Immagine dell'autore.

Paul Scheerbart (1863–1915)

Autore di Lesabéndio: An Asteroid Novel

50+ opere 433 membri 5 recensioni 4 preferito


Fonte dell'immagine: Unknown photographer

Opere di Paul Scheerbart

Lesabéndio: An Asteroid Novel (1913) 117 copie, 2 recensioni
The Gray Cloth: A Novel on Glass Architecture (1914) 55 copie, 1 recensione
Glass architecture (1914) 22 copie, 1 recensione
Die große Revolution (1990) 8 copie
Der Kaiser von Utopia (1991) 7 copie
Das große Licht (1987) 5 copie
Katerpoesie. (1987) 5 copie
Immer mutig (1996) 4 copie
セルバンテス (1904) 2 copie
Münchhausens Wiederkehr (1966) 2 copie
星界小品集 (1986) 1 copia
Cam Mimarligi (2020) 1 copia
虫けらの群霊 (1900) 1 copia

Opere correlate

The Big Book of Science Fiction (2016) — Collaboratore — 422 copie, 6 recensioni
The Big Book of Classic Fantasy (2019) — Collaboratore — 173 copie, 3 recensioni
The Golden Bomb: Phantastic German Expressionist Stories (1993) — Collaboratore — 32 copie
La corona della città (2011) — Autore — 3 copie


Informazioni generali

Nome canonico
Scheerbart, Paul
Nome legale
Scheerbart, Paul Carl Wilhelm
Altri nomi
Küfer, Kuno
Data di nascita
Data di morte
Luogo di nascita
Luogo di morte
Berlin, Germany
Causa della morte



Atipica e illuminante utopia - pubblicata nel 1914 - della civiltà del vetro, basata su trasparenza, colore, asetticità e stanzialità. Interessanti le connessioni con Bauhaus, Benjamin e in generale con lo sviluppo architettonico a seguire. Curioso sarebbe ritracciare segnali del pensiero di Scheerbart nello sviluppo dei grandi grattacieli di vetro del mondo del lavoro.
d.v. | May 16, 2023 |
I discovered this book from some end-of-the-year wrap-up, best books some person read in 2014, and I was fascinated, so I special-ordered it at my local bookstore.

In the beginning this book was so foreign that it was a significant amount of work to parse: the alien world, their bodies, their culture, their technologies... But once the work was put in, I turned a corner and absolutely loved this book, for reasons that are hard to describe. First of all, while there is struggle in this book, it is absolutely appropriate to call this a utopian novel, which is refreshing in this trend of dystopic fiction. Even when the characters and their dreams and visions are completely at odds, the care they take of each other is heart-warming. Also inspiring is that while the Pallasian industries totally change the nature of the asteroid that is their home, it's not done in a destructive or exploitive way, and has nothing to do with personal gain, but in the name of art, beauty, and discovery.

The only thing that really drove me around the bend is that the word "star" in this novel is used for stars, but also sometimes planets, moons, and asteroids as well. A quirk of the translation? Or the original? It was a big part of why I struggled so much in the beginning to understand this book's cosmology.

But overall, a wonderful book. Recommended to dreams and fans of philosophical sf.
… (altro)
1 vota
greeniezona | 1 altra recensione | Dec 6, 2017 |
[The Gray Cloth: Paul Scheerbart's novel on Glass architecture] Originally subtitled; and ten percent white a ladies novel.
“On one of the British Fiji Islands, Herr Krug was to build a convalescence home for elderly air chauffeurs” is the first sentence of one of the sections of this novel which has more of a feel of an extended essay. Herr Krug and his new wife travel around on their luxury airship from one destination to another. Her Krug is an architect passionate about coloured glass architecture and his fame has put him on the map for rich people and corporations who wish to create something different using Krug’s expertise. This is the world of the super rich in the mid 20th century as imagined by Paul Scheerbart writing in 1914. it is a visionary world and the book has a heady atmosphere as we travel with the Krugs and follow this artistic but business orientated couple's first year of marriage.

The Gray Cloth is in many ways a peculiar vision, but one that is not too difficult to foresee. It is rooted in unbounded capitalism and artistic achievement but carried to such extreme lengths that its irony becomes immediately apparent. This is a world with it’s head in the clouds and Scheerbarts text heightens that feeling with its short spacious sentences that play around the glass buildings like the beams of light they describe. Characters express themselves in short bursts of speech, as though they are frightened of interrupting the flow of Scheerbarts paean to coloured glass architecture. There is hardly any plot or storyline because this too might create a divergence from the fragile world of glass that hovers around a world that seems to be a plaything of the rich.

The book is almost a triumph of style over content, highlighted by one of its major themes: the peculiar but so fitting marriage contract. Herr Krug is attending an exhibition of silver work, which is being displayed in a building created by the architect. The exhibits take second place to the marvels of coloured light that are created by the glass architecture, the crowd in attendance we are told by Scheerbart are entranced by the design and technical achievements but Herr Krug almost sympathetically buys one of the expensive silver pieces for sale. He has lunch in the penthouse restaurant with his lawyer, the artist and her friend: fraulein Clara Weber a noted organ player:

“Then Herr Krug lifted a piece of pike liver up in the air and commented to Fräulein Clara Weber:
‘My most gracious lady, would you be prepared to live your whole life wearing only grey clothing - with ten percent white.’
He ate his piece of pike liver, and Miss Amanda whispered very softly:
‘That sounds like a marriage proposal’
‘That is what it is’ said the architect.
Fräulein Clara said very simply:
‘That I find’ said the lawyer to be a little hasty - and a little careless’ “

Having made his comment the lawyer immediately gets down to business and draws up the marriage contract. Clara must wear grey clothing with ten percent white at all times so as not to detract from Her Krug’s coloured glass architecture. She is in fact to provide a contrast to the world in which she will now live. Her Krug is clear that ladies should be more discreet in their outfits so as not to be a distraction from the glass architecture and Clara will lead the way. The Lawyer thinks this a little pretentious and warns Her Krug he should temper his lust for power a bit. Clara keeps to her contract; much to the dismay of her artistic friends, but she chafes against it at times, providing the interest in a will she/wont she theme that runs through the novel, but style and fashion are all important in this future world, there is hardly anything else and because the reader is caught up in this atmosphere of extreme pretentiousness the irony hits home.

Paul Scheerbart worked as a journalist in Berlin and this book published at the start of the First World War carries and identifies itself with the ideas of German expressionism. It is a subjective portrait of society, art and fashion based on vision and atmosphere rather than reality. It was not a great success at the time but has since been recognised as worthy of being re-examined in the light other works in the expressionist movement.

I enjoyed the read, its unique atmosphere, its irony and its humour kept me entertained. The descriptive writing has qualities that enhance the poetic mood of the book and the technical architectural ideas are presented in a simple easily understandable; if fantastic way. This edition was published by MIT press and has been introduced and translated by John A Stuart, who has also included some pastel drawings which are meant to challenge the reader to consider complex spatial configurations inspired by Scheerbarts narrative. I am not sure they quite do this, but they do enhance a beautifully presented book. A thing of somewhat ephemeral beauty, but beauty nonetheless and so 4 stars.
… (altro)
4 vota
baswood | Mar 8, 2016 |
Wakefield Press is publishing some of the most exciting new work today. Although when I say 'new' I really mean old, very old, mostly ignored word-experiments from other countries. Small beautifully designed books of strange unclassifiable curiosities.

This book in particular was highly entertaining, though I never knew how much of it was meant as a joke and how much was meant in all seriousness. Most likely, Scheerbart didn't worry about those kinds of distinctions, just as he didn't worry about the distinction between reality and fantasy.

Ignoring what scientists had agreed upon after the discovery of the conservation of energy, Scheerbart (a German novelist and exponent of 'glass architecture') dedicates more than a year of his life trying to come up with a perpetual motion machine. His writing, interspersed with many illustrations of his machines, is a combination of explanation, wit, philosophy, and speculation. A lot of speculation.

From day one, before he had even built any models, he speculates on the far reaching effects of his machine. People will be able to move mountains with perpets, nations will dissolve, scientists can concentrate on astral affairs, he will become obscenely rich and famous, and ...
Ultimately, we'll have no more need of the Sun.......
But not only did he madly speculate in the positive direction, he also speculated in the negative...
But if, after the discovery of the perpet, things become stupider than before--then one must in fact take care not to perfect the invention.

So I'm actually quite happy that, as of today, the contraption still won't work.

And tomorrow, too, it will remain inoperative--I'd be willing to bet on it.

The thought consoles me a little.
I won't go on quoting from the book because it is so short and it is full of good quotable bits so you should read it for yourself. However, I do want to say one word about the actual machines he invents. One look at them and it is pretty obvious that they will not work. It's quite shocking to me that he even thought they would work.

I think he has a fantastical understanding on the working of the wheel. He criticizes other scientists because "they always insisted that once a weight neared the center of the Earth, it would have to be raised up again. And so it seemed axiomatic to all of them that a perpetual motion machine would be impossible. But once the weight did not approach the center of the Earth--as in Figure 21--one would have to throw this beautiful "scientific" discourse on the scrap heap."

Figure 21 shows a contraption where the weight is elevated, but the problem is that it will never move the wheels he has in place because it is in a state of equilibrium. Only if/when the weight is allowed to drop or move in some way can it create motion. I think Scheerbart believes that potential energy alone can be transferred into the motion of wheels turning without the weight moving or dropping in any way. Even a kid can tell you this is not how things work in the real world. The fact that he could think this is a good indication of how out of touch with reality he really was.

However, this criticism is aimed at Scheerbart's science only, and is in no way a criticism of the book that came out of it... as Scheerbart's failings only make the book better.
… (altro)
2 vota
JimmyChanga | Sep 11, 2013 |


Potrebbero anche piacerti

Autori correlati


Opere correlate
Preferito da

Grafici & Tabelle