Twilight of mankind

Cover for the 1959 edition.
Posted by
Ê. Pintus (comp.)
Genre: Anthology
Language: Original: German.
Original published:
(35 reprints)
V. Rebhun (region)
E. Schiele, O. Kokoshka, L. Meidner (ill.)
Rowohlt Verlag
Pages: 384, Media: Media, Paper ISBN: 3499450550
“Twilight of Humanity” (German: “Menschheitsdämmerung”) is a German-language anthology of the poetry of expressionism, published in 1919 by writer and journalist Kurt Pintus. It is recognized as classic for this direction. Since 1920, Ernst Rowohlt Verlag Publishing House [1] [2] owns the rights to it, which ranked it as "one of the most successful anthologies in the history of literature." For more than 90 years, it has been reprinted in Germany 35 times (most recently in 2008 [3]). By 1999, the total circulation of all editions of the anthology was 164,000 copies [4].
1 History of the publication and cultural significance
2 Contents
3 Authors of anthology
4 Anthology works in Russian
5 References
6 Notes
Publication history and cultural significance
The anthology was compiled and published by C. Pintus at the end of 1919, although it dates from the catalogs of Rowohlt next year. Unlike previous anthologies of expressionist lyrics (Condor, Stream, Harbinger, etc.), Twilight of Mankind had a more favorable reception among the reading public, since by this time expressionism had already taken shape as a direction in verbal art, and the collection was perceived as the final review book. She bought up very quickly. Only in 1920 were three of its editions issued with a total circulation of 5,000 copies. By 1922, the circulation exceeded the mark of 20,000. The selection of its authors was extremely subjective. "TO. Pintus formed an anthology, having not the slightest historical distance and literally arbitrarily “took” a number of authors from the general literary process, guided exclusively by his own literary taste ”[4]. Pintus was personally acquainted with the majority of authors.
However, as a result, it was his selection of authors and works that over time became classical and generally recognized in the literary circles of Germany. In literary criticism, the anthology is called the “standard collection”, “the classical anthology of expressionist lyrics”, “the most representative and still the best” [4], despite the fact that subsequently other collections were prepared on a scientific basis [5].
It will not be an exaggeration to say that both the anthology itself and the introduction to it for many years have become the main impulses and sources for reflection and judgment on German literary expressionism. In the 1959 Preface, C. Pintus even refers to scientists who came to the conclusion that his anthology, along with a portrait of a generation of expressionist poets, greatly influenced the direction of scientific research [4].
In the name of the anthology by its compiler intentionally ambiguity is allowed, which is very important for the aesthetics of expressionism. “Twilight” is both a symbol of sunset, sunset, end and a symbol of a beginning, barely dawning new day. “In this symbol is a typical expressionist symbiosis of“ everything and everything inverse to him “from the pole of absolute negativity to the pole of absolute positivity. It poetically embodied Nietzsche’s most important philosophical postulate for this generation about the possibility of creating the new only through the destruction of the old. ”[4].
In the first edition, the anthology was opened by the introduction of K. Pintus“ First of all ”(German“ Zuvor ”). Later, his own preface “Echo” (German “Nachklang”, 1922) and “40 years later” (German “Nach 40 Jahren”, 1959) were added to them. All three preface are considered not only examples of classical essays, but also important sources of knowledge about the history of expressionism. As N.V. Pestova notes in her monograph, they “in terms of the number of examples of their citation, like the anthology itself, are clearly superior to any other scientific study of literary criticism” [4].
The anthology is chronologically limited to 1919 and, therefore, completely excludes the lyrics of "late" expressionism. It has four thematic sections: Fall and Scream (German: Sturz und Schrei), Awakening of the Heart (German: Erweckung des Herzens), Call and Rebellion (German: Aufruhr und Empörung), “Love people” (German: “Liebe den Menschen”). They include 275 poems from 23 poets - the most significant representatives of German-speaking expressionism. Six were no longer alive by the time the anthology was released: four fell on the fronts of the First World War, two died as a result of accidents. The works are distributed by the composer K. Pintus in accordance with the internal composition of the anthology, so that the block of works of each author is divided into many separate poems. The publication is framed by 14 portraits of poets; they are made by famous artists of that time (E. Schiele, O. Kokoshka, L. Meidner). The most famous work of anthology, which later became a symbol of expressionism, is Jacob van Goddis’s poem “The End of the World” (German: “Weltende”), which opens the collection:
A burgher blows off a bowler hat,
Yelling everywhere in the air.
Tearing down, chimney sweeps creep from the roofs.
On the shore-they write-the stream is moving.
There is a storm, wild water springs
On the ground, overthrowing the dam.
People crowded, suffering from a runny nose.
Flying from bridges of iron trains.
(translation by A.V. Cherny)
Original text (German)
Dem Bürger fliegt vom spitzen Kopf der Hut, In allen Lüften hallt es wi e Geschrei.
Dachdecker stürzen ab und gehn entzwei
Und an den Küsten - liest man - steigt die Flut.
Der Sturm ist da, die wilden Meere hupfen
An Land, um dicke Dämme zu zerdrücken .
Die meisten Menschen haben einen Schnupfen.
Die Eisenbahnen fallen von den Brücken.
Until 1959, the compiler made minor additions and corrections to the text of the anthology, often at the request of the authors themselves. For example, the poet Ivan Gaulle wished to place two editions of his poem Panama Canal (German Panamakanal) in it: poetic (1918) and prosaic (1940). However, in an extensive preface to the 1959 edition, K. Pintus indicated that he would no longer change “a single letter” in the anthology, since he considered this collection a unique monument of the expressionist movement, which could no longer be amended:
“... critically looking at our time and poetry, I have to admit that “Twilight of Humanity” is not only a holistic and closed, but also a finished, final document of this era. I will express myself more clearly: after the completion of this lyrical symphony, nothing was composed that should subsequently be forcibly included in it. ”[6].
In accordance with his installation, the anthology received the subtitle“ Document of Expressionism ”(German. Ein Dokument des Expressionismus). To preserve the documentary integrity of the collection, subsequent editions also preserved the original autobiographies of its authors, often written in a very free style, and even completely mystified. For example, the poetess Elsa Lasker-Schuler told about herself in two sentences: “I was born in Thebes of Egypt, even if I appeared in the world in Elberfeld on the Rhine. Until the age of eleven, I went to school, spent five years in the East, and since then I have been growing vegetative. ” These biographies were later supplemented by objective data, as well as bibliographic lists for each author.
Anthology Authors
Johannes R. Becher / Johannes R. Becher
Gottfried Benn / Theotor Däubler / Theodor Doybler
Albert Ehrenstein / Albert Ehrenstein
Iwan Goll / Ivan Gaulle | Walter Hasenclever / Walter Gazenklever
Georg Heym / Georg Game / Kurt Heynicke / Kurt Heinicke
Jakob van Hoddis / Jacob van Goddis
Wilhelm Klemm / Wilhelm Klemm
Else Lasker-Schüler / Elsa Lasker-Schüler
Rudolf Leonhard / Rudolf Leonhard
Alfred Lichtenstein / Alfred Lichtenstein
Ernst Wilhelm Lotz / Ernst Wilhelm Lotz
Karl Otten / Karl Otte n
Kurt Pinthus / Kurt Pintus
Ludwig Rubiner / Ludwig Rubiner
René Schickele / René Schickele
Ernst Stadler / Ernst Stadler
August Stramm / August Strum
Georg Trakl / Georg Trakl
Franz Werfel / Franz Werfel
Alfred Wolfenstein / Alfred Wolfenstein
Paul Zech / Paul Workshop
Anthology works in Russian
In 1925, the collection “Young Germany” was published in Kharkov, introducing German readers poets of the "expressionist decade." It included several authors of "twilight". In subsequent years, expressionism was banned both in the USSR and in Nazi Germany, so a new wave of publications by these authors came only at the time of perestroika. A complete anthology has not yet been translated into Russian. Only the works of its most famous authors are published: Game, Trakl, Benn, Becher and others.
A large selection of works from an anthology with the addition of poems by other authors was published in 1990 in the collection “Twilight of Humanity. The lyrics of German expressionism ”[7]. Despite the coincidence of names, this publication is not a translation of the anthology.
Anthology works on the WikiLivres site.
Menschheitsdämmerung anthology on the official website of the Rowohlt publishing house. (German)
↑ Menschheitsdämmerung: Symphonie jüngster Dichtung. - Berlin: Rowohlt, 1920.
↑ Menschheitsdämmerung anthology on the official website of the Rowohlt Publishing House. (German)
↑ Menschheitsdämmerung: Ein Dokument des Expressionismus. Mit Biographien und Bibliographien neu herausgegeben von Kurt Pinthus. - Köln: Anaconda Verlag, 2008. - ISBN 978-3866472303
↑ 1 2 3 4 5 6 Pestova N.V. Lyrics of German Expressionism: Profiles of Alienness. - Yekaterinburg, 2002 .-- 463 p. - ISBN 5-7186-0310-3
↑ 131 expressionistische Gedichte / Hrsg. Rühmkorf P. Neuausgabe. Berlin, 1993; Lyrik des Expressionismus / Hrsg. Vietta S. 3. Aufl. Tübingen, 1985; Gedichte des Expressionismus / Hrsg. Bode D. Stuttgart, 1994.
↑ Menschheitsdämmerung. 33. Aufl. 1996., S. 33.
↑ Twilight of Humanity. The lyrics of German expressionism. / comp. V. Toporov. - M .: Moscow Worker, 1990.
Literature of Expressionism - Writers
Leonid Andreev | Ernst Barlach | Johannes Becher | Max Broad | Herwart Walden | Ernst Weiss | Max Herman Nice | Alfred Doeblin | Franz Kafka | Zenon Kosidovsky | Alfred Kubin | Gustav Meyrink | Kurt Pintus | Kurt Hiller | Kurt Schwitters | Karl Sternheim | Karl Einstein - Poets by Ernst Balke | Hugo Ball | Gottfried Benn | Frank Wedekind | Franz Werfel | Walter Gazenklever | Georg Game | Ivan Gaulle | Richard Hülsenbeck | Theodore Doybler | Georg Kaiser | Theodor Kramer | Elsa Lasker-Schuler | Alfred Lichtenstein | Geo Milev | Minona | Paul van Osteyen | Ludwig Rubiner | Ernst Toller | Georg Trakl | Fritz von Unruh | Leonard Frank | Ernst Stadler | August Strum | Casimir Edschmid | Albert Ehrenstein | Jacob van Goddis - Clubs and groups
New club | Neopathetic Cabaret | Romanesque cafe | Cabaret Wildebeest | Western cafe | Riot | Prague School - Magazines - Das neue Pathos | Pan | Die Aktion | Der Brenner | Die Fackel | Der Sturm - Anthologies
Condor | Mistral | The Twilight of Humanity | Judgment Day

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