Early Twentieth-Century: what is the attack against the tragic, what its defense

  • Mimmo Cangiano The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Keywords: Tragic, Nietzsche, Boine, Slataper, Soffici, Weininger, Ibsen

Abstract

Between the last few years of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century the tragic discourse went through a significant revaluation. This, practically embodied in Henrik Ibsen, found expression both in the theoretical work of authors such as György Lukács and Otto Weininger, and in the artistic production of figures such as Hugo von Hofmannsthal or – in Italy – Scipio Slataper and Giovanni Boine. Early twentieth century tragic discourse represents an attempt to react to the epistemological crisis that – differently interpreted by authors such as Henri Bergson, Ernst Mach and clearly Friedrich Nietzsche – is imposing as the hegemonic thought of the first part of the century. Early twentieth century tragic discourse was therefore one of the main actors in the philosophical and artistic confrontation the followed the announcement of the “death of God”. It is actually possible to say that Modernist tragic represented one of the most effective weapons for those intellectuals that did not consider positively the cultural horizons embodied by nihilism and relativism. My article, on the one hand, briefly delineates the clash between tragic and anti-tragic conceptions in early twentieth century, clarifying the theoretical genealogies that underlined the two positions. On the other the article points out the connections between the two positions and structural developments of the time (Taylorism, specialization, atomization, etc.)

Author Biography

Mimmo Cangiano, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Mimmo Cangiano is tenure-track Professor in Italian  at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He received a Doctorate in Italian Studies from the University of Florence (2009), and a PhD in Romance Studies from Duke University (2015).
His publications include the book L’Uno e il molteplice nel giovane Palazzeschi (1905-1915) and roughly thirty articles published in American and Italian academic journals. He has published essays dedicated to authors such as Pirandello, Michelstaedter, Boine, Soffici, Gozzano, Prezzolini, Sanguineti, Rosi, Wu Ming, as well as articles dedicated to the relationships between Italian and Austrian culture, and to prominent Marxist theoreticians such as  György Lukács.
He is currently publishing a monograph for The University of Toronto Press dedicated to the Jewish-Italian philosopher Carlo Michelstaedter (The Wreckage of Philosophy. Carlo Michelstaedter and the Limits of Bourgeois Thought) and a volume titled The Birth of Italian Modernism (1903-1922).

 

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Published
2017-12-16
How to Cite
Cangiano, M. (2017). Early Twentieth-Century: what is the attack against the tragic, what its defense. Between, 7(14). https://doi.org/10.13125/2039-6597/2657
Section
Tragic and Anti-tragic: Beyond the Bourgeois Novel