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The Sleepwalkers

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eBook published by Vintage (Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group)

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About This Book
With his epic trilogy, The Sleepwalkers, Hermann Broch established himself as one of the great innovators of modern literature, a visionary writer-philosopher the equal of James Joyce, Thomas Mann, or Robert Musil. Even as he grounded his narratives in the intimate daily life of Germany, Broch was identifying the oceanic changes that would shortly sweep that life into the abyss.
   Whether he is writing about a neurotic army officer (The Romantic), a disgruntled bookkeeper and would-be assassin (The Anarchist), or an opportunistic war-deserter (The Relaist), Broch immerses himself in the twists of his characters' psyches, and at the same time soars above them, to produce a prophetic portrait of a world tormented by its loss of faith, morals, and reason.
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With his epic trilogy, The Sleepwalkers, Hermann Broch established himself as one of the great innovators of modern literature, a visionary writer-philosopher the equal of James Joyce, Thomas Mann, or Robert Musil. Even as he grounded his narratives in the intimate daily life of Germany, Broch was identifying the oceanic changes that would shortly sweep that life into the abyss.
   Whether he is writing about a neurotic army officer (The Romantic), a disgruntled bookkeeper and would-be assassin (The Anarchist), or an opportunistic war-deserter (The Relaist), Broch immerses himself in the twists of his characters' psyches, and at the same time soars above them, to produce a prophetic portrait of a world tormented by its loss of faith, morals, and reason.
Product Details
eBook (656 pages)
Published: July 20, 2011
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Imprint: Vintage
ISBN: 9780307789167
Other books byHermann Broch
  • Death of Virgil

    Death of Virgil
    It is the reign of the Emperor Augustus, and Publius Vergilius Maro, the poet of the Aeneid and Caesar's enchanter, has been summoned to the palace, where he will shortly die. Out of the last hours of Virgil's life and the final stirrings of his consciousness, the Austrian writer Hermann Broch fashioned one of the great works of twentieth-century modernism, a book that embraces an entire world and renders it with an immediacy that is at once sensual and profound. Begun while Broch was imprisoned in a German concentration camp, The Death of Virgil is part historical novel and part prose poem -- and always an intensely musical and immensely evocative meditation on the relation between life and death, the ancient and the modern.

    Selected Short Writings

    Selected Short Writings
    Karl Kraus, Hermann Broch, Elias Canetti,...
    • A unique collection of German-language writers bound by a Bohemian sensibility • Canetti is the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature (1981) The literature of the Wiener Moderne exhibits biting social satire and other related aspects, first emanating from Karl Kraus (1874-1936), a prolific writer, difficult to classify, who reminds people of Jonathan Swift. Novelists and essayists Hermann Broch (1886-1951) and Elias Canetti (1905-94), who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1981, were likewise marginalized, to a large extent as Jews. Robert Walser (1878-1956) is Swiss, and to a large extent like the other three authors in this collection, had no less a desire to upset the social applecart. Among the works included are substantive selection from Krauss's The Last Days of Mankind and Aphorisms, Bloch's "The Anarchist," selections from Canetti's Crowds and Power and Auto-da-Fe, and Walser's Jakob von Gunten.

    Hugo von Hofmannsthal and His Time

    Hugo von Hofmannsthal and His Time
    The European Imagination, 1860-1920
    Hermann Broch (1886-1951) is remembered among English-speaking readers for his novelsThe SleepwalkersandThe Death of Virgil, and among German-speaking readers for his novels as well as his works on moral and political philosophy, his aesthetic theory, and his varied criticism. This study reveals Broch as a major historian as well, one who believes that true historical understanding requires the faculties of both poet and philosopher. Through an analysis of the changing thought and career of the Austrian poet, librettist, and essaist Hugo von Hofmannsthal (1874-1929), Broch attempts to define and analyze the major intellectual issues of the European fin de siècle, a period that he characterizes according to the Nietzschean concepts of the breakdown of rationality and the loss of a central value system. The result is a major examination of European thought as well as a comparative study of political systems and artistic styles.

    Lost Son

    Lost Son
    Hermann Broch's Letters to His Son, 1925-1928
    By any measure, Hermann Broch was one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century. Author of The Sleepwalkers and The Spell, he stands, together with James Joyce and Marcel Proust, at the pinnacle of literary Modernism. Born in 1886, he saw the First World War destroy the culture and consciousness of what had come before, seeing the West thrust unwillingly into the modern age. By 1938 Broch found himself arrested and detained, during which time be began work on his greatest novel, The Death of Virgil. Dozens of friends from all over the world managed to help him find his release and he moved to the United States where he lived for the rest of his life. With his wife Franziska, Broch had only a single child, Armand. While Broch had become preoccupied with deep questions of philosophy, psychology, and politics, his son became a thoroughgoing materialist. Sent away to an elite boarding school when 14, Armand found himself surrounded by students from the richest families in Europe. He became devoted to sports, to fast luxury cars (his father did not even know how to drive), and to the first class lifestyle of his classmates. These letters show the profound breach that developed between father and son. They also provide a portrait of the Gilded Age, a time of remarkable change, as Europe headed on a course of horrible inevitability. Letters from Broch during this time are uncommon, so we also get a chance to follow the trajectory of his life as he prepares to leave his job as an industrialist and devote himself to study and to writing.

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