Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Arne Höcker

Second Advisor

Lauren Stone

Third Advisor

Davide Stimilli


Kurt Pinthus’ 1919 anthology, Menschheitsdämmerung: Symphonie jüngster Dichtung, was a foundational turning point in the creation of Expressionism. The collection pushed the boundaries of the genre of the anthology into an aesthetic dimension, by which Pinthus straddles the role of both artist and literary critic. The first part of the thesis will situate lyrical Expressionism both in the philosophic traditions, which it inherits, and with the overall project of Modernism. Secondly, Menschheitsdämmerung acts as a metapoem of Expressionism. It is the figure of the Glaneur, who straddles the position between art and literary criticism to produce a literary epoch through a metapoem. Lastly, this thesis will examine the multiple revisions and republications of Menschheitsdämmerung to demonstrate Pinthus’ changing roles through time.