Snow from Broken Eyes
Cocaine in the Lives and Works of Three Expressionist Poets
©2012 Thesis 341 Pages
Series: Australian and New Zealand Studies in German Language and Literature, Volume 20
The highpoint of German Expressionism in the second decade of the 20th century coincided with a rapid increase in the availability of cocaine as the drug was stockpiled for medical purposes by armies fighting the First World War. Snow from Broken Eyes investigates the implications of this historical intersection for the lives and works of three poets associated with Expressionism: Gottfried Benn, Walter Rheiner and Georg Trakl. All three are known to have used the drug during the War, although under very different circumstances, and the cocaine references contained in their works are equally diverse. These range from demonstrative declarations of drug use (Benn), via agonized textual re-enactments of the addict’s humiliation and suffering (Rheiner), to the integration of drug symbolism into an original, deeply resonant poetic code (Trakl). In this study, the findings arising from close readings of key works by Benn, Rheiner and Trakl are contextualized in relation both to the longstanding historical association between psychoactive substances and imaginative literature, and to the radical innovations in literary style that characterized the early 20th century.
- ISBN (PDF)
- ISBN (Softcover)
- Publication date
- 2011 (December)
- Studies of Motifs and Themes General Literary Theory Inter-War Literature Literature in the Third Reich , Exile Literature Literary Criticism Aesthetics Literature in General Literary Psychology Expressionism Neue Sachlichkeit
- Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2012. 341 pp.