Unlikely Escapes: Ecological Counterculture in Franz Krahberger's Humbolts Reise

Unlikely Escapes: Ecological Counterculture in Franz Krahberger's Humbolts Reise <p>Abstract:</p><p>Since the "explosion" (Radkau) of environmentalist discourse on both sides of the Atlantic around 1970, primitivist fantasies of a &apos;return to nature&apos; have played an ambiguous role in green movements. Even if grassroots and parliamentary green movements did not seriously advocate an exit from technological civilization, Arcadian visions nonetheless established themselves as a consistent feature of green thought. This article examines how the Austrian writer Franz Krahberger&apos;s experimental 1989 novel <i>Humbolts Reise</i> [sic] negotiates such an ambivalent attachment to primitivism, and considers how this negotiation resonates with Austrian and West German green activism of the 1970s and 1980s. <i>Humbolts Reise</i>, as a work of so-called <i>Katastrophenliteratur</i> that was typical in German-language letters of those decades, tells the story of a depressed Viennese intellectual who both grapples with a troubled personal life and ultimately transforms his urge to "live outside technological civilization" into a mode of literary communication. (PB)</p> http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Monatshefte University of Wisconsin Press

Unlikely Escapes: Ecological Counterculture in Franz Krahberger&apos;s Humbolts Reise

Monatshefte, Volume 112 (1) – Mar 12, 2020

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Publisher
University of Wisconsin Press
Copyright
Copyright © The Board of Regents of The University of Wisconsin System.
ISSN
1934-2810

Abstract

<p>Abstract:</p><p>Since the "explosion" (Radkau) of environmentalist discourse on both sides of the Atlantic around 1970, primitivist fantasies of a &apos;return to nature&apos; have played an ambiguous role in green movements. Even if grassroots and parliamentary green movements did not seriously advocate an exit from technological civilization, Arcadian visions nonetheless established themselves as a consistent feature of green thought. This article examines how the Austrian writer Franz Krahberger&apos;s experimental 1989 novel <i>Humbolts Reise</i> [sic] negotiates such an ambivalent attachment to primitivism, and considers how this negotiation resonates with Austrian and West German green activism of the 1970s and 1980s. <i>Humbolts Reise</i>, as a work of so-called <i>Katastrophenliteratur</i> that was typical in German-language letters of those decades, tells the story of a depressed Viennese intellectual who both grapples with a troubled personal life and ultimately transforms his urge to "live outside technological civilization" into a mode of literary communication. (PB)</p>

Journal

MonatshefteUniversity of Wisconsin Press

Published: Mar 12, 2020

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