This talk is an introduction to Perloff’s new book Edge of Irony: Modernism in the Shadow of the Habsburg Empire (2016) and makes the case for a distinctive Austro-Modernism in the period between the two World Wars—a modernism that has its own particular ethos, different from that of the Weimar Republic in Germany as well as that of France or Britain. The dissolution of a vast empire overnight in WWI and its succession by a fragile little republic, whose writers and thinkers were mostly of Jewish descent created a very special deeply skeptical, elegiac culture which has not been properly studied or understood in the U.S.

(Stanford & USC)

Cosponsored by the
UCLA Department of Germanic Languages
UCLA Department of Italian
UCLA Department of Comparative Literature