attempts to find a replacement in her lover Philippe, who also endows her with nicknames and is even younger than Robert, but who cannot compare. When Elisabeth also first enters London, she believes she’s gone “half-crazy” thinking she’d “lost” Robert, but the context of this loss is duplicitously twofold.26 There is also the fact that Elisabeth argued with her own mother over Robert as a child,27 stating that she was more of a mother to him than Frau Matrei herself.28 Robert, who did not want Elisabeth to be married when she first married Hugh, in turn reciprocates this obsession.29 The character of Liz exemplifies these split desires of Elisabeth between romantic feelings for her own brother and recognizing that she must let her brother go. Liz, Robert’s new wife, is a representation of Elisabeth’s divided self; Robert marrying someone who, administratively speaking, is the same person as Elisabeth herself, demonstrates the dependence Elisabeth has on her brother as the only individual who can understand her displacement, because he experiences it himself. However, just because Liz can be seen as Elisabeth’s doppelgänger does not mean Elisabeth does not view the marriage between the two of them as a “horror” and “awkward”.30 Through the “slight rearrangement” of one considering Elisabeth and Robert being bride and groom rather than brother and sister, it is evident that Elisabeth allows Liz to become a substitute for her own romantic feelings for the only man who can seemingly understand her issues of displacement. However, Robert is not the only example of a family member who is a marker of spatial and temporal displacement. Elisabeth’s father Herr Matrei represents an extension of the former Austrian Empire, which he barely experienced, and yet through him, its traditionalism

4

runs on. And yet Elisabeth can no longer converse with or relate to him in the same manner as before. She attempts to express her feelings for him in English, but fails to be understood, and her love is lost in translation.31 She declares her father a “relic” of the former Empire and as much as she loves him, she can no longer talk to her father about these issues.32 When she first views him when arriving at the train station, he is small and helpless, almost childlike, and theoretically, she does not wish to initially give him her suitcase, because now the childparent dichotomy has been reversed; now she must take care of him.33 The natural relationship of the parent and child no longer works, adding another shifting layer onto Elisabeth’s life.34 When Herr Matrei takes her suitcase, Elisabeth, although noting his age, allows him to do so in order not to acknowledge the temporal displacement between them by their age but also by the way in which he rejuvenates the social custom of carrying things for women. Her father, in fact, is just as in denial as his daughter. He refers to her as “his child” despite her age and thinks she looks younger than she is.35 However, he can no longer keep up with her on her walks and therefore their former relationship is divided even further.36 Relationships and schisms are also evident in the collection of lovers Elisabeth amalgamates over the years, especially in the figures of Philippe, Manes, Hugh, and Trotta. Philippe she intends to dump, throughout the entire novella, once she gets back to Paris.37 Manes is described as a “changing man” who simply disappears.38 There is still another layer of isolation from her American husband Hugh, in that he is homosexual and their relationship is based on friendship rather than true love.39 Trotta is significant because he causes Elisabeth occupational division, and makes her unsure of her work.40 This is yet another layer of alienation which causes her instability. Her photographs are meant to do the speaking that she does, but Trotta causes her to question this as well. Trotta also raises the question of estrangement through language. While discouraging Elisabeth from improving her French, as previously mentioned, he also criticizes English as


a “babbling of innate phrases,”41 a sentiment that Elisabeth earlier mirrors in her criticism of foreigners in England who only communicate with a handful of English expressions.42 Elisabeth also cannot think of Liz as a sisterin-law in her own language and must resort to referring to her as such in English,43 just as she had been unable to tell her own father that she loved him in her own language.44 Elisabeth is certainly not the only example of a female character in the work that senses displacement. Bachmann’s Frauengeschichte not only focuses on Elisabeth’s struggle, but also hints at the displacement of other female characters present in the narrative. For example, Elisabeth’s doppelgänger, Liz, is not a product of her own “wild sixties” time period; her sole pleasure in life is to exist to serve Robert, a seeming remnant of the previous decade’s societal values in her homemaker qualities and her urge to exist solely for her husband and procreation.45 There is also a third Elisabeth briefly mentioned, who returns home only to

be brutally murdered by her husband, at which point protagonist Elisabeth wryly states there are too many Elisabeths.46 Displacement acts as a survival technique for these women; those who do not practice it are either married off (which is in turn yet another form of displacement), or killed. Elisabeth has learned from her experiences that women in particular, for survival, must not be stagnant but constantly changing, and as a result, must by extension be constantly dislodged for this survival to be possible.47 This form of estrangement is not only a symptom of a societal pattern or political disruption, but also a survival tactic for the characters of Three Paths to the Lake in the process of postmodernist globalization. Characters such as the lovers, Trotta, Herr Mettel, and Robert are exemplary of this in their effect on Elisabeth’s psyche, only acting as constant reminders and examples of dislocation and loss of identity, as opposed to true support systems in an increasingly unreliable world. To not

Sophie Reuss

5


only accept this estrangement but to use it as a tactic to survive is an example of how Elisabeth learns to live with her sense of alienation and eventually manipulate it to her own advantage. Not only does she succeed in this manipulation, but the temporal and spatial awareness that Elisabeth ultimately becomes conscious of makes the reader question whether or not displacement is simply an unavoidable condition of life, and if it is, how beneficial it is to those who master it. Elisabeth herself eventually comes to the conclusion that displacement is inevitable; neither she nor any of the other characters present in the narrative have any choice in either accepting or rejecting the isolation they feel. What Elisabeth realizes is that one must either learn to live with this sense of removal, or use it to one’s own advantage, or perhaps, a mixture of both.

NOTES

1. Bachmann, Ingeborg. Three Paths to the Lake of Three Paths to the Lake: Stories by Ingeborg Bachmann. Trans. Mary Fran Gilbert. New York: Holmes & Meier, 1989. Print,123. 2. Ibid., 120. 3. Ibid., 117. 4. Ibid., 118. 5. Ibid., 128. 6. Ibid., 135. 7. Ibid., 149. 8. Ibid., 137. 9. Ibid., 125. 10. Ibid., 137. 11. Ibid., 132. 12. Ibid., 134. 13. Ibid., 134. 14. Ibid., 165. 15. Ibid., 165. 16. Ibid., 140. 17. Ibid., 142. 18. Ibid., 145. 19. Ibid., 174. 20. Ibid., 144. 21. Ibid., 123. 22. Ibid., 123. 23. Ibid., 178. 24. Katya Krylova. Walking through History:

6

Topography and Identity in the Works of Ingeborg Bachmann and Thomas Bernhard. Oxford: Peter Lang, 2012. Print, 13. 25. Bachmann, Paths, 135. 26. Ibid., 129. 27. Ibid., 174. 28. Ibid., 167-168. 29. Ibid., 169. 30. Ibid., 118-119. 31. Ibid., 191. 32. Ibid., 119. 33. John Malcolm Spencer. In the Shadow of Empire: Austrian Experiences of Modernity in the Writings of Musil, Roth, and Bachmann. Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2008. Print, 25. 34. Bachmann, Paths, 118. 35. Ibid., 124. 36. Ibid., 129. 37. Ibid., 201. 38. Ibid., 160-161. 39. Ibid., 156-157. 40. Ibid., 140. 41. Ibid.,150. 42. Ibid., 130. 43. Ibid., 128 44. Ibid., 191. 45. Ibid., 125. 46. Ibid., 149. 47. Sara Lennox. Cemetery of the Murdered Daughters: Feminism, History, and Ingeborg Bachmann. United States of America: University of Massachusetts, 2006. Print, 7.


Der Ausdruck der Emotion in Fritz Langs Metropolis (1927) FILMANALYSE

SOPHIE CHAUVET

1

927 dreht Fritz Lang den bedeutenden Stummfilm Metropolis. Er wurde als einer der representativsten Werken des deutschen Expressionismus gesehen, obwohl er nur dann erschien, als die Bewegung sich langsam beendigte. In diesem Film wird einen Höhepunkt erreicht, wo Emotionen die vielfältigen Elemente des Szenarios zusammen schnüren. Die Dichtigkeit der Geschichte, die den Zuschauer vielleicht verwirren kann, wird also sinnvoll, denn man nur dadurch die Stärke der Emotionen wirklich bemerkt. Diese Stärke kann man erstens durch den Überfluss an Symbolen analysieren, und dann durch das Spiel der Schauspielern, sowie manche besonderen Elemente des Bildes. Was vor allem die Wichtigkeit der Emotionen in dem Film beweist, ist der merkwürdige Überfluss an Symbolen. Einerseits wirkt der Szenario wie ein enormes Durcheinander, wo verstreuten religiösen Symbolen sich sowohl mit einem möglichen politischen Nachdenken, als auch mit einer Liebesgeschichte im Kontext einer futuristischen und drohenden Großstadt, vermischen. Das Ausmaß ist also vielfältig, doch andererseits herrscht in diesem die Macht der Emotionen, die hier am wichtigsten und deutlichsten scheint. Indem die starken Symbolen überall sind und schwierig zu enträtseln scheinen, werden sie eigentlich sinnvoller. Nur vor diesem Durcheinander kann der Zuschauer die Emotion verstehen, die in einer starken, nackten, und reinen Weise vermittelt werden. Zum Beispiel kann man einen fortdauerden Tauschspiel bei den Protagonisten bemerken: Ihre Rollen und Persönlichkeiten lassen sich

oft in verschiedenen Richtungen treiben. Brigitte Helm wandelt sich von einer prophetischen Madonna, die wesentlich das Gute zwischen den Arbeitern und den Eliten predigen will, zu einer teuflischen Maschine, die die ganze Gesellschaft in einer Dionysischen Weise verderbt. Ihr einziges Ziel ist, die Stadt zu vernichten. Im Großen und Ganzen übermittelt also die Schauspielerin sowohl übernegativen also auch überpositiven Gefühle, was durch eine Menge von wesentlich unterschiedlichen Symbolen von den Zuschauer verstanden wird. Zum Beispiel ist ihr Name Maria, was an die Religion direkt erinnert. Andererseits lassen sich die ersten Noten der revolutionären Lied La Marseillaise hören, als Maria die Masse nach der Revolution führt. Die Rollen sind nicht ganz definiert, sowie die Auswirkung, die sich irgendwo zwischen einer marxistischen Kritik des technologischen Fortschritts und einer normativen Analyse der menschlichen grundlegenden Gefühlen befindet. Das Spiel der Schauspielern betont weiter die Emotionen. Weil Metropolis ein Stummfilm ist, wird den Dialogen nur eine reduzierte, wenn auch wirksame Rolle gegeben. Das expressive Spiel erlaubt die Bestätigung jeder vorhergehenden Szene durch die Benutzung von Zwischentiteln. Die Körpersprache lockt die Augen des Zuschauers und inspiriert stillschweigenderweise Emotionen, indem sie oft die Wahrheit übertreibt. Als Beispiel kann man die Menschmaschine und Maria vergleichen : trotz der äußerlichen körpelichen ähnlichkeit zwishen den beiden bewegt sich die erste in einem eckigen Tanz wie eine unzusammenhängende Marionette; während Maria nur warm-

7


herzige Gebärden zeigt. Auch in der Szene, wo der Sohn seine Angst zeigt, bewegt er sich merkwürdigerweise. Die Gesichter spielen ebenfalls eine wichtige Rolle. Erstens findet man viele Szenen, die aus Großaufnahmen bestehen. Oft hat man die Gelegenheit, der Blick des Protagonisten, der von der Emotion beherrscht wird, zu beobachten. Joh Fredersens Blick wird besonders wirkend als er «Hel» befehlt, ihre Werke zu vernichten. (1:28:06). Die Emotion wird durch den stark geschminkten Augen des Schauspielers, auf wessen die Aufmerksamkeit gelenkt wird, noch weiter betont. Außerdem sieht man, dass außer in der Tanzszene der Menschmaschine von der Elite, die Kostüme ziemlich nüchtern sind. So kann die Aufmerksamkeit des Zuschauers sich auf die Körpersprache oder die Gesichten konzentrieren. Die Emotionen werden noch weiter vermittelt, wenn man das Bild beobachtet. Der Film besteht zum Großteil aus ChiaroscuroBeleuchtung. Diese Technik ist oft als typisch des deutschen Expressionismus gesehen. Das Spiel zwischen Schatten und Licht zeigt andere Elemente und Richtungen der Emotionen auf.

Zum Beispiel kommt Marias Gesicht oft im Vorderlicht, als ob sie eine Art Aura um sie hätte. Der Rahmen ist fast immer unkenntlich gemacht, und das Hintergrund selten insgesamt gezeigt, was allgemein eine onirische Umgebung schafft, und die Dunkelheit des Ortes betont. Zusätzlich ist der «Klub der Söhne» einer der seltenen Orten, wo das Weiß und das Licht weniger konstrastiert werden. Das Licht nimmt also Teil in die Schaffung einer emotionnellen Umgebung, was aber auch mehrdeutig ist. Zum Beispiel wird das Gesicht der Menschmaschine weiter hell beleuchtet, obwohl ihr Gesichtsausdruck sie deutlich als böswillig darstellt. Der Ausdruck der Emotionen ist also zentral zu der Geschichte von Metropolis. Die Weise, womit diese formell vermittelt werden, ist besonders repräsentativ der expressionistischen Ästhetik. Die Wichtigkeit der Emotionen nutzt auch, einen gesamten politischen Botschaft über die Gefahren der kapitalistischen Gesellschaft hervorzuheben, was durch die Metapher des Herzes als Bindeglied zwischen Hand und Kopf noch weiter beweist wird.

Bastien Winant

8


The Bourgeois Who Went Astray:

OPPOSITIONS IN THOMAS MANN’S TONIO KRÖGER

MAGDALENE KLASSEN

O

ver the course of the novella, the eponymous character in Thomas Mann’s Tonio Kröger laments more than once that he and his peers “did not speak the same language.”1 Somehow, he is innately separate from those around him. This is manifested distinctly in his physical features; he is described as “swarthy, his features were sharply cut and quite southern in character,” but at the same time “the outlines of his mouth and chin were unusually soft.”2 This outward difference is also reflected in his disposition: while the fair Hans Hansen whom Tonio loves would like to talk of horse books and has no real interest in weeping kings, Tonio is intensely moved by the image of king Phillip II in Schiller’s drama.3 His mother is “from somewhere right at the bottom of the map,” and it seems to be from her that Tonio inherited the “dark, fiery” aspects of his temperament.4 Nevertheless, he is not entirely foreign to the north German town he lives in; his father is the Consul Kröger, a respectable and important man of business. The dichotomies presented in the text, between fair and dark, north and south, bourgeois and bohemian are all merged within Tonio himself, and can be collectively expressed as the opposition between the ordinary and the other. Tonio is a fusion of the two apparent opposites, and although he is sorely tormented by this fact, he realizes during his vacation in Denmark that his position as a sort of synthesis allows him to transcend the binaries on which he has been so fixated all his life. Tonio loves his friend Hans Hansen for his beauty and “because he saw him as his own counterpart and opposite in all respects.”5 He realizes the value of what he is not, but is torn between wanting Hans in his own insular, po-

etic sphere and wanting him to remain an idealized paragon of ordinariness. Although the relation between the two boys is characterized as friendship (though Tonio’s affection verges on something more than platonic), Mann deliberately emphasizes that they have nothing in common. Instead, their friendship seems to be based on Hans’ general good naturedness and Tonio’s “[painful] desire that Hans should love him for what he was.”6 The “universal popularity” that Hans enjoys makes him the embodiment of all the commonplace affirmation Tonio yearns for: if Hans respects him for who he is, it follows that everyone else will too.7 Tonio is divided between longing and contempt; although he wants happiness, and he sees happiness in the lives of Hans and Inge (the second love of Tonio’s youth), he also understands that even if he were able to achieve the outward expressions of their form of happiness, he would not be satisfied.8 Later, as an adult, Tonio asserts that “the last thing any proper, healthy, decent human being ever does is to write,” yet cannot help but continue to create, however unhealthy it may be.9 In his introduction to a collection of Dostoevsky’s shorter works, Mann describes the author as afflicted by the “disease of genius.”10 Although Tonio’s ailment may be of a lesser degree than Fyodor’s, he is nevertheless plagued by his own vacillating resolve, unable to content himself with ordinary happiness or with life as one of the “proud, cold spirits who venture out along the paths of grandiose, demonic beauty and despise ‘humanity’.”11 As a child, he seems to feel the need to be one or the other, without particularly wanting to be either. In the same conversation, Tonio is de-

9


scribed by his friend Lisaweta Ivanovna as being a “bourgeois manqué.”12 He should have been a respectable middle class man of some sort, but has “taken the wrong turning.”13 By the time of his soliloquy in her studio – the first time he speaks to us as an adult – Tonio is less intent on conforming to the pattern of either the artist or the bourgeois as he was in his childhood, and is more concerned with the fact that he is content in neither world. He loves the “seductive banality” and “bliss of the commonplace,” but he loves them without taking part in them or even truly wanting to.14 This ideal of simple life is enough to love, but not enough to live. There is a sort of volta in this text, and though it is slight, it takes the form of a literal turn. In his youth, Tonio and the other young members of the “best families” had dancing lessons together.15 The “blithe, blue-eyed” Ingeborg Holm was there, as was a girl who was “always falling over,” Magdalena Vermehren.16 If confined to a binary, she would be on the side of the other – the side of Tonio – with her “big, dark, glossy eyes so full of solemn enthusiasm,” and yet he cannot stand her, cannot bear to be reminded of his own position as “an outsider and a stranger” through the associa-

tion she seeks.17 Then, in the eighth part of the novella when the Danish locals have their ball at the seaside hotel where Tonio is staying, he sees two people who are “not so much by virtue of particular details of their appearance or similarities of dress, but by affinities of race and type” doubles of Hans and Inge, and representatives of all that Tonio has loved and longed for since childhood.18 During one of the dances a girl of awkward comportment falls down and, in an act inconsistent with his youthful treatment of Magdalena, he helps her up kindly and then “glanced around once more until he saw them, Hans and Ingeborg, and turned away.”19 This turning away is extremely significant: Tonio is no longer looking to the clear-eyed, “beautiful and lighthearted” as his sole source of affirmation.20 In this moment he changes ever so slightly, and stops refusing to acknowledge the other in the presence of the ordinary. By turning his back on ‘Hans’ and ‘Inge’ he actually stops turning away from himself, admitting his existence as an artist, a bourgeois, and a yet-tobe-explored fusion of the two. Mann changes narrative mode continuously throughout the text. At the point during the ball which would seem to signify his revela-

Andrea Garland

10


tion, Tonio’s thoughts are not fully evident. The omniscience which allows us to understand the memory of his own painful experience with the moulinet de dames is absent during the fairly straightforward description of the girl’s fall, and only afterwards do his thoughts resume. So although his point of turning can be identified, it cannot be concretely explained. Perhaps this is because there is no grand revelation such as Tonio might have yearned for. Rather, he attains the “harmony with all the world” that he has sought for so long simply by finally allowing himself to identify with more than one part of this harmony.21 When Tonio considers the opposition between himself and the people he loves there seems to be an implicit association with the binary of good and bad. The ordinariness he sees in Hans is blissful, while his own otherness is a constant torment. His primary struggle is to discern whether it is the bohemian or the bourgeois elements within himself which he considers to be bound to goodness. Although he yearns to be at peace, he is contemptuous of what he sees as the trivial nature of bourgeois life. Instead of continuing his attempts to seek fulfillment in the confines of a single of these two spheres, he comes to realize that his “true and native way of loving and suffering and being happy” is intricately connected to both his desire to stay apart from the ordinary and to be accepted by it.22 Through this realization he overcomes the limitations of the binary he has forced upon himself: just as good and bad are part of a spectrum of judgment, so is life. He comes to understand that he is a complicated being who cannot be properly expressed through one of two narrow categories. (This is true of all people, though his insight tends to be of an intensely self-reflective nature.) Instead of being tormented by this fact, Tonio begins to accept it, ending his letter to Lisaweta – and the entire text – with the observation that in his love for “the charming and the ordinary” there is “longing, and sad envy, and just a touch of contempt, and a whole world of innocent delight.”23 Although he may not be at peace, he has made peace with himself.

NOTES

1. Mann, Thomas. Death in Venice and Other Stories. Translated by Jefferson S. Chase. London: Vintage Books, 1998. 151. 2. Ibid., 138. 3. Ibid., 144. 4. Ibid., 140. 5. Ibid., 141. 6. Ibid., 142. 7. Ibid., 141. 8. Ibid., 146. 9. Ibid., 159. 10. Thomas Mann, preface to The Short Novels of Dostoevsky, by Fyodor Dostoevsky. New York: Dial Press, 1945. vii-xx. viii. 11. Mann, Tonio Kröger, 194 12. Ibid., 167. 13. Ibid. 14. Ibid., 164. 15. Ibid., 147. 16. Ibid., 151. 17. Ibid., 148. 18. Ibid., 189. 19. Ibid., 192. 20. Ibid., 141, 150. 21. Ibid., 141. 22. Ibid., 192. 23. Ibid., 194.

11


L’Importance du regard dans le personnage du «flâneur» FRÉDÉRIQUE LEFORT

«

Se promener sans but, au hasard, pour le plaisir de regarder », voilà une interprétation simple du terme « flâner » offerte par le dictionnaire Larousse. En effet, considérant l’importance de l’observation pour le flâneur, se cache, dans ce « plaisir de regarder », plus que la portée du regard, mais une observation qui porte à la considération, à un tableau où le flâneur en est le spectateur volontaire. C’est la valeur de ce regard qui empêche la version féminine du flâneur, c’est-à-dire la « flâneuse ». Cela est dû au pouvoir conféré par le regard ; le sujet prend contrôle et surveille l’objet de son observation.1 Par la voie du regard, un échange parfois non-réciproque, il y aurait donc cession de pouvoir entre le sujet et l’objet, entre le flâneur et la femme qu’il observe. Ce tel relais de pouvoir provoqué par le « gaze » engendrerait, selon le psychoanalyste Jacques Lacan, une ambiguïté perpétuelle d’être en mesure d’identifier et de choisir l’objet puisque ces deux termes se substituent et se métamorphosent l’un à l’autre, d’une telle façon que la transition résultante n’en est pas comprise.2 Ainsi, le regard du flâneur devient la cause de cette ambiguïté en ce qui concerne l’identité du détenteur de pouvoir qui existe entre l’observateur et l’observée. Cette ambivalence est notée dans le texte de Franz Hessel, The Suspicious Character, où le flâneur, personnage principal et narrateur, avec l’aide de son regard démunit les femmes de leur pouvoir et par le fait même, tente de se débarrasser de l’anxiété qu’elles lui causent. Au cours du texte, le flâneur note la présence de plusieurs types et groupes de femmes sur son passage, cependant, trois d’entre-eux retiennent son attention plus particulièrement, soit les deux femmes indi-

12

gnées, les jeunes filles jouant au basketball et la veuve. Une analyse du désir qu’elles provoquent chez le flâneur, de la non-réciprocité de son regard, du personnage de la veuve et de leur réaction suite au regard du flâneur permet d’illustrer l’imprécision quant à la détention du pouvoir. D’abord, il est pertinent d’effectuer une étude du contexte socio-historique de l’époque, soit la fin du 19ème et le début du 20ème siècle, pendant laquelle le flâneur a connu l’apogée de sa popularité, afin d’en dégager les normes sociales qui régissaient les rapports entre les deux sexes. Certaines personnes, dont plusieurs féministes, soutiennent que la « flâneuse » est un personnage improbable, voire impossible, puisque la présence des femmes n’était alors pas prise en considération dans la sphère publique.3 Cette idée provient aussi de l’établissement de codes de moralité publique par la société bourgeoise, qui interdisaient la promenade sans accompagnement, « ladies were not supposed to be seen aimlessly wandering the streets » rendant donc douteuse l’existence possible d’une « flâneuse ».4 De plus, au sein d’une foule, la femme n’aurait jamais pu atteindre le même niveau d’invisibilité et d’anonymat que l’homme. De ce fait, la seule façon qui aurait pu lui permettre d’atteindre ce même degré d’invisibilité aurait été en se travestissant, c’est à dire, en devenant un « flâneur » et non plus une « flâneuse » aux yeux de tous.5 Par la suite, comme démontré dans le texte de Hessel, le personnage principal est conscient que son regard est reçu avec résistance. Pourtant, cela ne l’empêche d’observer autour de lui comme il lui plaît, les femmes surtout. Les affirmations du flâneur, « my gaze lingers


on their sailing shoulders and floating cheeks » et « erect young women […] with the insatiably open mouths become indignant », suggèrent la nature vorace et sexuelle du regard que le narrateur porte sur les femmes.6 Il regarde alors la gente féminine comme des morceaux de viande, contemplant les parties féminines de leur anatomie, dans ce cas-ci, leurs épaules et leurs joues. Pour ainsi dire, il voit les femmes comme des objets sexuels, utilisant des termes tels « erect » et « with [the women’s] insatiably open mouths » pour les décrire dans le texte ; un choix de mots pouvant aussi être utilisé de manière érotique pour dépeindre des parties génitales. Par « insatiable » il est sous-entendu que son désir ne peut être comblé ou assouvi.7 Les bouches ouvertes seraient donc une façon sensuelle d’exposer une envie charnelle. De cette façon, en désirant les femmes, il prétend les voir le désirer ; elles sont la représentation de son propre désir pervers réprimé. De plus, lorsqu’il « examine the backs of the knees of the children playing ball against the building – long-legged girls, enchanting to look at »,8 il voit encore en elles un objet sexuel, tel un pédophile, par la gracieuseté des mouvements de leurs jambes. Ce n’est pas l’activité physique des jeunes filles qui soit « enchantante » à regarder, mais plutôt la danse sensuelle dans laquelle elles s’embarquent involontairement en s’envoyant le ballon « alternatively with their hands, head, chest, spinning round in the process ».9 La connotation est sexuelle et vicieuse pour la raison même qu’il soit ensorcelant de regarder les longues jambes fines d’enfants jouant au basketball. Alors, chez une grande partie des personnages du sexe féminin, le flâneur, par voie de son regard, conçoit une vision de la sexualité à travers les actions banales des femmes qu’il observe. Il y a ainsi une intrigante relation entre les femmes et le consumérisme, relation dans laquelle la femme est perçue comme un objet de consommation dont l’utilité serait de satisfaire son désir sexuel. Ainsi, la femme serait l’objet du regard et du désir de l’homme.10 D’ailleurs, comme Lacan le fait remarquer dans ses travaux, « l’objet révèle sa fonction de gage du désir si l’on peut dire, pour ne pas dire d’otage ».11 Ainsi, la femme, l’objet, est

gage du désir, mais ce rôle lui donne un certain pouvoir sur le flâneur, car elle peut le garder en otage par ce désir refoulé. En d’autres mots, en observant et en désirant la femme, l’envie sexuelle du flâneur ne sera jamais satisfaite et c’est de cette façon que le pouvoir est remis aux mains de la femme observée ; elle seule détient la capacité de contenter son désir. D’un autre côté, cette tournure en objet de plaisir érotique ferait preuve de l’existence d’une certaine anxiété sexuelle de la part de l’homme ; le besoin d’observer et de contrôler le sexe féminin rend compte de la confrontation de l’homme à la différence féminine et de son mystère.12 L’anxiété que la femme provoque ainsi chez l’homme oblige celui-ci à la réduire en objet sexuel dans le but de contrer cette anxiété et afin d’assurer son rôle de dominance. Mais d’où vient cette anxiété que la femme cause chez l’homme ? En fait, le corps de la femme rappelle la maternité, la vulnérabilité enfantine face à cette figure féminine, le sens de la nature à travers la création et la mortalité.13 Ainsi, le corps d’une femme serait un symbole de la vie et de la mortalité, et c’est en partie à cause de cette dernière signification qu’il causerait une telle anxiété à l’homme. Cette affinité pour la maternité qu’a le corps féminin le rend définitivement plus puissant parce qu’il rappellerait alors la vulnérabilité des garçons par rapport à leurs mères, celles qui détenaient à l’origine le pouvoir incontestable, comme Lacan en fait la discussion, « la mère est primordialement toute puissante [...] nous ne pouvons l’éliminer de cette dialectique […] pour comprendre quoi que ce soit qui vaille ».14 Lacan prouve ici l’importance du rôle de la mère dans cette contradiction de la réalité - la dialectique -, en expliquant qu’elle est la base même de cette anxiété, et de ce fait, de cette ambiguïté concernant l’échange de pouvoir entre le flâneur et l’objet féminin qui résulte de son observation. Selon Lacan, dans le but de contrer l’affiliation qui existe entre les sexes, l’homme, en particulier le flâneur, se doit de fixer la femme du regard afin de prouver, à luimême peut-être, son pouvoir sur elle. Dans le cas de ces différents personnages féminins, soit les deux jeunes femmes et les filles jouant au ballon, nulle part dans le texte

13


de Hessel n’est-il affirmé qu’elles retournent le regard du flâneur. Il est vrai que les jeunes femmes ouvrent leurs bouches d’indignation à cause de cette observation qui se veut dévoilante, mais jamais ne confrontent-elles le flâneur de leur propre regard. De façon similaire, les jeunes filles demeurent insouciantes quant à cette mise-à-nu, qui semble presque invisible. Elles ne semblent pas l’observer en retour, qu’elles aient aperçu son regard ou non. Cette attitude de la femme face à l’observation du flâneur va de pair avec l’idée que seul l’homme peut regarder proposée par Mulvey: « men look, women are looked at ».15 Ce non-partage du regard donne définitivement du pouvoir à l’homme ; la personne qui regarde se fait nécessairement plus puissante que la personne qui est regardée, comme Foucault le fait remarquer avec l’idée du panoptique, en ajoutant que le pouvoir est lié à la surveillance et au contrôle.16 De ce fait, le flâneur surveille et contrôle les femmes et elles en sont les victimes impuissantes ; « men do not simply look, their gaze carries with it the power of action and of possession ».17 Mais pourquoi ce besoin qu’a l’homme d’être supérieur à la femme, de pouvoir la contrôler et la surveiller de son regard ? C’est d’abord cette anxiété qui, comme mentionné plus haut, fait référence à la vulnérabilité enfantine chez les garçons par rapport au pouvoir de leur mère. En effet, « l’enfant se trouve en la présence de la toute-puissance maternelle » ce qui résulte en « [son] sentiment d’impuissance ».18 Il est aussi à noter qu’en observant, le flâneur cherche à augmenter sa puissance, mais cela peut aussi avoir l’effet contraire et mener à la perte de cette puissance ; « dès que le sujet aperçoit, dans l’objet dont il attend la toute-puissance, ce manque le fait lui-même impuissant ».19 Ainsi, le rappel de la maternité provoqué par la vision du corps féminin fait en sorte qu’il se sente impuissant face à la femme. Le seul personnage féminin qui retourne le regard du flâneur est la « widow », la veuve. La veuve « [throwing] nasty looks [the flâneur’s] way » et « craning her neck behind [the flâneur] »20 est donc la seule à oser, et ainsi à s’autoriser l’observation du flâneur comme lui se permet d’observer tous les personnages de sexe féminin

14

sur sa route. En ayant la capacité d’observer à son tour, la veuve pourrait être comparée à la prostituée, le complément féminin du flâneur, la seule « flâneuse » possible qui est désavantagée dans son rôle. En effet, elle a la possibilité d’être seule dans la rue, contrairement à tous les autres personnages féminins du texte qui sont accompagnées et contrairement aux normes strictes de l’époque. C’est d’ailleurs la raison principale pourquoi les « flâneuses » peuvent être vues comme des prostituées ; elles marchent les rues, elles en sont les « street-walkers ». L’image de la veuve rappelle celle de la prostituée de Baudelaire, où elle est représentée comme l’« erotology of the condemned ».21 En fait, Baudelaire parle d’un être associant sexualité et mort. Dans le texte de Hessel, on y voit dans un premier temps l’image de la veuve reflétant la mort physique et sexuelle. Dans un deuxième temps, lorsque le flâneur décrit la manière à laquelle les géraniums « [throb] red in sluggishly grey world ».22 En utilisant le verbe « throb » se traduisant en palpiter ou élancer, vient à l’esprit cette image violente d’un battement du cœur ou de la douleur. Le portrait formé peut alors être perçu érotiquement ; la prostituée a la capacité de mettre un peu de joie, de couleur, dans la vie morne des hommes pour un instant de façon semblable aux géraniums qui en apportent dans le monde. La prostituée symbolise l’ennui, la frustration et la solitude, des traits tous représentés par la veuve, aux yeux du flâneur de Franz Hessel. En effet, la veuve semble tombée dans la désuétude, au milieu de ses chiffons, de ses vieux papiers, de ses poubelles et de ses « skins ». Un autre point mineur liant la veuve à la prostituée est qu’elle « [fears] that her papers are not entirely in order ».23 Ainsi, elle n’est pas en règle et certaines de ses activités seraient louches aux yeux de la loi. Alors, le personnage de la veuve pourrait très bien être une représentation de la prostituée présente dans des écrits d’auteurs notables dont Baudelaire ou Benjamin. Cette femme, souvent perçue comme corrompue ou avilie, rappelle alors l’image de la « flâneuse ». Ironiquement, malgré qu’elle soit considérée comme telle, donc un être tout en puissance, sous le regard masculin, elle est comme tous les autres personnages féminins du texte. La


prostituée est alors à son tour transformée en objet sexuel apportant satisfaction à l’homme mais cela sous contrôle et surveillance. Benjamin suggère cette ambiguïté de personnage chez la prostituée ; « ambiguity is the pictorial image of dialectics, the law of dialectics seen at a standstill […] such an image is the prostitute, who is saleswoman and wares in one ».24 Ainsi, cette contradiction de rôles d’un même personnage est présente chez la prostituée puisqu’elle est à la fois sujet et objet ; elle a le pouvoir de regarder, mais, étant femme malgré tout, elle est elle-même regardée. Pour tous les personnages de sexe féminin étudiés dans le texte, il peut être noté que le flâneur ressent une satisfaction personnelle dans leur réaction suite à ses observations soutenues de leurs personnes. Dans le cas des jeunes femmes, elles s’indignent devant ce regard pénétrant qui leur dénude les épaules. Le flâneur ne semble pas s’en trouver mal, expliquant d’un ton complètement détaché la raison pour laquelle elles s’irritent ; c’est en fait dû au « slow-motion gaze of the harmless spectator ».25 Le flâneur sait donc pertinemment ce qui fâche les femmes qu’ils regardent, pourtant, cela ne l’intimide en rien. Il apprécie cette sensation de pouvoir qu’il a sur elles, cette capacité qu’il a de regarder, sans qu’elles n’en soient elles-mêmes capables. Encore, même lorsqu’il admire les jambes des jeunes filles jouant au basketball, il sait évidemment que la veuve le regarde et le méprise pour sa conduite honteuse. Malgré tout, il semble savourer le résultat de cette provocation lorsqu’il affirme qu’il peut « feel the produce widow craning her neck behind me ? Will she let the cop know what sort of character I am? ».26 Cela s’apparente à un jeu pour le flâneur, à un moment d’excitation, une sorte de « thrill » quant à savoir s’il se fera prendre cette fois ou s’il s’en sortira indemne. Il apprécie le pouvoir que cela apporte de se savoir un hors-la-loi social, tout en étant invincible et intouchable. De même pour les jeunes femmes, oseront-elles le regarder ? Oseront-elles user de leur pouvoir de femmes, l’expression terrifiante de leur regard ? En général, ce n’est pas le cas et c’est ce qui satisfait le flâneur. Autrement, dans le cas où la femme se per-

met de retourner le regard du flâneur, elle agit comme le personnage mythique de la Méduse, qui transforme en pierre n’importe qui la regarde dans les yeux. Ainsi, elle est l’icône par perfection du « gaze » se démarquant par son pouvoir indéfectible et terrifiant.27 Voilà qui s’avère dérangeant et dangereux pour le flâneur qui appréhende la perte de son statut de supérieur au sein de la société patriarcale et qui craint un bouleversement hiérarchique lui faisant perdre son rôle d’observateur de la société. Pour contrer ce pouvoir, il use de son regard pour abaisser la femme jusqu’à ne plus craindre de se voir inférieur. La puissance du regard féminin est si élevée que le flâneur doit se sentir si nu et vulnérable en étant l’objet qu’il se doit de contrer cette sensation de malaise en fixant les femmes, en les objectivant de son regard: « Patriarchal males have had to make Medusa – and by extension all women – the object of the male gaze as a protection against being objectified themselves by Medusa’s female gaze ».28 Suite à ce revirement de situation, la femme se trouve dans l’impossibilité de changer le mâle en un simple objet. Peut-être la femme s’estelle « docilisée » au sein de la société patriarcale et s’est laissée contrôlée et surveillée sans prendre la peine de lever le doigt en signe de protestation, ou alors, n’est-elle pas aussi effrayée que le flâneur – ou l’homme dans tous les cas – de la vulnérabilité qu’apporte une métamorphose en vulgaire objet, ou enfin n’a-t-elle pas autant peur du jugement que ce regard apporte ? Peu importe ce qui cause la femme à ne pas vouloir se mesurer au flâneur, comme lui le fait, l’ambiguïté encore une fois entre l’objet et le sujet du « gaze » à cause du complexe de la Méduse, c’est-à-dire du pouvoir du regard féminin, est notable. En conclusion, The Suspicious Character, de Franz Hessel, rend bien compte de l’ambiguïté de pouvoir que cause le regard du flâneur. En général, le flâneur observe la femme pour l’inférioriser et par le fait même, se prouver de sa dominance. Ce besoin de rendre la femme inférieure et de se hisser sur un piédestal est entre autres expliqué par l’anxiété primitive que la femme, en tant que figure maternelle, cause chez l’homme. Le personnage de la veuve, la seule pouvant être comparée à

15


une « flâneuse » parce qu’elle partage de nombreux attributs avec la prostituée, détient sa puissance par son habilité à regarder et sa faiblesse par sa féminité. Finalement, le personnage de la Méduse, renommé pour l’extrême puissance de son regard, produit le même effet chez le flâneur qui le craint et tente de le fuir et c’est d’ailleurs dans ce dessein, qu’il fixe les femmes. Enfin, il est dit que le regard masculin agit en contrôlant et en surveillant la femme, mais même lorsqu’elles ne sont pas vues, elles se croient constamment regardées et fixées dans la société occidentale moderne. Cela a pour effet de complexer et d’inhiber la liberté. La société bourgeoise a créé des « mechanic dolls »,29 des femmes qui n’existent que sous le regard d’autrui. Avant qu’un regard extérieur ne se pose sur elle, elles se sont déjà regardées plus d’une fois dans la glace. Ainsi, non plus besoin du regard masculin pour rendre les femmes inférieures ; elles en sont elles-mêmes capables par leur propre regard. La société a fait des femmes des produits de consommation. L’ensemble de leurs actions peut être expliquée par une seule envie ; celle d’être regardées, d’être perçues comme des objets de désir aux yeux du sexe masculin. Ainsi, bien que l’apogée de la popularité du flâneur soit tournée à sa fin il y a un moment déjà, les conséquences de cet homme voyeur ont vu le jour à cette époque, mais continuent d’avoir un effet certain sur l’agissement des femmes d’aujourd’hui.

NOTES 1. Laura Mulvey, ‘’Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema.’’ Screen, vol. 16, no 3, 6-18. 2. Jacques Lacan, Le Séminaire livre IV : La Relation d’Objet. Paris: Éditions du Seuil, 1957, 170. 3. J. Wolff, The Invisible Flaneuse’ in Feminine Sentences: Essays on Women and Culture. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990. 34-50. 47. 4. Martha Vicinus, Independant Women: Work and Community for Single Women, 1850-1920. Chicago: University of Chicago Press,1992. 297 5. Wolff, Invisible Flaneuse, 48. 6. Franz Hessel. The Suspicious Character. The

16

Weimar Republic Sourcebook, 1929. 4202. 421. 7. Le Petit Larousse. Paris: Hachette Livres, 2014, s.v. “insatiable.” 8. Hessel, Suspicious, 421. 9. Ibid. 10. Elfriede Dreyer and Estelle MacDowall, “Imagining the Flâneur as a Woman.” Communcatio: South African Journal for Communication Theory and Research 38, (2012): 31. 11. Jacques Lacan. Le Séminaire livre VI: Le Désir et son Interprétation. Paris: Éditions de La Martinière, 1959. 133. 12. Mulvey, Visual, 368. 13. R. S. Bowers, ‘’Medusa and the Female Gaze.’’ NWSA Journal, no 2, (1990): 217-235. 14. Lacan, Séminaire, 185. 15. Mulvey, Visual, 369. 16. Michel Foucault. Surveiller et punir: Naissance de la prison. Paris: Gallimard, 1975. 17. Bowers, Medusa, 217. 18. Lacan, Séminaire, 186. 19. Ibid., 169. 20. Hessel, Suspicious, 421. 21. Baudelaire, Charles. The Painter of Modem Life and other Essays. New York : Garland Publishing, 1978: 150. 22. Hessel, Suspicious, 421. 23. Ibid. 24. Walter Benjamin. ‘’Paris, Capital of the Nineteenth Century’’ in Reflections. New York : Schocken Books, 1986: 157. 25. Hessel, Suspicious, 421. 26. Ibid. 27. Bowers, Medusa, 219. 28. Ibid., 220. 29. S. Buck-Morss. “The Flaneur, the Sandwichman and the Whore: The Politics of Loitering.” New German Critique, vol. 39, (1986): 99-140. http://www.jstor.org.


Sofia Bachouchi

Mixed Narratives SOFIA BACHOUCHI Inspired by de Certeau’s essay on spatial practices Walking in the City, this piece aspires to represent the pedestrian speech – footsteps –, as seen from a voyeur perspective. In his essay, de Certeau sees footsteps as words forming a story, the story being the path taken by the walkers. The title Mixed Narratives refers to this concept. Indeed, by making the footsteps visible I strive to present the innumerable stories coexisting simultaneously on every sidewalk of the modern metropolis. These intertwined paths are being created, modified and erased at every moment of the city’s existence. Concerning this subject, de Certeau writes: “ They [the footsteps] are a

myriad, but do not compose a series. They cannot be counted because each unit has a qualitative character.” The footsteps are the creators of space, without them the street presented in this picture would not have the same essence, the same spatiality. Also, I intentionally did not include any human figure in this photograph, because the footsteps, in their nature, always miss the actual act of passing by. Once again, de Certeau compares this phenomenon to writing: “ But these thick or thin curves only refer, like words, to the absence of what has passed by. ” Finally, instead of showing a whole, this work only presents a glimpse of the limitless story created by these anonymous walkers.

17


Eine alte neue Eigenschaft: der Flaneur und seine Dualität in “Der Verdächtige” von Franz Hessel ANOUK MILLET

D

er Flaneur ist eine wichtige Figur in der Literatur, besonders im französischen und deutschen Schrifttum. Sie bezeichnet eine beinahe undurchdringliche Person, die sich von seiner Umgebung geistlich, doch nicht körperlich, trennt. Viele berühmte Autoren haben dieses Element besprochen, wie zum Beispiel Charles Baudelaire, Honoré de Balzac und Walter Benjamin. Wie “Der Verdächtige” von Franz Hessel veranschaulicht, hat der Flaneur eine Dualität, die mit seiner Erfahrung als Grenzfigur einhergeht; unsichtbar aber bereits gegenwärtig in den Texten von Baudelaire, nur deutlicher gemacht dank des sich verwandelnden gesellschaftlichen Kontext. Tatsächlich, scheint es zuerst, als hätte sich die Definition von dieser Figur sich mit den Jahren verändert, wie man es im Text von Hessel identifizieren kann. Wenn einer die Texten von Baudelaire jedoch genauer untersucht, wie es Walter Benjamin gemacht hat, kann man diese dualistische Charakteristiken auch schon in seine Texten finden. Der soziale Kontext spielt aber eine wichtige Rolle, denn der Flaneur ist eine Figur die mit seiner Vergangenheit in einen neuen Berlin ankommt, was ein Einfluss auf den Empfang und die Reaktion anderer Leute um ihn herum hat. In seinem Text “Der Verdächtige”, führt Franz Hessel die Idee einer Dualität in den zeitgenössischen Flaneur ein. Auf einer Seite bezeichnet sich der Erzähler als ein Zuschauer, der die Welt um sich herum einfach ansehen will. Er sieht sich selbst wie ein “harmlose[r] Zuschauer” bei wem “nichts, dahinter!’ steckt.”1Er hat keine Hintergedanken in seinen

18

Ansatz. Weil es so ist, sollte er auch keine direkte Macht über Menschen haben. Er ist nur ein Passant. In gewisser Weise hat er die Einstellung einer Person, die nur vorbei geht, ohne anzuhalten, oder sich in das Leben der anderen einzumischen. Als er mit dem Flickschneider über die deutschen Kaiser spricht, “versuch[t] [er] nicht, ihn umzustimmen.”2 Obwohl er mit der Meinung des Flickschneiders nicht einverstanden ist, versucht er nicht, sie zu verändern Es scheint als wollte der Erzähler nichts anderes machen, als Leute und die Stadt zu beobachten. Dazu kann man auch sagen, dass er keinen definierten Plan hat. Er wandert nicht um ein bestimmtes Ziel zu erreichen. Dieses Verhalten löst eine Reaktion von Menschen um ihn herum aus. Gleich am Anfang des Textes, sagt der Erzähler, dass sie ihn immer mit “mißtrauische Blicke” beobachten. Sie halten ihn für einen “Taschendieb”, für einen “Geheimen.”3 Wie es der Titel des Textes andeutet, ist er verdächtig. Er scheint auch suspekt, weil er sehr langsam läuft, ohne an der gesamten Maschinerie der Welt teilzunehmen. Er fängt seine Erzählung mit “langsam durch belebte Straßen zu gehen, ist ein besonderes Vergnügen“4 an. Die Bedingungen selbst, um ein Flaneur zu sein, machen ihn zur verdächtigen Person. Und er beschwert sich über dieses Mistrauen. Solch einen Eindruck möchte er auf seine Umgebung nicht üben. Er will Flaneur sein können, das heißt, er möchte sich von den anderen nicht sehen lassen. Er will sich in der Menge, in den Menschen integrieren können. Er scheint enttäuscht zu sein, wenn er selbst seinen Stellenwert folgenderweise beschreibt:


“Verdächtige Rolle des Zuschauers!”5 Es klingt wie einen Seufzer. Er will sich unter die Masse mischen. Auf der anderen Seite sieht es so aus, als ob der Erzähler ein Teil der Gesellschaft sein möchte. Er ist enttäuscht, denn die Leute “erlauben [ihn nicht] neben und mit ihnen zu warten auf das, was nicht kommt, nur zu warten ohne Objekt.”6 Das heißt, dass er in ihrem Leben, in der Handlung, in der Szene zugehören will. Er möchte mitmachen, er “möchte doch auch [sein] Teil an dem Abend dieser Höfe haben.”7 Er will nicht nur ein Zuschauer, sondern auch ein aktives Mitglied sein. Dieses Gefühl geht gegen die Idee selbst eines passiven Beobachters. Seine Aufdringlichkeit macht ihm zu mehr als ein einfacher Beobachter. Er drängt sich auf die Menschen um ihn herum. Zur gleichen Zeit will er mit ihnen sein, dennoch nicht vollkommen Teil der Gesellschaft sein. Er will “neben und mit ihnen […] warten,”8 er versucht eine gewisse räumliche Nähe mit ihnen zu halten. Aber gleichzeitig hat und möchte er kein Ziel in seiner Wanderung haben, außer das des Spazieren an sich; im Gegensatz zu anderen Leute, für wessen das Gehen nur ein Mittel einen bestimmten Ort zu erreichen ist. Er will den Normen der Gesellschaft nicht entsprechen. Damit trennt er sich von ihnen. Die Tatsache, dass der Erzähler Teil dieser Gemeinschaft sein will, ist auch durch den Ton und die Worte, die der Erzähler verwendet, betont. Besonders in diesem Satz: “Ich kann noch von Glück sagen, daß eine mitleidige Freundin mir manchmal erlaubt, sie zu begleiten, wenn sie Besorgungen zu machen hat,”9 wird dies verdeutlicht. Hessel unterstreicht hier, wie glücklich der Erzähler ist, dass ihn diese Frau nur akzeptiert hat. Er darf sie in einfache tägliche Aufgaben begleiten, und ist dafür unglaublich dankbar. Jedoch befindet er sich wieder in einer Dualität: er ist froh hier zu sein, will hier sein und will mitmachen, aber er ist auch sehr passiv, denn er geht nicht zu dem Flickschneider, sondern er “[wird] zu dem Flickschneider mitgenommen.”10 Es scheint als würden die Definition und Interpretation von Franz Hessel von dem Flaneur sich von Charles Baudelaires entfernen.

Dieser bezeichnet diese literarische Figur in seinen Essay “Le peintre de la vie moderne.” Man könnte erstens beobachten, dass die Blicke in Hessels und in Baudelaires Werke nicht die gleichen sind. Die Blicke des Flaneurs in “Der Verdächtige” scheinen viel aufdringlicher. Die von Hessel benutzen Worte vermitteln den Eindruck, dass sie länger dauern und auf ein Element nach dem anderen eingerichtet sind. Er schreibt: “Die hurtigen, straffen Großstadtmädchen mit den unersättlich offenen Mündern werden ungehalten, wenn meine Blicke sich des längeren auf ihren segelnden Schultern und schwebenden Wangen niederlassen” und beschreibt es wie einen “Zeitlupenblick.”11 Der Erzähler hat einen sehr intensiven Blick, im Gegensatz zu dem von den Flaneur von Baudelaire, der weiter unsichtbar scheint. Baudelaire betont in seinem Text über den Flaneur das Wort “incognito” und die Idee, dass die Leute ihn nicht sehen sollen. Das könnte bedeuten, dass seine Blicke nicht aggressiv oder aufdringlich sind. Das Element, das angeguckt wird, scheint sich auch geändert zu haben. In “Der Verdächtige” wird der Blick auf Frauen gerichtet. Jedes mal, dass er irgendwen neues anschaut, bleibt das Subjekt eine Frau. Im Gegensatz dazu handelt es sich in „Le Peintre de la vie moderne“ um ein allgemeiner Blick. Dieser Flaneur sieht sich die Welt an. “Voir le monde” ist eine der Freuden des Flaneurs, schreibt Baudelaire. Allerdings führt Walter Benjamin eine neue Idee in seiner Diskussion über den Flaneur von Hessel und den von Baudelaire ein. Tatsächlich gibt er in seinen Werken über Baudelaire ein, dass der Flaneur in der Zeit des französischen Autors bereits eine komplizierte Beziehung mit der Außenwelt hat. Er ist nicht nur ein einfacher Beobachter, er nimmt auch an der Handlung teil. Hessel und Benjamin kannten einander und haben zusammen gearbeitet. In seiner Besprechung von “Der Verdächtige”, schreibt Benjamin, dass er mit Hessel einverstanden ist und unterstreicht diese Dualität, die man in den Text finden kann. Er stellt den Flaneur, als ein Mann, mit wem die Stadt zu einen Zwischenraum wird, dar. Er schreibt: “[dem Flaneur] tritt die Stadt in ihre dialektischen Pole auseinander. Sie eröffnet sich ihm

19


als Landschaft, sie umschließt ihn als Stube.”12 Der Flaneur erscheint in einer dualen Stelle zu sein, als sei er geistlich zugleich innerhalb und außerhalb der Stadt und ihrer Menge. Die Straßen der Stadt sind sein Haus, er lebt dort, kennt und erkennt alles. Es ist aber auch eine Landschaft, mit einer großen Palette von Bedeutungen, dass der Flaneur erkunden kann. Benjamin ergänzt diese Idee: “Wie jede stichhaltige und erprobte Erfahrung ihr Gegenteil mit umfaßt, so hier die vollendete Kunst des Flaneurs das Wissen vom Wohnen.”13 Dieser Begriff wird auch in anderen Werken von Benjamin besprochen, wenn er diesmal aber über Paris schreibt.14 Benjamin gibt eine genauere Definition von dem Flaneur in seinen berühmten Illuminationen, “Paris, Die Hauptstadt des XIX. Jahrhundert”. Wie es Hessel in seinem Text klar gemacht hat, findet sich der Flaneur in einer doppelten Lage, indem er zugleich ein Beobachter und ein Beobachteter ist. Er benutzt das Begriff “Dialektik” um das Verhalten des Flaneurs schon im XIX. Jahrhundert zu beschreiben, in dem er “einerseits der Mann, der sich von allem und allen angesehen fühlt, der Verdächtige schlechthin, anderseits der völlig Unauffindbare, Geborgene” ist. Dies ist, wie Benjamin “[Den] Mann der Menge” von Edgar Poe versteht. In der Tat beobachtet der Erzähler in der Geschichte von Poe eine Menge aus einem Café, als ein Mann, den er als “Wanderer” qualifiziert, seine ganze Aufmerksamkeit erwischt und er fängt an, ihn zu folgen. Dieser alte Mann läuft Tage lang, versucht ständig in Massen zu bleiben. Es scheint als wäre es ihm unangenehm und ängstlich sich außerhalb dieser Massen zu befinden. Schließlich versteht der Erzähler, dass der Wanderer sich im Kreis bewegt und er positioniert sich genau vor den Mann, aber dieser sieht ihn kaum. Dieser alte Mann hat mehrere Eigenschaften des Flaneurs. Wie Baudelaire es unterstrichen hat, ist die Masse das “domaine” des Flaneurs und in “Der Mann der Menge”, versucht der Wanderer ständig in dieser Masse zu bleiben und manchmal sogar verschwindet er in dieser. Er hat auch kein spezifiziertes Ziel wenn er läuft, wie es Edgar Allan Poe schreibt: “He crossed and re-crossed the way repeatedly, without

20

apparent aim.”15 Aber wie es von Benjamin hervorgehoben wird, enthaltet diese Figur eine Dialektik. Jedes mal, dass er sich nicht in der Masse findet, wird er sehr nervös und ängstlich. Tatsächlich “der Fremde wurde bleich”16 als er in einer Straße ist, wo wenige andere Leute sind. Außerdem beobachtet er nicht wirklich die Leute und die Sachen herum ihm: ”He entered shop after shop, priced nothing, spoke no word, and looked at all objects with a wild and vacant stare.”17 Es scheint, als wäre er gar nicht aufmerksam. Nicht mal den Erzähler, von wem er Tage lang verfolgt wird, hat er bemerkt. Auch wenn der Erzähler sich gerade vor den Mann positioniert, sieht er ihn nicht wirklich und läuft einfach los. Es sieht so aus, als wäre Teil der Masse zu sein wichtiger, als diese zu beobachten. Dafür beschreibt Benjamin zum ersten und jedes folgende Mal dieser Flaneur als ein “Werwolf ”, der sich von den philosophischen Spaziergängern völlig distanziert.18 Benjamin schreibt nicht nur über die Dualität von dem Flaneur von Edgar Poe, sondern auch dem von Charles Baudelaire, der Mann, den wir mit dem Anfang dieses Konzept verbunden haben. Wenn er in seinem Werk Illuminationen von der Figur von Baudelaire spricht, weist er schon darauf hin, dass “der Flaneur noch auf der Schwelle, der Großstadt sowohl wie der Bürgerklasse [steht]. Keiner von beiden hat ihn noch überwältigt. In keiner von beiden ist er zu Hause.”19 Hiermit identifiziert er seit der ersten Stunde, dass der Flaneur sich in einem Zwischenraum findet. Man könnte sagen, dass der Flaneur zwei gegenüberliegende Eigenschaften hat. Die Dualität des Flaneurs ist ein Teil der Figur seit Baudelaire. Er schreibt, dass eine von seiner Charakteristiken: “Être hors de chez soi, et pourtant se sentir partout chez soi” ist. Wieder einmal ist dies eine Darstellung, dass der Flaneur zur gleichen Zeit ein Zugehöriger sowie ein Außenseiter ist. Dementsprechend bedeutet diese Figur für Baudelaire “la vie multiple et la grâce mouvante de tous les éléments de la vie.” Der Flaneur versucht, mehrere Rollen zu übernehmen, Figuren darzustellen (Zuschauer und Teilnehmer); was Baudelaire ultimativ positiv betrachtet. Er hat ein sehr hohes Ziel.


Als Einzelperson, stellt sich die Figur nicht nur sich selbst dar, sondern auch die Vielfältigkeit des Lebens und der Gesellschaft. Dennoch, könnte man argumentieren, dass die Veränderung des gesellschaftlichen Kontexts dazu beigetragen hat, diese Dualität deutlicher zu machen. Wenn er über Berlin als die „Stadt der Rückkehr“ des Flaneurs spricht, betont Benjamin die “atmosphärischen Widerstände, die sich in dieser Stadt der Flanerie in den Weg stellen und wie bitter der nachschauende Blick aus Dingen und Menschen in ihr auf den Träumer zu fallen droht.”20 Es ist nicht mehr Paris, das “gelobte[s] Land des Flaneurs”, sondern Berlin, die “frühe und strenge” Stadt.21 Dieser Verdacht gegen den Flaneur wird im Text von Hessel sehr deutlich hervorgehoben. Die Frauen haben sehr defensive Blicke, ihm gegenüber, wenn er sie zu lange beobachtet, oder wenn er einfach neben ihnen steht. Zum Beispiel sagt der Erzähler schon am Anfang des Texts, dass “die Witwe [ihn]böse Blicke zu[wirft].”22 Es ist sehr schwer für ihn “incognito”23 zu sein und zu bleiben, auch wenn er es versucht. Die Gesellschaft, in welcher der Flaneur entstanden ist, unterscheidet sich auch sehr von der Hessels und Benjamins, indem es ein anderes Jahrhundert ist. Jedoch hat der Flaneur immer noch seine Vergangenheit, seine alte Art und Weise in diesem neuen Jahrhundert. Nach dem Ersten Weltkrieg waren lange, langsame Spaziergänge, und das Betrachten anderer Menschen verdächtiger, als es im 19. Jahrhundert war. Daher kann sich der Flaneur nicht mehr wie zuvor verhalten, er kann nicht die gleiche Einstellung gegenüber der Gesellschaft haben, er kann nicht mehr der gleiche sein wie zuvor. Aufgrund der letzten politischen und sozialen Ereignissen, die die Gemeinschaft erlitten hat, und die Menschen misstrauisch gemacht haben, erscheint die Dualität von dem Flaneur sehr deutlich. Es betont noch mehr die Tatsache, dass er sich verlagert fühlt. Der Flaneur und seine Dualität: ob er ein Zugehöriger oder ein Außenseiter, ein Beobachter oder ein Beobachteter, ein Teilnehmer oder ein Zuschauer ist, sind in “Der Verdächtige” von Franz Hessel deutlich aner-

kannt. Dieser Aspekt hat aber einen früheren Ursprung als man denken könnte. Baudelaire selbst spricht schon von einem “moi insatiable du non-moi.”24 Der Flaneur kriegt als Zuschauer von seiner Umgebung nie genug; obwohl er den Wunsch äußert, für diese Unsichtbar zu bleiben. Es scheint als wäre der Flaneur nie ein einfacher unsichtbarer Beobachter gewesen, sondern jemanden, der auch von den anderen gesehen wurde. Jedoch sieht es in Benjamins Auffassung von dem Flaneur von Edgar Allan Poe so aus, als gäbe es noch die Möglichkeit einer gewissen Unsichtbarkeit für die Figur, als er ihn als “völlig Unauffindbare, Geborgene” beschreibt.25 Im Großen und Ganzen scheint es für den Flaneur unmöglich zu sein, sich durchaus unsichtbar zu machen. Er ist sich der Handlung und den Beobachteten zu nahe, um die Unaufmerksamkeit zu bewahren. Die Dualität, die den Flaneur charakterisiert, unterstreicht die Tatsache, dass er als Beobachter der Handlung auch unmittelbar zum Teilnehmer wird. Er ist unfähig und teilweise ablehnend, diese zwei Rollen völlig zu trennen.

NOTES 1. Hessel, Franz. “Der Verdächtige.” Spazieren in Berlin. Leipzig und Wien: Hans Epstein, 1929. Print, 412. 2.Ibid., 422. 3. Ibid., 420-421. 4. Ibid., 420. 5. Ibid., 421. 6. Ibid. 7. Ibid., 422. 8. Ibid., 421. 9. Ibid., 422. 10. Ibid. 11. Ibid., 421. 12. Benjamin, Walter. “Die Wiederkehr des Flaneurs.” Die literarische Welt. October 1929. Print, 263. 13. Benjamin, “Wiederkehr”, 264. 14. Benjamin, Walter. “Paris, Die Hauptstadt des XIX. Jahrhunderts.” Illuminationen. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp Verlag, 1974. Print, 417.

21


15. Poe, Edgar Allan. Der Mann der Menge. 1840. about.com. Web. 16. Ibid. 17. Ibid. 18. Benjamin, “Paris,” 417-418. 19. Ibid., 179. 20. Benjamin, “Wiederkehr,” 265.

21. Ibid., 263 und 265. 22. Hessel, “Verdächtige,” 421. 23. Baudelaire, Charles. “Le Peintre de la Vie Moderne.” Le Figaro. Paris. 1863. Print. 24. Ibid. 25. Benjamin, Walter. Das Passagen Werk. 420.

Andrea Garland

22


Discourses of Freud’s Wish-Fulfilment in Lieutenant Gustl ANNA FITZ

S

igmund Freud, the famed neurologist, and Arthur Schnitzler, the writer, as contemporaries, were familiar with and had a certain respect for each other’s works. Freud memorably stated in a letter that Schnitzler “knows by intuition – or really as a consequence of acute self-observation – everything I have uncovered via laborious work on other people.”1 This connection may be observed in the works Interpreting Dreams and Lieutenant Gustl, by Freud and Schnitzler respectively. Schnitzler’s novella, published only a few months after Freud’s book, bears clear ties to the ideas that Freud raises in relation to dreams and the psychoanalytical insights that they provide, specifically to the idea of wish-fulfilment. The titular character of Lieutenant Gustl expresses anxiety concerning financial and romantic difficulties, and these worries injure his notions of his own masculinity. Following an insult to this honour, Gustl wanders through the city in a dream-like state. I shall argue that his seemingly random thoughts may be read as attempts at wish-fulfilment to prove his masculine self-worth, in accordance with Freudian discourse raised in Interpreting Dreams. The form of Schnitzler’s text is highly relevant to the concept of dreaming. Lieutenant Gustl’s stream-of-consciousness narrative presents every thought that Gustl has. Gustl is not literally asleep; however, because his thoughts change very quickly and drastically (in one instance, Gustl ponders his suicide, then is abruptly distracted by recollections of a pretty woman), the text may be seen to operate under a type of dream-logic.2 Gustl also falls asleep halfway through the story, thus bringing ideas of sleep directly into play. It is thus viable to

read Lieutenant Gustl with a dream-based interpretation in mind, since the text invokes discourses of dreaming even in the waking life. Lieutenant Gustl’s lack of confidence in his own masculinity has multiple causes, all of which are illustrated in the following passage, in which Gustl considers the possible reactions of his fellow officers to his death. He morbidly states that all the others know of him is “That I’m in the service, that I play cards, and that I run around with fast women.”3 Gustl’s notions of masculinity are thus linked to the ideas of military service, of gambling (and therefore money), and of women. These are the aspects of his character by which Gustl believes others define him, meaning that he must define himself through these criteria as well. Through examination of the text, it becomes apparent that Gustl considers his relationship with all of these factors extremely problematic. Gustl clearly desires to be a strong military man, respected by his society’s rulers. Although the monarchy that he serves is quickly becoming obsolete, Gustl nonetheless thinks fondly of “His Highness,”4 whom he describes as “chummy with everyone, and good drinking companion.”5 In addition to his views of masculinity as a noble force that serves the monarchy, Gustl considers financial success to be another element of male strength, hence his preoccupation with cards. Early in the text, he states that he “Lost a hundred and sixty gulden in one round-how stupid!”6 References to his financial worries are discussed again and again in the text. Subtler hints at Gustl’s preoccupation with money appear multiple times, including when he enviously thinks that “the Jews are the ones with the money,” considers

23


his uncle who is “loaded; a couple of hundred gulden never made any difference to him,” and when, observing a woman, Gustl wonders whether the jewels that she wears are “genuine diamonds.”7 In Gustl’s mind, a strong man should be successful financially. Finally, Gustl’s reference to “fast women” is extremely significant.8 He is aware that the female company he keeps is not of the highest order, and considers the possibility of pursuing a more respectable relationship: “I wonder whether I ought to consider marriage seriously? […] There’s something to be said for always having a pretty little wife home at your disposal.”9 Although a significant portion of Gustl’s interest in a respectable woman is doubtless carnal in nature, he also believes that the final component of true masculinity is success with the fair sex. These issues are all significant in the text, and Gustl’s constant fixation with the domains of military prowess, finance, and romance may be seen as entering into Freudian discourse. In Interpreting Dreams, Freud states, “When the task of interpretation is complete, dream can be seen to constitute wish-fulfilment.”10 He elaborates, saying that dreams are a way in which the mind engages with ideas incurred during the day preceding sleep and through which it presents images and thoughts that are in keeping with desires (often sexual) of the dreamer.11 Because these wishes may be embarrassing to the dreamer, they are often masked; hence, “Dream is the (disguised) fulfilment of a (suppressed or repressed) wish.”12 Lieutenant Gustl cannot acknowledge that he is insecure in his own masculinity; doing so would destroy his pride and remaining confidence. Therefore, although his main desire is to be a strong man, he masks or distorts this desire by creating the impression that the actual goal he strives towards is that of conserving his honour by committing suicide. It is important to specify that Gustl does not wish to die; however, he believes that he must do so in order to preserve his honour. Gustl continues to push back the hour of his death, falling asleep outside instead of carrying out the deed, and then going to a café for breakfast, further delaying what he believes he must do. Because Gustl feels such clear reluc-

24

tance to kill himself, it might appear odd at first that he discards many schemes that would free him from this forced death. He contemplates the various options that are open to him, including begging the baker who has insulted him to “swear to [him] that he’ll never tell a soul,”13 leaving and joining “[Gustl’s] uncle on his estate,”14 and running “to America where nobody knows me […] no one will know what happened here this evening.”15 These are all viable options that could render suicide completely unnecessary, yet Gustl discards them as foolish or silly notions. He refuses to believe that he could change careers of leave the country, although his country’s monarchic system of government has been greatly weakened and the order of society has grown increasingly flexible. The many schemes that Gustl considers are all logical means of escape from his current predicament. These ideas could be seen as a form of Freud’s “dream-distortion,” that is, methods used by dreamers to conceal or justify their true desires from themselves.16 If Gustl were to run away to America, or learn a new trade, or pursue one of the other ideas that he considers, he would not be conforming to his ideas of what a true man is. A true man does not forsake his duties to his monarchy, or run from his place of birth to start a new life in a foreign country. A true man accepts death with unflinching courage. Therefore Gustl’s rejection of logical plans that would ensure his survival appears odd since he clearly does not wish to die, but unless he goes through with his plan of suicide he shall lose the remaining faith he has in his own masculinity. Freud states that symbolism in dreams is problematic, since a symbol may carry completely different meanings for various individuals.17 However, he also states that because symbolism is included in “the unconscious imagination, particularly the popular imagination, and is more fully present in folklore, myths, legends, [and] sayings,”18 one may consider popular meanings of symbols when interpreting them from dreams, while keeping in mind the subjectivity of each individual’s perspective.19 There are two symbols in Lieutenant Gustl that bear particular significance to the interpretation of the text. The first is Lieu-


tenant Gustl’s sword, an overt phallic symbol. Freud explicitly states, “all long, sharp weapons […] represent the male member.”20 Gustl’s sword then represents both the man’s physical strength, being his weapon, and also his sexuality, because of the sword’s symbolism. With this in mind, the baker seizing Gustl’s sword and threatening to “pull your [Gustl’s] sword out of the sheath, break it in two, and send the pieces to your regimental commander”21 is a symbolically loaded action. Gustl cannot break the baker’s grip; the embodiment of his masculinity has been immobilized and rendered impotent. The threat of destroying the sword refers to a male fear of castration, which Freud would later develop in his theory of the “castration complex,” the act of “focusing on fantasies on one’s penis being cut off, evoked in a child.”22 A fear of castration is present not only in this scene, during Gustl’s adulthood, but also in a later scene in which he recollects an event from his childhood. Freud states that although the conscious mind may not recall memories from childhood, this is not the case for the unconscious.23 He elaborates, saying, “One of the sources from which dream draws material for reproduction (some of it material unremembered by and unused in the mental activity of the waking life) is the life of childhood.”24 This material from childhood surfaces in dreams when triggered during the day preceding sleep.25 Memory is therefore subjective; a very old memory from childhood may remain dormant in the unconscious for many years until a seemingly innocuous experience causes it to resurface.26 The years of childhood are extremely important, for it is during this time that children develop their personalities, values, and manners of thinking. That Gustl considers an episode from his childhood is thus extremely significant, for it hints at the values that he holds in the present day. Gustl considers his failure to pursue a proper relationship, stating that he always followed “those easy types […] and I began so young-I was only a boy that time on my first vacation when I was home with my parents in Graz […] Riedl was also along […] she was Bohemian […] Must have been twice as old

as I-came home only the following morning […] The way Father looked at me […] And Clara.”27 Gustl clearly had his first sexual experience at an extremely young age and incurred the obvious disapproval of his father, who considered the experience premature. The father, in expressing displeasure with his son’s actions and through the power of his own position as the governing figure in Gustl’s life at the time, exercises an authority that in this situation threatens Gustl’s sexual actions and so exemplifies the castration complex that Freud discusses. The notion that the baker has figuratively castrated Gustl pervades the text. Diminished men are frequently referred to, for example on page 262 when Gustl wonders why a man’s eye was injured, and on page 263 when Gustl considers a cadet who attempted to kill himself with a gunshot but managed only to ensure his own blindness. The two unfortunates, injured for reasons that are only hinted at, are no longer whole men. While the baker’s blow to Gustl’s honour has not hurt Gustl physically, he considers it to have left a mark that will never leave him, hence the necessity of ending his own life. The baker’s insult has marked Gustl as irreparably as the gunshot that wounded the cadet; he at first believes that both blows will have lifelong consequences. This is of course before Gustl learns the news of the baker’s death; he then reverts to his former cheerful mentality. Until he hears the news however, Gustl believes that like the one-eyed man and the cadet, his masculinity has been severely diminished. The second symbol that bears interpretive significance is that of the rolls that Gustl eats at the end of the story. Although Freud does not explicitly mention a possible interpretation of food as a symbol in dreams, the rolls may be understood through the logic of Freudian discourse nonetheless. When Gustl enters the café and learns of the baker’s death, he is eating rolls that the baker has made. This does not repulse Gustl; rather, he considers that the roll he is eating “tastes very good too, Herr Habetswallner.”28 The consumption of bread in this instance may be interpreted as an allusion to the tradition of the Eucharist, in which the bread eaten by Christians symbolizes the

25


body of Christ; this symbol therefore represents Gustl figuratively consuming the body of the baker. In this case, ingestion of the baker does not demonstrate any sentiment of piousness but rather a final lasting triumph over his adversary. By eating the bread, Gustl is nourished and strengthened; through this symbolic triumph over his antagonist, he has taken the baker’s power into himself. The ending of the text reinforces the reading of Lieutenant Gustl as a novella that utilizes Freud’s idea of wish-fulfilment as a central motif. Very early on in the text, Gustl contemplates his predicament, stating, “even if he had a stroke tonight, I’d know it… I’d know it. And I could no longer wear a cape and carry a sword if such disgrace were on me!”29 This thought foreshadows the ending of the piece, when the baker does in fact die in a sudden and unexpected way. Ironically however, upon learning of his antagonist’s death, Gustl abandons all thoughts of suicide despite his earlier statement that it is completely unavoidable. Perhaps Gustl feels that the baker’s death, a stroke and a fall down some stairs, was pathetic and very tame, below a military man such as himself. Although the baker was previously a cruel, devious adversary, he has lost his former status and become instead a very mortal man who came to a contemptible end. Hence Gustl now feels a sense of superiority to the baker. His own masculinity has been reinforced; having survived the baker, he must clearly be

26

the better man. Gustl’s newfound confidence is fully displayed in the final line of the story when, considering his duel later that day against a man who Gustl believes has insulted him, the protagonist states, “Just wait, my boy, I’m in wonderful form […] I’ll knock you to smithereens!”30 The duel, which was previously another method for proving his masculine strength and which Gustl was concerned about, has become a fight that he cannot lose. This arrogance stems from Gustl’s triumph, as he sees it, over the baker. Both were faced with death; however, Gustl emerged victorious and now feels certain that he will defeat the new challenger to his masculinity. Lieutenant Gustl may be read in terms of Freudian discourse, specifically in relation to the concept of wish-fulfilment. Although he is not literally asleep, Gustl wanders the city in a dream-like state. It is during this time that he develops a plan for his own suicide, the only path through which his wounded sense of masculinity may recover. I have suggested that until he learns of the baker’s death, Gustl believes that suicide is the only course of action that will fulfil his wish of regaining a sense of masculine pride. This interpretation bears important historical significance since after the emergence of Freudian thought many literary texts began to engage with psychoanalytical discourse. Among the most notable of these texts is Schnitzler’s novella Lieutenant Gustl.


NOTES 1. Goodstein, Elizabeth. “ ‘Behind the Poetic Fiction’: Freud, Schnitzler and Feminine Subjectivity,” Psychoanalysis and History 6 (2004): 201-223. http://www.euppublishing.com.proxy1.library.mcgill.ca/doi/pdfplus/10.3366/pah.2004.6.2.201. 2. Schnitzler, Arthur. Lieutenant Gustl, Plays and Stories. Ed. Egon Schwarz. New York: Continuum, 1982. 249-279. 3. Schnitzler, Lieutenant, 270. 4. Ibid., 267. 5. Ibid. 6. Ibid., 253. 7. Ibid., 253, 256. 8. Ibid., 270. 9. Ibid., 255. 10.Freud, Sigmund. Interpreting Dreams. Trans. J. A. Underwood. London: Penguin Books, 2006. 132. 11. Ibid., 132. 12. Ibid., 170. 13. Schnitzler, Lieutenant, 259. 14. Ibid., 266.

15. Ibid. 16. Freud, Dreams, 170. 17. Ibid., 366. 18. Ibid. 19. Ibid. 20. Ibid., 368. 21. Schnitzler, Lieutenant, 257. 22. Colman, Andrew M. A Dictionary of Psychology. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008, s.v. “castration complex.” Oxford Reference. Accessed 9 November 2013. http://www. oxfordreference.com/view/10.1093/ acref/9780199534067.001.0001/acref9780199534067-e-1277. 23. Freud, Dreams, 24. 24. Ibid., 26. 25. Ibid., 31. 26. Ibid. 27. Schnitzler, Lieutenant, 265-266. 28. Ibid., 278. 29. Ibid., 261. 30. Ibid., 279.

Sophie Chauvet

27


The Wonders of the World:

LANGUAGE, ART AND THE SELF

IN WITTGENSTEIN’S PHILOSOPHY

BIANCA WAKED

O

n page 86 of his personal notebooks, Ludwig Wittgenstein writes: “the aesthetic wonderment is that the world exists. That what exists does exist.” This conception of aesthetics is one that, when placed in a larger existentialist context, expresses the self through art. Although this argument may seem to be beyond the scope or the subjectmatter of the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, my project will be to prove that aesthetics and the self are central to Wittgenstein’s work and not, in fact, divorced from the concerns of the ‘early Wittgenstein’.1 Rather, the Tractatus, read together with the ‘Lecture on Ethics’ delivered in November 1929, offer proof that Wittgenstein’s conception of aesthetics as the manifestation of the self is embedded in the very fabric of his philosophy. In order to clarify the relevance of the “Lecture on Ethics” to this paper, a word must be said on the relationship between ethics and aesthetics. The Tractatus features only one brief, explicit proposition which deals directly with the relationship between the two, and that is Proposition 6.421, which states the following: “It is clear that ethics cannot be put into words. Ethics is transcendental. (Ethics and aesthetics are one and the same.)”2 This proposition allows the reader to infer that anything which bears upon ethics will necessarily bear on aesthetics as well. Therefore, aesthetics is also transcendental and cannot be put into words. We may then infer that any conclusions made about the Tractatus using the ‘Lecture on Ethics’ can be extended to aesthetics, even if the ‘Lecture on Ethics’ does not often explicitly reference aesthetics. The one time it does,

28

however, is similar to Proposition 6.421 in announcing ethics and aesthetics to be equivalent.3

Propositional language and the self

Having established the connection between ethics and aesthetics using both the Tractatus as well as the ‘Lecture on Ethics’, the first relationship which must be clarified is that which stands between propositional language and the self. Propositions, as Wittgenstein asserts in both of the texts, cannot be used to express the self.4 Proposition 5.631 of the Tractatus explains that: There is no such thing as the subject that thinks or entertains ideas. If I wrote a book called The World as I Found It … this method of isolating the subject, or rather of showing that in an important sense there is no subject; for it alone could not be mentioned in that book.5 This citation describes the function of propositional language in Wittgenstein’s philosophy: to express propositions. The self is not a state of affairs or a fact about reality. However, if the self is not a fact of reality and the subject does not “belong to the world [but] rather is a limit of the world”, then what is the relationship of the self to propositional language?6 It is clear that such a language is not what is needed to ascertain the existence of the speaker, yet Wittgenstein’s system of propositional language must presuppose a self, given that it would be ridiculous for anyone to claim otherwise. The human subject therefore must


necessarily be the implicit assumption in this system.7 This assumption obviously requires some kind of relationship to the world that doesn’t, upon initial glance, seem to be justified in the Tractatus. Yet Wittgenstein does offer some clues as to how to answer questions of an ontological nature. Propositions 6.5 and 6.52 suggest different ways of conceiving the question. Proposition 6.5 states that “when the answer cannot be put into words, neither can the question be put into words” while 6.52 announces that “…when all possible scientific questions have been answered, the problem of life remains completely untouched...there are no questions left, and this itself is the answer.”8 These two propositions clarify firstly that questions of an ontological nature, questions that ask about the self in the world, are not questions which can be formed properly using the form of logical syntax. This conclusion, about the incommunicability of ontology through propositional communication, leads us to an answer of sorts through Proposition 6.5. Ontology is not a scientific question which can be formed in the first place. As such, we will find no propositional answer which can communicate the mystery of existence. Therefore, Wittgenstein has implicitly offered us a new direction to take on our search through his philosophy, considering that which communicates but does so through forms other then propositional language. One possibility which adheres to such requirements would be art.

Art and the self

The proposition which sheds some light as to how non-propositional communication is possible is Proposition 6.522, which states that “there are indeed things that cannot be put into words. They make themselves manifest. They are what is mystical.”9 A literal reading of this proposition (which, if we take the rest of the Tractatus literally, should also hold for 6.522) would take that which cannot be propositionally communicated (i.e. the self ) to be manifestly visible – in the form of art. The argument for such a claim finds itself in the Wittgenstein’s ‘Lecture on Ethics’, wherein he announces that “[he] can only de-

scribe [his] feeling by the metaphor”.10 The metaphor is significant in this lecture because it is the essential example of the misuse of propositional language. Metaphorical language is expressly non-propositional given that it does not adhere to the form of logical syntax, yet it nevertheless functions as a form of communication. More particularly, Wittgenstein establishes metaphorical language as the key tool used to communicate ethical, religious and aesthetic expressions.11 If he is right about metaphorical language misusing propositions, this begs the question as to how exactly poetic language functions. In the case of aesthetics, ethics and religious expression, metaphorical language seems to establish a model between an expression of feelings and an artwork. In order to clarify my previous conclusion, I must draw attention to a distinction Wittgenstein makes in his Tractatus between language and propositions. When referring to the totality of facts in reality, Wittgenstein always uses the term “propositions”. Yet his use of the word “language” in Proposition 5.6 (the oftquoted “the limits of my language mean the limits of my world”) highlights the distinction. Although propositions are encompassed by language, language is not restricted to propositions. Thus, when Wittgenstein refers to language, there is no reason to believe that he is only referring to propositional language. Manifestations which communicate subsequently fall under this heading. Having established that non-propositional language is still a form of language, we may now clarify some aspect of the relationship between metaphors and the world. If we understand a painting such as Degas’ “La classe de danse” to act as a concrete metaphor, then the model relationship is more easily visible.12 Degas’ painting recreates a state of affairs in the world (a dance class for young ballerinas) in a clear, identifiable manner. Yet the indiscernible significance of the mundane scene demands that we ask why the painter chose to paint it in the first place. The response to such a question lies in the feelings expressed in and through the painting. The artist, in painting such a scene, draws attention to the value of the prosaic and the commonplace, and in doing so obliges the

29


audience to consider the scene as significant. It is not therefore the exact state of affairs which the artist chooses to represent which is important, but “that it exists”.13 The scene of the ballerinas listening to their instructor does not seem to be of great value in itself, but it does become significant through Degas’ “communication” of the state of affairs using oil paint. We therefore stop to consider the value that Degas found in the scene and maybe adopt his valuation of the ballerinas as our own. Thus, Wittgenstein’s private exclamation announcing the aesthetic wonder to be the existence of the world is made clearer if we understand art as a celebration of the world. In fact, Wittgenstein describes aesthetic experience as something that, “when [he] has it, [he] wonders at the existence of the world”.14 That art is a language which allows us to marvel at the world is a powerful statement, yet there is a reason that the majority of his work on aesthetics is implicit and must be sought after in order to be found. Aesthetic experiences are not those which can be articulated through well-formed propositions that adhere strictly to logical syntax. Rather, these experiences are those that one cannot speak of, cannot be formulated into propositions. As such, Wittgenstein’s announcement that “What we cannot speak about we must pass over in silence” speaks to a host of aesthetic (as well as ethical and religious) experiences which are too private, too personal to be spoken. Art is a manifestation of our marvel at the world, and this wonderment at the world will always be silent. Yet the wonder to be found in art is not restricted to the world. As we soon learn when we stumble upon the quiet proposition which says, “I am my world.”15 The wonder to be found in art, the wonder to be found in the existence of the world, is ultimately a wonder to be found in the existence of ourselves. We are the wonder of Wittgenstein’s theory. We are the mystical.

NOTES

1. Early Wittgenstein is generally understood to be concerned primarily with classifying

30

the way that language communicates states of affairs about the world. This superficial reading of the Tractatus fails to take into account important statements made by Wittgenstein and thus, distorts the work. The supposed ‘early Wittgenstein’ concerned with analytic classification and categorization does not actually exist, as I will show. 2. The Tractatus is written in the form of propositions, which are short, factual statements about the world that can be verified as either corresponding to the empirical world or failing to do so. Wittgenstein, Ludwig. Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. Translated by David Pears and Brian McGuinness. London: Routledge, 2001. 6.421. 3. The exact citation is as followed: “Now I am going to use the term Ethics in a slightly wider sense, in a sense in fact which includes what I believe to be the most essential part of what is generally called Aesthetics.” (LE 1). 4. While I hesitate to use the terms “ethics” and “aesthetics” without distinction, for the purposes of this paper I will take everything Wittgenstein says in his “Lecture on Ethics” as directly relevant to aesthetics and will henceforth refrained from referring to ethics. 5. Wittgenstein, Tractatus, 5.631 6. Ibid., 5.632. 7. In the context of this essay, the “human subject” will be used interchangeably with the “self ”. 8. Wittgenstein, Tractatus, 6.5, 6.52 9. Ibid., 6.522 10. Wittgenstein, Ludwig. “Lecture on Ethics.” Lecture, delivered to the Heretics Society, Cambridge, November 1929. 6 11. Wittgenstein, Lecture, 4 12. This paper requires that all art be understood to be fundamentally metaphorical and as such, will refer beyond the linguistic trope when used in this paper. Examples of metaphorical language can thus be found in art of all mediums. 13. Wittgenstein, Tractatus, 6.44 14. Wittgenstein, Lecture, 3 15. Wittgenstein, Tractatus, 5.63


Naked Nights in the Former East / Nackte Nächte im ehemaligen Osten ANDREW WELLS

O

n a chilled October night while living in Waren, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, I was invited along with my host family to a friend’s house for dinner and relaxation in his handcrafted sauna. After enjoying a delicious rabbit stew that Michael, my boss and host-father, had prepared the night before, we continued conversation over the lingering red wine in our glasses. I sat enthralled in the endless number of stories they had about life in the former German Democratic Republic, stories ranging from how a few of their houses were bugged by some of their closest friends and acquaintances who worked for the secret police, to how women always had to wear stockings on car trips because the engine belt of the Trabi, the one car that could be obtained in the GDR, snapped so often. As I listened with wide eyes and open ears, hoping not to misunderstand any of their increasingly excited and rapid German, I raised my glass for a final sip of wine, only to realize that the dining room had transformed into a spontaneous changing room, where clothes were shamelessly being removed and piled onto a previously naked couch. I tried to maintain my cool and act unfazed by those of my host family and their friends now standing naked around me, but Monika, my host-mother, quickly noticed my obvious uneasiness. In one of her countless efforts to make me feel as comfortable as possible, she told me that I was more than welcome to wear my bathing suit, which she knew I had brought along, or, if I wished to skip the sauna altogether, she would gladly keep me company in the dining room. The others took notice of my hesitation and became quiet with curiosity on how this

American would handle a clearly unfamiliar situation. Realizing that wearing my bathing suit or not going in the sauna altogether would both admit defeat to cultural shock and further distance me as a foreigner among these natives whom I had worked so hard to relate to, I made the quick, yet uncertain decision to lower my inhibitions and began peeling off my clothes. As the eight of us crowded into the heated shed and found our respective spots on a towel covered bench, I found myself briefly wishing I had taken better care of my physique since arriving in Germany and living off of a diet composed mainly of chocolate, beer, sausage, and the occasional Döner in Berlin. But I was clearly the only one who had any second thoughts about my body and presenting it in its natural form, and as conversation continued with relaxed fluency, the heat radiating off of the wood stove soothed any thoughts of regret or discomfort. During a lazy Sunday afternoon some weeks later, Michael asked me what some of the differences between German and North American people are. I stumbled through a few typical examples like how Germans are more punctual and always feel a need to wear house shoes, before smiling and ending on an explanation that Germans are much more readily and comfortably naked than North Americans. The smiles around the coffee table demonstrated a satisfaction with my answer as Monika chimed in and explained that the prevalence of nudity in Germany existed only in the former East; laughing, she told me that you can always tell which families are from the former East and which are from the west on a German

31


Sophie Chauvet

beach by whether they are wearing bathing suits or not. One of her daughters continued by explaining that the East German government tried to force its people to wear bathing suits through various obscenity laws, but the people collectively stood up against these regulations until the regime eventually gave up all efforts to enforce them. This was one of the few examples before the fall of the Wall in 1989, where the East German people collectively stood up to their dictatorial leaders. Monika later told me that although the German Democratic Republic was unjustly ruled through an authoritarian one party system and a ruthless secret police, all to uphold an unsustainable economic system, there were some aspects of life that were positive in East Germany. She pointed to the sense of community among the people; because resources were so limited, neighbors were always there to help each other out and the family was not confined to one’s house but rather included the community as a whole. A sense of community

32

she believes has faded since reunification. Nudity therefore holds a special meaning for those who lived through East German communism. It was a simple act that defied their closed door government whose leaders held ultimate power through fear and repression. Additionally, nudity served as a symbol for a community of people who were comfortable and open with their lives, and not afraid to expose their vulnerabilities. Since the fall of Communism, those of the former East have experienced an unimaginable transformation into a capitalistic, democratic society. As Germany goes through its third decade of reunification and the former East continually integrates into western society, only time will tell if the communal traditions of the former East and the comfort of the human body persevere as cherished values.


Correspondances GUILLAUME BENOIT-MARTINEAU Dans A Letter, Hugo von Hofmannsthal fait état de la méfiance grandissante d’écrivains et d’intellectuels autrichien actifs à la fin du 19e et au début 20e siècle à l’égard de la capacité du langage à représenter le monde sensible dans son ensemble. Cette crise linguistique correspond peu ou prou à l’avènement du modernisme viennois, la Wiener Moderne. Tout comme bon nombre de ses autres textes, cette nouvelle d’Hofmannsthal se veut une réaction à l’esthétisme symboliste et idéaliste de poètes comme Stefan George, esthétisme perçu comme étant de plus en plus déconnecté du réel. Le scepticisme linguistique d’Hofmannsthal ne l’empêche pas d’écrire, mais lui fait douter de l’autosuffisance figurative de l’écriture, qui, selon lui, doit rendre des phénomènes plus concrets pour le lecteur. Alors que la crise de Chandos le pousse au mutisme, celle d’Hofmannsthal l’amène à rejeter l’hermétisme de la doctrine de l’art pour l’art et à se tourner vers la dramaturgie, moins élitiste, où gestes et mots concourent à évoquer la réalité de façon plus satisfaisante.

A

u commencement était le mutisme. D’abord, il y eut celui d’un certain Philipp, Lord Chandos, épistolaire fictif d’origine anglaise à qui Hugo von Hofmannsthal eut la bonté d’accorder la paternité d’un texte intitulé A Letter. Vint ensuite la sécheresse verbophobe à laquelle on met un terme ici. Au fond, parodier la Bible en niant la parole de Dieu est une façon comme une autre d’évoquer la réticence dont font preuve certains commentateurs à l’égard du mysticisme contenu dans la lettre que le jeune

homme adresse à Francis Bacon. Ces gens, qui n’occultent pourtant pas cet aspect de l’œuvre, n’exploitent pas suffisamment ce filon. Bien que les révélations mystiques de Chandos soient mentionnées, il y a matière à élaboration à ce sujet. Il y a bien entendu plusieurs façons de traiter ce sujet. Cependant, la lecture de On Language as Such and on the Language of Man de Walter Benjamin est à l’origine de la présente insistance sur la mysticité de l’expérience relatée dans la missive en question. Par conséquent, il semble judicieux de vérifier si la théorie benjaminienne du langage trouve son expression dans A Letter, ou si, au contraire, cette idée n’est que le fruit de l’imagination d’un néophyte enthousiaste obnubilé par les écrits de ce penseur allemand. L’argumentation qui suit se veut une défense de l’interprétation selon laquelle le texte d’Hofmannsthal illustre en partie la conception linguistique de Walter Benjamin. Il convient dans un premier temps de situer l’attitude initialement adoptée par Chandos à l’égard de la langue dans un cadre benjaminien. On remarque aisément que le Lord a confiance en la capacité des mots à transmettre le savoir. Le langage tel qu’il le conçoit est vecteur de connaissance. L’écrivain a une telle conscience de la forme qu’il est en mesure de dissoudre la matière et d’accéder à la vérité ultime. Il peut rendre l’essence des choses en atomisant la résistance que pourrait lui offrir le monde sensible : « an awareness of form was flowing from Sallust to me, […] a kind of deep and true inner form [, which] is no longer lending order to the material, because it permeates it, abolishes it, and creates poetry, and truth all at once ».1 Il est clair que le jeune homme croit que le verbe permet à celui qui le manie avec une dextérité souveraine d’établir des certitudes absolues. Bien entendu, ces faits incon-

33


testables sont porteurs de sens. Pour le Lord, graphèmes et phonèmes sont donc assemblés pour avoir une quelconque signification. Or, en s’apercevant que les opinions fongiques qui pourrissent dans sa bouche sont des chimères, il prend conscience du fait que les concepts qui les sous-tendent « have no ontic reference, and have value only as currency within the provisory underpinnings of society ».2 Les mots ne sont donc qu’une monnaie d’échange faisant circuler de l’information que leurs usagers, les êtres humains, croient factuelle. Cela ressemble beaucoup à la conception bourgeoise du langage selon Benjamin : « It holds that the means of communication is the word, its object factual, its addressee a human being ».3 L’édifice de prose latine de l’épistolaire anglais s’écroule donc lorsqu’il comprend qu’en traitant le langage de la sorte, il s’adonnait en fait aux bavardages bourgeois les plus insipides. L’éclatement de la certitude entretenue par Chandos à l’effet que les signes « peuvent restituer à travers la transparence qui leur est propre la totalité de la création » se produit donc au moment où le doute se met à planer sur le caractère référentiel du langage, jetant du même coup son ombre sur ce dernier.4 Le correspondant de Francis Bacon en arrive à une conclusion terrible. Il ne prend plus part à la moindre conversation, car leur contenu « seemed to me as unprovable, as false, as full of holes as could be. My mind forced me to see everything that came up in these conversations as terrifyingly close to me ».5 Cette impression de fausseté provient du fait que des abstractions prolifèrent lors de ces causeries. Une abstraction ne renvoie à rien de concret. Elle n’a pas pour raison d’être la désignation d’une quelconque créature divine. Son existence dépend d’une instrumentalisation du parler adamique, « [which] must communicate something (other than itself ). That is really the Fall of language-mind ».6 En d’autres termes, le Lord est confronté à la déchéance linguistique du genre humain. Le verbe prélapsaire était celui de la connaissance absolue. Après la chute, cette dernière est devenue inaccessible, car « [the knowledge] of good and evil […] is prattle ».7 Adam et Ève se sont mis à bavarder quand ils ont cherché à savoir ce

34

qu’est le bien et ce qu’est le mal, car ils désiraient connaître ce que la langue que Dieu leur avait donnée ne pouvait pas nommer. Cette utilisation du langage humain donne naissance à l’abstraction. Ainsi, la fureur que Chandos ressent en entendant que « Sheriff N. is a bad person; Clergyman T. is good » est causée par la vacuité du propos.8 À son avis, les adjectifs « bon » et « mauvais » ne sont que du vent et les prononcer constitue un abâtardissement du langage. La moralité qui leur est sous-jacente, une fois exposée, s’effondre. À la lumière de ce qu’on vient de voir, la réaction de l’écrivain est tout à fait logique. Cependant, en admettant que ces sottises sont « terrifyingly close to me », l’auteur fictif de la lettre concède qu’il se compte parmi les avilisseurs du verbe : lui aussi bavardait. Cette terrible proximité cache un aveu de culpabilité : il se rappelle la Chute. L’excavation de ce souvenir altère profondément son rapport à la langue. Au fur et à mesure que la nature corrompue du parler humain s’impose à son esprit, l’aphémie du Lord progresse. Sa taciturnité pourrait être comprise comme une seconde chute, car elle le rapproche en quelque sorte des autres créatures, qui, elles, sont muettes. Le dégoût qu’il éprouve dans le passage suivant mérite qu’on s’y attarde : « the abstract words which the tongue must enlist as matter of course in order to bring out an opinion disintegrated in my mouth like rotten mushrooms ».9 D’une certaine façon, les concepts dont il a besoin pour tenir une quelconque conversation sont rejetés par son corps. Ce qu’il considérait jadis comme de la nourriture spirituelle s’avère impropre à la consommation. Cet avertissement étant physique, il n’est pas émis verbalement, mais plutôt par l’entremise d’un langage matériel. L’exacerbation soudaine de la corporalité de Chandos semble être un rappel de son appartenance à la création divine. Son corps a recours au mode d’expression des choses pour lui signaler la répulsion dont il fait l’expérience en pensant à des concepts comme « spirit », « soul » ou « body ».10 Benjamin soutient en effet que : « the languages of things are imperfect, and they are dumb. […] They can only communicate to one another through a more or less material community ».11 La


phrase aux champignons évoque la resensibilisation de l’épistolaire aux « manifestation[s] de la nature » en tant que « phénomène[s] proprement situé[s] dans l’ordre naturel ».12 Chandos est appelé à remettre en question sa façon d’appréhender le monde des pensées et le monde physique. Ils sont distincts. Le rétablissement de cette division a le fait suivant comme corollaire : bien qu’il prétende que « in all of nature I felt myself »,13 elle n’est pas une expression de sa propre personne et existe indépendamment de lui. Ce réveil brutal constitue dans une certaine mesure une préparation aux illuminations à venir. Comme celles-ci présupposent une sensibilité à l’environnement que l’homme de lettres, qui se percevait comme un « centre actif à même d’imprimer partout la marque de sa propre substance »,14 avait manifestement perdue, le choc causé par la putrescence des fongus semble être une rééducation sensorielle. Elle force le jeune homme à sortir de son esprit et à réviser son anthropocentrisme narcissique. Le sevrage verbale difficile de Chandos anéantit son humanisme bon enfant et lui coûte le goût de la parole, mais cela a un côté positif, puisqu’il arrive à l’occasion que le monde sensible se révéler à lui dans toute sa splendeur. Ces manifestations de clairvoyance rappellent la théorie benjaminienne à plusieurs niveaux. Selon Benjamin, ces dernières se produisent quand l’entité mentale la plus pure (Dieu) communique immédiatement avec un être humain qui s’adresse à elle en nommant. Ce phénomène est donc nécessairement linguistique. Le Lord vit quelque chose de semblable à ceci près qu’il n’arrive pas à nommer, c’est-à-dire à prononcer le nom des choses, acte qui équivaut chez Benjamin à effectuer « the translation of the language of things into that of man ».15 Effectivement, l’écrivain fait très souvent référence au fait que les mots sont inadéquats pour décrire ces manifestations divines.16 Par contre, l’incapacité à désigner ne semble pas constituer un obstacle à l’avènement d’une révélation. Le passage du langage des choses à celui des humains n’a pas à se concrétiser pour que la parole de Dieu brille : « [the human language] aims to give birth to the language of things, from which in turn,

soundlessly, in the mute magic of nature, the word of God shines forth ».17 Le verbe divin émane des choses indépendamment de la réussite hypothétique de la transformation du silence en son. Ce qui compte, c’est la réception de ce silence. Il faut porter attention aux bêtes, qui, dotées d’un signe, « step before man to be named ».18 L’être humain est donc tel un vase que le monde remplit de murmures aphones. Le nom des choses, l’écho amplifié de la réverbération de leur mutité, est un bonus. Chandos ne peut plus couronner ces expériences en prononçant leur nom, mais il peut toujours les vivre. Cependant, une question se pose : de quelle nature est cette expérience mystique? À propos d’un extrait d’un texte ultérieur d’Hofmannsthal intitulé L’Entretien sur les poèmes [Das Gespräch über Gedichte], Jacques Le Rider écrit : « Le traitement des mots accordé à cette conception ne prétend pas à une maîtrise souveraine. Il relève plutôt d’une attitude d’attente silencieuse et d’écoute que l’on pourrait presque définir comme passive ».19 Ce qui est décrit ici n’est en rien étranger au contenu de A Letter. En fait, la passivité est une des caractéristiques principales des visions de Chandos. L’épistolaire est incapable de prendre part activement à celles-ci. Il ne contrôle en rien ce phénomène, n’intervient à toute fin pratique pas. À ce sujet, il écrit d’ailleurs : « at any moment - which I am completely unable to elicit ».20 Comme le suggérait déjà le terme « réception » et la métaphore du vase, le second aspect de la passivité est la réceptivité. Chez Benjamin, le processus de traduction et le concept de révélation dépendent de celle-ci (il n’affirme pas que le langage humain est en partie réceptif [« receptive »] sans raison).21 Les illuminations de Chandos se produisent également selon ce mode. La ressemblance entre le phrasé benjaminien et celui d’Hofmannsthal est d’ailleurs frappante, car Chandos s’exprime en ces termes : « These mute and sometimes inanimate beings rise up before me. […] how [this harmony permeating me and the entire world] made itself perceptible to me ».22 On serait presque porté à croire que la phrase citée plus haut est une référence. Quoi qu’il en soit, la construc-

35


tion des deux phrases citées ci-dessus indique que le jeune homme joue le rôle d’un spectateur et non d’un acteur. Une fois le rideau levé, il est bombardé de stimuli. Son corps devient une série de messages codés portant toute l’information en eux, « as if we could enter into a new, momentous relationship with all of existence if we began to think with our hearts ».23 Il est à noter que l’emploi du pronom « we » marque une évolution. L’écrivain n’est plus seul, ne se limite plus à son enveloppe de chair. Il cesse de restreindre sa perception du monde à sa propre subjectivité. Parce que son corps tout entier devient un langage que les mots ne peuvent pas traduire, Chandos éprouve de la béatitude. La langue matérielle, en explosant en lui, lui permet d’atteindre le divin, ce qui met subitement fin à son isolement, car il appartient désormais entièrement à la communauté immédiate et infinie des choses. Cette communion est donc soudaine, ce qui déterre la notion d’immédiateté, qui, jusqu’à présent, n’a pas été abordée en profondeur. Comme on sait, les visions sont immédiates, mais qu’est-ce que cela implique vraiment? Cela implique qu’elles sont de courtes durées et inattendues. Ce sont de brefs chocs électriques. Cependant, ces visions sont aussi des moments de pure communication. Puisque l’Éternel communique parfaitement en son verbe, il n’y a plus d’interférence, car tout est transparent.24 Après tout, la parole divine est inviolable. Or, le langage des choses est ce qui se rapproche le plus du souffle linguistique originel. La raison en est que la langue humaine s’est déconnectée de cette sphère quand l’humanité a cherché à connaître le bien et le mal. Cette langue n’atteint pas le degré de pureté qu’atteignait celle des hommes ou qu’atteint celle de l’Éternel, mais elle a le mérite de ne pas être instrumentale. Pour Chandos, la parole muette des choses produit « a kind of feverish thinking, but thinking in a medium more direct, fluid and passionate than words ».25 On voit ici que les choses s’expriment de façon moins opaque et plus pure que si elles avaient recours aux mots. Peut-être a-t-il la pureté de la parole du Tout Puissant pour lui. Au-delà de cela, il est intéressant de constater que les choses peuvent parler en leur absence.26 « The

36

key to these new experiences of Chandos’s, then, is contrast: the experience of presence in absence, a sense of infinity in the face of the most humble object ».27 L’exemple qui illustre ce phénomène de la façon la plus prégnante est l’épisode de l’agonie des rats, car le correspondant de Bacon a l’impression d’être le témoin direct d’une scène qui est en fait le produit de son imagination. Chez Benjamin, le langage divin brille lorsqu’une bête se présente devant un homme parce que le mode de communication animal est imparfait. C’est l’absence de pureté qui révèle que la déité s’exprime. Le langage animal n’est pas exploité, ne sert pas de moyen, mais il n’est qu’un reliquat du pouvoir créateur du souffle divin. Dans la scène où Chandos ressent le désespoir et la douleur des rongeurs qu’il a fait tuer, l’absence physique des bêtes sert d’invocation linguistique, qui à son tour reproduit leur langage, ce qui entraîne l’avènement du verbe dans toute sa pureté. Cette expression du divin par l’absence de pureté dont Benjamin parle est multipliée chez Hofmannsthal, car ladite absence est à la fois linguistique (les rats sont muets) et physique (Chandos les imagine). Cela a pour effet de décupler la puissance du phénomène. C’est donc avec ce dédoublement de cette idée qu’est la présence dans l’absence que culmine cette analyse du caractère benjaminien de l’expérience mystique de Philipp, Lord Chandos, caractère qui ne fait plus aucun doute dorénavant. Le motif de Martens a cela d’intéressant qu’il offre une autre piste interprétative selon la théorie de Benjamin, car il évoque, par la contradiction qui lui est inhérente, le concept d’allégorie. On ne peut non plus s’empêcher de penser au fait qu’il s’agit d’une lettre écrite par quelqu’un affirmant ne pas être en mesure de le faire. Il serait aussi important de noter l’ambiguïté suivante : l’épistolaire donne l’impression d’avoir cessé d’écrire volontairement au début et de faire un choix similaire à la fin de la lettre, alors qu’en cours de lecture, on comprend que son silence n’est en rien délibéré. Si on approche ce texte en tant qu’allégorie, il faut se pencher sur la réification relative de Chandos. Est-ce que l’empathie qu’il éprouve pour les rats constitue une preuve de son animalité? Est-ce que


cela suggère que les bêtes se lamentent et qu’il se sent à l’aise parce qu’il a trouvé des compagnons avec qui gémir (on brise sa solitude comme on peut après tout)? Sa régression linguistique l’élève-t-elle? Toutes ces questions sont fascinantes. Cela étant dit, il vaut peutêtre mieux ne pas rechercher les théories de Benjamin dans la prose d’Hofmannsthal. On pourrait tout aussi bien chercher des traces d’Hofmannsthal dans les écrits de son cadet. Pourquoi pas?

NOTES

1. Hofmannsthal, Hugo. « A Letter. » Éd. Joel Rotenberg. The Lord Chandos Letter and Other Writings. New York : New York Review Books, 2005. Papier. 118-119. 2. Arens, Katherine M. « Linguistic Skepticism: Towards a Productive Definition. » Monatshefte. 74.2 (1982) : 145-155. Papier. 146. 3. La similitude terminologique entre ce passage et celui dans lequel Benjamin déclare que « in the Fall, man abandoned immediacy in the communication of the concrete, name, and fell into the abyss of the mediateness of all comunication, of the word as means, of the empty word, into the abyss of prattle » (328), suggère l’existence d’un lien de parenté très fort entre le phénomène du bavardage et la conception bourgeoise du langage. (318) 4. Luoni, Flavio. « Les attentes de Lord Chandos (les êtres et les mots dans Ein Brief de Hugo Von Hofmannsthal). » Revue de métaphysique et de morale. 90.2 (1985) : 230-246. Papier. 236. 5. Hofmannsthal, 122. 6. Benjamin, Walter. « On Language as Such and on the Language of Man. » Éd. Peter. 327. 7. Ibid. 8. Hofmannsthal, 122. 9. Ibid., 121. 10. Ibid. 11. Benjamin, 321. 12. Luoni, 236. 13. Hofmannsthal, 120. 14. Luoni, 236. 15. Benajmin, 325.

16. Bien que Chandos n’écrive jamais le mot « Dieu » et qu’il ne semble pas avoir la foi, les termes qu’il utilise pour décrire ces épisodes font clairement penser à Dieu. Ainsi, il est question d’un « heavenly feeling », d’une « presence of the infinite », d’une entité anonyme qui était « more divine, more bestial » qu’une vision de Carthage en flames et finalement, d’un « unknown judge » (Hofmannsthal 123-124; 128) en face duquel Chandos se trouvera peut-être une fois mort. 17. Benjamin, 325. 18. Ibid., 326. 19. Le, Rider J. « La ‘‘Lettre de Lord Chandos’’. » Littérature. 95.3 (1994) : 93-110. Papier. 107. 20. Hofmannsthal, 123. 21. Benjamin, 325. 22. Comparativement à : « God gives each beast in turn a sign, whereupon they step before man to be named. In an almost sublime way, the linguistic community of mute creation with Go dis thus conveyed in the image of the sign » (Benjamin 126, 326). 23. Hofmannsthal, 125. 24. Benjamin signale que « [t]he differences between languages are those of media that are distinguished as it were by their density, that is gradually; and this with regard to the density of both the communicating (naming) and of the communicable (name) aspects of communication » (320). La parole divine est l’incarnation linguistique la moins turbide, car elle s’exprime hors de cette hiérarchie médiatique. 25. Hofmannsthal, 127. 26. « Even an absent object […] can […] be filled […] with this […] heavenly feeling » (Hofmannsthal 123). 27. Martens, Lorna. Shadow Lines: Austrian Literature from Freud to Kafka. Lincoln : University of Nebraska Press, 1996. Papier. 209.

37


Run The ball is round. The game lasts 90 minutes. That’s a fact. Everything else is pure theory 1

EMORY SHAW To run is to take action on your allotted time. Existence is restricted in time and space, and we have to work with that. The earth is round, here’s your timeframe and playing field, “everything else is pure theory”. 1 To run is to move forward in time and in space, and dilute the aforementioned conditions through the body’s maximal exertion. Running is the best way to gauge space when compared to its most natural alternative: walking. Running is a deviation from structure; it is a determination for action and change. Running is as much a utilitarian rush as it is performance device. In the following discussion I will review and elaborate on these points. Running will be interpreted and experimented with as it is witnessed in film, academic research and personal experience. I will accompany an interpretation of my own experience with the cinematic representations of Lola and Atanarjuat, two running protagonists of major motion pictures; German and Inuit respectively. Run Lola Run (Lola Rennt, 1998) depicts Lola, a 20-something in post-reunification Berlin who is faced with the task of solving the failed drug-run of her boyfriend Manni. Manni, infuriated and frightened, partially blames Lola for not having met and picked him up as she was supposed to, which forced him to take the metro and, through a series of incidents, accidentally leave the money behind. The phone call between the two of them takes place 20 minutes before Manni is supposed to meet his superiors and pass over the money, or else be

38

killed. Lola assures him that she will come meet him and that he must wait before doing anything further. Faced with a 20-minute window of opportunity, Lola runs from her apartment and through the cityscape in search of a solution. The film replay’s three possible scenarios that each pan out over this crucial 20-minute timeframe and, in this way, highlights how the subtlest differences in the localisation of events as influenced by a change in pace profoundly alters the environment and outcomes of peoples’ lives. Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner (ᐊᑕᓈᕐᔪᐊᑦ, 2001) presents the story of an Inuit community of ancient times in present-day Nunavut plagued by internal conflict.2, 3 Oki, the son of the camp leader, is jealous and bears strong disdain for the protagonist, Atanarjuat, and his brother, the strong one. He is further provoked by Atanarjuat’s winning-over of Oki’s soonto-be wife in a series of events that results in him losing a ceremonial fist fight. Later, in the midst of Oki’s attempt to murder the protagonist and his brother in their sleep, Atanarjuat sprints, naked and without any equipment, for the open plane of ice. After having escaped Oki and his goons, he winds up near death and unconscious with the other shoreline in sight. A family finds him, nurtures him and hides him when Oki, still in search, returns on a dog sled. Atanarjuat eventually returns to his camp of origin and restores peace in the community. These contexts differ immensely: contemporary and ancient, postmodern and animist,


urban and rural, western and indigenous, hot and cold. Yet, in both cases, the runner is the hero and problem-solver. In both films, running is the central act and is framed as the event-shaping vector of movement. The running portrayed by Lola and Atanarjuat illustrates various aspects of the topic that deserve further discussion and elaboration; notably, running as an ultimate human-originating movement, as a tool of power and of resistance, as a transgression of the urban form and societal domination, and as an embodied performance; as humankind’s first art form. Lola bolts diagonally across intersections, through automobile, cyclist and pedestrian traffic, provoking a variety of reactions. Left with so little time, there is no possibility for planning and strategizing. Lola’s running resolves the timeframe’s problems as a movement medium and as a means to an end goal. Indeed, there is little distinguishing between Lola running as an explicit act of problemsolving in itself, and the solutions to which she is running to. In the third, final and successful scenario, Lola, still dashing through the city in a desperate attempt for a solution, calls, as if in prayer, for some kind of help beyond her own decision-making ability, and conclusively tells herself : “I’ll just keep running”. Lola finds a solution, or at least the feeling of one, in her propulsion forward through the urban environment, putting faith in the possibilities implied by increasing human velocity through the dynamic urban playing field. Thus, to run is not only to anticipate and shape an outcome, but to embrace the possibilities of one’s environment. Running is simultaneously grounding and transcendent. The increased speed requires real-time and heightened awareness of one’s body and environment. Explained biologically, the increased heart-rate and a possible eventual onset of adrenaline contribute to this. Anthropologically, the primordial hunter in all of us requires these heightened senses in combination with a pursuit of prey or escape from danger. One’s reaction time is reduced, since the mind is focused more explicitly on the body and topography. The mind does not wander in thought as it may when walking. Running is in

fact more than just an increase of one’s walking pace; it is a perceptive state, a shift in modality that engages mental and corporeal elements that are unused during the walk.4, 5 Like meditation, running has its own embodied mantra; often the rhythm of one’s breath is an intense feedback loop of body-mind interaction. To run is to conduct a humans ultimate and most naked ability of space-time compression.6 To run is to feel the depth of space through time; a manual and rigorously embodied game-changer from the normative walk. Running is grounded in this sensorial intensification; the runner must feel topography. The runner feels distance better than in any other state of movement, notably in its contrast to the passive swing of the walk. Unlike running, walking is like a pendulum since the body interprets gravity as a major aid to swing from one leg to the next, establishing a comfortable rhythm that requires relatively little of the body.7 By contrast, running is an active resistance of temptation to rest and remain stationary. It is a resistance of our tempting and most minimal level of forward-motion. Moreover, “walking promotes a backwards glance” and can even be said to be melancholic, as illustrated by the philosopher’s stroll.7 Unlike reflexive walking which allows the mind to wander, running looks forward, and not only because it has to. Running is the total embodiment and most intense, directed, independent, and all-encompassing human interaction with the environment. Running projects power and radiates an outcome-altering motive. Running can be said to be the fastest movement that originates in the human body. Deleuze, in his critique on the lack of movement and analysis of movement in philosophy, sheds light on how we can interpret running as a form of movement originating purely in human propulsion and leverage, in contrast to how “all new sports – surfing, windsurfing, hang-gliding – take the form of entering into an existing wave”: A discipline that set out to follow a creative movement coming from outside would itself relinquish any creative role. You’ll get nowhere by latching onto some parallel

39


movement, you have to make a move yourself. If nobody makes a move, nobody gets anywhere.8 Not only is this an interesting commentary on research creation and enunciates the need to break free from the conventional re-hashing of a worn-out trope, it can be applied to running as the human body’s most indigenous creative act. Though Deleuze does not posit an origin to any movement, running can be said to originate in its resistance to structure. The body, in its most strenuous forwardmovement, encapsulates the drive that wills change and, in turn, carries out, projects, and encounters change as is testified in both films. Running is an attempt to control fate, and provide the means to an envisioned and anticipated outcome. Running foresees the outcome, and propels the body accordingly to meet it, just as the political Left aspires to bring on change, meet an end goal and move forward while the Right holds back.8 As seen in Run Lola Run, running effectively satisfies urgency for action, both in process and result. In a fight-or-flight context, Lola can be said to be enacting flight, literally, rather than the alternative, which Manni attempts in the first scenario by impatiently robbing a nearby store. This contrasts with the third and successful scenario, where Manni, in a moment of observation, notices the vagabond who he accidentally left the stash with on the metro. He begins a hot pursuit by foot, chasing down the cyclist as if on a hunt, and attains the money in a final barter. In The Fast Runner, running is illustrated as Atanarjuat runs away from those who want him dead on a vast plane of spring sea ice. Yet, running is, for the protagonist, an assertion that the only way is forward: one must deal with a dilemma by facing it. This works for both fight and flight. Though this term literally implies facing a danger versus escaping it, it can be applied to this context loosely. In effect, the runner is facing the problem differently; a pacifist fight in flight, turning the other cheek in an embodied projection of wise control. In this portrayed hunter-gatherer society, running is shown to be perceived as a greater strength than fighting. Its pacifistic

40

capacity is especially important here, since fighting could result in an injury or death that is largely unwanted in an already harsh environment of sparse populace. This is perfectly illustrated at the end of the film when Oki, his sister, and his thugs (who are to blame for the conflict in the story), are banished from the community: their parents and everyone they have ever known. This form of justice, which parallels a flight rather than a fight, prioritizes an outward-movement instead of vengeance. Artanarjuat’s almost heroic propensity to run is symbolized as a mode of turning the other cheek and ascribed as the most efficient mode of dealing with conflict. The particular geography of The Fast Runner, its vastness and perceptive endlessness, suggests an expansive desire. Whereas Atanarjuat’s entourage remains predominantly stationary and encamped, providing shelter for each other via sustained closeness, Atanarjuat runs free. He is a centrifugal force in the wake of his centripetal group. As Lola embraces the city’s nodal possibilities, Atanarjuat embraces and utilizes the Euclidean freedom of movement and speed. He is faced with the potential of infinite pathways and new encounters. In contrast, his kin generally stay within the vicinity of the camp, only deviating from this container of comfort and safe habit when extremely necessary. Running is the body’s method of freeing itself from the stationary forces of gravity, habit and of necessity: A free radical that has liberated itself of its embedded orbit. Put more concretely, running is also a resistance of the sidewalk, and of the prescribed structures of control embedded in the built environment. Running in Atanarjuat’s setting is largely unobstructed by the rational street grid of accumulated human oppression: infrastructure, vehicles, people or laws. The space is boundless and essentially free of channelling by the built environment. Lola’s environment is the opposite. Yet even within this context, Lola misbehaves. The runner transgresses the Cartesian urban grid in her search for an appropriate path: a reassertion of human-originated directionality. The urban runner enters a grey zone of supposed discomfort in a city of structurally-induced rhythms of pedestrian,


passenger and driver. It is an active negotiation of her body with the built environment. Indeed, whilst Lola’s run in ultra-urbanized Berlin may fall temporarily into sync with a fairweather cyclist or a motor vehicle on a narrow residential street, she far outpaces pedestrians without reaching the sustained speed of the automobile. Her run exhibits a mediation of the different elements of the built environment in order to traverse it. At times, the sidewalk is too overrun with obstacles – people, construction – making Lola opt for the more open street. Upon taking the centre of the street, she is granted power over her contained environment surrounded by buildings, just as one would prioritize an open plane for the hunt. Thus, running resists stasis and imposed structure. It is dynamically spatial and temporal in the wake of all attempts to tame and supress movement: “But if we’re so oppressed, it’s because our movement’s being restricted”.8 The propensity to walk rather than sprint is an unconscious and profound manifestation of the social contract. Walking is our taming. Put this way, running is wild. The built environment does all it can to depreciate the run to a walk or a vehicular-sit. Running does not even have a designated path of any sort. Society permits sanctioned and contained marathons, but even these are a restricted time and place where the runner is the proclaimed normative vector. As children in elementary school, we are scorned by teachers to slow down and walk the hallways. Though this can be seen as a practical and preventative way of limiting injury, it is an important and effective stage in socialisation, and pre-emptively leaks the human body’s reservoir of movement potential. The run is more inclusive than the walk. Running avidly invites the body and path potential (i.e. geography) to its composition. Walking engenders fleeting thought and the body’s submission to space and its elements. To run is not to flâne, nor is it to derive.9 The runner is grounded, invested, and is not a spectator.10 The runner is the enthralling spectacle. The runner finds paths via a point of view that negates unities of urban ambiance. Not only does running engage with its surroundings, it also engages the environment. Onlookers

in Run Lola Run are struck by her speed and urgency. Her human obstacles become participants in her run. They witness, interpret, question and embody Lola’s affective state of being, narrowly missing, dodging, or colliding with her and her presumed trajectory. Indeed, the runner in an urban environment who is not on a casual jog or exercise, usually demarcated by sports clothing, is unusual. Hence, running is both strange and familiar. The runner stands out to those in their vicinity as a sign of something that is changing or is requiring change; something that needs to be met in space and time. As was previously discussed, the city runner defies the city’s circulatory rhythm. The runner is faster than the pedestrian and rawer than the cyclist. Such raw, radiant human energy demands attention from those who surround it. Authorities will always notice the runner. The runner exposes herself and is vulnerable in her investment in movement. The fact that so many urbanized folk prefer to run on private, indoor, spatially-designated machines not only pays tribute to the built environment’s oppression, but also to a fear of involvement and engagement with others. When running, the body’s image is honest, its potentially manicured and heady aesthetic is altered and its civilised suave and self-containment is lost. The runner’s pace is rhythmic; the style is unique. It exposes one’s genes and long-embedded corporeal habits, injuries and cumulated and immediate emotion. It also exhibits one’s level of comfort in the environment. Running is expression and performance. Running is a dance. Running has been largely unexplored in the field of humanities. Unlike the dancing body, which is wrought with the cultural, political and social, running is still stuck in the spectrum of competition, health and exercise, and largely unexplored as a “mode and site of performance-based research”.7 Indeed, researchers in the fields of anthropology, biology and sports medicine appear to make up much of what documentation exists on this movement.5, 11-14 In western society, running also been sportified, as discussion around it has been adopted, targeted, glorified and con-

41


tained by enthusiasts, athletes, event organizers, fundraisers and shoe makers.4, 7, 15 Runners’ feet are bound in carefully-manicured sports’ shoes and their bodies contained in temporally and spatially restricted collectively controlled channellings through urban and rural environments called runs and marathons. There is no running lane in any city; its only infrastructure is in sports. Yet, whether one sees it as a sport, an inherent movement of survival, a habituated, socialised movement or and innovation of the body and a dance, running is profoundly affective. As is seen in both analysed movies, the affective image of cinema is strategically combined with the affective movement of the run, inducing, without words, the energy and determination of the story’s protagonists. The image of the runner engages both the film’s characters and the audience. It is hoped that this read has provided some different angles on how to understand running as an important modality of movement, notably as a resistance to urban and social structures, but also as an engagement with one’s environment. Running is like an artistic device in that it heightens the relationship of self and other. From the pedestrian’s and audience’s perspective, the runner is the dancer. The comparison of Lola with Atanarjuat revealed the many ways running is deployed and how it differs based on space and context, but also how it serves to alter an outcome and deal with conflict. Running was shown to be an entirely different mode of mental and physical involvement that engages with the environment very differently from the walk as a kinetic wave, rippling with affective sympathy. Now all we need to do is run, and if you think you already are, run faster.

42

NOTES

1. Tykwer, T., Lola rennt. 1998, Sony Pictures Classics: Germany. p. 81 minutes. 2. Kunuk, Z., ᐊᑕᓈᕐᔪᐊᑦ. 2001, Sony Pictures: Canada. p. 172 minutes. 3. Productions, I.I. The legend behind the film. 2007 [cited 2013 December 09]; Available from: http://www.isuma.tv/fr/ atanarjuat/legend-behind-film. 4. Bale, J., Running Cultures: Racing in Time and Space. 2004, London: Frank Cass Publishers. 5. Bramble, D. and D. Liebermann, Endurance running and the evolution of Homo. Nature, 2004. 432(7015): p. 345-352. 6. Bale, J., Escape: Runners as Cosmopolites, in Running Cultures: Racing in Time and Space. 2004, Frank Cass: London. p. 109130. 7. Whelan, G., Running Through a Field. Performance Research, 2012. 17(2): p. 110-120. 8. Deleuze, G., Mediators, in PBworks, PBworks, Editor. 2007, eng7007. 9. Debord, G., Les lèvres nues. Internationale Situationniste, 1958. 9(2). 10. Debord, G., La Société du Spectacle. 3rd edition ed. 1967, Paris: Éditions Gallimard. 132. 11. Liebermann, D. and D. Bramble, The Evolution of Marathon Running: Capabilities in Humans. Sports Medecine, 2007. 37(4-5): p. 288-290. 12. Rolian, C., et al., Walking, running and the evolution of short toes in humans. The Journal of Experimental Biology, 2008. 212: p. 713-721. 13. Lee, S. and S. Piazza, Built for Speed: musculoskeletal structure and sprinting ability. The Journal of Experimental Biology, 2009. 212: p. 3700-3707. 14. Mattson, M.P., Evolutionary aspects of human exercise-Born to run purposefully. Ageing Research Reviews, 2012. 11(3): p. 347-352. 15. Sears, E., Running Through the Ages. 2001, Jefferson, NC: MacFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. 333.


Anonym

43


The Spartacist Counter-Revolutionaries

WAS THE SPARTACIST LEAGUE, AND THE SPARTACIST UPRISING IN JANUARY 1919, COUNTER-REVOLUTIONARY?

ELIAS KÜHN VON BURGSDORFF

I

I Introduction

f we consider all actions that assist the restoration of power of the ancien regime as counter-revolutionary—not necessarily requiring the actor itself to be physically or ideologically cooperating with the ancien regime—then the Spartacists do not escape this basic definition. The Spartacist Uprising deepened the split within the working-class movement, drove the moderate Social Democrats to the right, and strengthened the conservatives and the political right in general. The analysis of this paper, however, goes beyond a mere discussion of the counter-revolutionary effects of the Spartacist Uprising. Indeed, a more nuanced discussion invokes the notion that the Spartacist League itself, as well as the Uprising when removed from its effects, can also be considered as counter-revolutionary. While it remains open to discussion whether the Spartacists were revolutionary, being “revolutionary” is not an absolute term and does not innately remove the Spartacists—or any revolutionary actors for that matter—from also being counterrevolutionary. The paper will draw distinctions among the revolutionary theories of the Spartacists, their actions, and the effects of those actions on the political landscape. The Spartacists can be considered counter-revolutionary on all three accounts: their theories were detached from the nature of the November Revolution, their actions lacked popular support, and the

44

effects of those actions facilitated the partial restoration of Wilhelminian Germany. When inquiring whether the Spartacist League, and the Spartacist Uprising in January 1919, was counter-revolutionary, the answer inherently changes from the perspective one argues from, particularly when entering the discussion with an ideological agenda. Thus, instead of attempting to define “counter-revolutionary,” this paper has established a neutral dialogue between the factual narrative of the German Revolution and concepts that are commonly associated with revolutions, notably: spontaneity, ideology, popularity, novelty, and power. Actors in a revolutionary context encapsulate to varying degrees a mixture of such concepts, and analyzing this mixture allows the historian to more objectively judge the actions of those actors in their revolutionary context. The paper will begin by demonstrating the nature of the November Revolution; finding its demands to be primarily pacifist and moderately socialist. After having laid the foundation on which to build further discussion, the paper will analyze the re-lationship between the theories and actions of the Spartacist League in relation to the November Revolution. Finally, the discussion in the third section will turn to the Spartacist Uprising and its effects.


II On the November Revolution 1918 The Nature of the Revolution While “the German Revolution started surprisingly red,” its demands were first and foremost pacifist.1 By late October 1918, the First World War (1914-1918) had been waged for over four years, with devastating human and financial costs.2 When on 29 October the German navy received orders for a final desperate attack on Britain, the dissatisfaction amongst the sailors stationed in Kiel gave way to open mutiny. Doing away with the established structures of old authority, the sailors rapidly organized themselves into councils (Räte).3 On 4 November the Kiel soldiers’ council proclaimed that it had taken over provisional power in Kiel and warned the population against any incautious action: “quiet and iron nerves are what the hour demands.”4 From Kiel the movement spread within days across all the major German cities: first to Bremen and Hamburg, then beyond. The spontaneous and widespread process of self-organization was reinforced by the emergence of workers’ councils, chiefly in industrial areas.5 The councils rapidly replaced the old authorities, facing little to no resistance, e.g. by the police and provincial administration. In fact, there existed a great deal of active cooperation between the conservative forces and the organs of the revolution.6 The extensive cooperation between the forces of the ancien regime and those novel organs of the revolution, the councils, testifies to the pacifist nature of the revolutionary movement. From its inception, the November Revolution was concerned with the urgency of maintaining social order—an order in which the War could be brought to an immediate and sensible end.7 The leaders of the German Social Democratic Party (SPD) almost instantly emerged as the “accepted” leaders of the soldiers’ and workers’ councils; and because these were the authentic organs of the revolution, the SPD assumed leadership of the November Revolution.8 Aside from the observation that the revolution was primarily a pacifist one, how may we understand the immediate allegiance between the SPD and the councils, i.e. be-

tween an established organ of representative democracy and the revolutionary participatory organs, in which the latter followed the former? While there did exist radical socialist elements within the German political spectrum at this time (and we will discuss them in greater depth in the next section), the large segment of socialist sentiments within Germany was fairly moderate, i.e. not anti-establishment but reformist. Since the Paris Commune of 1871, European socialism had gone the way of class bargaining and negotiated reform, with notable parliamentary achievements within the Reichstag. In fact, the adoption of a fully democratic parliamentary system had been the chief political aim of the German working-class movement in the pre-War period.9 Therefore, considering the pacifist nature of the November Revolution and the successful tradition of representational democracy in preWar Germany, there existed a general consensus in November 1918 that there was no going back to an undemocratic and militaristic Wilhelminian Germany.10 What was sought in this moment of societal upheaval was a moderate, democratic, and proven political alternative to the ancien regime.

The Direction of the Revolution The first stage of the German Revolution culminated on 9 November 1918 when the last imperial Chancellor, Prince Max von Baden, announced that Kaiser William II had abdicated, and handed over the government to the leader of the SPD, Friedrich Ebert.11 On the same day, Karl Liebknecht, a former Social Democratic deputy and founder of the leftist Spartacists League with Rosa Luxemburg, walked into the Reichstag and demanded that “all executive, all legislative, all judicial powers [be] with the workers’ and soldiers’ councils.” There was neither contradiction nor consent amongst the ministers. Philipp Scheidemann, a leading figure of the SPD, famously enquired: “But, chaps, how do you envisage this?”12 The German Revolution stood at a crossroads. The ancien regime had retreated from the political stage and the SPD had suddenly—and unexpectedly—acquired the reins of government. The leading political circles were forced to

45


find immediate answers to difficult questions: whether and how to progress the revolution; and what form the new German state should take? At the heart of these questions stood the query of the councils: what role should these participational organs of the revolution take in the envisioned parliamentary democracy? The Social Democrats were conscious that the November Revolution was primarily a pacifist revolution. This being the case, they feared that radical reform and continued revolutionary unrest, especially after a devastating war, could antagonize the German people against the SPD. The Social Democrats believed that to maintain the reins of government, the monumental tasks that confronted post-war Germany had to be properly dealt with. This, they believed, required a rapid return to stability; even if it required compromise with the forces of the ancien regime. Ebert later explained: “we had to see to it that the machine continued to run.”13 On 10 November Ebert received a telephone call from General Groener, informing him that the High Command of the German army put itself at the disposal of the Social Democratic government. In turn, Groener expected that the government would fight radical “Bolshevism,” by which he meant the soldiers’ and workers’ councils.14 The armistice with the Entente powers was signed on 11 November 1918, ending the First World War. Yet the tasks remained monumental. The troops had to be brought back from the front and demobilized, the German population had to be fed, the difficult armistice conditions had to be fulfilled.15 Consequently the SPD leadership readily accepted the support of the High Command. The Ebert-Groener pact has been widely criticized by Marxist observers and scholars as an act of capitulation by the SPD leadership, i.e. surrendering the revolution to counter-revolutionary forces.16 At best, this conclusion is an oversimplification. The Social Democratic leadership compromised with the conservative elements of Wilhelminian Germany. Yet a more nuanced analysis suggests that what happened on the national level had already occurred ubiquitously on the local level, i.e. soldiers’ and workers’ councils cooperating with

46

the old authorities of the police and provincial administration to ensure order. Even the radical Berlin Executive Committee, which in theory claimed sovereign power for the councils, issued a proclamation on 11 November enjoining all Reich, Land, and military authorities to continue with their work.17 And despite the military authorities being bitterly opposed to the council structures, as were many leading Social Democrats, the SPD government never actually moved against the soldiers’ and workers’ councils. Tellingly, the councils considered themselves as temporary vehicles of order and the democratization of the old system. Within this context, the overwhelmingly endorsed decision in mid-January by the first National Congress of Councils in favor of the Social Democratic plan for elections to a National Assembly has been interpreted as indisputable evidence. The councils, which were the popular organs of the revolution, thus sought to facilitate Germany’s transition to a parliamentary democracy.18 This paper does not intend to decide which German socialist party made the fewer blunders, and the purpose of the above discussion is not to remove the Social Democrats of responsibility for the partial restoration of the ancien regime that occurred during the winter months of 1918-1919. The Ebert-Groener pact in November 1918 helped to preserve the power of German militarism. And while the moderate socialists were better aware that the masses revolted more for peace than for socialism, some further steps towards a socialist reform would have been as much in keeping with the SPD’s program as with its members’ wishes. To comprehensibly analyze in the next section why the Spartacist League can be considered as counter-revolutionary—i.e. its “revolutionary” actions lacked popular support and were in fact detached from the reality of the German revolutionary experience—the pacifist nature of the November Revolution needed to be understood.


III On the Spartacist Revolutionaries The Break in German Socialism If the German Social Democrats underestimated their strength and that of the workers movement, then the Spartacist League—merging with smaller radical leftist groups in late December 1918 to form the German Communist Party (KPD)—overestimated theirs. The physical schism within the German Social Democratic movement, between moderate revisionists and more leftist socialists, found its immediate impetus in the onset of the First World War.19 On 4 August 1914, two days after Germany’s declaration of war on Russia, the SPD voted in favor of war credits by 78 votes to 14.20 The Social Democratic Party went to bed with German militarism for a number of reasons, fear being the most imperative. The leadership of the SPD feared the consequences of opposing the war credits. It was believed that, from one day to the next, the military authorities could destroy the extensive edifice of the German Social Democratic movement that had been so patiently built by years of political activism. The streets of Germany stunk of chauvinistic sweat, and the nationalist cries could be heard into the chambers of the Reichstag. The promises of the Imperial government that there would be “a new orientation” after the war, and the assurances that no measures would be taken against the workers’ organization as long as they cooperated, served to tip the scales in favor of the “Imperial” war.21 The decision by the German Social Democrats to support the German war effort marked the death of the Socialist International.22 Karl Liebknecht, a Social Democratic deputy in the Reichstag since 1912, had voted against the war credits; together with the other opposition deputies, he agreed to respect party discipline, i.e. the decision of the majority.23 By the winter of 1914-1915, Liebknecht severely regretted not having opposed the war credits.24 Unable to convince any other oppositional deputies, Liebknecht voted alone in the Reichstag on 3 December 1914 against further credits, becoming a symbol of the pacifist opposition. Rosa Luxemburg, a brilliant Marxist theoretician who had moved to Germany from Rus-

sian Poland in 1898, and a respected member of the SPD despite her incessant denunciations of the party’s revisionism, was appalled by the 4 August vote. Luxemburg and Liebknecht together, having lost faith in the SPD leadership, founded the Spartacus League (Spartakusbund) in the early months of 1915. In its conception, the Spartacist League had two aims: first, it wanted to break the silence which could lead activists abroad to conclude that the German Social Democrats were unanimous in their support for the “chauvinist” policy of their leaders, and second, its members sought to build a genuine organization. But there existed very little popular sympathy within Germany for radical socialism. And despite the prestige that Liebknecht’s public opposition to the War afforded him, the Spartacist League remained numerically weak, counting just several thousand members when the sailors in Kiel mutinied.25

Revolutionary Theory, Action, and Reality Following the unexpected eruption of the November Revolution—an event unprecedented in German history—the mood amongst the German extreme left was vastly optimistic. The Spartacists anticipated that a second and more radical revolution was just around the corner, and so they called for a seizure of power by the workers’ and soldiers’ councils. Luxemburg stated in the Spartacists’ paper The Red Flag (Die Rote Fahne) on 15 December 1918 that “such arming of the solid mass of laboring people with all political power for the tasks of the revolution—that is the dictatorship of the proletariat and therefore true democracy.”26 Luxemburg’s interpretations of Marxism and her theories on communism significantly influenced, and were largely adopted by, the extreme left in Germany in these years. In fact, after Karl Marx, Luxemburg was the predominant influence on German communist ideology. Despite her proclamations of Lenin’s “dictatorship of the proletariat,” Luxemburg strongly opposed Lenin’s putschist tactics, centralized party organization, and dictatorial rule. In the same article as is cited above, she declared:

47


The Spartacus League will never take over governmental power except in response to the clear, unambiguous will of the great majority of the proletarian mass of all of Germany, never except by the proletariat’s conscious affirmation of the views, aims, and methods of struggle of the Spartacus League.27 The Spartacist League remained a marginal actor on the German revolutionary stage following the eruption of the November Revolution. The rural peasantry, which composed the majority of the German population, was strongly opposed to any form of socialism since the start of the Revolution. Otto Bauer, a leading Austrian Social Democrat, observed that: “while the Russian peasant, at least yesterday, felt like a proletarian—today this is already questionable—our peasant feels like a bourgeois and a determined enemy of the working class.” The situation was much the same in Germany.28 The slogan of “peace” could also not be used by the Spartacists, as the Bol-sheviks had used it in Russia after the February Revolution in 1917. Neither could the slogan of “socialization” of the industries arouse popular enthusiasm.29 On top of this, by mid-December 1918 it had become clear that the soldiers’ and workers’ councils sought parliamentary democracy, not the decentralization advocated by Luxemburg and the Spartacists. At the National Congress of Councils, it was decided by an overwhelming majority to hand over power to the National Assembly—a plan that was advocated by the Social Democrats. It is telling that the Spartacists had only ten delegates at the National Congress of Councils out of nearly five hundred. Yet the Spart-acists conveniently ignored these realities in the chiliastic mood of this prophetic German winter.30 What could possibly explain the act of “forgetting” committed by the Spartacists? For one, Marx’s historical determinism considers revolutions as the locomotive of history. From this point of departure, Marxists have consistently argued that for a revolution not to end in failure and restoration, it necessarily requires a radicalization of its course. Luxemburg wrote in her essay on “The Russian Revolution”:

48

The “golden mean” cannot be maintained in any revolution. The law of its nature demands a quick decision: either the locomotive drives forward full steam ahead to the most extreme point of the historical ascent, or it rolls back of its own weight again to the starting point at the bottom.31 Although this essay was published only after Luxemburg’s death, this passage effectively illustrates Luxemburg’s scientific faith in the “necessity” of revolutionary “action”; a faith that is evoked in all of her works that were written to be digested by the revolutionary masses.32 Consequently, this radical conviction was held by leftist revolutionaries in Germany during the November Revolution. Luxemburg evocatively declared on 14 December 1918: In their hatred and defamation of the Spartacus League, all the counter-revolutionaries, all enemies of the peoples, all the antisocialist, ambiguous, obscure, and unclear elements are untied. That is proof that the heart of the Revolution beats within the Spartacus League, that the future belongs to it.33 The Spartacists believed that they were the beasts of burden who carried the revolutionary spirit. They were convinced that they alone carried the responsibility to radicalize the German Revolution and bring it to its fulfillment— such that the “building-up, the positive” could blossom from the organic development of the proletariat.34 It has been argued by some that the Spartacist Uprising was not an attempted radicalization of the revolution, but merely an effort to defend the revolutionary spirit on the streets of Germany; Luxemburg herself declaring the defensive nature of the Uprising. One could say that the Spartacist Uprising was an attempt to defend the Revolution in order to radicalize it; which becomes quite clear when considering the vote against participation in the National Assembly election just days before the Uprising. Yet the confidence that the Spartacists had in their own historic mission was a far cry from the self-assurance the reality


of the situation afforded them to have.

The National Conference of the Spartacus League When the National Conference of the Spartacus League met in Berlin in late December 1918, the two most pressing issues were the formation of a Communist Party that would unite the various radical elements of socialism under the leadership of the Spartacist League, and whether to participate in the elections for the National Assembly set for mid-January 1919. Following the decision in mid-December by the workers’ and soldiers’ councils in favor of the National Assembly elections, the Spartacist leaders reversed their earlier statements and now argued in favor of participation. In an article published just two weeks earlier in The Red Flag, “What Does the Spartacus League Want?,” Luxemburg clearly stated that one of the Spartacist demands was: the “elimination of all parliaments and municipal councils, and takeover of their functions by workers’ and soldiers’ councils.”35 Against this perceived policy of “opportunist compromise,” Otto Rühle, another leading figure in the Spartacist League, exclaimed: “We must continually stimulate the living politics of the street; we must not permit the movement to go to sleep again by pushing a ballot paper into the hand of the worker…”36 Moreover, many of those attending the conference—such as the Bremen and Hamburg sailors and the Dresden radicals—did not wish to give up revolutionary power voluntarily for the sake of “a majority of peasant and petty-bourgeois voters.”37 Yet this position quite blatantly undermined the notion of majoritarian action that Luxemburg so cherished, and provocatively opposed the general will of the German people. But on “the left of the left there’s always a left.”38 It is important to note that half of the 117 delegates attending the conference were younger than 35, and only one of these younger delegates spoke out in favor of Communist participation in the elections for the National Assembly.39 In the end, Rühle’s motion against participation was accepted by 62 votes to 23.40 This decision made the Revolutionary Shop Stewards, who were in favor of participation, walk out of

the conference. The following day, on 31 December 1918, the German Communist Party (KPD) was declared. The German Communist Party was born in a state of “unreflecting utopian fanaticism,” dressing its infant body with the clothes of its own future defeat.41 German Communists, concentrating on agitation both inside and outside existing organization, formed quite literally a “movement” which had more or less a clear direction and goal, but no tangible organizational structure in the traditional sense. In contrast to the Bolsheviks, the Spartacists advocated a radical decentralization and democratization of the existing economic, social, political, and cultural system.42 In an article in The Red Flag published on 9 January 1919, at the height of the Spartacist Uprising, Luxemburg declared that: “Germany is the classical land of organization and to an even higher degree of organizational fanaticism, even of organizational arrogance.”43 In such a system, Communism as a revolutionary movement meant not only an abstract quest for the abolition of private property, capitalist exploitation, and class discrimination, it also meant a revolt against the kind of organization through which this exploitation and regimentation was made possible and experienced.44 The decentralization of the German Communist movement allowed for rogue elements of the Spartacists to act on their own accord—as then happened with the Spartacist Uprising. When the National Conference of the Spartacists League ended on 1 January 1919, the scene was set for a confrontation between the Social Democratic government and the “unreflecting utopian fanaticism” of the Spartacists, who formed the backbone of the German Communist Party.45

IV On the Spartacist Uprising The Spartacist Uprising, January 1919 The more recent scholarship on the German Revolution has argued that a very open situation existed in the winter of 1918-1919. Germany had a real option, not between communism and the Weimar system, as older schools of interpretation insisted, but of a “third road.” Upon closer scrutiny, this “third

49


road” reveals itself as yet another alternative: between a parliamentary democracy more liberalized than the Weimar Republic, and a socialist democracy based on the participation of workers’ councils.46 As we have seen in our discussion thus far, the latter option—which would involve an institutionalization of the council system—was an unlikely scenario, primarily because the councils considered themselves as temporary, but also because there existed a widespread fear in Germany that these councils embodied “Bolshevism” or would cause “anarchy.”47 However, a more liberal Weimar Republic was a real option—a republic in which the agents of the ancien regime would not occupy so extensively high-positions in the administration, where conservative military authorities would not remain powerful actors behind the curtains of parliamentary democracy, and potentially even where German society would not be so polarized—a polarization that favored the right. The Spartacist Uprising, at least in part, blocked this “third road.” The Spartacist Uprising was not a planned putsch to overthrow the government. Yet the decentralization of the Spartacist League, its members’ conviction about the necessary radicalization of the revolution (stemming from their desire to keep the revolutionary spirit alive), and the Spartacists’ ability to close their eyes to the reality of the revolutionary context, especially among younger members of the League, all explain why the Spartacists quite rapidly found themselves committed to exactly this: a putsch. And defeat was certain. On 4 January 1919 the federal Prussian government, from which the Independent Social Democratic ministers had resigned following the resignation of the three Independent members of the Reich government, dismissed the Berlin chief of police, Emil Eichhorn—another member of the Independents. The Revolutionary Shop Stewards and the Independent Social Democrats of Berlin protested against Eichhorn’s removal and were enthusiastically joined by the Spartacists. On 5 January the three organizations issued an appeal to the Berlin workers to show by mass demonstrations that the revolutionary spirit of the November days was not dead.48 On the same day small

50

armed detachments of radical leftists, largely composed of Spartacists, occupied the buildings of the leading newspapers in Berlin—notably the Vorwärts buildings, which housed the Social Democratic paper. In later court testimonies, leading figures that participated in the Uprising declared that the occupation of the newspapers created a fait accompli which could not be reversed, i.e. it was impossible to get the occupiers out again. Luxemburg and Liebknecht, among other Communists, were faced with the alternatives of either retreat or going ahead.49 They chose to go ahead. The Spartacists mistook their own ardor for that of the “revolutionary masses”—a mythological construct. Instead, their putschist actions only proved to marginalize the Spartacist League even more. The Central Council, which acted as the central authority of the councils, strongly supported Ebert’s attempts to restore order in Berlin, “where a small minority is trying to impose a government of brutal force against the general will of the people, especially that of Berlin, and against the declared opinion of the workers’ and soldiers’ councils of the whole of Germany.”50 The government accused the Spartacists of fighting for power and suppressing the voice of the people. Republican soldiers and Free Corps (Freikorps), voluntary units that were sharply conservative, flooded into the capital. Within a few days the occupied buildings were shelled into surrender and the revolt was crushed.51 On 15 November 1918 Luxemburg and Liebknecht were discovered by soldiers at their hiding place and murdered; with them died any hopes of the “third road.” The Spartacist Uprising confirmed to the larger German populace that the perceived dangers of “Bolshevism” were real—in their eyes, pushing moderates to the political right and reaffirming the conservative forces of the ancien regime of their strength. The conservative forces had largely taken a back seat in political decision-making up to then.52

The Conservative Restoration In the National Assembly elections on 19 January 1919, the Social Democratic Party received 45 percent of the votes, twice as many as the running-up Center Party. But these results


speak as much for as against socialism in Germany.53 By the time the next general election was held in June 1920, the moderate parties which formed the government experienced a shattering defeat, while the political right celebrated a decisive victory. What the election of 1920 showed for the first time was a political polarization—a polarization that benefited the right far more than the left. Exactly the same trend was to reappear during the crisis in 1923 and during the final years of the Weimar Republic in the early 1930s.54 The German Revolution had achieved a partial democratization of the political structure, but that of the social structure failed. The Weimar Republic was declared on 11 August 1919 with Friedrich Ebert being sworn in as the first Reich President. Everywhere in Germany the officials of the old regime were encouraged to stay in office and to carry out their duties as before.55 The whole judicial machinery, too, remained intact—to the detriment of later political jurisdiction. Officers who proudly proclaimed that they were monarchists and loyal to the fugitive Kaiser were considered to be “reliable” and worthy of leading the new army.56 “The Kaiser went, the generals remained.”57 And the workers’ and soldiers’ councils, the organs of the revolution, were dissolved or simply vanished from the scene. In the article “Order Prevails in Berlin,” written immediately after the defeat of the Spartacist Uprising and just hours before Luxemburg and Liebknecht were murdered, Luxemburg passionately draws parallels between the bloody events that just occurred in Berlin and the defeat of the Paris Commune in 1871: Who is not reminded of that drunken celebration by the “law and order” mob in Paris, that Bacchanal of the bourgeoisie celebrated over the corpses of the Communards? That same bourgeoisie who had just shamefully capitulated to the Prussians and abandoned the capital to the invading army, taking to their heels like abject cowards.58

the protagonists of the triumphant counterrevolution, does not do justice to the complexity of the historical question that seems to emerge from every revolutionary context: what constitutes an action or actors as being counter-revolutionary, when there is no apparent counter-revolution as such?59 The Spartacists were certainly revolutionary on their own terms; in fact, it would be difficult to claim that they were not revolutionary—and this paper does not make such a claim. Yet being “revolutionary” does not innately remove the Spartacists—or any revolutionary actors for that matter—from also being, to a larger or lesser extent, counter-revolutionary. Here a distinction needs to be made among the revolutionary theories of an actor, the actions of that actor, and of the effects of those actions on the political landscape. The Spartacists can be considered counter-revolutionary on all three accounts: their theories were detached from nature of the November Revolution, their actions lacked popular support, and the effects of those actions were to strengthen the counterrevolutionary restoration. The causes of the partial restoration in Germany of the ancien regime in the winter months of 1918-1919 are manifold.60 While several scholars make the case that the German Revolution failed, it would be an oversimplification to ascribe the “failure” merely to the split in the German socialist camp, or to the radicalism of the Spartacists, or even to the “treason” of Ebert and the Social Democrats.61 The purpose of this paper has not been to explain why the German Revolution failed to succeed, let alone ascribe a culprit for this partial restoration of Wilhelminian Germany. Instead, the paper has sought to demonstrate that, far from the Spartacists’ claim that theirs’ was the voice of the Revolution—a claim that has been rearticulated by Marxist scholarship ever since, and little refuted by the scholarly tradition in general—the Spartacist League was in fact counter-revolutionary on more than one front.62

Luxemburg’s flaming criticism of the German Social Democrats as the “bourgeoise” “cowards” of 1871, labeling them as

51


V Conclusion Revolutions do not last long; people get weary, the more so after a long and bloody war. Hence the prophets of “permanent revolution” remain alone and disarmed.63 The Spartacists were alone and disarmed from the start. The November Revolution was a pacifist revolution with a moderate socialist character. From the very beginning there existed a general concern for order. Due to the successful tradition of social democracy in Germany, the Social Democrats emerged as the leaders of the soldiers’ and workers’ councils. This allegiance pushed the German Revolution on the path towards parliamentary democracy and general elections for a National Assembly, planned for mid-January 1919. Because the Social Democratic government underestimated its strength and that of the workers movement, to ensure that “the machine [all state functions] continued to run,” it compromised with the bureaucracy and military of the ancien regime. Nevertheless, in the winter of 1918-1919 a “third road” for the German Revolution was still a real option— one that was more liberal than the Weimar Republic. The Spartacist Uprising, at least in part, blocked this road. The Spartacists were certainly revolutionary on their own terms, but it is necessary to consider their counter-revolutionary character as well. Such an analysis is complicated when the connotation of certain concepts, such as “counter-revolutionary,” is not written in stone—and even if it were, such concepts are inherently contextual.64 Observers have sought to overcome this difficulty, and similar ones, by formulating arguments within the confines of a predetermined paradigm, e.g. Marxism. For obvious reasons, the author of this paper has not done so. Instead, this paper has sought to establish a neutral dialogue between the factual narrative of the German Revolution and concepts that are commonly associated with revolutions, notably spontaneity, ideology, popularity, novelty, and power. The Spartacists upheld spontaneity, were blinded by their ideology, lacked popular support, wished to establish novelty, but did not secure for themselves the reins of power to do so.

52

To be more precise, this paper has drawn a distinction among the revolutionary theories of the Spartacist League, the actions of the Spartacists, and the effects of those actions—notably of the Spartacist Uprising— on the political and social landscape of the German Revolution. The Spartacists can be considered counter-revolutionary on all three accounts. To begin with, the “unreflecting utopian radicalism” that the Spartacists preached was detached from the pacifist and essentially moderate character of the November Revolution. Secondly, the Spartacists had no popular support to speak of, but this did not stop them from continuing to push forward to radicalize the Revolution, i.e. to define the Revolution according to their own revolutionary formula. This was all too clearly demonstrated when the Spartacist League voted against participation in the upcoming National Assembly elections, although the soldiers’ and workers’ councils voted for participation. Finally, the failed Spartacist Uprising, and the Spartacist’s resort to “premature” and “putschist” tactics, only deepened the split within the workingclass movement, drove the moderate Social Democrats to the right, and strengthened the conservatives and the political right in general.

NOTES 1. Hajdu, T. “Socialist Revolution in Central Europe, 1917-21.” In Revolution in History, edited by Roy Porter and Mikulas Teich, 101-120. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986. 108. T. Hajdu observes that Central European revolution had four main components: socialist, paci-fist, peasant, and nationalist. He argues that the German Revolution was pacifist and moderately socialist, with a nationalist element certainly existing but not to the extent as in the former Russian Empire and Habsburg territories, while the German peasants remained largely apo-litical and conservative. Hajdu, “Socialist Revolution,” p.103. 2. It is important to note that for Western Europe the war was primarily a struggle between states and armies for the redistribution of powers (i.e. states remaining internally largely cohesive), but in the Eastern


half of the continent, the war released from state control crucial national, class and social antagonisms. Hajdu, “Socialist Revolution,” p.102. 3. The speed at which they organized themselves may be attributed to the fact that they had the example of the soviets that emerged in Russia during the February Revolution in 1917, notably the sailors of Kronstadt. 4. F.L. Carsten. Revolution in Central Europe, 1918-1919. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1972. 32. 5. Most of the centers of heavy industry were situated in Prussia, hence Prussian politics were usually to the left of those in other German states, while Bavaria first swung to the extreme left, and later to the extreme right, and the south-west adhered to a more steady middle-of-the-road course. Carsten, Revolution in Central Europe, 45. 6. In Munich, for example, the chief of police was informed that the councils had taken over pro-visional power and was asked to continue in office until the security services had been reorgan-ized. Carsten, Revolution in Central Europe, p. 36. 7. This is not to suggest that the events in November were not revolutionary. As a nationwide phenomenon, the councils are dominantly regarded by recent scholarship on the German Revolution as the embodiment of a revolutionary mass movement. However, it was a largely politically moderate revolution. Bassler, Gerhard P. “The Communist Movement in the German Revo-lution, 19181919: A Problem of Historical Typology?” Central European History, vol.6 (1973): 233-277. 242. 8. Carsten, Revolution in Central Europe, 39. 9. Ibid., 326. 10. The fact that there was no going back to Imperial Germany was acknowledged by the conservative forces themselves, notably by the military; how much of the ancien regime could be salvaged, however, was for the time unclear. Ibid., 38. 11. As so often in the course of German history, a successful revolution from above had preempted the revolution from below.

Ibid., 326. 12. Ibid., 38. 13. Ibid., 46. 14. Ibid., 54. 15. Ibid., 57. 16. Bassler, “The Communist Movement,” 240. 17. Carsten, Revolution in Central Europe, 47. 18. Bassler, “The Communist Movement,” 245. All revolutionary parties at this time in central Europe—except for the communists—felt obliged to follow the pattern of Western democracy, i.e. to hold elections as soon as possible. For all socialist parties this had the consequence that they lost their leading role in the revolution when they confronted the peasant majority at the polls. Hajdu, “Socialist Revolution,” 112. 19. It would be an oversimplification to compare schism between the German Social Democrats and the Spartacists to the schism seen in Russia between the Mensheviks and the Bolsheviks, but many parallels can be drawn. 20. Broue, Pierre. The German Revolution 1917-1923. Trans. John Archer. Ed. Ian Birchall and Brian Pearce. Boston: Brill Leiden, 2005. 44. War credits (or bonds) are debt securities issued by a government to finance military operations and other expenditure in times of war. 21. Pierre Broue, in his comprehensive study The German Revolution, 1917-1923, states: “It is easy to demonstrate that the vote in favor of war credits was the logical consequence of the Social Democrats’ political development during the preceding years.” Although Broue’s work needs to be taken with a pinch of salt, for it purports an evident Marxist bias, there is much validity in the observation that the decision by Social Democrats to support the national war effort—considering that the decision for war had already been taken by Wilhelm II and the military authorities—does not represent a total reversal in their political agenda.

53


Ibid., 46. 22. Luxemburg and Lenin wrote powerful condemnations of the SPD leadership supporting the War. Ibid., 53-57. 23. Ibid., 44. 24. “I ought to have shouted “No!” in the plenary session of the Reichstag. I made a serious mistake,” Liebknecht is recorded to have said. Ibid., 52. 25. Ibid., 61. 26. Luxemburg, Rosa. “What Does the Spartacus League Want?” The Red Flag, 14 January 1918. At Marxists.org. Translated by Martin Nicolaus. 27. Ibid. 28. Carsten, Revolution in Central Europe, 31. 29. Ibid., 326. 30. Ibid., 210. 31. Luxemburg, Rosa. “The Russian Revolution,” written 1918, published 1922 by Paul Levi. At Marxists.org. Translated by Bertram Wolfe. 32. To use Arendtian terms. 33. Luxemburg, “What Does the Spartacus League Want?” 34. Luxemburg, “The Russian Revolution.” 35. Luxemburg, “What Does the Spartacus League Want?” 36. Carsten, Revolution in Central Europe, 212. 37. Ibid., 212. 38. Hajdu, “Socialist Revolution,” 110. 39. Bassler, “The Communist Movement,” 269. 40. Several delegates abstained from the vote. Carsten, Revolution in Central Europe, 212. 41. Bassler, “The Communist Movement,” 269. 42. Ibid., 238. 43. Luxemburg, Rosa. “Versäumte Pflichten,” The Red Flag, 9 January 1919. At Marxists.org. 44. Bassler, The Communist Movement, p. 237. 45. This paper will continue to refer to the Communist Party as the Spartacist League, unless when specified, as the discussion

54

could otherwise become ambiguous. 46. Ibid., 241 47. Carsten, Revolution in Central Europe, p.325. 48. Ibid., 214. 49. Ibid., 215. 50. Ibid., 217. 51. The Spartacist Uprising produced no echo outside Berlin; with the exception of Bremen, where a Soviet republic was proclaimed on 10 January and crushed three days later. Ibid., 218. 52. The fear of radicalism was readily used as a political weapon by the Social Democratic government. Large posters proclaimed all over Germany: “Anarchy is the helper of reaction and famine,” and pictured “the Danger of Bolshevism” in the form of Death holding a blood-dripping dagger in his teeth. Ibid., 325. 53. Hajdu, “Socialist Revolution,” 110. 54. Carsten, Revolution in Central Europe, 300. 55. Ibid., 323. 56. Ibid., 327 57. Ibid., 335. 58. Luxemburg, Rosa. “Order Prevails in Berlin.” The Red Flag, 14 January 1918. At Marxists.org. Translated by Marcus. 59. The answer to this question inherently changes from the perspective one argues from, particularly when entering the discussion with an ideological agenda. 60. F.L. Carsten, for example, argues that the German Revolution failed: “There was not much reason to speak of a victory of the revolution, and even the word ‘revolution’ was soon no longer mentioned.” Ibid., 335. 61. Ibid., 334. 62. Further analysis of the German Revolution in comparison to other Central and Eastern European revolutions of the period would greatly benefit this debate. For example, Lenin in Russia and Kun in Hungary were both against the original ideals of the February 1917 and October 1918 revolutions, respectively; can Bolshevik putschism and


Kun’s missteps be considered as counterrevolutionary? If so, what are the payoffs and benefits of coming to such conclusions? 63. Hajdu, “Socialist Revolution,” 117. 64. Owing to this difficulty is the acknowledgment that revolutions are, by definition and in practice, moments in which meanings are in flux.

Emory Shaw

55


Contributors GUILLAUME BENOIT-MARTINEAU is a tree that was transplanted in McGillian soil two years ago. In this environment, it is photosynthesizing majors in English literature and German studies. Its autumn leaves fall and twirl like poems in the urban wind. SOFIA BACHOUCHI is a second year student majoring in German Studies and Asian Religions. Her main research interests surround the influence of Indic traditions on 19th century German literature and thought. Also a painter during her spare time, she aims to take an artistic approach to her academic research. SOPHIE CHAUVET is in her final year of studies in Political Science and French literature. Originally from France, she has lived in Germany and Hong Kong before landing in Canada. She is interested in journalism, arts and music, and would like to pursue her work in the media later. ANNA FITZ is a U1 student from Edmonton, Alberta. She is majoring in English literature, with a double minor in Art History and Theatre studies. She is a passionate playwright and poet, and writes every day. Her full-length play “Mercury” is being developed by a professional theatre company in Chicago this summer. MAGDALENE KLASSEN began studying at McGill this year, and will be declaring German Studies as her major. She has a long-standing personal interest in literary discourses of happiness throughout history, and hopes to develop this into an academic pursuit over the next few years. ELIAS KÜHN VON BURGSDORFF is pursuing a double-major undergraduate degree in History and Economy at McGill University. Originally German, Elias was born in South Africa and has lived in several countries including Mozambique, Slovakia, Belgium, Cuba, and today Canada. Elias has launched a digital journal called Graphite Publications.

56

FRÉDÉRIQUE LEFORT est une étudiante francophone d’origine canadienne. Elle termine présentement sa première année dans le programme de Sciences Politiques à l’université McGill. Elle a fait ses études collégiales au Cégep John Abbott en Arts et Cultures, avec une concentration en langue. ANOUK MILLET is a U2 majoring in Political Science and minoring in German Literature and World Cinemas. She is interested in combining these three fields in future projects. LAUREN SAPIC is a fourth year student finishing up her degree in Classics, English, and German Literature. She plans to pursue graduate studies in Literature and Languages, and her academic interests vary from Russian Literature to German Post-Modernism to the fallout of military history. EMORY SHAW is a student in Urban Systems at McGill University. A Montreal native, his interests range from land use planning, transportation, economic geography and urban history to our subjective understandings of space. BIANCA WAKED was born and raised in Montreal. She is an Honours Philosophy student with a minor in English Literature. Her research considers primarily the philosophy of art (particularly Heidegger’s), however she is also interested in Wittgenstein, Nietzsche, critical theory, the history of analytic philosophy, and the philosophy of language. She is also the Social Events Coordinator for the Philosophy Students Association and volunteers with CAEO in her spare time. ANDREW WELLS is a fourth year Political Science student with minors in Economics and German. Facing the rapidly approaching end to his time at McGill, Andrew is still hoping for the winds to blow employment opportunities in his direction.


Anonym

57


COVER PHOTO: EMORY SHAW


Vielfalt 4: 2013-14