Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Innerlichkeit

And another one:

These factors combined to produce in German culture a concept that is almost untranslatable into English but is probably the defining factor in understanding much German thought as the nineteenth century turned into the twentieth. The word in German is Innerlichkeit. Insofar as it can be translated, it means a tendency to withdraw from, or be indifferent to, politics, and to look inward, inside the individual. Innerlichkeit meant that artists deliberately avoided power and politics, guided by a belief that to participate, or even to write about it was, again in Gordon Craig's words, "a derogation of their calling" and that, for the artist, the inner rather than the external world was the real one.