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The Garden and the Workshop

The Garden and the Workshop: Essays on the Cultural History of Vienna and Budapest

Péter Hanák
Copyright Date: 1998
Pages: 274
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt7zvgbd
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    The Garden and the Workshop
    Book Description:

    A century ago, Vienna and Budapest were the capital cities of the western and eastern halves of the increasingly unstable Austro-Hungarian empire and scenes of intense cultural activity. Vienna was home to such figures as Sigmund Freud, Gustav Klimt, and Hugo von Hofmannsthal; Budapest produced such luminaries as Béla Bartók, Georg Lukács, and Michael and Karl Polanyi. However, as Péter Hanák shows in these vignettes of Fin-de-Siécle life, the intellectual and artistic vibrancy common to the two cities emerged from deeply different civic cultures.

    Hanák surveys the urban development of the two cities and reviews the effects of modernization on various aspects of their cultures. He examines the process of physical change, as rapid population growth, industrialization, and the rising middle class ushered in a new age of tenements, suburbs, and town planning. He investigates how death and its rituals--once the domain of church, family, and local community--were transformed by the commercialization of burials and the growing bureaucratic control of graveyards. He explores the mentality of common soldiers and their families--mostly of peasant origin--during World War I, detecting in letters to and from the front a shift toward a revolutionary mood among Hungarians in particular. He presents snapshots of such subjects as the mentality of the nobility, operettas and musical life, and attitudes toward Germans and Jews, and also reveals the striking relationship between social marginality and cultural creativity.

    In comparing the two cities, Hanák notes that Vienna, famed for its spacious parks and gardens, was often characterized as a "garden" of esoteric culture. Budapest, however, was a dense city surrounded by factories, whose cultural leaders referred to the offices and cafés where they met as "workshops." These differences were reflected, he argues, in the contrast between Vienna's aesthetic and individualistic culture and Budapest's more moralistic and socially engaged approach. Like Carl Schorske's famousFin-de-Siécle Vienna, Hanák's book paints a remarkable portrait of turn-of-the-century life in Central Europe. Its particular focus on mass culture and everyday life offers important new insights into cultural currents that shaped the course of the twentieth century.

    Originally published in 1999.

    ThePrinceton Legacy Libraryuses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-6483-6
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. List of Illustrations
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. FOREWORD PÉTER HANÁK 1921–1997
    (pp. ix-xii)
    Carl E. Schorske

    With characteristic eagerness and almost boyish pride, Péter Hanák had awaited the appearance of this book, his first to be published in the America he had come to love so well. Just as the volume is going to press, death has intervened to rob him of his joy—and to deprive the historical profession of one of its most energetic and enthusiastic practitioners. Through fifty years of drastic historical change, Péter Hanák was among the most active Hungarian scholars: first in placing Hungary’s history in transnational perspective; then in bringing newer Western methods to bear on Hungarian historical experience. In...

  5. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  6. INTRODUCTORY REFLECTIONS ON CULTURAL HISTORY
    (pp. xv-2)

    This book is about two famous, neighboring Central European cities: Vienna and Budapest. They are bound by a common destiny, tradition, and culture, yet divided by their history, character, tradition, and culture as well. Nothing can demonstrate the truth of this paradox more plainly than the way they were spliced together in the former Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, almost as complements of each other. For although they shared the same framework of state and enjoyed the same prosperity and cultural florescence under the Monarchy, their rivalry, mutual suspicion, social structure, and mentality drove a wedge between them.

    The antagonism manifested itself more...

  7. Chapter One URBANIZATION AND CIVILIZATION: VIENNA AND BUDAPEST IN THE NINETEENTH CENTURY
    (pp. 3-43)

    The existence of a link between modern urbanization and the processes of embourgeoisement, the rise of the middle class, can be taken as self-evident. It hardly needs proving that the expansion of the production of goods and development of capitalist production were the underlying requirement and main stimulus for modern urbanization, and that the resulting urban development differed in kind from medieval development. Modern urbanization, with its complete openness, dynamic expansion, and fast acceleration, differed indeed from the slow growth or frequent stagnation of medieval and early modern times, when towns were still surrounded by walls, privileges, and other constraints....

  8. Chapter Two THE IMAGE OF THE GERMANS AND THE JEWS IN THE HUNGARIAN MIRROR OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY
    (pp. 44-62)

    The Austrian Museum of Ethnography preserves a table of the Peoples of Europe (Völkertafel) from the early eighteenth century.¹ The table gives us an amusing description of the main features of ten European peoples—ranging from Spaniards to Turks—evidently according to the imagination of some Austro-German writers of that age. The representatives are depicted in characteristic national costumes: the Westerners in elegant civil dresses with knee-stockings and shoes (the Englishman in riding boots), the Eastern men in parade dress with boots. Except for the Frenchman and the Italian, they all wear a sword, showing that they are gentlemen. Let...

  9. Chapter 3 THE GARDEN AND THE WORKSHOP: REFLECTIONS ON FIN-DE-SIÈCLE CULTURE IN VIENNA AND BUDAPEST
    (pp. 63-97)

    Vienna as the hotbed of European culture, the maturing metropolis of Budapest catching up to it, cultural florescence thriving throughout the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy—these were some of the subjects of concern to cultural historians over the past quarter century. Historians have repeatedly posed the question, “How could such a flower garden bloom on the depleted soil of a worn-out and eroding empire?” Impressionism, Sezession, Jugendstil, psychoanalysis, the New School of Music—were they merely the fleurs du mal, the “flowers of decomposition,” of the Monarchy? Was this culture inspired by the “slight rapture of death,” or was the whole structure...

  10. Chapter Four THE ALIENATION OF DEATH IN BUDAPEST AND VIENNA AT THE TURN OF THE CENTURY
    (pp. 98-109)

    Death, as the disjunction of the mortal body and the immortal soul, was once a self-evident part, an accepted event in the cycle of nature. Death was present in everyday life; the members of the community lived with the dead, for they saw them dying and then lying draped on the bier. The dead slept their everlasting sleep among them, in a graveyard in the middle of the town or village, in the church or the churchyard—until the Second Coming. The whole community shared in the mourning and funeral rites. The church performed these rites according to a ritual...

  11. Chapter Five THE START OF ENDRE ADY’S LITERARY CAREER (1903–1905)
    (pp. 110-134)

    Endre Ady burst onto the Hungarian literary scene—and started a new epoch in Hungarian literature—with an unusual, gripping verse:

    The son of Góg and Magóg, I

    vainly pound on door and wall

    Yet I asked you after all:

    May one cry with the Carpathians nigh?

    Although these lines have been much quoted by both his followers and posterity, no satisfactory explanation has ever been given of the biblical reference to Góg and Magóg, of the vain pounding of a people locked behind bronze doors, or of the past tense of the sad questioning.

    It is clear enough that...

  12. Chapter Six THE CULTURAL ROLE OF THE VIENNA-BUDAPEST OPERETTA
    (pp. 135-146)

    Operetta is one of the most rewarding topics of cultural history. Imagine a performance in an average musical theater. Its libretto is primitive and silly (if not idiotic), unbelievable, and ridiculous. Its music is a mélange of cheap opera arias and fashionable dance music full of sentimental commonplaces and a few melodious hits for everybody to whistle at home. In most cases, operettas cannot be measured by high aesthetic or dramatic values. Yet, despite all its deficiencies, operetta always was and is very popular, particularly in Central Europe, the old Habsburg Monarchy and its successors—not only with ordinary people...

  13. Chapter Seven SOCIAL MARGINALITY AND CULTURAL CREATIVITY IN VIENNA AND BUDAPEST (1890–1914)
    (pp. 147-178)

    The overture to a new age in Austria, the cultural era called “fin de siècle” was an odd and controversial book,Beiträge zur Analyse der Empfindungen(Contributions to the Analysis of Sensations), first published in Jena in 1886. The book’s genesis stretches back into the early youth of its author, Ernst Mach. He might have been about fifteen, he later wrote, when “On a bright summer day in the open air, the world with my ego suddenly appeared to me as one coherent mass of sensations, only more coherent in the ego. Although the actual working out of this thought...

  14. Chapter Eight VOX POPULI: INTERCEPTED LETTERS IN THE FIRST WORLD WAR
    (pp. 179-212)

    The letters recorded here are in themselves beautiful, eloquent, and moving; moreover, some eighty years later, they still have the power to provoke a sense of outrage in the reader. Over and above their inherent worth as human documents, they possess a particular value for the historian. Ethnographers, historians, and literary historians know only too well how few authentic sources exist from which we can experience at first hand the outlook, the thoughts and feelings, in short the mentality, of ordinary people; and more especially, from which we can experience such a mentality—of serfs, of poor peasants, and of...

  15. NOTES
    (pp. 213-240)
  16. INDEX
    (pp. 241-249)