Mysticism as Modernity: Nationalism and the Irrational in Hermann Hesse, Robert Musil and Max Frisch

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This work reconsiders the connections between mysticism, nationalism and modernity in twentieth-century German cultures. Disengaging mysticism from occultism, the author creates a new space for reconsidering mysticism's links to larger structures of modernity already at play at the turn of the century. Rather than dismissing mysticism as a strain of anti-modern irrationalism with troubling links to radical politics such as Nazism, the author reconceptualizes modern mysticism as an unwittingly logical expression of the same compression of time and space created by the emergence of the newspaper, radio, railways and telegraph and reflected in the novels of Hermann Hesse, Robert Musil and Max Frisch.