Habituation in German Modernism
Title Details

224 Pages

22.8 x 15.2 cm

Series: Studies in German Literature Linguistics and Culture

Series Vol. Number: 243

Imprint: Camden House

Habituation in German Modernism

Embodied Cognition in Literature and Thought

by Meindert Peters

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  • Author
Investigates the relationship of early twentieth-century German literature and thought with contemporary cognitive studies and posits a new theory of modernism.

How do we habituate ourselves to environments that are not yet, or no longer, familiar? What is at stake in adapting our behavior to new or changed situations? The present study explores these questions by bringing German literature and thought of the early twentieth century - a time of immense social and material change in Europe - into dialogue with contemporary research in embodied cognition. In six close readings of texts by Vicki Baum, Walter Benjamin, Alfred Döblin, Martin Heidegger, Georg Kaiser, and Rainer Maria Rilke, it brings into relief German modernism's concerns over how we adapt our behavior to environments that are new, changed, and/or changing. Rather than emphasizing the alienation and isolation that these texts investigate regarding the modern urban experience, as much of the research on literary modernism has traditionally done, Meindert Peters's book draws out the more dynamic moments of mastery, responsiveness, and cooperation that underpin habituation. Moreover, it extends these questions of habituation to the function of literature itself by showing how modernist forms invite engagement and participation. Habituation in German Modernism not only joins a growing body of scholarship dealing with the productive relationship between literature and cognitive studies but also posits a new theory of modernism.
Preface
List of Abbreviations
Introduction: "Habit Has Not Yet Done Its Work"
1. Martin Heidegger's Sein und Zeit: Situating Ourselves; Worlding the Body
2. Rainer Maria Rilke's Die Aufzeichnungen des Malte Laurids Brigge: Writing as Practice
3. Georg Kaiser's Von morgens bis mitternachts and Karlheinz Martin's Film Adaptation: Ecstatic Experience
4. Alfred Döblin's Berlin Alexanderplatz: The Affordances of Others
5. Walter Benjamin's Einbahnstraβe and Its Nachtragsliste: Critical Responsiveness
6. Vicki Baum's Menschen im Hotel: Warmth
7. Evolving Form
Concluding Remarks
Appendix: Translation of "Duitsche Literatuur" (1929) by Chris de Graaff
Bibliography
Index

MEINDERT PETERS is a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the University of Oxford.

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Title Details

224 Pages

2.28 x 1.52 cm

Series: Studies in German Literature Linguistics and Culture

Series Vol. Number: 243

Imprint: Camden House