Nietzsche, Freud, Benn, and the azure spell of Liguria
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The Mediterranean region of Liguria, where the Maritime Alps sweep down to the coasts of northwest Italy and southeast France, the Riviera, marks the intersection of two of Europe's major cultural landscapes. Remote, liminal, compact, and steep, the terrain has influenced many international authors and artists. In this study, Martina Kolb traces Liguria's specific impact on the works of three seminal German-writing modernists - Friedrich Nietzsche, Sigmund Freud, and Gottfried Benn - whose encounters with Ligurian lands and seas led to an innovative geopoetic fusion of word and world. Kolb examines each of these authors' acquired affinities with Ligurian and Provençal landscapes and seascapes, revisiting and reassessing the long tradition of northern longing for a Mediterranean south. She also shows how Freud and Benn followed in the footsteps of Nietzsche in his most prolific years, a topic which has received little critical attention to date. Nietzsche, Freud, Benn, and the Azure Spell of Liguria offers a fresh approach to these writers' groundbreaking literary achievements and profound interest in poetic expression as cathartic self-liberation.
University of Toronto Press
German Language and Literature