"Karl Kraus" by Edward Timms

Karl Kraus Apocalyptic Satirist: Culture and Catastrophe in Habsburg Vienna Edward Timms

Publication date:
10 Sep 1989
Yale University Press


A fascinating study of the life and work of Karl Kraus, the Austrian satirist whose critiques of the mass media, the military-industrial complex, and technology running out of control have earned him a following fifty years after his death. Drawing on unfamiliar sources, Edward Timms analyzes Kraus's involvement in fundamental ideological issues of his time, such as psychoanalysis, social morality, design and architecture, the role of the artist, Zionism, anti-semitism, and war, and shows that Kraus' political position—caught between traditional Habsburg loyalties and new democratic commitments—was far more complex than has previously been suspected.

"Dr. Timms' book is a major landmark in Kraus' studies, and an important contribution to our understanding of the culture of the early 20th century. It abounds in discoveries and insights."—W.E. Yeats, Times Literary Supplement


"Timm's lucid prose, his masterly organization of the voluminous  material he treats, his excellent translations of the documents he cites and his broad, readable portrayal of Viennese fin-de-siecle culture make this study accessible to the average reader and a pleasure for the literary professional. . . . An example of German studies at its best."—James Knowlton, European Studies Journal


"Timms successfully weaves a colorful, and thoroughly researched and documented, account of essential cultural currents in Habsburg Vienna around his central figure. Copious illustrations and photographs enhance a most enjoyable text, making this an ideal introduction to Kraus and his work."—Choice

'...a considerable achievement... His command of his subject's subtle and allusive prose is impressive' - Joe Bord, The Jewish Chronicle, 20th January 2006