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Challenging the ModernConservative Revolution in German Music, 1918-1933$
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Nicholas Attfield

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780197266137

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197266137.001.0001

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Weimar culture and its others

Weimar culture and its others

(p.1) Introduction Weimar culture and its others
Challenging the Modern

Nicholas Attfield

British Academy

This introductory chapter begins with the post-1945 concept of ‘Weimar culture’, and, through a critique of an article by Michael Kater, considers the concept’s tendency to divide the era into two rigid cultural-political factions: progressive ‘sons’ and reactionary ‘fathers’, a metaphor ultimately derived from Peter Gay’s well-known Weimar Culture: The Outsider as Insider (1968). Having drawn attention to the distortions caused by such historiographical inflexibility, it proceeds to a description of the four studies (Chapters 2–5) that are to follow in the book, presenting these as distinct positions in the discourse of Weimar-era musical conservatisms and demonstrating that—for all their similarities—the subjects just as often took acute issue with one another. These were frictions, the chapter concludes, that continued beyond 1933 and the change of political regime in Germany.

Keywords:   Weimar culture, Michael Kater, musical conservatism, Peter Gay, anti-modernism

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