Eros and Inwardness in Vienna
Weininger, Musil, Doderer
According to Luft, Otto Weininger viewed human beings as bisexual and applied this theme to issues of creativity and morality. Robert Musil developed a creative ethics that was closely related to his open, flexible view of sexuality and gender. And Heimito von Doderer portrayed his own sexual obsessions as a way of understanding the power of total ideologies, including his own attraction to National Socialism. For Luft, the significance of these three writers lies in their understandings of eros and inwardness and in the roles that both play in ethical experience and the formation of meaningful relations to the world-a process that continues to engage artists, writers, and thinkers today.
Eros and Inwardness in Vienna will profoundly reshape our understanding of Vienna's intellectual history. It will be important for anyone interested in Austrian or German history, literature, or philosophy.
“By calling attention to the influence of writers generally not familiar to an English-speaking audience, he adds new layers to our understanding of not only the Viennese intellectual climate, but that of the larger German-speaking realm. In addition, it further strengthens Viennese intellectuals’ leading role in pushing the boundaries of early 20th century thought on sexuality and gender.”
“This text deserves to become a standard for the English-speaking audience. . . . Luft offers a model of how to read texts in historical context; it deserves pride of place in the library of anyone dealing with the fin de siècle.”
“Eros and Intimacy is thoughtful and thought-provoking. Its triptych of Weininger, Musil, and Doderer is masterfully done. Luft’s book will be of interest not only to students of Vienna, but also to anyone interested in the mysterious ways of intimacy, identity, and sexuality.”
“Luft’s study is a stimulating exercise in reading against the grain. . . . The book should be of interest to anyone working in Austrian Studies, and will no doubt become a point of reference in this field.”