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Pathos, Schock, Trauma: Psychologische Konzepte in einigen Poetiken der Avantgarde (Ėjzenštejn, Warburg, Benjamin)

Pathos, shock, trauma: Psychological concepts in certain poetics of the avant-garde (Ėjzenštejn, Warburg, Benjamin)

Erik Martin

Pages 394 - 404


The present article aims at conceptualizing the relationship between availability and unavailability of poetic and aesthetic means of expression in the production of avant-garde art. This relationship will be introduced and analysed based on the three title terms: pathos, shock, trauma. As it seems, the avant-garde was characterized by a fundamental ambivalence: On the one hand, it was inscribed in the empowerment discourse of Modernity and believed that it could also control the conditions of its own art production. On the other hand, it was the avant-garde in particular that emphasized the independent potentiality of the material itself, which was removed from the artist’s control and could nonetheless make a decisive contribution to the creative process. This ambivalence between the total subjugation of the material to the artist’s will to form and the potentiality of the resisting material or the fundamental unavailability of art’s own conditions will be examined on the basis of three representatives of the avant-garde: Sergej Ėjzenštejn, Aby Warburg, and Walter Benjamin.


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