Bloch's The Spirit of Utopia, here presented for the first time in English translation, is one of the great historic books from the beginning of the twentieth-century. A peculiar amalgam of biblical, Marxist, and Expressionist turns, drawing on both Hegel and Schopenhauer for the groundwork of its metaphysics of music, but consistently interpreting the cultural legacy in the light of a certain Marxism, The Spirit of Utopia is a unique attempt to rethink the history of Western civilizations as a process (...) of revolutionary disruptions and to reread the artworks, religions, and philosophies of this tradition as incentives to continue disrupting. The first part concerns a mode of 'self-encounter' which presents itself in the history of music from Mozart through Mahler as an encounter with the problem of a community to come. The second part is entitled 'Karl Marx, Death and the Apocalypse'. (shrink)
This book represents a unique attempt to reconcile the traditional oppositions of the natural law and social utopian traditions, providing basic insights into the meaning of human rights in a socialist society.
Bloch, E. Discussing expressionism.--Lukács, G. Realism in the balance.--Brecht, B. Against Georg Lukács.--Benjamin, W. Conversations with Brecht.--Adorno, T. Letters to Walter Benjamin.--Benjamin, W. Reply.--Adorno, T. Reconciliation under duress.--Adorno, T. Commitment.--Jameson, F. Reflections in conclusion.
Foreword, by H. Cox.--Introduction, by J. Moltmann.--Karl Marx; death and apocalypse.--Incipit vita nova.--Biblical resurrection and apocalypse.--Christ, or The uncovered countenance.--Religious truth.--Christian social utopias.--The nationalized God and the right to community.--Man's increasing entry into religious mystery.
The writings of Ernst Bloch represent one of the lasting linguistic and intellectual achievements of expressionism. What distinguishes Bloch from other expressionists is that he lived long enough to form the impulses of the expressionist break-through into an oeuvre that grew in depth and mastery across half a century. This collection, which dates from 1913 to 1964, represents a field of experiment in which a thinker of astonishing originality exposes his own thought to the provocation of literary, musical, and artistic (...) works, but also to such quasi-artistic phenomena as advertisements, landscapes, cliche;s and obsessive images, films, and forms of interaction in country and city: why does water emerging from a spring so fascinate the human imagination? What is the function of musical accompaniment in a silent film? How does a writer's birthplace imprint itself on his intellect? (shrink)