By Marjorie Perloff
Perloff explores works starting from Karl Kraus’s drama The final Days of Mankind and Elias Canetti’s memoir The Tongue Set Free to Ludwig Wittgenstein’s notebooks and Paul Celan’s lyric poetry. all through, she exhibits that Austro-Modernist literature is characterised much less through the formal and technical innovations of a modernism common to us within the paintings of Joyce and Pound, Dada and Futurism, than by way of a thorough irony underneath a possible traditional floor, an acute feel of exile, and a sensibility extra erotic and quixotic than that of its German contemporaries. Skeptical and disappointed, Austro-Modernism prefers to invite questions instead of formulate answers.
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