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October 8th, 2011 by Leo Plaw Other language versions  

Die Welt als Labyrinth – Manier und Manie in der europäischen Kunst

The World as a Labyrinth – Mannerism in European Art and Literature 

Gustav René Hocke’s magnum opus on the history of art and literature sheds a surprising light on the century of Mannerism. In a remarkably stimulating, detailed and knowledgeable fashion, he points up the fact that the Mannerist century, 1550-1650, displays a unique vision of, and problematic relationship to, the world. Drawing upon an abundance of hitherto unknown material, he outlines the intellectual and philosophical foundations of that period. He succeeds for the first time in lending Mannerism a clearly defined profile, a stylistic tendency that found expression, as it still does, in all ages and cultures. Hocke arrives at some startling conclusions by comparing modern art with the basic ideas and stylistic features of the Mannerist period, a procedure that enables him to discover some striking analogies.

A standard work indispensable to students of art history.

Die Welt als Labyrinth und Manierismus in der Literatur I have read at an almost ravenous speed. Both books have significantly helped to set the course for my development as a writer. With their support I realised for the first time that which moved me in arts and poetry – the fantastic, the magic, the idea art – was not “escapistic”, as it was then called, at all. It was not born out of a more or less unrealistic lust for the outlandish and peculiar, but out of a basic position, an “archaic gesture”, which within the European culture – but basically in all cultures of the world – was complementary and dialectic to that other – the “classicistic” – gesture, but had the same value.” – Michael Ende

Paperback, vols 1, 2: Rowohlt 1957,1959

Hardcover: Rowohlt 1987 (both vols)

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