Ornaments of the Metropolis: Siegfried Kracauer and Modern Urban Culture

Henrik Reeh

adorns of the Metropolis
Siegfried Kracauer and sleek city Culture
By Henrik Reeh
Translated by means of John Irons

For Siegfried Kracauer, the city decoration was once not only a side of layout; it used to be the medium during which urban dwellers interpreted the city itself. In adorns of the city, Henrik Reeh strains diversifications at the topic of the decoration in Kracauer's writings on urbanism, from his early journalism in Germany among the wars to his "sociobiography" of Jacques Offenbach in Paris. Kracauer (1889-1966), frequently linked to the Frankfurt university and the highbrow milieu of Walter Benjamin, is healthier identified for his writings on cinema and the philosophy of background. Reeh examines Kracauer's lesser-known early paintings, a lot of it written for the trendsetting newspaper Frankfurter Zeitung within the Twenties and early Nineteen Thirties, and analyzes Kracauer's carrying on with reflections on smooth city existence, during the pivotal thought of decoration. Kracauer deciphers the subjective event of the town via viewing fragments of town as dynamic adorns; an employment alternate, an afternoon guard for the homeless, a film theater, and an leisure park turn into city microcosms.

Reeh specializes in 3 significant works written by means of Kracauer prior to his emigration to the USA in 1940. within the early autobiographical novel Ginster, Written by means of Himself, a tender architect unearths aesthetic excitement within the decorative kinds which are principally unused within the occupation of the time. the gathering Streets of Berlin and in other places, with many essays from Kracauer's years in Berlin, files the subjectiveness of city existence. ultimately, Jacques Offenbach and the Paris of His Time exhibits how the superficial—in a feeling, ornamental—milieu of the operetta advanced right into a severe strength through the moment Empire. Reeh argues that Kracauer's novel, essays, and historiography all recommend ways that the subjective can reappropriate city existence. The booklet additionally contains a sequence of images via the writer that replicate the decorative event of the city in Paris, Frankfurt, and different cities.

About the Author
Henrik Reeh is affiliate Professor within the division of Comparative Literature and smooth tradition on the college of Copenhagen.

"Henrik Reeh's embellishes of the city uncovers the formerly hidden heritage of Kracauer's highbrow improvement and gives a useful portrait of 1 of the main critics of 20th-century Weimar Germany. during this transparent and extremely good written account, Reeh exhibits Kracauer in all his complexity and brilliance as he wrestles with the emergence of the trendy city and glossy city mass culture."
—David Grahame Shane, Graduate university of structure, protection and making plans, Columbia collage

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