By Andreas Killen
Berlin Electropolis ties the German discourse on anxiousness within the overdue 19th and early 20th centuries to Berlin's transformation right into a capital of the second one commercial revolution. targeting 3 key groups--railway team of workers, squaddies, and cellphone operators--Andreas Killen strains the emergence within the Eighteen Eighties after which later decline of the idea that modernity prompted anxious affliction. in this interval, Killen explains, Berlin turned arguably the main complex city in Europe. a number of adjustments, many linked to breakthroughs in applied sciences of transportation, verbal exchange, and relaxation, mixed to noticeably regulate the form and pace of lifestyle in Berlin. The ensuing cognizance of speeded up social switch and the shocks and afflictions that followed it came across their consummate expression within the discourse approximately anxiety. splendidly researched and obviously written, this publication deals a wealth of recent insights into the character of the fashionable city, the mental aftermath of global conflict I, and the operations of the German welfare kingdom. Killen additionally explores cultural attitudes towards electrical energy, the evolution of psychiatric inspiration and perform, and the prestige of ladies staff in Germany's quickly industrializing financial system. eventually, he argues that the backlash opposed to the welfare kingdom that happened in the course of the past due Weimar Republic caused the ultimate decoupling of modernity and fearful disorder.
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Extra resources for Berlin Electropolis: Shock, Nerves, and German Modernity (Weimar and Now: German Cultural Criticism)
In a halfday’s work, each operator had to send approximately one hundred telegrams, averaging roughly ﬁfteen words of nine letters each, for which three signs were used. 92 These shifts in turn were related to the transformation of the technological and ﬁnancial basis of capitalism discussed earlier. The emergence of organized capitalism and the bureaucracies and managerial practices associated with it created a demand for a vast army of workers equipped to perform new kinds of specialized tasks.
117 TECHNOLOGIES OF THE NERVOUS SELF At the heart of Nordau’s Degeneration was an implicit claim to have constructed an epistemologically stable position from which to analyze both individuals and societies. His book exempliﬁed psychology’s movement out of the clinic and into the realm of social diagnostics and criticism, its transformation into an ideology or a world picture. ” This distancing strategy mirrored his deﬁnition of scientiﬁc psychology 42 BERLIN ELECTROPOLIS itself. 119 It further hints—as was noted by one of Nordau’s bêtes noires, Friedrich Nietzsche—at the transformation of scientiﬁc thought into the world picture of bourgeois society.
128 Freud, it is often held, shattered the myths of late nineteenth-century nerve discourse when he revealed its truth to lie in the universal experience of repressed sexual instincts. 130 The conventional narrative holds that Freud’s break with the methods and epistemologies of late nineteenth-century nerve medicine also meant a break with the prevailing somatic model of nervous illness.