The affirmative answer to existence in the work of Josef Weinheber
Schmidt, Henry Otto
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One of the most controversial literary figures has been the Viennese novelist and lyricist Josef Weinheber. He experienced the misfortune to have that city's period of economic and political upheaval coincide with that of his literary activity. The immediate post World War II era was extremely critical of him. However, since 1955, he has gained new recognition and is now considered by German and Austrian critics alike as one of the greater literary men of the century, though he is still relatively unknown in the United States. To obtain the proper perspective it was necessary to examine Weinheber's life as well as the social stratum that had produced him. It was felt that without this information no positive evaluation could be made of his writings which all revolved about his own problematic. His affinity toward pessimism and the nihilistic had its origin there; but so had also his indomitable will and strong faith. Only a strong positivistic concept of existence based on this will and faith could have aided him in overcoming this nihilistic trend within him. His choice of reading, his favorite philosophers, his personal letters, speeches, and articles were analyzed in order to obtain a more reliable basis from which to carry on an examination of the problem. [TRUNCATED]
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Boston University.