By Peter Jelavich
Step into Ernst Wolzogen's Motley Theater, Max Reinhardt's Sound and Smoke, Rudolf Nelson's Chat noir, and Friedrich Hollaender's Tingel-Tangel. take pleasure in Claire Waldoff's rendering of a lower-class Berliner, Kurt Tucholsky's satirical songs, and Walter Mehring's Dadaist experiments, as Peter Jelavich spotlights Berlin's cabarets from the day the curtain first went up, in 1901, till the Nazi regime introduced it down. Fads and models, sexual mores and political ideologies--all have been topic to satire and parody at the cabaret level. This ebook follows the altering remedy of those topics, and the destiny of cabaret itself, throughout the such a lot turbulent many years of recent German heritage: the filthy rich and positive Imperial age, the volatile but culturally artistic Weimar period, and the repressive years of nationwide Socialism. via situating cabaret inside of Berlin's wealthy panorama of pop culture and distinguishing it from vaudeville and diversity theaters, mind-blowing revues, prurient "nude dancing," and Communist agitprop, Jelavich revises the existing picture of this manner of leisure. Neither hugely politicized, like postwar German Kabarett, nor sleazy within the approach that a few American and eu movies recommend, Berlin cabaret occupied a center flooring that allow it solid an ironic eye at the goings-on of Berliners and different Germans. although, it was once simply this satirical angle towards severe issues, resembling politics and racism, that blinded cabaret to the energy of the unconventional right-wing forces that finally destroyed it. Jelavich concludes with the Berlin cabaret artists' ultimate performances--as prisoners within the focus camps at Westerbork and Theresienstadt. This booklet offers us a feeling of what the area appeared like in the cabarets of Berlin and while we could us see, from a ancient distance, those misplaced performers enacting the political, sexual, and inventive matters that made their urban some of the most dynamic in Europe.
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Additional info for Berlin Cabaret (Studies in Cultural History)
Modern life fashioned citizens who felt at home in surroundings that changed constantly; too much stability placed excessive demands on the concentration of the modern observer. Moreover, increasingly extreme means were needed to attract the attention of modern urbanites, bewildered and exhausted by the plethora of external stimuli. As Wolzogen said, everyone was "attuned to aphoristic, terse, and catchy tones": the melodies of modern life needed to be not only succinct, but "catchy"; they had to reach out and ensnare the consumer.
Like so many of its successors, this first cabaret proved to be a dynamic but short-lived venture, whose fortune was shaped by a continual negotiation among performers, the public, critics, and competitors. The Premiere of the Motley Theater Ernst Ludwig Freiherr von Wolzogen (1855-1934; fig. 4) was the progeny of an old noble family that had lost its wealth in the course of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. By the nineteenth century the Wolzogens began to have familial and professional connections to artistic circles.
After all, Nietzsche specifically attacked the premises upon which it was based. The fragmentation of experience in the modern world, along with its reflection in the arts, was for him a sign of decadence. In The Case of Wagner (1888) he proclaimed: "What characterizes every literary decadence? " Nietzsche attributed such decadence to the same aspects of urban life which the proponents of cabaret would later praise. " In the meantime citizens have become overly hasty and superficial: "Man already is ashamed of resting; prolonged meditation almost gives him pangs of conscience.