By Paul Reitter

In turn-of-the-century Vienna, Karl Kraus created a daring new variety of media feedback, penning incisive satires that elicited either admiration and outrage. Kraus’s spectacularly antagonistic reviews usually excited by his fellow Jewish newshounds, which introduced him a name because the indispensable self-hating Jew. The Anti-Journalist overturns this view with remarkable strength and class, displaying how Kraus’s criticisms shape the guts of an intensive version of German-Jewish self-fashioning, and the way that version built in live performance with Kraus’s modernist journalistic style.
Paul Reitter’s learn of Kraus’s writings situates them within the context of fin-de-siècle German-Jewish highbrow society. He argues that instead of stemming from anti-Semitism, Kraus’s assaults constituted an cutting edge critique of mainstream German-Jewish techniques for assimilation. Marshalling 3 of the main bold German-Jewish authors—Kafka, Scholem, and Benjamin—Reitter explains their admiration for Kraus’s undertaking and demonstrates his impact all alone notions of cultural authenticity.
 
The Anti-Journalist is instantly a brand new interpretation of a desirable modernist oeuvre and a heady exploration of a big degree within the historical past of German-Jewish considering identity.

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Additional info for The Anti-Journalist: Karl Kraus and Jewish Self-Fashioning in Fin-de-Siecle Europe

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Kraus might have venerated language as a force that can help us ripen into mature ethical agents, and he might also have consistently warned against political appeals to the irrational. ” 80 For Kraus had neo-romantic leanings, and also eroticist ones—he was an early and ardent supporter of Frank Wedekind’s work who even organized a private performance of Pandora’s Box in 1905, when public stagings were forbidden. And Kraus often spoke out against attempts to administer rationally the emotional and mental experiences that he prized, in large part, for being untamed.

81 Similarly, he disdained psychoanalysis not so much on account of the size and strength of irrational energies in its model of the mind, but because it subjected these mysterious energies to systematic scrutiny. ” 82 Elsewhere he made a related point less darkly. ” 83 In quite a few places, moreover, Kraus treats language as an erotic, mythic power, as an anonymous genius that demands and should receive our submission. ” 84 It may be that Kraus acted on such beliefs in cultivating a stage style for his public readings, of which he gave over seven hundred.

He was particularly concerned about the fate of the mind in his own society. ” 66 The situation looked as bleak in the rest of Austria. And this characteristic cultural impoverishment was being made worse by a local journalistic industry that was, of course, especially bad. ” Readers are now qualified to write for newspapers they cannot understand because journalists now write like their readers speak. Soon readers will speak like journalists write, at which point communication will break down completely, or so Kraus grimly predicts.

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