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By Wolf Lepenies

During the Allied bombing of Germany, Hitler used to be extra distressed via the lack of cultural treasures than via the leveling of houses. Remarkably, his propagandists broadcast this truth, confident that it will exhibit no longer his callousness yet his sensitivity: the destruction had did not overwhelm his artist's spirit. it really is most unlikely to start to make experience of this pondering with no knowing what Wolf Lepenies calls The Seduction of tradition in German History.

This interesting and weird ebook tells the tale of an arguably catastrophic German habit--that of valuing cultural success particularly else and envisioning it as a noble replacement for politics. Lepenies examines how this tendency has affected German background from the past due eighteenth century to this day. He argues that the German choice for artwork over politics is vital to figuring out the abnormal nature of Nazism, together with its aesthetic entice many Germans (and others) and the truth that Hitler and lots of in his circle have been failed artists and intellectuals who appear to have practiced their politics as an alternative type of art.

In a chain of ancient, highbrow, literary, and creative vignettes advised in an essayistic sort filled with compelling aphorisms, this wide-ranging ebook will pay particular cognizance to Goethe and Thomas Mann, and likewise comprises amazing discussions of such varied figures as Novalis, Walt Whitman, Leo Strauss, and Allan Bloom. The Seduction of tradition in German History is anxious not just with Germany, yet with how the German obsession with tradition, feel of cultural superiority, and scorn of politics have affected its family members with different international locations, France and the U.S. in particular.

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