Vienna's Dreams of Europe: Culture and Identity Beyond the Nation-State - New Directions in German Studies (Paperback)
  • Vienna's Dreams of Europe: Culture and Identity Beyond the Nation-State - New Directions in German Studies (Paperback)
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Vienna's Dreams of Europe: Culture and Identity Beyond the Nation-State - New Directions in German Studies (Paperback)

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Paperback 344 Pages / Published: 03/12/2015
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Vienna's Dreams of Europe puts forward a convincing counter-narrative to the prevailing story of Austria's place in Europe since the Enlightenment. For a millennium, Austrian writers have used images of Europe and its hegemonic culture as their political and cultural reference points. Yet in discussions of Europe's nation-states, Austria appears only as an afterthought, no matter that its precursor states-the Holy Roman Empire, the Austrian Empire, and Austria Hungary-represented a globalized European cultural space outside the dominant paradigm of nationalist colonialism. Austrian writers today confront reunited Europe in full acknowledgment of Austro-Hungary's multicultural heritage, which mixes various nationalities, ethnicities, and cultural forms, including ancestors from the Balkans and beyond. Challenging standard accounts of 18th- through 20th-century European imperial identity construction, Vienna's Dreams of Europe introduces a group of Austrian public intellectuals and authors who have since the 18th century construed their own public as European. Working in different terms than today's theorist-critics of the hegemonic West, Katherine Arens posits a political identity resisting two hundred years of European nationalism.

Publisher: Continuum Publishing Corporation
ISBN: 9781441170217
Number of pages: 344
Weight: 454 g
Dimensions: 216 x 140 x 25 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Vienna's Dreams of Europe is a critique of familiar teleological readings of modern history, an attempt to provide a more nuanced understanding of regional public institutions and public spaces in Central Europe, and an exploration of distinctively Austrian approaches to the idea of Europe. Arens brings to cultural studies-and to German studies in particular-a complex picture of European history and culture, which challenges common assumptions about modern Europe since the eighteenth century, especially "the fiction of an emerging `German' culture-nation." * David Luft, Professor of History, Oregon State University, USA *
Through a series of expansive case studies-ranging from Sonnenfels to Stifter to Schnitzler, from Hanswurst to Hofmannsthal to Handke, and including many points along the way-Katherine Arens innovatively explores the interconnected public spaces of Austrian culture extending well beyond the borders of the nation-state. This illuminating and elegantly written book reshapes our understanding of the ongoing public project of enlightenment and provides a rewarding road map for postnational cultural studies. * Craig Decker, Professor of German and Chair, Department of German and Russian Studies, Bates College, USA *
[A] learned and thoughtful study of Austria's place in European culture and history ... Vienna's Dreams of Europe not only offers a rethinking of Austria's place in Europe; it also offers a rethinking of Austria's place within (North American) German studies. ... [It] insists on a conception of Austrian culture that is multiple and fluid. Indeed, her book is titled not "Austria's Dreams of Europe," but rather "Vienna's Dreams of Europe." Vienna here is not simply a city defined by civic boundaries, but rather a multiethnic and multilingual space defined by layers of historical ties and multiple public spaces. * Austrian Studies Newsmagazine *
An interesting volume that demands readers' attention ... This study adds to the still-growing number of works representative of a resurgence in scholarly attention to Habsburg and Austrian literature, culture, and history that recognize their ongoing prominence and importance to Central Europe and Europe as a whole. * Studies in Twentieth and Twenty-First Century Literature *

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