Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Form as RevoltCarl Einstein and the Ground of Modern Art$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Sebastian Zeidler

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781501702082

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501702082.001.0001

Show Summary Details

The Lost Wanderer

The Lost Wanderer

Chapter:
(p.27) 1 The Lost Wanderer
Source:
Form as Revolt
Author(s):

Sebastian Zeidler

Publisher:
Cornell University Press
DOI:10.7591/cornell/9781501702082.003.0003

This chapter examines Carl Einstein's prose from the prewar period. It first considers an issue to which Einstein returns over and over again throughout his prose from the 1910s and the notes he compiled while writing it: the issue of what he variously called an origin, ground, or essence. It then discusses Einstein's conviction that the origin of anything at all is fundamentally inaccessible; at any one moment that origin is receding away from us as a causal chain whose links disappear back into the infinity of time. It also explores the generative principle of Einstein's prose, arguing that it was a fundamental ambiguity, or double sense, which was going to be a character trait of Einstein's persona: the lost wanderer. It argues that Einstein's personas keep struggling with the groundlessness that summoned them into being in the first place. Finally, the chapter explores essence in relation to Einstein's symbolism, the connection between nonessence and politics, the consequences of fanatic humorism for Einstein's prose, and why he turned from literature to art criticism.

Keywords:   prose, Carl Einstein, origin, ground, essence, infinity, lost wanderer, nonessence, fanatic humorism, art criticism

Cornell Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.