His masterpiece, A Cultural History of the Modern Age, demonstrates the intellectual universality that Friedell saw as guarantor of the continuity and regeneration of European civilization. Historian, philosopher, critic, playwright, journalist, and actor, Egon Friedell was a key figure in the extraordinary flowering of Viennese culture between the two world wars. Following a brilliant opening essay on cultural history and why it should be studied, the first volume begins with an analysis of the transformation of the Medieval mind as it evolved from the Black Death to the Thirty Years War. The emphasis is on the spiritual and cultural vortex of civilization, but Friedell never forgets the European roots in pestilence, death, and superstition that animate a contrary drive toward reason, refinement, intellectual curiosity, and scientific knowledge.

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After his parents divorced in , Friedell lived with his father. Even at this young age, Friedell was considered a trouble maker and free thinker. He attended several schools in Austria and Germany , until he finally passed his Abitur exit examination after four attempts, in Bad Hersfeld in In , prior to his graduation, Friedell had enrolled as a guest student at Berlin University , studying German literature , natural sciences and philosophy. It was during this time, that Friedell renounced Judaism and converted to the Lutheran faith.

After graduation, he enrolled in Heidelberg University to study under the philosophy historian and follower of Hegel , Kuno Fischer. In , he accepted his inheritance enabling him to live financially independently in Vienna.

In , he received his PhD for his dissertation; Novalis als Philosoph. Children have the right instincts: they know that life is not serious, and treat it as a game An actor, critic, philosopher, and biographer Edit From to Friedell worked as the artistic director of the Vienna cabaret "Fledermaus", named after the Johann Strauss operetta.

During this time, Friedell continued to publish essays and one-act plays. His first literary effort was The Paraffin King. The sketch comedy Goethe written in collaboration with Alfred Polgar in which he also played the leading role, made him famous in German speaking countries.

In , Friedell was commissioned by publisher Samuel Fischer to write a biography of poet Peter Altenberg. In , Friedell was performing in cabarets in Berlin , and in worked as an actor for director Max Reinhardt.

In Vienna, Friedell worked as the codirector of Intimes Theater. Friedell also continued writing, and developed friendships with nearly all of the major German authors of the period. In , suffering from alcoholism and obesity, Friedell was forced to undergo treatment at a sanatorium near Munich. Friedell was enthusiastic about the beginning of World War I , as were many of his contemporaries, and volunteered for military service but was rejected for physical reasons.

In , he officially changed his name to Friedell. In , while working as a critic for the journal Stunde, Friedell was fired as a "traitor", for making satirical remarks.

Between and , Friedell worked as a journalist and theatre critic for various publishers including the Neues Wiener Journal. He also worked as a dramatic advisor , theatre director and actor for director Max Reinhardt at the Deutsches Theater in Berlin and the Burgtheater in Vienna.

After , health problems prevented any permanent commissions, and he worked as an independent essayist, editor and translator in Vienna. The actor as historian Edit Also during the early s, Friedell wrote the three volumes of his Cultural History of the Modern Age, which describes events from the Renaissance to the age of imperialism in an anecdotal format.

For instance, Friedell writes; "All the classifications man has ever devised are arbitrary, artificial, and false, but simple reflection also shows that such classifications are useful, indispensable, and above all unavoidable since they accord with an innate aspect of our thinking.

Five other publishers subsequently rejected the book. It was finally published by Heinrich Beck in Munich in The book proved very successful and allowed Friedell to continue his work as an author and has been translated into seven languages[ citation needed ]. In , when the Nazis came to power in Germany, Friedell described the regime as: " in the realm of the Antichrist.

Every trace of nobility, piety, education, reason is persecuted in the most hateful and base manner by a bunch of debased menials". On the occasion of the Anschluss of Austria, anti-semitism was rampant: Jewish men and women were being beaten in the streets and their businesses and synagogues ransacked or destroyed. Friedell, knowing that he could be arrested by the Gestapo , began to contemplate ending his own life. While they were still arguing with his housekeeper, Friedell, aged 60, committed suicide by jumping out of the window.

Before leaping, he warned pedestrians walking on the sideway where he hit by shouting "Watch out! Get out of the way!


kulturgeschichte der neuzeit von egon friedell

So umfangreich das Buch auch ist — ich habe diesen Folianten mehrfach gelesen und stehe damit nicht allein da. Die ungemein lebhaften Schilderungen sind immer fesselnd und anschaulich, und das Besondere an ihnen besteht nicht zuletzt darin, dass dieser ebenso gebildete wie meinungsfreudige Autor wirklich alles bespricht, nicht etwa nur die hohe Kultur. Das Ergebnis ist die funkelnde und bunte Physiognomie verschiedener Kulturen — sie bekommen ein Gesicht, das dem Leser wirklich vor Augen steht. Es kommt nicht oft vor, dass ein Autor den paradox benannten Unterschied zwischen den beiden theologischen Hauptrichtungen des Mittelalters, zwischen Realismus und Nominalismus, so geschickt darstellen kann, dass ein jeder ihn versteht so geschickt, im Vertrauen gesprochen, dass sogar ich ihn verstehe. Einer seiner Mitarbeiter hatte das Manuskript gerettet. Der vorliegende Text ist noch nicht wirklich druckreif ausgearbeitet, aber es handelt sich um weit fortgeschrittene Vorarbeiten, welche die Struktur des fehlenden Kapitels deutlich machen.


Kulturgeschichte Der Neuzeit I


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