Hermann Broch

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Broch, Hermann


Born Nov. 1, 1886, in Vienna; died May 30, 1951, in New Haven, Conn. Austrian writer. Son of a factory owner.

Broch directed a textile concern in Vienna until 1928, when he began his literary career. In 1938 he emigrated to the USA. His novels portray the life of Austrian and German society in the period of the approaching collapse of monarchical Germany (the trilogy Lunatics, 1931-32) and Austria before World War I (The Tempter, 1953). The novel The Death of Virgil (1945) is devoted to the problems of artistic creativity. In the novel The Innocents (1950) Broch demonstrated how people’s indifference to politics facilitated fascism’s rise to power. The novella A Passing Cloud (1931) and the plays For They Know Not What They Do (1933) and Atonement (1933) have an antifascist character. Broch’s art contains the contradictory combination of a realistic critique of bourgeois relations and exposure of fascism along with subjectivism and alogism in the spirit of J. Joyce. Broch wrote the study James Joyce and Contemporaneity (1936).


Gesammelte Werke, vols. 1-8. Zürich, 1953-57.
Die Idee ist ewig: Essays und Briefe.[Munich, 1968.]


Durzak, M. H. Broch. Berlin, 1968.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Provocatively, but persuasively, she exempts the eclectic monumental edifices of the Ringstrasse from Loos's critique of its residential facades; we have no doubt come to conflate his 'Potemkin city' with Hermann Broch's critique of hollow Ringstrasse monumentalism.
Whereas the revolutions of 1848 were indisputably decisive turning points in the literary and cultural history of central Europe, the following forty years or so have too often been dismissively reduced to Hermann Broch's facile cliches about the supposed 'Wertvakuum' of 1870-90.
Hermann Broch: Perspektiven interdisziplinarer Forschung.
One of these authors was Hermann Broch, to whom two chapters are dedicated.