Gerd Hammer
Centre for Comparative Studies, School of Arts and Humanities, University of Lisbon
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Paul Scheerbart: Cooling down emotions on foreign planets
Dedalus 21 (2017), pp. 93-101. Download PDF

Paul Scheerbart (1863-1915) belongs to the outsiders of German literature at the beginning of the 20th century. He was not only an author of fantastic literature, he also founded the Verlag deutscher Phantasten / Publishing house of German fantasists. Scheerbart was a convinced pacifist, and his visions of a peaceful society, without great emotions, had no place on earth. Many of his novels, like Die große Revolution [The great Revolution] (1902) or Lesabéndio (1913), take place in foreign planets. His visions of a new understanding of mankind were not very successful, but his fantasies on glass architecture inspired the expressionist architect Bruno Taut. And his favorite project, the perpetual motion machine, is yet to be completed.