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Critics of Modernity

The Literature of the Conservative Revolution in Germany, 1890-1933

Martin Travers

Critics of Modernity provides the fullest account in English of the work of a series of writers who were of crucial importance to the formation and dissemination of a trenchant ethos of national revivalism in Germany in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In cultural terms that ethos was every bit as powerful as the prevailing discourse of Modernism, bringing within its sway figures as diverse as Hermann Löns, Hans Grimm, Ernst Jünger, Stefan George, Arnolt Bronnen, Ernst von Salomon, and Gottfried Benn. Disparate as they were in their aesthetic aims and priorities, these writers shared a thorough rejection of the values and institutions of the modern world, whose perceived evils they sought to remove through that most paradoxical of all political acts: a conservative revolution. This study examines in detail both the literature of these authors and the varied intellectual contexts that gave their writing its ideological momentum.
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The Poetry of Gottfried Benn

Text and Selfhood

Martin Travers

This book is the first comprehensive study of Gottfried Benn’s poetry to appear in English. It covers the entirety of Benn’s verse, from his early Morgue cycle (1912) and Expressionist poems through to the «anthropological» poetry of his middle period to the «postmodern» Phase II work after the Second World War. Against the background of the poet’s theoretical writings, this study, drawing upon the classic texts of Benn scholarship, analyzes in detail the major themes of his verse and its distinctive idiom. In particular, this work focuses on Gottfried Benn’s extended process of rhetorical self-fashioning, his use of classical iconography, color motifs and chiffres, his often confusing historical semantics, the seemingly self-constituting «absolute» poem, and the colloquial idiom of his late verse. The book also engages with the multiplicity of voices in Benn’s work and their varied textual forms, the hermeneutically variable positions of speech that they articulate and the often contradictory notion of selfhood to which they give rise.
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The Writing of Aletheia

Martin Heidegger: In Language

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Martin Travers

Martin Heidegger was engaged in a continual struggle to find words – new words, both descriptive and analytical – for his radical form of philosophy. This tendency can be traced from Being and Time, where he elaborated an entirely new vocabulary for his ontological enquiry; to Contributions to Philosophy, which saw him committed to a transformation of language; to later essays on poets such as Rilke and Trakl in On the Way to Language.

The Writing of Aletheia is the first study to appear in either English or German that provides a full account of Heidegger’s language and writing style. Focusing not only on his major philsophical works but also on his lectures, public talks and poetry, this book explores the complex textuality of Heidegger’s writing: the elaborate chains of wordplay and neologistic formations; the often oblique, circuitous and regressive exposition of his ideas; the infamous tautologies; the startling modification of grammatical rules and syntax; the idiosyncratic typography of his texts; the rhetorical devices, imagery and symbolism; and the tone and voice of his writing. All of these aspects betray not only his will to structure and his assertiveness but also his ongoing self-questioning and reflectiveness about the ultimate goal of his philosophical quest.

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The Hour That Breaks

Gottfried Benn: A Biography

Martin Travers

The Hour That Breaks is the first biography of Gottfried Benn to appear in English. The author of this study charts in impressive detail the complex paths of Benn’s life, through the demands of his medical practice and military involvement in two world wars, his brief political advocacy of Hitler and Nazism in 1933, to his final «comeback» in post Second World War Germany. The author also engages with Benn’s extensive body of poetry which, inventive, challenging and formally wrought, was the product of mind that was both radical and conservative. The same propensity to invention and transformation also informed Benn’s personal and professional life, giving rise to a practice of role-playing and dissimulation that the poet termed a «double life». As Travers shows in this well-written and informative biography, this was a strategy of survival of which Benn, ultimately, was as much the victim as the master. This biography also offers fresh translations of many of Benn’s poems, a number of which appear here in English for the first time.
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Power, Conscience, and Opposition

Essays in German History in Honour of John A. Moses

Andrew Bonnell, Gregory Munro and Martin Travers

This collection of new studies in German history is published in honour of John A. Moses, one of Australia's foremost German historians. The essays collected here, written by some of the most distinguished scholars working in America, Europe, and Australia, reflect the contribution that Professor Moses has made to our understanding of modern German history, and, in particular, to the complex relationship among the Church, the State, and opposition movements such as Trade Unionism and Communism. This volume also includes important essays on: the interaction of power and ideology in Germany from the Kaiserreich to the Third Reich; the development of democratic movements in Germany; debates within contemporary historiography; and Australian-German perspectives.
John A. Moses was educated at the universities of Queensland, Munich, and Erlangen, where he took his doctorate on Carl Legien and the Free Trade Unions in Germany. Dr. Moses has published widely on matters as diverse as the Fischer controversy, Germany imperialist policies in the Far East and Trade Union Theory in Germany and elsewhere. He has recently retired from his position of Associate Professor in the History Department at the University of Queensland.