Heritage of Our Times
Heritage of Our Times
By Ernst Bloch
Translated by Neville and Stephen Plaice
"An exemplary work of modern literature."—Times Literary Supplement
"A half-century later, Bloch's untimely meditations on culture and politics retain their explosive power. Europe's contested legacy, which he sought to rescue from fascist appropriation, remains still to be claimed amidst the turmoil of the 1990s. However discredited his own political allegiances may now seem, Bloch's intransigent philosophy of hope has gained new urgency and immediacy."—Martin Jay, University of California, Berkeley
"Bloch's Heritage of Our Times is a shocking expressionist excursion, developed in montage form, through the dialectics and unresolved contradictions of everyday experience and cultural manifestations of the early Nazi period in Germany. The work is a rich compendium of explosive insights into historical and cultural consciousness that force themselves into our times too."—David Frisby, London School of Economics
Heritage of Our Times is a brilliant examination of modern culture and its legacy by one of the most important and deeply influential thinkers of the 20th century.
Through a montage of separate analyses, Bloch explores the cultural dimensions of our "age of transition," and offers a powerful defense of unclaimed ideas and images from the past and present. He argues that the key elements of genuine cultural tradition are not just to be found in the conveniently closed and neatly labelled ages of the past, but also in the open and experimental cultural process of our times. Included in this edition are the writings which formed Bloch's central contribution to the Expressionist debate of the 1930s.
One of the most compelling aspects of this work is a contemporary analysis of the rise of Nazism. It probes its bogus roots in German history and mythology at the very moment when the ideologies of Blood and Soil and the Blond Beast were actually taking hold of the German people.
Originally published in Germany in 1935, Heritage of Our Times is an astonishingly prescient book, literally before its time. The breadth and depth of its vision, together with the rich diversity of Bloch's interests, ensure its place as one of the key books of the 20th century.
Polity Books, 2009
6.3 x 0.9 x 8.8 inches
German History, Modernism