Griffin Roger - Modernism and fascism

Author : Griffin Roger
Title : Modernism and fascism The sense of a beginning under Mussolini and Hitler
Year : 2007

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Introduction. Aufbruch. ‘Then you know your destination’, he asked. ‘Yes’, I said ‘I have already said so, “Away-From-Here” that is my destination.’ ‘You have no provisions with you’, he said. ‘I don’t need any’, I said. ‘The journey is so long that I will die of hunger if I do not get something along the way. It is, fortunately, a truly immense journey.’ Franz Kafka, Der Aufbruch (A New Beginning) (1922). The sense of an ending (…) has not diminished, and is as endemic to what we call modernism as apocalyptic utopianism is to political revolution. Frank Kermode, The Sense of an Ending (1966). Tomorrow has become today : the feeling that the world is ending has given way to the sense of a new beginning. The ultimate goal now stands out unmistakably within the fi eld of vision now opening up before us, and all faith in miracles is now harnessed to the active transformation of the present. Julius Petersen, The Longing for the Third Reich (1934). NEW HORIZONS. This book is a sustained attempt to explore the profound kinship that exists between modernism and fascism. These two concepts are still widely assumed to be antithetical and oxymoronic when combined in the phrase ‘fascist modernism’, especially within the context of the regimes led by Mussolini and Hitler. Nevertheless, the second part of the book will present them as outstanding examples of the ‘modernist state’. The Leitmotif of the book is that a key element in the genesis, psychology, ideology, policies, and praxis of fascism was played by the ‘sense of a beginning’, the mood of standing on the threshold of a new world. ...

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