Genealogien. Konstellationen. Praktiken
[Cultural Heroes. Genealogies. Constellations. Practices]
With contributions by Andrea Albrecht, Jenny Alwart, Zaal Andronikashvili, Kai Bremer, Natascha Drubek, Martin Fontius, Claude Haas, Herbert Kopp-Oberstebrink, Gabriela Lehmann-Carli, Thomas Macho, Eka Meskhi, Giorgi Maisuradze, Juri Murašov, Luka Nakhutsrishvili, Anna Pawlak, Christoph Schmälzle, Matthias Schwartz, Johannes Steizinger, Franziska Thun-Hohenstein, Martin Treml.
Modernity has created a new symbol of collective identity: the cultural hero. Poets, artists and scholars sometimes seem to succeed religious or political rulers, sometimes even replacing them as national figures of authority. Relying on case studies, the more than 20 essays in this volume for the first time describe the phenomenon of cultural heros from a comparative perspective.
In the chapter “Genealogies and Concepts” focussing on cultural history and theory, the essays deal with heroes and heroines in antiquity, figurations of the saint, national allegories and heroes of literature and science. In the second chapter, “Constellations and Figurations,” the authors examine not only cultural heroes such as Luther as the founder of religion, Voltaire as the prototype of the intellectual or Schiller as the national poet, but also the Russian Tsar Peter I as the city founder, Stalin as the ‘socialist Messiah,’ Yuri Gagarin as the icon of technological progress or Taras Ševčenko as a popular icon of Ukraine. The third chapter, “Techniques and Practices,” includes contributions on the iconology of death masks, the iconography of Georgian banknotes, portraits of scientists in Stalinist film biographies, the voice of the Kazakh folk singer Džambul Džabaev and the jubilees of poets Aleksandr Puškin and Šota Rustaveli.