Stefania Sbarra

Gottfried's Benn Gehirne (Brains). The Problem of Science and Nietzsche

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Benn's early works can be read as the first step of a lifelong reflection on Nietzsche that influences the structures of the writer's poetics. During the 1910s the young doctor tries to articulate in his essay "Über die Großhirnrinde" and in the dialogue "Gespräch" a biographical as well as an aesthetic problem concerning science, language and art. The analysis of such prose will help understanding his "Gehirne" novellas, and the way Nietzsche's critique of language interacts with Benn's scientific and aesthetic insights. Some close reading of the novellas will show how the apparently competing spheres of art and science are closely related in the narrative texture itself.


  • German Literature
  • Gottfried Benn
  • Friedrich Nietzsche
  • Aesthetics
  • Science


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