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Last Days of Mankind : The Complete Text (Hardcover) (Karl Kraus)

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One hundred years after Austrian satirist Karl Kraus began writing his dramatic masterpiece,The Last Days of Mankind remains as powerfully relevant as the day it was first published. Kraus’s play enacts the tragic trajectory of the First World War, when mankind raced toward self-destruction by methods of modern warfare while extolling the glory and ignoring the horror of an allegedly “defensive” war. This volume is the first to present a complete English translation of Kraus’s towering work, filling a major gap in the availability of Viennese literature from the era of the War to End All Wars.Bertolt Brecht hailed The Last Days as the masterpiece of Viennese modernism. In the apocalyptic drama Kraus constructs a textual collage, blending actual quotations from the Austrian army’s call to arms, people’s responses, political speeches, newspaper editorials, and a range of other sources. Seasoning the drama with comic invention and satirical verse, Kraus reveals how bungled diplomacy, greedy profiteers, Big Business complicity, gullible newsreaders, and, above all, the sloganizing of the press brought down the Austro-Hungarian Empire. In the dramatization of sensationalized news reports, inurement to atrocities, and openness to war as remedy, today’s readers will hear the echo of the fateful voices Kraus recorded as his homeland descended into self-destruction.
One hundred years after Austrian writer and satirist Karl Kraus began his dramatic masterpiece,The Last Days of Mankind remains as powerfully relevant as the day it was first published. Kraus?s play enacts the tragic trajectory of the First World War, when mankind raced toward self-destruction by methods of modern warfare while extolling the glory and ignoring the horror of a ?necessary? war. This volume is the first to present a complete English translation of Kraus?s towering work, filling a major gap in the availability of Viennese literature on the era of the War to End All Wars.

Bertolt Brecht hailed The Last Days as the great dramatic work of modernism. In the apocalyptic play Kraus constructs a textual collage, blending actual quotations from the Austrian Army?s call to arms, people?s responses, political speeches, newspaper editorials, and a range of other sources. Seasoning the drama with comic invention and satirical verse, Kraus reveals how bungled diplomacy, greedy profiteers, Big Business complicity, gullible news readers, and, above all, the sloganizing of the press brought down the Empire. In the dramatization of sensationalized news reports, inurement to atrocities and openness to war as remedy, today?s readers will hear the echo of the fateful voices Kraus recorded as his homeland descended into self-destruction.
Number of Pages: 645.0
Genre: Fiction + Literature Genres
Sub-Genre: Literary
Series Title: Margellos World Republic of Letters
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Yale Univ Pr
Author: Karl Kraus
Language: English
Street Date: November 24, 2015
TCIN: 26394340
UPC: 9780300207675
Item Number (DPCI): 247-51-0173

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