August 2, 2014

Blätter für die Kunst (magazine) (Germany)

Blätter für die Kunst (Germany) itself as a publication devoted to “art for art’s sake” (l’art pour l’art), Blätter für die Kunst (Pages for Art) was founded by Stefan George and Carl August Klein, and began publishing in German in 1919. Printed by Otto von Holten, “the pages” were published irregularly for twelve volumes of five booklets of 32 pages each, with some serving as double issues.

     Although circulation began small at 100 copies, selling in three selected bookstores in Berlin, Vienna, and Paris, the publication increased to 2000 copies, becoming one of the central organs for poet Stefan George and the George-Kreis (George Circle).

      The magazine began with a statement of committing to publishing only members of the George Circle, by gradually included several outsider writers including the Austrian poet and dramatist Hugo von Hofmannsthal and many writers no longer known today. Other early poets included Belgian writers such as Paul Gérady, the Netherlands writer Albert Verwey, and the Polish writer Wacław Rolicz.

     Much of the published work was a continuation of French Symbolism, but shifted as the George Circle itself did through the writings of Melchior Lechter, Karl Wolfskehl, Oscar A. H. Schmits, and Ludwig Klages, Through Klages and Wolfskehl, the magazine also became a “mouthpiece” of sorts for their Kosmiker circle.

      The 1903 death of Maximilian Kronberger, the young man with whom George had had a close relationship, created a crisis for the journal. It continued to publish, closing down for the period of World War I, until 1919.

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