Building materialism: Architecture, interior space and urbanism in East German literature, 1949--1973. Curtis Swope

ISBN: 9781109228939

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409 pages


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Building materialism: Architecture, interior space and urbanism in East German literature, 1949--1973.  by  Curtis Swope

Building materialism: Architecture, interior space and urbanism in East German literature, 1949--1973. by Curtis Swope
| NOOKstudy eTextbook | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, talking book, mp3, ZIP | 409 pages | ISBN: 9781109228939 | 10.26 Mb

The legacy of Brechtian materialism in the GDR was problematic when it came to architecture. Processes of design, planning and construction exposed fault lines in dialectical materialist thinking regarding the role of the state and possibilities forMoreThe legacy of Brechtian materialism in the GDR was problematic when it came to architecture.

Processes of design, planning and construction exposed fault lines in dialectical materialist thinking regarding the role of the state and possibilities for workers self-organization. Yet new buildings in the GDR were asked to bear heavy ideological and material burdens to which writers responded even as they were reacting to Brechts aesthetic theories and practices.

Building Materialism: Architecture, Interior Space and Urbanism in East German Literature, 1949--1973 explores how Brigitte Reimann, Heiner Muller, Christa Wolf and Gunter de Bruyn, in key texts, tapped into long-standing tropes of left-wing discomfort with modernist architecture as they represented critically the design, planning, construction and propagation of interior space and urban environments in the GDR.-This dissertation argues that, even while expanding on this longer tradition, these authors, self-consciously or not, echoed diverse contemporary discourses internationally which were similarly critical of modernist design and construction practices at mid-century.

This internationally relevant critique was an integral part of these writers turn to more experimental techniques in their texts. They represented the states apartment interiors and cities in ambiguous and enigmatic language as sites of contested, rather than fixed, meanings.

This in turn combated banal metaphors in the mainstream press which saw architecture as a clear-cut symbol of socialist progress. In enacting this critique, these writers questioned both Socialist Realisms assumption of an easy relationship between text and reality and, more significantly, the rationalist intellectual framework that underpinned the states commitment to scientific progress in the 1960s.

The result was a wholesale remaking of Brechtian materialism in order to account for the radical reorganization of everyday life by technology in the post-War period.



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