Franz Werfel, The Faith of an Exile: From Prague to Beverly by Lionel Steiman

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By Lionel Steiman

Franz Werfel was once born in Prague in 1890 and died in Beverly Hills in 1945, a well-liked and creative luck in Europe and the United States. regardless of his Jewish beginning and upbringing, he was once interested in Christianity at any early age, and even supposing he by no means officially switched over, he celebrated his personal imaginative and prescient of it in his complete life's paintings. The origina sof that unusual religion and the reaction it engendered in Werfel's paintings as he lived thorough the bad finish of Jewish lifestyles in Europe are handled the following. Werfel was once now not a scientific philosopher, and, whereas his writing includes a lot that's philosophical and theological, his eclecticism and idiosyncracy render any try and hint the explicit origins of his concept or its relation to the paintings of latest philosophers and theologians hugely not easy. therefore, this paintings is neither biography nor highbrow heritage within the strict sense―it is going past, melding the worries of either genres right into a considerate, finished portrait of religion at work.

Of curiosity to historians of the 20th century in addition to to scholars of that interesting area that lies among religion and artwork yet is neither―or both.

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Masaryk in bringing about an end to the hostilities. 15 Thus, Werfel's overtly pacifist activity during the war was not great. He did his duty, which he found boring but which left him time and energy for his literary work, which advanced impressively even while he was on active service in the East. His major settling of accounts with the war, its human and political significance, is in Barbara oder die Frommigheit, written only at the end of the first postwar decade. For the war period itself there is no extended correspondence and no sustained diary.

12 To appreciate the antagonism that erupted between Kraus and Werfel and terminated their relationship requires an understanding of their personalities and their attitudes toward the questions of language, art, and the responsibility of the artist. Both were acutely sensitive to the power of language as a mode of human experience, but while Werfel tended increasingly to transcend the limitations of language and experience in the mystic transport of words, Kraus insisted that the function of language was to clarify reality and maintain our link with the real world.

45 This is what Werfel's revolutionary anarchism really came back to: love and religion. Despite his initial flattery of the workers and his denigration of bourgeois art as an activity of unconscionable mendacity, Werfel retained for literature an essentially "spiritual" function, just as he retained for the poet his priestly role of mediating between heaven and 34 Franz Werfel - The Faith of an Exile earth. For it was not to political activism that Werfel assigned the poet, but to expressing the unformed, half-conscious cry of humanity for the enlightenment of man and for a challenge to God.

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