Fin-de-Siecle Vienna has become the glorified icon of innovative modernism in the arts and letters. The detailed and rich account of the suburban life-worlds presents a very different image, namely one of harsh struggles for subsistence and survival, extreme disparities between the social classes resulting in spatial and cultural segregation, escape into the dream-worlds and cheap pleasures of early mass culture, and rebellion of proletarian youth gangs. The misery of the masses in the suburbs stood in stark contrast to the urban social order of the wealthy elites who were facing the new "collective subjects" of emerging mass politics; whose aesthetically highly differentiated culture opposed a culture of the masses stigmatized as profane and vulgar; whose skeptical discourse of reason rooted in the late bourgeois enlightenment was in contrast to the irrational ferment of a "politics of feeling" that found expression in (German) nationalism and anti-Semitism.
Publisher: Berghahn Books
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