/ Forschung, Info

Neuerscheinung: «Primitive Thinking. Figuring Alterity in German Modernity»

Cover Primitive Thinking

Prof. Dr. Nicola Gess veröffentlicht eine erweiterte und überarbeite Fassung und Übersetzung der Monographie "Primitives Denken".

Nicola Gess: «Primitive Thinking. Figuring Alterity in German Modernity»

This book explores modernity under the spell of the ‘primitive.’ Proponents of the ideology of progress as well as critics of civilization, utopians dreaming of a re-enchanted existence and supporters and opponents of nascent fascism alike were all profoundly shaped by the phantasm of the ‚primitive', a central element of which, this book argues, is the notion of ‘primitive thought’. This comprises a distinct mode of thinking – characterized by turns as magical, mythical, mystical, or prelogical – that allows for a fundamentally different way of relating to the world. It was associated not only with indigenous cultures, but also with other figures of alterity, such as children and the mentally ill. The book examines the discourse on ‘primitive thinking’ in the social sciences, writings on art and language, and – most centrally – literary works by Robert Musil, Walter Benjamin, Gottfried Benn, and Robert Müller.


Nicola Gess: Primitive Thinking. Figuring Alterity in German Modernity. Übersetzt von: Erik Butler und Susan Solomon. Band 13 der Reihe Paradigms. 396 Seiten.

https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110695090, ISBN: 9783110694680, De Gruyter, September 2022.