By Walter Benjamin
The beginning of German Tragic Drama is usually said as Benjamin's such a lot sustained and unique paintings and as one of many major assets of literary modernism within the 20th century. It starts off with a common theoretical introductions at the nature of the baroque paintings of the 16th and 17th centuries, focusing on the bizarre stage-form of royal martyr dramas known as Trauerspiel. Later, Benjamin discusses the engravings of Dürer, and the theatre of Shakespeare and Calderón. Baroque tragedy, he argues was once distinct from classical tragedy by means of its shift from fantasy into heritage.
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Extra info for The Origin of German Tragic Drama
This is ordinarily done by the choice of maximally engaging subject matter or material for imitation. Thus, masters like Poussin and Rubens “are not satisfied with giving a place in their landskips t o the picture of a man going along the high road, or of a woman carrying fruit to market; they commonly present us with figures that think, in order t o make us think; they paint men hurried with passions, t o the end that ours may be also raised” (1748: I, 45). The strength of the effect of a work of art does not depend upon formal properties, such as the degree of conformity between imitation and what is imitated; it depends upon the emotional force of what is imitated, upon the strength of its effect on the imagination.
It is also induced by the content or significance of works of art, by the materials of the means of expression, and above all by the harmonious relationship among all of these elements just as Baumgarten had asserted forty years before the third Critipe. , concept, to be adequate to it, which, consequently, no language fully attains or can make intelligible” (1790: 99, 5:314). In a work of artistic genius, we add to a concept a representation of the imagination that belongs to its presentation, but which by itself stimulates so much thinking that it can never be grasped in a determinate concept, hence which aesthetically enlarges the concept itself in an unbounded way.
First, he argues that aesthetic response is not a form of cognition: “This superior Power of Perception is justly called a Sense, because of its Affinity to the other Senses in this, that the Pleasure is different from any ICnowledg-e of Principles, Proportions, Causes, or of the Usefulness of the Object; we are struck a t the first with the beauty; nor does the most accurate IGzowledg-eincrease this Pleasure of Beauty” (1738: 1 1). zly pleasant to us, as well as immediately so; neither can any Resolution of our own, nor any Pyospect of Advantage or Disadvantage, vary the Beauty or Deformity of an Object: For as in the external Sensations, no View of Intewst will make an object grateful, nor View of Detyiment distinct from immediate Pain in the Perception, make it disagreeable to the Sense; so propose the whole World as a Rewayd, or threaten the greatest Evil, to make us approve a deform’d Object, or disapprove a beautiful one; Dissimulation may be procur’d by Rewards or Thretnings, or we may in external Conduct abstain from any Puysuit of the Beautiful, and pursue the Deform’d; but our Sentiments of the Forms, and our Penxptions, would continue invariably the same.
The Origin of German Tragic Drama by Walter Benjamin