Literary Nonfiction. Jewish Studies. In 1883, Austrian author Hermann Bahr was arrested for antisemitic abuse. Ten years later, he was a champion of the Viennese avant-garde and its numerous Jewish exponents, and would soon marry a Jewish actress. In ANTISEMITISM Bahr makes the political personal (and vice versa) using the then-novel form of the interview for a sweeping international survey of the most contentious issue of his day. His respondents are economists and anarchists, preachers and political grandees from across Europe, with such figures as activist Annie Besant, novelist Alphonse Daudet, polymath Ernst Haeckel and trailblazing socialist August Bebel. Now available in English for the first time, this hugely important document was originally published in 1894, and it captures the moment when an ancient enmity assumed new force, the age of the Dreyfus Affair and Germany's pre-Nazi peak in politicised race hate. ANTISEMITISM is no echo chamber, with some respondents offering robust defence of prejudices that would have harrowing consequences in the 20th century. But with its conspiracy theories, babbling demagogues and demonised minorities, Bahr's investigation is sadly all too relevant today.
Born in Linz, Hermann Bahr (1863-1934) was a vital catalyst for new writing across Europe. In the closing 19th century he marked out a route beyond Naturalism and is credited as the first proponent of "modernism" as a literary virtue. As a novelist, journalist, essayist, critic and director, Bahr cultivated an extensive international network and was a pivotal figure in the "Young Vienna" group which also included Arthur Schnitzler, Stefan Zweig and Karl Kraus. Leaving the reactionary views of his student years behind, he championed a cosmopolitan ethos exemplified by his belief in a "United States of Europe." Common to each stage of Bahr's cultural development were fearless rhetoric, intellectual curiosity and an unfailing sense for the next literary breakthrough. A handful of his critical and dramatic works appeared in English in the early 20th century.Author City: VIENNA AUT