Eve of a Century
Jens Malte Fischer, a renowned expert on the last "fin de siècle" whose books and essays brilliantly link past and present, side-steps the more obvious parallels and differences to survey instead the vast cultural and spiritual dimensions of a time of great change. His new book touches upon topics ranging from metropolitan lifestyles and the opera to anti-Semitism and the reactions it triggered.
A central character in the change of the century is Gustav Mahler, less as the master composer but rather as a seismographic personality who registered the subterranean tremors of his epoch.
Fischer's book spans the European era of Decadence until the beginning of World War I and attempts also to explain the perplexing attitude of many artists and intellectuals at the beginning of the era of genocide.