Sunday, January 20, 2008

Coffeehouse poets

Karl Kraus saw the coffehouse poets as fake people that were just trying to get quick fame. He thought the people wanted to become well-known throughout Europe within four years. Apparently, these so called 'writers' of the time would all gather together in coffehouses throughout Vienna to discuss 'life' before ever writing a word on their own. The writers would then discuss the happenings of people around them. While holding these discussions, the 'writers' thoughts were molded into a common thought depending on which table there were at in the coffeehouse. Because of this coffehouse trend, many of the writers chose to discuss things like fashion and the latest happenings at the theater and so forth, rather than writing about the important happenings of the times. As a result, a majority of the people in Vienna would then read these things rather than picking up journals and learn about timeless relevant topics. Kraus believed that "a writer is always in a position to impress a reader". (pg 76) Thus the cares of the people in Vienna were sloppy, unimportant matters just like the subjects that they read about from the coffeehouse poets. With the ability to shape every 'writer' it is easy to see why Kraus would believe that many of the poems and writings coming from the coffeehouses were full of lies. Another thing about the language of the time is that people weren't taking it seriously. If someone forgot to place a common in a sentence or give proper credit where credit was due...oh well. With such loose writing styles, Kraus understood how he was living in a society where war and threats were as easy to throw around as a comma or a subject in a writings.

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