The Aesthetic State: A Quest In Modern German Thought by Josef Chytry

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Shortly after the middle of the eighteenth century a number of thinkers from the German-speaking lands began to create a paradigm drawn from their impressions of a distant historical reality, ancient Athens; added to it a new mode of thought, modern dialectics; and at times even paid homage to the ancient Greek deity Dionysos, to materialize their longing for an ideal. The influence of these forces came to permeate modern German consciousness, deifying the concept and activity of art, reviving the Platonic (and Sanskrit) vision of the cosmos as play and aesthetic creation, and projecting a way of life and labor that would honor not the commodity but the aesthetic product.

With rigorous commitment to primary sources and an unflagging critical engagement with the ideas and concrete situations they raise, Josef Chytry provides a comprehensive and extensive study of this central motif in German thought from Winckelmann to Marcuse.

University of California Press, 1989.
ISBN: 9780520063907. 513 pp.
Hardcover. Fine in a fine jacket.