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At the beginning of his study on the history of the concept of Stimmung, Leo Spitzer observes, 'It is a fact that the German word Stimmung as such is untranslatable'. (2) This is not to suggest that particular idioms such as 'in guter Stimmung sein have no corresponding idiom in other European languages (e.g. 'to be in a good mood'). It does suggest, however, that no single word in any other European language encompasses the range of meanings covered by the word Stimmung. This problem is not restricted to questions of nuance. Translating Stimmung into French as 'humeur' translates the subject-specific aspect of the concept, but, unlike Stimmung, 'humeur' cannot be applied independently of a subjective meaning ('humeur d'un paysage' is invalid). 'Atmosphere', on the other hand, can be used independently of a subject, but cannot be used to designate a subjective quality ('mon atmosphere'). Vocabularies like French, that are organised along the categorial axes inside/outside and subject/object, have no adequate expression for the concept of Stimmung, which undercuts these distinctions. The comparison to English 'mood' is also illuminating in this context. Etymologically, the word is related to the German 'Mut', which can also denote Stimmungen (e.g. 'Schwermut' [depression], 'Wehmut' [melancholia]), but which refers more strongly to the subject's interiority (to the disposition) than does Stimmung. Nevertheless, 'mood' can be used in objective (the mood of a landscape) as well as subjective (my mood) contexts. Absent entirely, however, is the dimension of music, which is not only implied in the German Stimmung, but which, as I will go on to show at length, represents a crucial semantic resource. The English term 'attunement' captures this musical dimension, but with an emphasis on technicality that resists application to mental and even more so worldly aspects. Incidentally, the French terms 'humeur' and 'atmosphere' also lack this musical reference, which is constitutive of the concept of Stimmung. Similar considerations will have led the French translators of Otto-Friedrich Bollnow's study Das Wesen der Stimmungen [The Nature of Stimmungen] (1941) to coin the term 'tonalites affectives'. (3) As the relevant French dictionaries show, the concept 'tonalite' has a certain lineage in aesthetic contexts. (4)

The challenges posed by translation reveal the dual specificity of the concept of Stimmung. First, it eschews any definite categorisation as either subjective or objective. Second, it is heavily shaped by its metaphoric origin. Spitzer's study represents the attempt to illuminate the historical and cultural background of this semantic peculiarity. His key argument, which contends that the concept of Stimmung dates back to ancient Christian concepts of world harmony and expresses fundamental pantheistic assumptions, will at times also prove plausible in the context of the material I investigate in what follows. However, the main thrust of the present contribution is entirely different from Spitzer's investigation, which attends to global cultural types of mentality and traces long-term relations between traditions. In the present study, the focus is exclusively on the use of the concept of Stimmung in the discourse of aesthetic theory, that is to say in poetics and related disciplines. The aim of my account is to explicate this use across aesthetic paradigms and guiding principles. Finally, my remarks are limited to the actual occurrence of the word, whose lexical career, as Spitzer too remarks, does not begin until the eighteenth century.

My analysis presupposes a prior understanding of the phenomenal domain encompassed by the current usage of the concept of Stimmung. But to prepare for the historical analysis of this article I will briefly emphasise three aspects of this phenomenal domain that are of particular relevance in the context of the aesthetic use of the concept.

(a) Stimmungen belong to the realm of the emotions and, like everything in this realm, they exhibit 'Ichqualitat' (first-personal quality). In other words, it is part of the meaning of any Stimmung that it is experienced as 'mine'. Unlike feelings, however, Stimmungen are not directed towards an object. They are diffuse, they catch on to everything we think or perceive discretely without being tied to any specific object. Lotze avails himself of the metaphor 'colouration of a state of mind' to characterise Stimmungen, which brings into focus the way in which a given tone of Stimmung saturates the entire field of experience (think of the sepia hue of old photographs). (5) A Stimmung is a quality of the whole, the 'how', in whose pallid, soft, cheerful or lurid light the individual encounters the 'what'. In the end, though, this 'how' concerns the subject's state of mind: 'A mood [Stimmung] makes manifest "how one is, and how one is faring"'. (6)

(b) As the discussion of the translation difficulties has already shown, the concept of Stimmung does not relate only to the subjective side of experience. Stimmungen are not only modes of the interior psychic life, they are also atmospheres that surround us. We can speak of 'an autumn mood' and be referring to the 'warm air', the 'pale shimmer' of wet roofs, the 'gurgling of the rain water in the gutters', 'the anxious drift of the small clouds through the greyness'. (7) In other words, we mean the interplay of all these elements, which are all sensed as belonging to the complexity of Stimmung. In relation to objects and their qualities, Stimmung operates as a form of integration: it unites them to create a self-contained whole--but there are no identifiable rules for this process of combining.

(c) In addition, Stimmungen have a communicative dimension. This is demonstrated by the term's usage in relation to collectivities, a use that started as early as the nineteenth century and has become ubiquitous today: the Stimmung at the stock market, the political Stimmung in a country, also the Stimmung at a festivity (often the implication is of a 'good' Stimmung). The communication of Stimmung is suggestive, contagious; it occurs below the threshold of explicit (and hence negatable, declinable) articulation. It leads to a collective orientation, attitude, disposition. However, this is unstable because it is not secured by explicitly symbolised norms.

In summary, we can say that all these aspects--the focus on the 'I', the potential for integration, the communicative ability--share a pre-reflexive character. The achievement of a Stimmung occurs pre-thematically. Presumably, next to the interlocking of the subjective and the objective, this is the second crucial source of the fascination that the concept of Stimmung has exerted in the context of aesthetic theory since the eighteenth century. However, it is important to emphasise that the phenomenal domain outlined above does not represent a timeless absolute that is incorporated into every historically verifiable use of the concept of Stimmung. On the contrary, even within the restricted domain of aesthetics the history of the term exhibits changes in meaning that are characterised by distinctive shifts of focus. Grasping this change in meaning is the aim of the following observations.


In Goethe's 'Falconet' essay, which belongs to the miscellany Aus Goethes Brieftasche [From Goethe's Notecase] published in 1776, there is a line of thought that can serve as the starting point for our observations on the history of the concept of Stimmung. Here Goethe says of the artist: 'whether he enters a cobbler's shop or a stable, whether he looks at the face of his beloved, at his boots or at the Antique, everywhere he sees these divine vibrations, these scarcely perceptible tones by means of which nature unites all objects into a whole'. (8) Admittedly, nature is here made responsible for the internal coherence of the complex perceived by the artist, but this coherence can hardly be taken as a natural product in the common sense of the word. What is at play here is not organic functionality, but the objects' (and these include banal objects) belonging to a uniformly coloured web of relations. At play is the artist's gaze that recognises, in the given objects, an excess of meaning that unfolds as a game of tonal variations or echoes, thus converting the disparate objects into an all-encompassing unity. This deductive function of the artist's gaze--so this thought continues--is rooted in anthropology; it originates in the thrill, in the horror, in the joy of love, and hence in sources we might today call Stimmungen. The artist is distinct from the regular person because of the artist's ability not only to sense this Stimmung, but also to recognise its laws, and to reproduce it. 'The artist does not only feel the effects of this but enters into their causes. The world lies before him, I might say, as before its creator, who in the moment that he is pleased that it has been created, also enjoys all the harmonies through which it was made and in which it exists' (Falconet, p18). Goethe is talking about creating a formal complex comprised of cross references and corresponding to a subjective correlate within the artist. This correlate is not a directed impulse, but the pre-conceptual articulation of a--and here the word imposes itself again--Stimmung. The cited passage continues: 'And it is this that moves in the soul of the artist, that little by little forces itself into lucid expression, without having passed through the mind' (p18) The process of artistic production consists of objectivising the psychic texture of correlating images and meanings into a form that will render them generally communicable, despite their pre-conceptual constitution.

This idea outlines a relation between art and Stimmung that anticipates key aspects of the discussion continuing to the present day. Simultaneously, phrases such as 'divine vibrations' and 'harmonies' (not to speak of god as creator) reveal traces of the discursive tradition that Spitzer established as the semantic background of the concept of Stimmung (world harmony). This is clearly a watershed in discursive history, when elements of a tradition of speculative symbolic theology are transformed into the instruments of a reflexive aesthetic theory. In what follows, I will have opportunity again and again to confirm the forward-looking nature of Goethe's line of thought only briefly recounted here. At this juncture, however, the 'Falconet' essay is instructive precisely because it does not include the term that could have succinctly bundled together the notion of the origin of art, its internal coherence and its mode of operation that are worked out in the essay. In 1776 the term Stimmung was not yet available to Goethe.

What does the lexical situation look like in the final third of the eighteenth century? We can take our cue from Johann Christoph Adelung's Worterbuch (1774-1786), in which, as in Johann Georg Sulzer's Allgemeine Theorie (1771/1774), the word does not occur except as a nominalisation for stimmen, to 'raise one's voice or tone' or to 'tune a musical instrument'. (9) In the context of our enquiry, only the second meaning is relevant: the tuning [stimmen] of the musical instrument, a process 'of giving the instrument, or its constituent parts, the relative height and depth of pitch'. (10) According to Grimm, this meaning of 'tuning' [stimmen] can be dated back to the sixteenth century. Since the end of the seventeenth century the noun form refers not only to the process of tuning, but also to the result, the being tuned, as is evidenced in manuals for the production of instrumental music (e.g. Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, Versuch uber die wahre Art das Clavier zu spielen [Essay on the True Art of Playing the Piano] (1753). The procedure of tuning (and hence Stimmung) is a complicated process that involves fixing absolute and relative pitch levels; different relations can be determined. The theoretical foundations for this process, which are supposedly derived from Pythagoras, share the subtlety of mathematics. For our purposes, however, Adelung's remarks are entirely sufficient. Tuning [Stimmung] refers to the process by which the parts of an instrument (e.g. the lengths of its strings) or of a number of instruments are placed in relation to each other. The aim of this procedure is the coordination (harmonisation) of their (the parts or the instruments) playing together.

And with this the key components of the model that is transposed into aesthetic theory have been named. For the concept of Stimmung--in as far as it is of relevance to aesthetic theory during this phase of its semantic history--is initially a metaphor. A conceptual scheme is borrowed from a particular field (here: musical practice) in order semantically to organise a second field (here: aesthetic experience). How this happens will shortly be demonstrated by means of an important example. At this point, however, I want to emphasise two findings regarding the use of the concept of Stimmung in music. (a) Owing to the structure of the action of musical tuning, the word Stimmung can refer to three possible stages. First, it can mean the process of tuning [stimmen], second, the result of this process (being tuned), and, third, the instrument's readiness to do what it has been tuned to do: play. Even in the field of practice where the concept of Stimmung originates, it demonstrates semantic potential that can be teased apart into three moments: preparation, internal structures of relationality and disposition. All three moments are actualised in aesthetic discourse. (b) It is important to accentuate the semantic circumstance that in the field of musical practice the concept of Stimmung has absolutely nothing to do with 'subjective experience'--let alone 'Ichqualitaten'. The tuning [Stimmung] of an instrument is an objective fact; it is brought about by prescribed procedures and its presence can be determined according to particular criteria. What is fascinating about the use of the concept of Stimmung in aesthetic theory is its gradual uncoupling from this exclusively 'objective' sense, which is contingent on its metaphorical transferal onto mind-related matters, and the concomitant development of the above-mentioned first-person reference [Ichbezug]. This subjectivisation of the term, however, is not completed in the first phase of its aesthetic usage, and the examples in this section are meant to show this. Where the metaphor of Stimmung is still fresh, its cognitive possibilities remain narrowly circumscribed by the structure of practice in its domain of origin. Nor is the step towards subjectivisation completed when Adelung, for instance, speaks of people 'who are in agreement, or seek agreement, over their opinions, inclinations and good intention' (ibid). Their Stimmung (or their 'Zusammenstimmung') is just as much observed from the outside as is the tuning of the strings.

First uses of the Stimmung metaphor can be found as early as the sixteenth century. In the essay already mentioned, Spitzer at one point cites a translation of Vitruvius published in 1547: 'Just as the lute/or any other instrument/ may be tuned higher or lower/so that it maintain/the concert of Stimmung and sweetness/so real true symmetry/can be found/in equal harmony/in small and large bodies' (p126). Here the metaphor highlights the fact that in both domains--music and sculpture--the relation between the parts remains the same despite modifications of pitch or size. Eight years prior to the publication of Critique of the Power of Judgment, Christian Cay Lorenz von Hirschfeld uses the metaphor in a sense akin to Kantian usage: the architectural detail of the gardens he describes 'attunes the soul, or sustains the Stimmung to which it has been moved; it leads the soul to superior contemplation, for which the Stimmung has prepared it'. (11) This formulation easily lets us pick out the aspect of 'disposition' contained within the meaning: the object's effect on the viewer disposes her towards a different action, one that transcends aesthetic experience per se, one of higher (presumably moral, religious) contemplation.

Undoubtedly the most momentous use of the Stimmung metaphor in the context of aesthetic theory is to be found in that paragraph of the Critique of the Power of Judgment which Kant said treated the most difficult question in the whole enquiry. This question concerns the communicability of aesthetic judgments grounded in a feeling of pleasure. If it were the case that feeling pleasure preceded communication, then pleasure found in beauty would be a purely private feeling. We could tell others about its occurrence, but we couldn't expect them to share it when faced with the same representation. Such a claim to agreement, though, is part of the grammar of aesthetic judgment, and hence the sequence has to take place exactly the other way round: the feeling of pleasure has to include structurally its own communicability. In fact, it has to find pleasure in the communicability of the play of the imagination triggered by the representation. But how can this be possible, if representations can only lay claim to communicability through the mediation of a general concept? The first phase of Kant's analysis had already shown that beauty is not an objective fact asserted through the mediation of a concept. In nuce, this is Kant's problem at this point in the Critique of the Power of Judgment. Kant's proposed solution contends that the play of the imagination triggered by the given representation and unfolding of the representation's material can very well take this course. He contends that while it is not governed, or--to speak in Kantian terms--determined, by a concept, it nevertheless takes place in conformity with understanding. To name this condition of the coordination between imagination and the understanding that has not been forced by a concept, Kant now reaches for the Stimmung metaphor. He writes:

A representation which, though singular and without comparison to others, nevertheless is in agreement with the conditions of universality, an agreement that constitutes the business of the understanding in general, brings the faculties of cognition into the well-proportioned disposition [Stimmung] that we require for all cognition and hence also regard as valid for everyone (for every human being) who is determined to judge by means of understanding and sense in combination. (12)

With this sentence, Stimmung becomes an aesthetic concept.

What then happens to the musical concept of Stimmung when it is transferred onto the aesthetic problem? The most enormous shift is undoubtedly its severance from practice and from operations conducted according to regulatory principles. There is no operator here at all! A process of tuning [stimmen] might still be presupposed, but this is no longer the action of human subjects. Syntactically, the 'tuning' [stimmen] is done by the 'representation' and that certainly cannot be thought of as an 'acting subject'. But what else might the process of tuning [Stimmungsvorgang] refer to? Surely the phrasing ('a representation [...] brings the faculties of cognition into the well-proportioned disposition [Stimmung]') is not meant to suggest that the representation 'tunes' [stimmt] the faculties of cognition through causal influence. If this were the case, we would be looking at the agreeable and not at the beautiful. Evidently, Kant is after something that is inconceivable if the musical concept of Stimmung is taken literally. Using the same concept metaphorically, however, enables him to ignore the operational specificity of the musical concept of Stimmung. This then enables him to conceptualise the imagination's self-tuning on the occasion of the concrete offer of a representation under the heading of the same word. In Kant, the Stimmung metaphor hence initially means this: that as it processes the intuitable material, the imagination, of its own accord, executes its task according to the universal principles of cognition. Alongside the negative achievement of metaphorisation there is also a positive one to note. Just as the metaphoric transferral releases new possibilities of meaning by ignoring certain aspects of literal usage, so by retaining other aspects of the scheme it gains instruments that serve the conceptual organisation of the new field of reference. With his use of the Stimmung metaphor Kant thus incorporates two aspects of the musical concept of Stimmung. On the one hand, the term refers to the state of being-tuned [Gestimmtsein] as a well-proportioned relation between parts (cognitive faculty). On the other hand, it implies the disposition to carry out an activity of a particular nature. Hence we can record the following sense of Stimmung in the cited sentence: (a) the 'well-proportioned relation' between imagination and understanding--cf the phrasing 'unison in the play of the powers of the mind' (p113; [section]15); and 'that proportion which is suitable for making cognition out of a representation (whereby an object is given to us)' (p122; [section]21); and (b) imagination's disposition to operate in conformity with understanding--cf the definition of 'the feeling for the sublime in nature' as a 'disposition [Stimmung] of the mind that is similar to the moral disposition' (p151; [section]29). These are the semantic implications that the Stimmung metaphor selects from among the components of the musical concept and transfers onto the field of aesthetic experience Kant has in view.

However, the semantic power of the Stimmung metaphor, gained by the double operation of blending out and selecting, does not extend to the subjective domain. The first-person reference of the modern concept of Stimmung is completely absent from Kant's thinking--and, as I will shortly show, that of his immediate successors. What Kant names with the concept of Stimmung is--as is the case in musical Stimmung--perceived from the outside. The situation in question, even though it pertains to the interrelation of the powers of cognition, is thoroughly objective. However, one aspect of Kant's discussion can be read as a subtle shift of its sense towards including subjectivity: in the context of aesthetic theorisation there are, of course, no procedures that produce Stimmung, no measurement tools, no criteria. In relation to the powers of cognition, the meaning of 'proportion' is not even clear: it may perhaps refer simply to 'unison', 'the absence of conflict'. The problem is even graver than that though, because in normal cognition imagination's disposition [Stimmung] towards an activity beneficial to understanding is ensured by the application of a concept, which prescribes to the imagination the rules for its synthesis of intuitable material. Here, however, 'well-proportioned Stimmung' is not produced by the application of a concept but arises of its own accord. What we see is that using the Stimmung metaphor to refer to 'interior' relations entail massive difficulties for the objective determination and communicability of the condition to which the metaphor refers. Kant, however, is convinced that this condition can be sensed using the 'interior sense' and that it can be universally communicated because it embodies the condition required for all cognition. So this is an exceptional case of 'sensation' (p103; [section]59), one whose pleasurableness can be justifiably expected to be recognised by others. This is a sensation, which, to speak in Goethe's terms, achieves 'lucid expression, without having passed through the mind' (Falconet, p18). Admittedly, the fact that the disposition [Stimmung] of the powers of the mind is sensed, and can only be sensed, is not essential to the condition of disposition [Stimmung]--due to the grammar of the musical concept of Stimmung, this remains an objective fact. Retrospectively, however, we can see that Kant's consideration gradually approaches the idea that Stimmung itself is a way of feeling, that it can only be experienced as 'my Stimmung'.

The function of the Stimmung metaphor in the Critique of the Power of Judgment can thus be summarised as follows: it provides Kant with the means of introducing normativity (universality) into sense representation and thus of thinking the pleasure felt during such activity as universally communicable without conceptual mediation. Imagination's self-attunement as performed in response to a given representation is communicable, and this is how imagination brings about its harmonious relation with understanding, the faculty of concepts. The phase of the history of the concept immediately following Kant's use of the Stimmung metaphor is marked by the shifting of the metaphor's function, which in turn brings about a semantic change. This can be shown by considering two further examples.

The aforementioned semantic shift can be traced in Friedrich Schiller's On the Aesthetic Education of Man (1795). The relevant key passage occurs in the twentieth letter:
   Our psyche passes, then, from sensation to thought via a middle
   disposition [Stimmung] in which sense and reason are both active at
   the same time. Precisely for this reason, however, they cancel each
   other out as determining forces, and bring about a negation by
   means of an opposition. This middle disposition [Stimmung], in
   which the psyche is subject neither to physical nor to moral
   constraint, and yet is active in both these ways, pre-eminently
   deserves to be called a free disposition [Stimmung]; and if we are
   to call the condition of sensuous determination the physical, and
   the condition of rational determination [Bestimmung] the logical or
   moral, then we must call this condition of real and active
   determinability [Bestimmbarkeit] the aesthetic. (13)

Here, we see that Schiller is thinking along the lines of the morphology of Stimmung when he derives speculative potential from the absence of the German prefix 'be-', which would designate transitiveness. Thus he turns what is only a secondary aspect in Kant's conceptualisation into the key point of his own line of thought. Remember, Kant proposed that Stimmung (or rather self-attunement) happens to the imagination without conceptual regulation. This is how imagination enters into a harmonious relation with understanding, a process of cognition which is normally brought about by determination through a concept. Schiller's aim is slightly different. He wants to identify a condition in which the mind (psyche) is determined neither by understanding and reason, nor by sensation. The state of mind which is free of both types of determination [Be-Stimmung] is then called Stimmung [disposition]: a state of pure determinability, pure potentiality. This conceptual modification involves a considerable semantic shift, which we can summarise as follows: a key aspect that Kant extracted from the musical concept of Stimmung, namely the 'well-proportioned' relation between the faculties, disappears in Schiller. This means that the concept of Stimmung no longer designates an intra-mental relation, but a globally understood state of mind--an aesthetic state. While this state is brought about by the mutual neutralisation of the determining power of, respectively, sensation and understanding, mutual 'sublation' is not what Schiller means when he speaks of Stimmung. Rather, for Schiller Stimmung means the state of freedom and of determinability arising from the negation of the determinations, and this Stimmung does not belong to the individual faculties and their relation to each other, but to the mind as a whole.

Schiller's use of the concept of Stimmung hence represents the detachment of the concept from its origin in musical practice. The vehicle--the well-proportioned relation of the strings--is lost from view. All that is left is the third element of the musical sense of the term, namely the aspect of disposition. And thus the term's function in Schiller's body of thought is clarified: At stake is the ability to identify a state of potentiality from which the human subject can elevate itself into reasoned self-determination without doing violence to the sensibility that is part of human existence. We can see that the semantic shift of the concept of Stimmung in the Letters is closely linked to Schiller's overarching cultural and political programme of aesthetic education. The key consequence of this shift is a reorientation of the concept's semantic directedness. Instead of being grammatically completed by a plural term, 'faculties', the term of Stimmung is now grammatically completed by the singular 'psyche', as in the formulation 'the aesthetic mode [Stimmung] of the psyche' (p150). This is a semantic step toward subjectivisation, although Stimmung is not yet thought of as mine, with a view to its subjective experience. On the contrary, Schiller conceives of aesthetic Stimmung as the normative ideal state (of freedom); he arrives at this concept by deduction, not by reflecting on experience. Thus Stimmung is still thought of as objective. Nevertheless, a certain bending of the conceptual grammar can be detected, a separation from the language game characterised by the relational concept. From now on Stimmung is no longer characterised by the parts, whose relation to each other it designates, but by the global qualities belonging to the state of mind (for instance 'serenity', 'freedom'). It is interesting to observe that this shift of sense in Schiller coincides with the positing of the concept of the 'aesthetic' as absolute. In fact, according to Schiller the state of mind he calls Stimmung is ipso facto the aesthetic.

I will conclude this section with a brief look at Wilhelm von Humboldt's treatise Ueber Goethes Hermann und Dorothea [On Goethe's Hermann and Dorothea] (1799), which features a third variant of the concept of Stimmung. Here, the term 'subjectivisation', which I have used to signify the tendency of semantic shifts, is rendered explicit. Overall, Humboldt is interested in a transcendental question, namely: 'how is it even possible for the artist to produce aesthetic effects?'. (14) The answer to this question, which Humboldt develops over the course of his study, is that all laws of aesthetics are to be derived 'from the nature of the imagination, taken by itself and related to all other powers of the mind' (p319). In this sense, Humboldt's project can be understood as a continuation of Kant's theory, but with a focus on artistic, specifically poetic, production and effects rather than on aesthetic judgment. For the purposes of the present analysis, Humboldt's thinking on genre theory is particularly important. Humboldt not only wanted to investigate art, and specifically poetry, with a view to its possibilities; he was also interested in poetry's individuation in the different genres. The fact that the concept of Stimmung appears here--in the context of discussions of genre--is also semantically interesting, because the concept is thus linked to the capture of individual views, in that Stimmung is introduced as an individualising factor. Humboldt writes:
   The ground for the classification of all principal forms of poetry
   is purely the nature of the poetic imagination and the universal
   state of the soul which that imagination treats in each poetic
   form. The character of each form of poetry is given through the
   study of both these parts separately and in relation to each other:
   the subjective Stimmung, whence the form originates and which it in
   turn produces, and from this we can deduce the objective definition

With this formulation we have not yet arrived at the point where the individuality of every human subject is thought of as Stimmung; this does not happen until we get to Dilthey and Simmel. But the net that connects the concepts of Stimmung and individuality is nevertheless cast here.

If we now ask ourselves what this 'underlying Stimmung' (p247) is, however, we arrive at a Kantian answer. It is the relation between the imagination and the other faculties, especially sensation and understanding. While Kant knew only two options for this relation (attuned to one another or out of tune), Humboldt pluralises Stimmungen and thus turns them into genre-individuating complexities. Even more than that, he introduces a new aspect into the description of Stimmung: the relative dominance of the objective or the subjective. 'Stimmung' then signifies not only the relation between cognitive powers, but also, and primarily, the manner in which the world in general is grasped. Here we can certainly observe a continuation of Schiller's distinction between naive and sentimental modes of sensation, but now in the field of genre theory and without the ballast of the philosophy of history. The tendency of lyrical Stimmung achieves its full potential in tragic Stimmung, whose opposition to epic Stimmung is summarised as follows: 'that, even though both set all our powers in motion, these are combined to different degrees and in different ways in each. Each is hence grounded in a different state of mind: the epopee [epic] in contemplation, which is ruled by the object, the tragedy in a particularly determined sensation, which is ruled by the subject' (p248). The Kantian relation of faculties has turned into a mixture, a variable unity whose complexity derives from the introduction of orientation (the dominance of subject or object) as the decisive factor. Furthermore, the genre-determining Stimmungen are distinct in their relation to time: the 'purely epic Stimmung' 'can last throughout a whole life'; the lyrical-tragic Stimmung moves along 'in bursts' and 'finally' leaves us 'suddenly on a steep cliff' (p238). Artistic Stimmungen in Humboldt's sense are subjective dispositions as a whole, whose individual character derives from the interweaving of a number of factors: (a) the internal relation between the powers of cognition; (b) the relative dominance of subjective or objective focus; (c) the configuration of the temporal references. This means that the first-personal quality--its belonging to each as 'mine'--has not yet been thought. Rather, what is at stake here are subjective ideals that are seen as such from the outside. This external view of the subject is precisely what we can record as the persistent characteristic of the three variants of 'classic' aesthetics that I have discussed in this section. Within this group, Humboldt's concept of poetic Stimmung can be taken as the one that most advances the subjectivisation of the semantics of Stimmung. According to him, Stimmung is neither the harmony of the faculties of cognition, occurring in the same way in all subjects, nor is it a person's pure potentiality for self-determination. Instead, it is an attitude towards the world that is expressed in every cognitive act of a poetic subject and thus confers on it its typical unity. Here, too, the relation, taken as the internal structure of a Stimmung, results in a disposition, as it does in Kant and Schiller, but here it is one which features different possibilities of development. Finally, it is interesting to remark that the increase of the potential for differentiation that the concept of Stimmung undergoes in Humboldt's theory rests on the actualisation of an aspect of meaning of the musical concept of Stimmung that neither Kant nor Schiller had picked up on: from the beginning, the musical concept allowed for different relations of Stimmung that are suited to different purposes.


The aspect of the concept of Stimmung we have called first-personal in the preceding discussion solidifies over the course of the nineteenth century. Stimmungen come into view as a discrete dimension of feeling whose overall diffuse character--the 'colouration of a state of mind' (Lotze)--exhibits subtle variations and barely noticeable transitions. Hence Dilthey speaks of Stimmungen as 'countless nuances' that determine the individual's orientation towards the world. (15) Stimmungen stand out for their ephemeral, changeable character that mirrors the fluctuations of subjectivity. On the other hand, deeply rooted, long-term Stimmungen that form the foundation of individual personality can also be observed. Carl Gustav Carus, whom Bollnow refers to as one of the most important precursors of his own theory of Stimmungen (op cit, p42) notes both aspects: both the 'change of the disposition's Stimmungen and a person's spiritual foundation, 'the resonance of the universe within us'. (16) Music is joined in its role as reference point for the characterisation of Stimmungen by two further phenomenal domains: landscape and weather, both of which are seen to correlate objectively with a subjective Stimmung. In the second half of the century experimental psychology began to classify Stimmungen, to determine their causes, to record their effects. This scholarly interest continues to the present day.

Regarding the use of the concept of Stimmung in aesthetic theory, new accentuations can be seen quite early on. The establishment of the genre triad--epic, dramatic, lyric--that takes place in Romanticism, creates a functional position into which the concept of Stimmung is inscribed. Friedrich Schlegel points to the 'changing mood [Stimmung] in the play of life' as a key characteristic of 'elegiac' poetry as early as his Dialogue on Poetry. (17) Hegel's Lectures on Fine Art (held in 1818) then elevate Stimmung to signify an essential characteristic of the lyric genre:
   But the proper unity of the lyric is not provided by the occasion
   and its objective reality but by the poet's inner movement of soul
   and his way of treating his subject. For the single mood [Stimmung]
   or general reflection aroused poetically by the external stimulus
   forms the centre determining not only the colour of the whole but
   also the whole range of particular aspects which may be developed,
   the manner of their exposition and linkage, and therefore the plan
   and connection of the poem as a work of art. (18)

If we look back at the uses of the concept of Stimmung I discussed in the first section of this article, we can see that a semantic transformation has to have preceded Hegel's definition of poetry. Stimmung has, so to speak, been submerged within the interior of the subject; its modulations are now the mark of subjectivity itself, the medium through which the 'I' feels itself, unmediated. Precisely this intimacy of Stimmung guarantees its precedence over the abstract expression of subjectivity that Hegel calls reflection:
   What is most completely lyrical from this point of view is a mood
   [Stimmung] of the heart concentrated on a concrete situation,
   because the sensitive heart is what is inmost in the subjective
   life, and most that life's own, while reflection and meditation on
   universal principles may easily slip into being didactic (p1133).

Where Stimmung is conceived as 'the inmost of the subjective life, and most that life's own', the first-person reference (self-relation as opposed to a well-proportioned relation between cognitive faculties) is part of its definition. This semantic change facilitates concepts such as 'Stimmungslyrik', which continued to be passed down by literary scholars even in the second half of the last century. Walther Killy eventually laid the concept to rest and emphasised instead the continuity of lyrical conventions. (19)

In this section I want to discuss two extremes that render the radical subjectivity of Stimmung the focus of aesthetic and poetic considerations. The first is developed on the cusp of the nineteenth century in Fichte's Ueber Geist und Buchstab in der Philosophie [On the Spirit and the Letter of Philosophy] (1794). This fragmentary treatise is interesting for our discussion because it carries through the implications of Fichte's original insight into the structure of subjectivity as a self-relation. (20) Moreover, Fichte here stages a disagreement with Schiller's theory as laid out in On the Aesthetic Education of Man, which led to its complicated publication history. The details of this debate are not important to the present discussion. What is perhaps important though are the politics of Fichte's rejection of Schiller's concept of aesthetic education: 'and the idea of elevating man to a state worthy of liberty, and hence to liberty itself, via his aesthetic education, is a circular logic unless we first find a means of awakening in the individual in the crowd the courage not to be anybody's master nor anybody's slave'. (21) In addition--and this is theoretically the far more important point--Fichte dismisses the remnants of faculty psychology that underpin Schiller's distinction between formal drive [Formtrieb], sensuous drive [Stofftrieb] and play drive [Spieltrieb]. There is only one drive, a 'singular, indivisible fundamental force in man', and this drive is always practical in as much as it 'drives self-activity' (pp278-9). Fichte is interested in pure self-activity as the essence of subjectivity, and its expression in the diverse forms of human praxis: the cognitive, the practical (in the narrow sense), and the aesthetic. Despite the treatise's title, Fichte's main concern is the last, and he introduces the concept of 'aesthetic Stimmung' in order to elaborate on it. Fichte explains this concept via a fictional example (presumably borrowed from the figure of Mignon in Goethe's Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship):
   In order to have an adequate image of aesthetic Stimmung, just
   think--as you can, like the poet--of the lovely night-time singer;
   think of her soul as pure song, her spirit as pursuing the most
   perfect accord, and her individual tones as the representations of
   this soul. Unbeknownst to herself the singer drives her spirit's
   direction up and down the scale and over the course of the manifold
   accords this spirit gradually develops its full capacity. Each new
   accord is a step in this development and resonates with the
   singer's ur-drive, which she is unaware of because we have given
   her no other representations but tones, and whose relation to the
   accidental accords she cannot judge (p284).

So what can we say about this effusive depiction of 'aesthetic Stimmung'?

To begin with, we can say that, like Kant's considerations discussed above, it makes use of the musical metaphor of Stimmung. Here, too, the concern is with agreement, a harmonious relation, but precisely not a relation between imagination and understanding. Instead, Fichte makes use of the idea of musical Stimmung in order to figure the relation between individual representations (tones) and the 'ur-drive' as the innermost source of subjectivity (self-activity). He is intent on conceptualising aesthetic Stimmung as the expression of a hidden freedom. This, however, attributes another criterion for success to Stimmung. Unlike with Kant, where the issue was one of imagination's independent normalisation, here the issue is to adequately express the power that lies at the bottom of all normalisation, of all cognitive and practical activity. We can say something similar about the concept of aesthetic pleasure. While Kant saw pleasure as the internal sensation brought about by the informal coordination of the powers of cognition, for Fichte pleasure is the never fully achieved satisfaction of the drive to develop, without impediment or distortion, via the self-activity of the respective I.

If we now enquire into the semantic shift that coincides with Fichte's appropriation of the aesthetic concept of Stimmung, we can remark two important aspects. Firstly, the concept of Stimmung gains a dimension that it had not had in any of the earlier variants, that is, a relation to the unconscious. The representations (tones) are 'attuned' [gestimmt] to something that eludes representation; the reference point, to which the representations are 'attuned' [abgestimmt], is entirely heterogeneous to representation as such. The passage cited here can certainly be taken as an early testament to Romanticism's revaluation of music, which Kant had classified as the lowest of the art forms only five years previously. And this passage also shows us that the concept of Stimmung gains extraordinary dimensions because of this revaluation. This relation does not suggest, however, that music is taken to be the entirely adequate (harmonious) expression of self-activity. Rather, what we can see in Fichte's depiction of the singer is that the Romantic privileging of music is rooted in the latter's constant reaching beyond itself, its restlessness and--to use a heavily laden Romantic term--its yearning, that stages the incongruity between representation and drive. Given its structure in Fichte's conceptualisation, aesthetic Stimmung is a self-relation, albeit a ruptured one. In this form the concept of Stimmung enters the core conceptual repertoire of Romantic aesthetics.

This semantic linking of the concept of Stimmung and the concept of the unconscious coincides with a second semantic shift, which we can call the introduction of hermeneutics into Stimmung. This circumstance is emphasised in Fichte's emphatic declaration that the artist endeavours 'to communicate his Stimmung' (p293; emphasis in original). The connection between the concept of Stimmung and that of communication had already been central in Kant: after all, the communicability of pleasure, which is the foundation of the judgment of beauty, is guaranteed by nothing other than the agreement [Stimmung] of the faculties. For Fichte, Stimmung is no longer the condition of possibility of communication, it is the object of artistic communication. We might be tempted to say that Stimmung is the content of communication, only Stimmung is not the content but the shape of the movement of the artist's innermost subjectivity as self-activity:
   So the enthusiastic artist expresses his mind's Stimmung in a
   moveable body, and the movement, the course, the flow of his
   creations expresses the innermost vibrations of his soul. This
   movement is intended to call forth the same Stimmung in us that was
   in him. He lent his soul to the dead material so that it could
   transfer that Stimmung to us. Our spirit is the final aim of his
   art and those creations are the mediators between him and us, just
   like air is the mediator between our ear and the strings [of an
   instrument] (p294).

The internalisation of the concept of Stimmung, which is what Fichte's reworking of the semantics effects, creates a problem that would have been unthinkable for Kant, Schiller and Humboldt. How can radical subjectivity be made available to others? The artist's Stimmung, after all, is only his Stimmung--in Hegel's words: 'what is inmost in the subjective life, and most that life's own'. Apparently it is necessary to externalise Stimmung through a medium that, while not identical to the Stimmung, is able to absorb and transmit the imprint of its vibrations. The recipient must then prise the vibrations away from their estrangement in the dead medium and generate the Stimmung in him--or herself. This concept is extremely ambivalent, oscillating as it does between the emphatic declaration of successful transference on the one hand, and, on the other, highlighting the difference between internal Stimmung and external medium. This turns the artwork into a peculiarly double figure: on the one hand the shaped medium, including figures, thoughts, narrative; on the other hand the artwork's ghostly Stimmung, which can never map onto its external shape [Gestalt]. Fichte conceptualises this split between internal and external, Stimmung and shape, as the difference between spirit and letter (p294). This difference turns into the organisational scheme of an aesthetic hermeneutics whose object--the spirit--has always already retreated to the sphere of pure self-activity: 'In the pure, unclouded ether of the land of its birth there are no other vibrations than those it causes itself with its wing' (p291).

In order to get to the second of the extreme positions I want to discuss here, we have to leap from one fin de siecle to the next, and hence into a completely different semantic situation from the Romantic one. This new situation was partially, as implied above, the result of psychological research. Availing itself of new methods of observation and experimentation, this movement drove the internal differentiation of spiritual life into sub-systems up to the point at which the all-encompassing unity of the spirit dissolved. Ernst Mach's proclamation is emblematic of this semantic situation: 'The I is irretrievable.' (22) This renders Fichte's 'ur-force'--the I as self-activity--a mere function within 'the economy of thought' (p19). In other words, it is a pragmatic fiction that 'might be partially or wholly absent' in numerous cases and 'especially in the happiest moments' (p20). From this new perspective, Stimmungen, too, appear in a different light--they are more complex and manifold, and, due to their vacillations, they gain a temporal depth that had been unknown until then. Precisely this aspect of Stimmung attracted the early attention of the student Nietzsche: 'Let us speak openly: our frame of mind is determined by the conflict between the old and the young world, and we call the respective state of the conflict Stimmung, or, with slight disdain, mood [Laune].' (23) Stimmungen taken as complex networks of sensation and feeling, whose constant changing and internal variety give insight into the fluctuations of spiritual life--this was one aspect that fascinated Nietzsche. The other is their tendency, both psychological and cultural, to cover up this internal diversity and instability with simplifying schematisations. Both sides of the phenomenon are captured by the aphorism entitled 'Sympathetic resonance' ['Miterklingen'] in Human, All Too Human:
   All stronger moods [Stimmungen] bring with them a sympathetic
   resonance on the part of related sensations and mood [Stimmung]:
   they as it were root up the memory. Something in us is provoked to
   recollection and becomes aware of similar states and their origins.
   Thus there come to be constructed habitual rapid connections
   between feelings and thoughts which, if they succeed one another
   with lightning speed, are in the end no longer experienced as
   complexes but as unities. It is in this sense that one speaks of
   the moral feelings, of the religious feelings, as though these were
   simple unities: in truth, however, they are rivers with a hundred
   tributaries and sources. Here too, as so often, the unity of the
   word is no guarantee of the unity of the thing. (24)

All of the great simplifications of the traditional psychological, moral and religious vocabularies are unsalvageable, just like the unity of the self was for Mach. And that is precisely why Stimmungen are interesting, because they render visible that layer of our being that is otherwise covered over by schematisation: the current of time and life that carries us off this side of fiction. This designates the functional position that is occupied by diverse variants of a new art of Stimmung around the turn of the twentieth century.

The young Hofmannsthal can be seen as an especially consistent representative of this new art of Stimmung. Moreover, his poetic statements exhibit a decidedly modernist sense of the autonomy of poetic language, namely the independence of signifier and signified. The two are bound together as early as 1896:
   I do not know whether, amidst all the tiresome prattle about
   individuality, style, attitude, Stimmung and so forth, you have
   lost consciousness of the fact that poetry's material is words,
   that a poem is a weightless web of words which, through its
   arrangement, its sound and its content that join visual and
   auditory memories with the element of movement, evokes a precisely
   delineated, beautifully lucid, fleeting spiritual state that we
   call Stimmung. (25)

Anybody working on the history of semantics must be grateful for passages such as these, marking as they do the progressive shading of meaning in their simultaneous rejection and affirmation of the same term. It is the exclusively classificatory use of the concept of Stimmung, when it is brought to bear on phenomena from the outside and as evidenced in Friedrich Theodor Vischer's differentiation between 'Stilbild' and 'Stimmungsbild', which appears to be rejected here. (26) Hofmannsthal is interested in the interiority of Stimmung, which he conceives of as a spiritual state that is evoked by the movement of language and that exists purely in its respectively specific composition. But composed of what? Evidently it is composed of those impressions that inscribe themselves in the body and in language, where they leave behind their movements, and which the poetic evocation retrieves into a momentary configuration. Here, Stimmung is no longer that which is most interior and most personal to the self. Rather, its aesthetic meaningfulness derives from the fact that it opens us towards a dimension of life in which the simplistic metaphor of self is dismissed. Hofmannsthal explicitly speaks to this point in his 'Gesprach uber Gedichte' [Dialogue on Poems], published in 1903:
   Indeed--our 'self'! The word is such a metaphor. Movements, which
   have already nested here once before, return. And is it really them
   again? Is it not rather their brood that is driven back here by a
   dark feeling of home? Enough, something returns. And something
   encounters something else within us. We are nothing but a
   dovecote. (27)

Let us then take note of the impersonality of the concept of Stimmung as the first key characteristic of its fin-de-siecle rendition. Stimmung conceived as the subjective configuration of contingent encounters becomes a self-less process.

The second key aspect of note regarding Hofmannsthal's concept of Stimmung is its temporal depth, which has already been mentioned in the context of Nietzsche's early writing. What returns through poetic evocation are 'memories', though precisely not consciously practised memory (and here the comparison to Proust imposes itself), but pre-reflexively experienced movements that are hence inaccessible to thematically orientated acts of memory. This concept of Stimmung as the simultaneity of temporal layers that can be sensed in the present, however, presupposes that memory can store movements. For Hofmannsthal, the body takes on the memory function on the one hand, language does on the other. Nowhere else in the history of the semantic development of the concept of Stimmung are Stimmung, body and language as tightly interwoven as in the texts written by the young Hofmannsthal (although Hofmannsthal's contemporary Fritz Mauthner proposes a similar configuration, in which physiological approaches in theories of language and of memory lead to a concept of poetry as the art of Stimmung. (28) The reason for this semantic link is that Hofmannsthal conceives of both the body and of language as resonating bodies that can absorb and then release the vibrations of momentary being. This storage function also transcends the individual life. He writes of the poet that 'the residual twitching of ancient, barely measurable movement' can still be felt in the 'fabric of his body' (Poesie und Leben, p283). Poetic Stimmung comes into being wherever the bodily fabric of movements discharges itself into a linguistic configuration of references in whose words the past has also been stored. And it also releases--from the perspective of reception--a complex vibration of the kind discussed above. Thus the reason for the close link between a poetics of Stimmung and modernist conceptions of language in Hofmannsthal becomes visible. Language is poetically effective precisely because it does not represent anything beyond itself, but, as a-semantic web of relations, as cipher and hieroglyph, it makes a specific constellation of movement tremble again--again but also uniquely, in the specific configuration of a given poem. In this context Hofmannsthal's use of the concept of the moment must be mentioned ('Gesprach uber Gedichte' pp103-4). Fichte's distinction between Stimmung and medium proves obsolete because Stimmung can only come about in a medium--in the body of resonance that is the body and language.

The extreme positions sketched out above generate two opposing possibilities for thinking Stimmung (in the context of aesthetic theory) as radical subjectivity. Subjectivity is opposed to the coming together of discrete elements, self-activity is opposed to the passivity of the resonating body. Both concepts of Stimmung are underpinned by philosophical premises: idealist in the case of Fichte, vitalist and empirio-critical in the case of Hofmannsthal. Finally, the two versions of the concept of Stimmung can be traced back to starkly diverging aesthetic preferences. Were we to assume for one second that there was such a thing as a substance of Stimmung to which the historical concepts of Stimmung referred (which, of course, from the perspective of the history of semantic concepts is not feasible), then we would have to say that Fichte's and Hofmannsthal's approaches slice the substance of Stimmung in orthogonally diverging cuts. But the outcome of this comparison is rather a different one: there is no such thing as Stimmung independent of discourse; there are only historically changeable and changing lifeforms that are expressed in different semantics. Aesthetic Stimmung as experienced at the beginning of the nineteenth century was different from what was experienced at the end of the century. But to then conclude that it was not experienced at all would be erroneous. Instead, a certain truth can be ascribed to both extreme positions; it just is not the same truth.


As mentioned above, the concept of Stimmung frequently occurs in connection with the concept of landscape throughout the nineteenth century. During the first decades of the twentieth century this semantic link, which had become generally accepted, is the subject of theoretic considerations which lead to illuminating analyses of what the term Stimmung is really meant to signify. During the phases of its history that I have discussed thus far, the concept of Stimmung offered a perspective on other matters, it was used as explanans. During the phase of the concept's history we now turn towards, Stimmung turns into the explanandum, the object of theoretical endeavours. In what follows, I will discuss three approaches that achieved this semantic turn.

Our starting point is a short but highly ambitious essay written by the Austrian art historian Alois Riegl, the title of which, 'Die Stimmung als Inhalt der modernen Kunst' [Stimmung as the Content of Modern Art] (1899) announces with great precision the essay's key argument. It proposes that modern art (since the Renaissance) is distinct from other historical manifestations of art in as much as it aims to generate Stimmung. Thus for the first time the concept of Stimmung is conceived of as having historicity. It designates a modern mode of experience as well as the specific concreteness that corresponds with this mode of experience. This is not merely the statement that modern art is frequently an art of Stimmung [Stimmungskunst]. Rather, the concept of Stimmung is turned into a comprehensive historical category which is in its turn derived from a determination of the function of art in general. The purpose of art this should be considered the core premise of Riegl's bold argument--is to release human beings from the onslaught of the manifold and contradictory challenges of the empirical world that sap their will to live. That is what it has done 'since the very beginning', and that is what it continues to do today, by providing 'people with the comforting certainty of the existence of the order and harmony they miss, confined as they are in the mechanism of the world, and which they ceaselessly yearn for', and without which 'their lives would seem unbearable'. (29) Schopenhauer's influence is evident in this pessimistic conception of art. His philosophy, enriched with elements from Darwin, provided an important point of reference for the theoretical discussions around the turn of the twentieth century. Schopenhauer had notably emphasised two aspects of art. The first was that art reveals Platonic ideas to be the basic configurations of being. The second was that art relates to a cognitive attitude that breaks away from the will to live that is anchored in the body and is elevated to the level of pure contemplation. Riegl modifies this concept in as much as he drops the hypothesis of art's metaphysical content and interprets the hypothesis of liberation and redemption functionally. In the face of the experiential world that is overwhelming due to its chaotic dissonance, art offers consolation by presenting 'order and harmony' that is otherwise inaccessible to perception. The argument that a specific historic realisation of this function--precisely the modern one--takes the shape of Stimmung also develops one of Schopenhauer's ideas. He, in turn, had designated the state of contemplation devoid of will, which constitutes aesthetic consciousness, Stimmung, in a way close to Schiller's use of the concept. (30)

If Riegl's determination of the function of art proves to be an adaptation (granted, with significant modification) of Schopenhauer's thinking, then its historical construction can be viewed as thoroughly original. The question he asks himself is: in what ways is the universal function of art fulfilled in the different periods of art history? And his answer is: through the manifest figuration of the power that guarantees 'order and harmony' in a given significant historical worldview. Thus, four periods of art history become discernible: (1) primitive art, where the prevailing power inheres in individual natural phenomena and can hence be made present in the fetish; (2) the art of Antiquity, where the foundation of order relies on physical strength and triumphant vitality, and which hence celebrates the beauty of the body; (3) medieval Christian art, whose principal is the representation of the moral strength of its one God. These three concepts of order are juxtaposed with the modern world view, which does not assume a religious principle, but rather a nexus of phenomena regulated by laws of causality. Thus (4) modern art offers 'the calming conviction of the immovable working of the law of causality' (p35). It complements natural science through its formal structure. Riegl calls the experience of the formal structure, when the awareness of its immanent conformity to law turns into certainty, Stimmung. In that sense, Stimmung is the content of modern art.

We can see that here the concept of Stimmung is understood very broadly; even that it approaches the concept of formal consistency [Stimmigkeit]. But it is not arbitrarily introduced. On the contrary, Riegl derives the concept from a concrete possibility of experience which he deems paradigmatic for the 'modern person's soul', namely the experience of landscape:
   Whatever the modern person's soul longs for, consciously or
   unconsciously, is fulfilled for the solitary viewer on yonder
   summit. He is not surrounded by the peace of the churchyard, no; he
   can see life sprouting a thousandfold. But what looks like a
   merciless battle from up close, from afar looks like peaceful
   togetherness, concord, harmony. So he feels redeemed and relieved
   of the anxious pressure that does not subside for a day in his
   common life. He suspects that far above the contradictions that his
   imperfect senses feign in proximity, all things are permeated by an
   incomprehensible entity, a world soul that unites them into perfect
   harmony. This intuition--of the order and the conformity to law
   above chaos, of harmony above the dissonance, of calm above
   movement--we call Stimmung. Its elements are peace and a distant
   view (p29).

The modern subject, to whom no divine guarantor of the world order is available, seeks refuge in aesthetic compensation. It takes up a position from which it can view a complex totality--landscape--and thus gain a sense of prevailing laws. Peace and a clear view are the components of the means of perception made possible by the experience of Stimmung. It is important to emphasise the consistently functional interpretation of the experience of Stimmung. Although Riegl's use of the concept of Stimmung could be seen as a late reprise of the idea of world harmony--with a view to the outcomes of Spitzer's research--it is crucial that he does not ascribe any metaphysical content to the suspected unity of the discrete phenomena. Art does not convey truth by insight into the metaphysical world order. Rather, art is understood as a means for rendering life bearable. Stimmung as the principle of modern art is here understood in relation to a fundamental anthropological need that is met under specific historical conditions by specific arrangements of perception. In terms of its soberness, this version of the concept of Stimmung is singular. (Joachim Ritter, who, in an influential contribution, takes the modern experience of landscape to be an aesthetic compensation for the loss of the possibility of theoretically realising cosmic unity that accompanies the ascent of modern science, seems not to have been familiar with Riegl's text, which pre-empts his argument in several points. (31))

Riegl's 1902 essay on Jacob van Ruisdael, in which the use of the concept of Stimmung is far more differentiated, gives an indication of how this extraordinary generalisation of the concept of Stimmung came about. Riegl's concern here is to present the developmental logic of Ruisdael's landscape paintings as one that is aimed at the artistic creation of Stimmung as the immanent regulatory principle of the painting. He argues that the artist failed to create a landscape painting that successfully communicated the 'fully unadulterated extent of Stimmung' until he painted Grosser Buchenwald (1660). And the purity of this Stimmung distinguishes the painting from the everyday experience of landscape: 'None of the trees stand out with the intrusive plasticity that solicits the sense for action, in the way we might experience it on any walk through the forest, so that it pierces the eye which can hence never apprehend the entire field of vision at once.' (32) However, the artist's development is not complete with this achievement. He ramps up the feeling to the level of 'passion, under which pressure the Stimmung, stretched to breaking point, so to speak snaps' (p143). With that, the aesthetics orientated in relation to the atmospheric [stimmungshaft] integration of pictorial elements is replaced by a different aesthetics (an aesthetic of passion). Here, then, the concept of Stimmung is understood not as encompassing the entirety of modern art (a claim that is certainly a stretch), but as referring to specific modes of pictorial composition. A distant view does, however, remain the decisive criterion; it turns every discrete phenomenon into the moment of an atmospheric totality and blocks any isolated demand on the viewer's attention. The concept of Stimmung takes hold when visuality detaches from the other sensual registers, as well as from all factual interest--the absolutisation of the visual. This suggests that the elevation of the concept of Stimmung to a category encompassing the entirety of modernity, as had been argued in the earlier essay, relies on the retroactive projection of contemporary tendencies in painting. In other words, Riegl interprets the entirety of modern art from the perspective of Impressionism, where the art of Stimmung [Stimmungskunst], in the sense of a purely visually mediated atmospheric pictorial integration, asserted itself in practice.

The connection between landscape and Stimmung which lies at the bottom of Riegl's thinking on the character of art in modernity is also the topic of an essay by Georg Simmel published in 1913. Here, too, the experience of landscape is interpreted as a specifically modern mode of perception. However, Simmel has a different take on it. The modern world's essential feature, which Simmel takes to be the condition for the orientation of consciousness towards landscape, is 'the individualization of the internal and external forms of human existence', which he also emphasises in other contexts. (33) This 'individualization' also asserts itself in the field of the perception of nature by isolating specific complexities from the totality of nature that show internal coherence and beholding these apart, as integral special entities. This departs from the idea that landscapes comprise a totality of nature's phenomena. Instead, the key characteristic of landscapes is containment, 'a way of being encompassed by a momentary or permanent field of vision' (p21). Landscape turns into the artefact of a manifestation of life that adheres to an immanent rule of law, or, as Simmel often articulates the same set of facts, that unfolds according to its own idea. The semantic reference to cosmic unity is, in this instance, pure connotation--while it is implied in certain experiences of landscape, it can be foregone without detracting from the experience of landscape as such.

But how (according to what internal rule of law?) does the unity of landscape come about? To answer this question, Simmel takes up the concept of Stimmung:
   We say that a landscape arises when a range of natural phenomena
   spread over the surface of the earth is comprehended by a
   particular kind of unity [...] The most important carrier of this
   unity may well be the 'mood' [Stimmung], as we call it, of a
   landscape. When we refer to the mood [Stimmung] of a person, we
   mean that coherent ensemble that either permanently or temporarily
   colours the entirety of his or her psychic constituents. It is not
   itself something discrete, and often also not an attribute of any
   one individual trait. All the same, it is that commonality where
   all these individual traits interconnect. In the same way, the mood
   [Stimmung] of a landscape permeates all its separate components,
   frequently without it being attributable to any one of them. In a
   way that is difficult to specify, each component partakes in it,
   but a mood [Stimmung] prevails which is neither external to these
   constituents, nor is composed of them (p26).

This use of the concept of Stimmung exhibits key features of its subject-related definition: the colouring of all content, the temporal doubleness (temporary v. permanent), the individualisation of the worldview. The key point is the fact that the unity and specificity of landscape does not arise from the composition of discrete elements but makes itself felt as an affective quality that permeates and hence unifies everything. The unity of landscape as its own entity is owed to the pre-reflexive achievement of integration on the part of Stimmung, here understood as comprehensive affectivity. To make out and bring forth such entities from among the diverse earthly views on offer is, according to Simmel, a concern of the modern human eager to individualise forms of being.

However, Simmel's notion of Stimmung as the bearer of landscape's unity brings out a thorny conceptual problem. How are we to conceive of this bearing? With reference to this question Simmel's explanation of the concept of Stimmung achieves a hitherto unheard-of degree of clarity. I have already emphasised that Simmel conceives of landscape as an artefact, as the product of a manifestation of life. If, however, landscape is underpinned by the human subject's act, then the division between subject and object has already been overcome at its source:
   There prevails, in fact, no cause-and-effect relationship between
   them, and, if anything, both together would count as cause and both
   as effect. Thus, both the unifying movement which brings landscape
   as such into being, and the mood [Stimmung] that a landscape
   projects at us and through which we comprehend it, are merely the
   result of a subsequent dismantling of one and the same psychic act

The decisive step that leads to this conception of the phenomenon of Stimmung is a switch to an anthropological perspective that breaks through the conceptual separation of the psychic sphere of interiority. We are not psychic vessels faced with an aggregate of physical facts. We behave as 'whole beings' and the act that brings forth the landscape is 'immediately one of perception and feeling' (p29). If we accept this premise, then the artist's creative act can be understood as one in which the otherwise merely inconsequentially and desultorily performed act experiences the highest degree of concentration and intensification:
   An artist is someone who carries out the formative act of
   contemplative perception and feeling in such a pure form and with
   such vigour, that the given material gets completely absorbed and
   then, seemingly out of its own resources comes to be created anew.
   While the rest of us remain more tied to this material, and still
   tend to note only this or that separate part, only the artist
   really sees and creates 'landscape' (p29).

With this notion, however, we have returned to the starting point of our semantic considerations: this proposition of the singularity of the artist's act of creation rings with the distant echo of Goethe's argument that the artist 'enters into [the] causes' of Stimmung in order for it then to emerge as its own most 'lucid expression' (Falconet, p18).

To Riegl's art historical approach to Stimmung, and to Simmel's life-philosophical, anthropological method, must now be added a third position, which is represented by the phenomenologist Moritz Geiger. In order to do this, we have to take a small step backwards in the chronology: the contribution by Geiger to which I am referring was published as 'Zum Problem der Stimmungseinfuhlung' [On the problem of Empathetic Stimmung] in 1911 two years before the publication of Simmel's 'Philosophy of Landscape'. This chronological inconsistency is necessary for the purposes of my argument: Geiger's essay can be read as the attempt to analyse the individual components and internal structure of the unifying spiritual act, which, according to Simmel, generates landscape as a unity underpinned by a specific Stimmung. The phenomenological method in general is concerned with descriptively untangling the intertwined acts and objects that characterise the different types of work performed by consciousness. In Geiger's work, however, this research interest is coupled with a discursive tradition that laid claim to a certain dominance at the turn of the century--at least within academic aesthetics. I am speaking of psychological aesthetics, which includes key works such as Theodor Lipps's Grundlegung der Asthetik [Aesthetic Foundations] (1903/1906) and Johannes Volkelt's System der Asthetik [The Aesthetic System] (1905-1914). Geiger studied with Lipps, and in the essay under discussion here he takes up the central concept of Lipps's aesthetics: the concept of empathy. This concept suggests that aspects of the psyche are projected into objects and thus these aspects are encountered in an objectified state. We hence take pleasure in our empathy for the objects; aesthetic pleasure is the psyche taking pleasure in itself, and aesthetic values and forms are distinguished by the respective psychic values that they embody. Alongside dynamic values and personality values, psychic states--for example Stimmungen--are empathised into objects. (34) And this designates the point at which Geiger starts his analysis. He is interested in using phenomenological analysis of experiences of Stimmung--such as when we say a colour is joyous, a landscape melancholy or delightful--in order to determine whether such a thing as empathic Stimmung even exists.

Geiger establishes a complexly layered structure that exhibits a high degree of variability among its forms of realisation. The first notable finding is that objects--colours as well as more complex objects such as landscapes --exhibit aspects that are qualitatively registered as Stimmung (for example 'joyousness'), but without suggesting a corresponding feeling on the part of the subject who is doing the viewing, and without giving life to the object. In other words, things, shapes, colours have 'characters' that can be taken as an objective component. But there is also an orientation of feeling towards the object, a connection between the experience (characterised by first-personal reference) and the object. This, however, is not fixed, but changes according to circumstance. Thus, an affective tone is poured over things, like a 'shimmer'. These findings, however, raise the question of how the affective tone relates to the characters of the objects. Geiger's response to this question in relation to the concept of Stimmung is downright exciting. There is, he argues, a 'qualitative relatedness' between the objective characters on the one hand and the affective tones on the other hand, and where this relatedness occurs, there we can speak of the 'affective character' of objects. And thus we have arrived at a position from which the semantics of the concept of Stimmung, which unites the subjective with the objective, can be explained: 'A constant backwards and forwards exists between my Stimmung and the landscape's character, which complicates the separation of the landscape's character from my Stimmung during the process of psychological analysis.' (35) The unified act, in which, according to Simmel, perception and feeling are always already united, has turned into a feedback loop. It constitutes, through its alternation between experience and object, feeling and character, that relation of 'carrying' that is characteristic of the Stimmung of landscape. The Stimmung of landscape is hence an emergent unity, which results from the constant reintroduction into the cycle of its own products.

This analysis already contributes to an understanding of our everyday experience of Stimmung. But Geiger adds to it a second level of analysis that investigates the mode in which we apprehend the phenomenon of Stimmung. The concern here is with possible attitudes toward atmospheric [stimmungshaft] landscape, with the orientation of consciousness. Here, too, we can note numerous possibilities organised according to different basic types. In the current context, it is important to note that during this phase of his analysis Geiger is trying to establish a link between the attitude of consciousness and the phenomenon that is artistic style. Works of art are characterised by the special structural integration of an attitude towards their object. There is an objective attitude that is exemplified by Jens Peter Jacobsen's 'Niels Lyhne' (1880). Thus, there is a mode that asserts a position and takes the side of a particular affective tone (for example, Stimmungslyrik in the style of Richard Dehmel). And there is a sentimental attitude that is not at all interested in the objects themselves, except as the occasion for letting them ring with the content of Stimmung (for example, poetic dilettantism). The similarity of these observations to Humboldt's theory of genre can hardly be overlooked. Here, too, the distinction between subjective and objective focus turns out to be the key criterion. Finally, with a view to Geiger's starting point, it is important to remark that such a thing as empathic Stimmung can only be detected on this level. Lipps's key argument is thus severely limited: empathic Stimmung is not a general phenomenon but is the result of a specific intention directed at the landscape which is felt to be atmospheric [stimmungshaft]. The description of the structure of the experience resulting from this type of intention connects a series of moments:

the emphasis of Stimmung over object; awareness of the fact that the subject's experience of Stimmung is the afterlife of the object's Stimmung; the subject's sense of spontaneity within this Stimmung; the sense of actively striving towards the object; the subject's sense of cohering with the object (Geiger, op cit, p37).

Due to this complexity, speaking of 'empathic Stimmung' turns out to be reductive and misleading. It could even be seen as a remake of the Romantic mythologeme of unity with nature--issued by psychological aesthetics which thinks of itself as scientific. This is because in this conception of Stimmung, which proposes the most radical turn towards the object, the subject does not disappear into that object. On the contrary, Stimmung is experienced from a double perspective: as 'my' Stimmung and yet as the afterlife of Stimmung as it manifests itself in the affective characteristics of the object (the landscape). In this context afterlife means the spontaneously aspired to reproduction of the Stimmung that, in the shape of total Stimmung, is inherent in the eidetic representation. While Stimmung usually befalls the subject, it is here turned into a project; it can be executed. If we follow these phenomenological findings through to their conceptual endpoints, we can see that they continue to offer productive starting points for aesthetic reflections even today.

Stimmung conceived as a redeeming view from a distance that makes life in the proximate world endurable; Stimmung conceived as an act emerging from the anthropological totality in which a specific detail of outlook and feeling differentiates and organises itself according to its own internal regularity; Stimmung as the emergent coherence of experience that is the result of a cycle of acts of consciousness which are directed in different directions; finally, Stimmung as a specifically modern possibility of experience--these are the concepts that are developed in the contributions discussed in the preceding discussion. Taken together, they all share the premise that Stimmung is a subjective phenomenon, which can be understood by differentiating its components and functions. Geiger's analysis, however, lends a degree of complexity to this explanation that resists being integrated into comprehensive theories. Thus, a historical semantic phenomenon takes effect that can be observed wherever a structured methodology is developed within aesthetics: it is forgotten. Aesthetic theory is sustained by its adaptability, by changes in perspective--its preliminary character is a condition of its pertinence. The look back to Geiger's achievement is valuable not least because it demonstrates that the disposal of theories that have shown themselves to be untenable in other semantic contexts often involves a loss of theoretical complexity.


There can be no doubt that Heidegger's Being and Time (1927) brings about a radical shift in the semantics of Stimmung. (36) This is not to suggest that it initiates a different language with which to speak about Stimmung. Quite the contrary, both the colloquial use of the concept of Stimmung established during the nineteenth century and the scientific use of the term, particularly in psychology, remained unchallenged even after Heidegger's intervention. Nevertheless, Heidegger enabled a new possibility of speaking about Stimmung that was developed in later texts. The resulting philosophical sub-discourse touches on aesthetics and hence it deserves a section in our discussion of the concept's history.

Heidegger's contribution is radical in as much as he declares irrelevant the notions of 'soul' or 'psyche', 'the colouring of experience', 'subjective nuance', 'affective qualities'--in short, any consideration of Stimmung according to the key distinction between interior and exterior (subjective and objective). Stimmungen are not events that take place in our head or soul or consciousness and must somehow be correlated or connected with events in the world at large. This descriptive scaffolding obstructs access to the phenomena right from the start. In order to grasp these phenomena, we require a conceptual framework organised according to entirely different coordinates, which Heidegger provides with considerable linguistic exertion. Admittedly, efforts to escape the interior/exterior binary had been made before, but they had failed because even the attempt to overcome the difference must presuppose and hence reinforce. Simmel's concept of the 'unified act' comprised of perception and feeling is an example of this. The proposed unity makes sense only if the components that are to be unified in the act are first differentiated. We can certainly argue that Simmel's anthropological approach anticipated or paved the way for Heidegger's rejection of the customary semantic. Simmel can also be said to have anticipated Heidegger's attribution of ontological significance to the phenomenon of Stimmung. His 1906 lecture series on Schopenhauer and Nietzsche is based on the premise that metaphysical systems should be understood as the systematic articulation of a fundamental Stimmung, a fundamental attitude towards being that is in turn pre-conceptual. (37) Dilthey could also be mentioned in this context as one of Heidegger's precursors. (38)

To speak of anticipation, however, shows that the semantic evidence is ordered with a view to Heidegger's definitions. This, in turn, illustrates Being and Time's enormous achievement in recoding the terms. This recoding consists of conceiving Stimmung as an existential, as a constituent element of existence. Stimmungen are a mode in which the Being of Dasein reveals itself. To use terms unfamiliar to Heidegger, we might parse: Stimmungen are cognitive, they communicate a truth. But we must immediately add that this truth is not a truth which normal knowledge, in the sense of objective findings, could even approximate to; that 'the possibilities of disclosure which belong to cognition reach far too short a way compared with the primordial disclosure belonging to moods [Stimmungen]'. (39) Heidegger, then, erects a conceptual framework that is concerned with a privileged, original form of knowledge as well as the veiling and unveiling of this knowledge, which is also knowledge of itself. Stimmungen reveal a set of ontological features, namely the 'thrownness' of Dasein, its rootedness in the 'there', in which it is and accomplishes its existence. The unfathomable facticity of existence shockingly manifests itself in Stimmungen: 'the "that-it-is" of its "there", which, as such, stares it in the face with the inexorability of an enigma' (p175). In addition, however, it is Being-in-the-world as a whole that is revealed in Stimmung, as well as our dependence on the world, and the way in which the world holds us. Thus Stimmungen gain substantially in prestige through Heidegger's interpretation because he conceives them as the primary mode in which our own Being as well as the world become available to us. Indeed, from the ontological point of view 'we must as a general principle leave the primary discovery of the world to "bare mood" [blosse Stimmung]'(p177; sic).

Due to their 'cognitive' dimension, Stimmungen bear an enormous methodological significance for Heidegger's own project of analysing Dasein. This is because they articulate--preconceptually--something like Dasein's self-interpretation. The phenomenologist must, 'so to speak, "listen in"' (p179) so as to grasp the essential structures. In other words, the philosopher depends on the preceding work of disclosure done by the Stimmungen; this includes ontological insights, which have to be examined and made explicit. Where all previous models of Stimmung had described it with respect to its internal state and effect (as the relation between cognitive faculties, as the subjective configuration of feeling, as noetic-noematic cycle, etc), Heidegger interprets it. He encounters Stimmungen in the same way he encounters texts, which haltingly express ontological knowledge that has not yet been deformed by theoretical prejudices. The most famous example of this is his development of Kierkegaard's interpretation of anxiety in paragraph 40 of Being and Time, which brings to light such aspects as: its thrownness; the radical freedom as Being takes charge of itself; its uncanniness; its abandonment. The phenomena developed through the example of anxiety are later supplemented with the uncovering of its inherent temporal structure (the character of having been), which shows how Dasein is basically constituted through temporality ([section]68). There is no need for us to examine this in detail here. In the context of our discussion, the crucial point is surely that the hermeneutic version of the concept of Stimmung opens up the possibility of moving from the analysis of Dasein to aesthetics, or rather the possibility of converting aesthetics into a hermeneutics of art. If we assume that Stimmungen preconceptually articulate ontological contents, and if we further assume that there is a strong connection between art and Stimmung, then we have a bridge to a theory of art which understands it as a particular mode of disclosing Being that proceeds hermeneutically and orients itself according to ontological contents.

Fritz Kaufmann put forward an initial attempt towards articulating this in 1929 under the title 'Die Bedeutung der kunstlerischen Stimmung' [The Significance of Artistic Stimmung]. (40) Kaufmann was Husserl's student, and his early work looked at the aesthetic consciousness of the image; (41) but, by the time he published on artistic Stimmung in the Husserl Festschrift, the strong influence exerted by Being and Time on the young generation of philosophers in the late Weimar Republic was evident in his work. This influence consisted in part in the means offered by Heidegger's writings--on inauthenticity, on idle talk, and on the dispersed nature of Dasein that fled the decisiveness of an autonomous way of life--to existentially cement an intellectual stance critical of modern conditions of life. This stance, as Kaufmann's work also demonstrates, was thoroughly compatible with aesthetic sensibility, with dignified education, even with an aestheticism tinged with humanism. The resulting conceptualisation conceives art as the authentic articulation of Stimmung that brings to light and renders communicable the relationship-of-Being that is otherwise buried under the mundane 'fallenness' of Dasein. These are the two motifs that constitute the significance of Kaufmann's work for the conceptual history of Stimmung.

For one thing, the concept of Stimmung is used to understand both the anthropological roots of art and its specific difference from anthropologically normal conditions. This takes up again the notion, already familiar to us from our readings of Goethe and Simmel, that artistic form performs, with consistency and clarity, the articulation of Stimmung. By emphasising its immanent 'tensions', the creative process gives expression to the formal principle underlying the work of art, the 'Lebensstimmung'. In this sense, artistic Stimmung is distinct from everyday Stimmung because of its 'power of illumination' (Bedeutung, pp99-113). Interestingly, Kaufmann's derivation of artistic form also mobilises the musical dimension that has influenced the use of the concept of Stimmung in aesthetic theory from its beginnings, for example in the statement that the 'Stimmung of a work of art' is condensed 'into internally tense concordance' (p102). But perhaps the most significant point for the conceptual history of the term is Heidegger's conceptualisation of Stimmung as an original mode for the disclosure-of-Being, which enables Kaufmann to imbue formal consistency [Stimmigkeit], which constituted the main point of reference for nearly all variations of the concept of Stimmung, with content. The artistic condensation of Stimmung not only illuminates Stimmung as a formal complexity; it also and primarily illuminates the stance of Dasein towards Being. This brings the situation of Dasein, which in the everyday is pushed back into the darkness, to light and clarity: 'The Stimmung of life is determined anew in every awareness, preservation and explicit fixation of such decisive encounters' (p103). Art is a guide to achieving authenticity.

The second key motif in Kaufmann's essay concerns the communicative aspect of the concept of Stimmung. We have already seen that this dimension of the concept's meaning appears in Kant's writing on the communicability of aesthetic judgment. Schiller conceives of aesthetic Stimmung as nothing more than the disposition (to free self-determination) communicated through the viewing of a painting. Fichte argues that the artistic subject's self-activity is reproduced by the recipient. Hofmannsthal, too, is interested in the impression left on the reader by the poetic configuration of Stimmung. Kaufmann's key contribution lies in his recognition that the phenomenological concept of Stimmung offers the possibility of resolving this central question of artistic communication. This is because one of the fundamental features of Stimmung is its pre-reflective character: 'True Stimmung cannot be intended in spontaneous actions; it rises up and overwhelms me from the foundation of the reality that has been thrust upon me' (p114). If, however, the work of art is thoroughly articulated, condensed, Stimmung, then this Stimmung arises pre-reflexively in the person who, through the aesthetic stance of 'open willingness' and 'active dedication', opens him--or herself up to the 'work's stabilised relations that achieve harmony [Einstimmigkeit]' (p116). Thus the leitmotif of the 'harmonious [gleich gestimmt] souls', so strongly influenced by the musical metaphor of Stimmung and so popular in the age of sensibility that it even appears in Adelung's encyclopaedia entry (op cit), returns in Kaufmann as the 'basic possibility of the development of social structures':

And in harmony [Einstimmigkeit] with the artistic spirit, communicated through this transposition, all life thus attuned [gestimmt] is in harmony [einstimmig] with and among its self: the evenness of resonance realises the unity of interpersonal concord (Bedeutung, p116).

Kaufmann, however, is too much Husserl's student not to recognise that this aesthetic 'transposition of Stimmung' is not an immediate adoption, not an epidemic infection or contagion, but a specifically aesthetic appropriation of the condensed Stimmung of the artwork, which is structurally imbued with an internal distance. The specific structure of aesthetically mediated Stimmung resides in the fact that it is experienced through 'walking alongside and resonating with', through 'reliving and re-creating' (p118), which is to say according to the structural precepts of the aesthetic alterity of the subject, which Geiger, too, attributed to empathic Stimmung. It is no coincidence that the same historical powers that forced Geiger and Kaufmann into exile after 1933 replaced this subjective structure of reflection on aesthetic experience with pseudo-aesthetic events intended to generate a contagious form of Stimmung.

A second theoretical conception that develops Heidegger's recoding of the semantics of Stimmung is the study Das Wesen der Stimmungen [The Nature of Stimmungen], published by Otto-Friedrich Bollnow in 1941. Like Spitzer's work, which I have already mentioned repeatedly, Bollnow's book represents a necessary touchstone for our sketch of the conceptual history of Stimmung. Das Wesen der Stimmungen, though, only marginally treats issues of aesthetics, and its material relevance for our enquiry is hence relatively small. Bollnow picks up essential elements of Heidegger's conceptual determinations, but his concern is no longer the analysis of Dasein. Instead, he is interested in exploring the phenomenon of Stimmung from an anthropological perspective. This shift in perspective allows Bollnow to process psychological and medical findings and supplement the subjective perspective of hermeneutic interpretation with the objective perspective of scientific observation. This renders topical the functional aspect of Stimmungen, their contribution to the psychic-emotional system as a whole. The book's overarching argument aims to correct Heidegger's approach by emphasising the significance of positive Stimmungen for our understanding of human life, in addition to the Stimmung of anxiety privileged by Heidegger. Hence the object of the second part is the temporal structure of certain Stimmungen that are condensed into timeless moments and are connected to the phenomenon of creativity. Even though Bollnow's overall concern is not one of aesthetics, in these sections of his book in particular he turns to poetry in order to illustrate the coincidence of momentariness and timelessness in experiences of extraordinary happiness. His examples are Proust's 'temps retrouve' and Nietzsche's 'grosser Mittag'. This turns the hypothesis of the power of disclosure of Stimmungen against its author in as much as experiences of Stimmung such as those written by Proust and Nietzsche contradict Heidegger's rather sombre interpretation of temporality. Interestingly, Oskar Becker had already anticipated the main thrust of Bollnow's critique of Heidegger in his own study, published in 1929. This is surely the most significant contribution to aesthetics in the narrow sense to have emerged from the engagement with Being and Time. (42) In it, Becker sets the mood of being 'transported', which he sees as characteristic of aesthetic experience, against the 'thrownness' of Dasein emphasised by Heidegger, and stresses the at the very least 'para-existential' possibility of Dasein, albeit without specifically addressing the phenomenon of Stimmung. Bollnow's anthropological and Becker's aesthetic perspectives intersect at the point where they view Heidegger's privileging of the Stimmung of anxiety as reductive of human possibilities of existence.

In view of this criticism, it becomes necessary to supplement our preceding discussion of Heidegger's concept of Stimmung with a brief note. While Bollnow's and Becker's objections may be accurate in relation to Being and Time, they cannot claim validity in relation to Heidegger's work as a whole. Instead, we should note that Heidegger, too, developed an idea of aesthetics that took the concept of Stimmung as its starting point, even if this was purely a means to transpose aesthetics into a hermeneutics of art understood as the disclosure of Being. Heidegger follows this line of thought in his Nietzsche lectures (1936-1940), of which the first part is entitled The Will to Power as Art. This is a reading of Nietzsche's aesthetics that positions Nietzsche as the theorist in whose writings the aesthetic focus of 'interior' or 'subjective' processes is taken to a point where it cancels itself out. According to Heidegger, Nietzsche's figuration of the artistic state as intoxication [Rausch] is the core concept of his aesthetics. This concept, which exhibits a strong 'physiological' accentuation, is reconceived through the concept of Stimmung introduced in Being and Time. This reconceiving of the concept of intoxication can be justified by Nietzsche's use of the concept of Stimmung to illustrate the Dionysian basis of lyrical creation at one point in his writing on tragedy. Here, Nietzsche quotes from Schiller's letter to Goethe dated 18 March 1796, where the concept of Stimmung signifies the disposition to a rhythmic production. Nietzsche interprets this disposition as the becoming one with 'the primordial unity with its pain and contradiction', which produces an unmediated 'copy' in the form of music. (43) This means Nietzsche is precisely not interested in Stimmung conceived as 'what is inmost in the subjective life, and most that life's own', as it is in Hegel, but in the 'giv[ing] up' of 'subjectivity' in the 'Dionysiac process'. (44) Heidegger makes no mention of this passage even though he, too, reads the Stimmung of intoxication as the surmounting of the subject's subjectivity.

This re-conception, however, leads to the semantic interference of the two concepts in Heidegger's thought, which can be seen in the following passage:
   Rapture is feeling, an embodying attunement [leibendes
   Gestimmtsein], an embodied being that is contained in attunement
   [Gestimmtheit], attunement [Gestimmtheit] woven into embodiment.
   But attunement [Gestimmtsein] lays open Dasein as an enhancing,
   conducts it into the plenitude of its capacities, which mutually
   arouse one another and foster enhancement. But while clarifying
   rapture as a state of feeling we emphasized more than once that we
   may not take such a state as something at hand 'in' the [lived]
   body and 'in' the psyche. Rather, we must take it as a mode of the
   embodying [leibend], attuned [gestimmt] stance towards beings as a
   whole, beings which for their part determine the pitch of the
   attunement [Gestimmtsein]. (45)

The crucial point in this interpretation is the issue of the observer's perspective. According to Heidegger Nietzsche misunderstands the philosophical substance of his own theory whenever he attempts to explain the artistic condition through scientifically knowable facts. Aesthetic intoxication or 'rapture' is not a question of blood circulation, hormonal excretion or increased nervous irritability, even though these are certainly things that Nietzsche frequently addresses. These are all elements of an objectivist descriptive language that hypothesises the existence of a self-enclosed interiority in order to then explain it as the effect of causal influences. In opposition to this model, Heidegger wants to understand artistic rapture as Stimmung, as the making known of individual existence amidst the totality of Being, and as in harmony [gestimmt] with this Being. 'Mood [Stimmung] is precisely the basic way in which we are outside ourselves' (p99). The observer's perspective that adheres to the understanding of self-built into the process of living is the only one that can do justice to the phenomenon of aesthetic rapture understood as Dasein attuned to the world. At the same time, the confrontation with Nietzsche's physiological terminology leads Heidegger to amend his understanding of Stimmung as it was developed in Being and Time. While the physiological conception of the body is irrelevant for his understanding of the artistic condition, the phenomenological conception of the lived body is not. Hence Stimmung, and the rapture of aesthetic Stimmung in particular, is always also the life of the lived body. Heidegger views the purpose of this tuned [stimmungsmahig] embodiment precisely in the fact that it overcomes the positioning of the subject towards the '"object", placed at a distance, standing on its own':
   The aesthetic state is neither subjective nor objective. Both basic
   words of Nietzsche's aesthetics, rapture and beauty, designate with
   an identical breadth the entire aesthetic state, what is opened up
   in it and what pervades it (p123).

I conclude this section devoted to Heidegger with a nod to one of his contemporaries whose philosophical magnum opus--published in 1921 also presupposes that the self is radically free and isolated. I am speaking of Franz Rosenzweig, whose work The Star of Redemption outlines a highly original theory of art. Reference to this theory also enables the reinstitution of art's metaphysical significance, albeit one to which Heidegger's emphasis on finitude is alien. The concept of Stimmung plays a central part in Rosenzweig's considerations in as much as it capture's art's communicative function:
   But where is the solitary soul thus to prepare for community? Where
   in general is the soul to undergo a metamorphosis which, unbeknown
   to itself in the still cell of its solitude, would endow it with
   that form in which it could accord with others [zusammenstimmte]?
   Where indeed is the individual soul to be attuned [gestimmt] to
   that note which would allow it to harmonize [zusammenstimmen] with
   others in true symphony [harmonischer Stimmung]? Such harmony
   [Stimmung], unconscious and yet conducting the soul on the path of
   supreme consciousness, of silent accord with others, can reach the
   soul from but one single force: from art. (46)

Similarly to Kaufmann's approach, Rosenzweig here draws on topoi from the early semantics of Stimmung to outline his concept of community formation through art. Art attunes [abstimmen] souls that live in radical isolation to each other and brings them into harmony without explicitly articulating norms of togetherness. This general articulation of the idea is quite traditional, but Rosenzweig is interested in something more concrete. He takes 'art' to mean 'applied art', i.e. architecture, more specifically, church architecture. This is, so to speak, the first level of the hierarchical relations of Stimmungen in art. Its purpose is to assemble, to create community in preparation for the following levels. The concept of Stimmung, then, designates disposition, readiness--like it did at the beginning. Architecture's atmospheric effect [Stimmungseffekt] is 'preparation for the word'. And when this arrives--in the shape of poetry--then a tuning [stimmend] preparation also happens that transcends the word:
   And so poetry might be expected to supply man with the mood
   [Stimmung] for finding his way to that ultimate redemptive silence
   which should have appeared to him in the secular festivals of
   redemption at least as prospect and promise (pp370-1).

In Rosenzweig's thinking the concept of Stimmung marks the place where art transcends itself and is extinguished as art.


To conclude, I would like to turn to the most recent discussion of the semantics of Stimmung that has had an impact on aesthetics. I am talking of the phenomenology of the lived body developed by Hermann Schmitz in his System der Philosophie [Philosophical System] (1964-1980). Of all the theoretical approaches discussed thus far, Schmitz's project is most closely related to Heidegger's approach. Schmitz, too, is interested in a conceptualisation that leaves behind the distinction between internal and external. Schmitz, too, is interested in reorienting phenomenology, which is directed towards the work of consciousness, so that the structure of the specific conduct of life can be brought out. For Schmitz, however, this reorientation is not realised in a hermeneutic turn towards Dasein's prior conception of self. It is realised--in good phenomenological tradition--in the descriptive development of the various layers of experience. The primary layer turns out to be the 'primitive present' where the lived body is affected. This precedes the 'expansive present' where distinctions between self and objects are made, where temporal relations, circumstances, situations and action programmes are developed. (47) Schmitz's great achievement is to have developed a highly differentiated language of description that is able to grasp the topological structures of this layer of unmediated affectedness. Both the lived body and feelings are spatial phenomena, where space is not the clearly distinguishable and interconnected geometry of places, but rather a dynamic of felt 'lived body islands', extensions and contractions, vectors and atmospheres (p158,ff). In relation to the spatiality of Stimmungen we should note Ludwig Binswanger, an important predecessor of Schmitz, who, following Heidegger, introduces the concept of 'attuned space' [gestimmter Raum]. (48)

This is not the place to expound in full detail Schmitz's conceptual terminology. The most significant point for our purposes is surely the fact that, according to Schmitz, feelings, of which Stimmungen constitute a specific layer, are not events of a somehow constituted 'subjectivity', but modes of being outside of oneself, thus always already spatial. In a recently published summary he writes:
   Feelings, understood as placeless atmospheres that spill over and
   seize the lived body, are not just spatial in general but together
   compose a space of peculiar structure. This structure is parallel
   to that of the lived body's space in as far as its bottom layer,
   too, offers unstructured expanse, which is then reshaped by
   directions in a second layer. I call all feelings, in so far as
   they are expansive--and because as atmospheres they are all
   expansive--Stimmungen. I call them pure Stimmungen in so far as
   they are exclusively expansive (i.e. devoid of direction). I call
   feelings atmospheres with directions or vectors running through
   them excitations, or if we wanted to use a foreign word, we might
   also say 'emotions'. (49)

Schmitz then adds a third layer to these two layers of Stimmung, which encompasses feelings in a narrow sense (i.e. 'centred' feelings that are bound to a specific topic). So we can see that Schmitz operates with the traditional distinction between those qualities of the whole related to Stimmung and the directed feelings. But within the traditional field of Stimmungen he does distinguish between 'pure Stimmungen and 'pure excitations'. Stimmungen exist in only two forms: pure fulfilled feeling (satisfaction) or pure empty feeling (desperation). Pure excitations, on the other hand, exhibit varied colourations (longing, melancholia, grief, fear, joy, sadness) without fixating on specific thematic focal points. Far more important than these distinctions, however, is the general conclusion that Stimmungen are spatial, which renders a central question of the historical discussion of Stimmung irrelevant. If I always already experience myself as an attuned lived body in an attuned [gestimmt] 'expanse', then my Stimmung is neither a subjective nor an objective fact, nor indeed a mediation of some sort between the two. It is simply a mode of my bodily affectedness that represents that actual ur-phenomenon in its spatial structure.

The philosophical alignment with the lived body as the affected zone opens up access points to aesthetic questions, which Schmitz explores in numerous publications. (50) The key idea in this discussion is the conceptualisation of aesthetic experience as a return to the primitive present, which is, so to speak, experienced virtually, i.e. from the distance of expansive present:
   Accordingly we call a behaviour aesthetic that, in the expansive
   present, knows to keep its distance when faced with the feelings
   established in aesthetic entities (moving atmospheres), despite
   being in a state of emotional turmoil. It is made possible by
   anticipatory mediation in contemplative reverence. Engaging with
   this distance with relish constitutes aesthetic pleasure. (51)

In aesthetic experience the unmediated affectedness of the lived body is grasped reflectively, though not in the sense that it presents itself as the object of conceptually mediated findings, but because it is filtered through a particular emotional stance--aesthetic reverence. Mediation shifts immediacy into the futurity of anticipation which it keeps at a distance while simultaneously making it present in its imminence. Works of art, which are themselves the condensed form of the structures of lived bodies and atmospheres, thus initiate a regression towards the primitive present. Where such regression is initiated by an extreme situation of any kind and breaks through the elevated structures of expansive present, the affectedness is unmediated--it grips us entirely and hence leaves no space for reflective appropriation. Where the structures of the expansive present remain in place, however, the primitive present is relegated into latency and is hence inaccessible. Aesthetic experience is hence distinctive because of the simultaneity of distance and affectedness, which is the non-thematic reflection of the immediacy of Stimmung and of feeling. This hypothesis represents a variation on the idea of the aesthetic alterity of the self that we observed in Geiger's and Kaufmann's texts, and that represents a necessary component of any serious aesthetic theory. This hypothesis also develops Kant's concept of the specific type of pleasure associated with aesthetic experience. After all, Kant, too, conceives of aesthetic pleasure as reflexive in as much as he considers it to be the pleasure at the communicability of Stimmung. These conceptual homologies should not, however, hide the significant semantic differences between Schmitz's concept of Stimmung that is preoccupied with the lived body, and Kant's more cognitive conceptualisation.

It is no coincidence that Schmitz's writings have found little resonance in current debates in aesthetics, despite their inarguable systematic thoroughness and descriptive finesse. In terms of the history of philosophy, Schmitz can be classed among pre-World War II philosophers such as not only Heidegger, but also Scheler, Klages and even--in relation to his theory of art--Theodor Lipps. In terms of the conceptual history of Stimmung, Schmitz's contribution offers no substantial innovation. It is a continuation of the semantic configurations developed in the first half of the century. Admittedly, Gernot Bohme has recently attempted to show how Schmitz's phenomenology might be productive for current debates in aesthetics, but he hardly succeeds in persuasively redefining the concept of Stimmung. Bohme elevates the concept of atmosphere, which Schmitz uses in order to record the spatiality of all feeling, but above all of Stimmung, to be the key concept of an expanded aesthetics that also explores phenomena beyond art. 'Aesthetic work' is understood comprehensively as 'the production of atmospheres' that stretches 'from cosmetics to advertising, interior design, stage design all the way to art in the narrow sense'. (52) This approach seems plausible, especially in relation to the concept of Stimmung in as much as today's consumer and service cultures are characterised by methodically tuned environments. Even if the adequacy of the term 'aesthetic' to describe such atmospheric installations may seem dubious, surely the development of a conceptual framework that attends to them is the desideratum of cultural studies research. Bohme, however, has other ambitions. He wants to move beyond the 'subject/object binary' (p29) in order to gain access to objects and people in their presence from the perspective of an expanded aesthetics. Here his difference from Schmitz is visible: 'Unlike in Schmitz, atmospheres are not conceived as free-floating, but precisely the opposite: they originate in and are created by objects, people or their constellations' (p33). This, however, nullifies the structural differentiation of layers. It is replaced by what appears to be a simple concept of the 'objet and its ecstasies' (p33), which ultimately means that objects show themselves in their own specific way. Phenomenological description is replaced by the language of common sense, which attempts to conceal its descriptive impotence by echoing Heidegger with added emphasis.

I feel what kind of environment I am in through the perception of the atmosphere. This perception, then, has two sides: on the one side is the environment, which radiates a quality of Stimmung, on the other side my self, who partakes of this Stimmung through my affectivity and thus gains awareness of being here now. So awareness qua affectivity is a perceptible presence. Inversely, atmospheres are the way in which objects and environments present themselves (p96).

It is doubtful whether these categories, which have clearly been developed in ignorance of the semantic tradition, might deepen or clarify the concept of Stimmung. Equally doubtful is the assertion that these discoveries overcome the 'subject/object binary'. What is at this point the latest contribution to the aesthetic discussion of Stimmung thus turns out to be a symptom of its exhaustion.

Historical semantics looks to the past and it cannot be expected to predict the future. Nevertheless, especially in light of the exhaustion of the discourse of Stimmung outlined above, the question of whether we should hold out the prospect of a renewed engagement with the concept imposes itself on us. We must respond with scepticism, for even a fleeting look at the current situation in the field of aesthetics shows that there are few opportunities for reviving the concept of Stimmung as a significant term. Despite jarring differences, the leading theoretical models--hermeneutics of linguisticality (Gadamer), analytical philosophy (Goodman, Danto), deconstruction (Derrida, Menke), critical theory (Adorno), and systems theory (Luhmann)--agree that the phenomenon of aesthetic Stimmung is of no interest. Even explicit, substantiated rejections are--with one exception--rare. (53) This lack of interest can most likely be explained by the fact that all the theory models listed above are oriented towards the normativity of communication processes, even if only in order to show the aesthetic negation of these norms. In other words, the 'linguistic turn' has taken hold of the field of aesthetics and has resulted in the dismissal of aesthetic feelings, which include Stimmungen, as potential objects of theory. Another reason for the disappearance of the concept of Stimmung from philosophical enquiry could be its trivialisation in everyday speech. Individual self-understanding no longer includes a differentiated vocabulary with which to describe Stimmung. Nuances in Stimmung are rarely registered; only crude distinctions between good and bad Stimmung are available; and the uses of the concept in relation to collectives are anything but subtle. We might say that the semantics of Stimmung became stultified in the second half of the twentieth century, and this will also have contributed to its philosophical irrelevance. Finally, it bears repeating that in all the cases discussed here the philosophical significance of the concept of Stimmung derived from the fact that its musical connotations provided indispensable instruments to aid its conceptualisation. So we might speculate that the loss of the concept of Stimmung from aesthetic vocabularies is connected to the fact that the metaphor of music has lost its self-evidence as the figuration of states of the soul. If this is the case, then--as Spitzer's study has shown--a semantic tradition reaching back to Antiquity is now extinct. Meanwhile, our outline of the conceptual history of the term has shown that the concept of Stimmung was always able to develop new aspects of meaning throughout the various shifts in aesthetic concepts and paradigms. Perhaps its adaptability will enable the concept to survive its current irrelevance and to develop unexpected potential of meaning in future semantic configurations.

This article is a translation of David Wellbery, 'Stimmung', in K. Barck et al (eds), Asthetische Grundbegriffe: Historisches Worterbuch, Vol. 5, Postmoderne Synasthesie, Metzler, Stuttgart; Weimar, 2003.

[David Wellbery, 'Stimmung', in K. Barck et al (eds), Fundamental Concepts in Aesthetics: An Historical Dictionary, Vol 5, Postmodern Synaesthesia, Metzler, Stuttgart; Weimar, 2003]

David Wellbery is Chair of Germanic Studies at the University of Chicago. Rebecca Pohl teaches literature at the University of Manchester.


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Corngold, Stanley, 'Nietzsche's Moods', Romanticism 29 (1990), pp67-90.

Haar, Michel, 'La physiologie de l'art: Nietzsche revu par Heidegger', Cahiers l'Age d'Homme, 1985, pp70-80.

Hammel-Haider, Gabriele, 'Uber den Begriff der "Stimmung" anhand einiger Landschaftsbilder', Wiener Jahrbuch fur Kunstgeschichte 41, 1988, pp139-48.

Han, Beatrice, 'Au-dela de la metaphysique et de la subjectivite: Musique et

"Stimmung"', Etudes philosophiques 4 (1997), pp519-39.

Parret, Hermann, 'Kant on Music and the Hierarchy of the Arts', Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 56 (1998), pp251-64.

Proust, Francoise, 'Une histoire de "Stimmung"', Exercises de la patience 6 (1985), pp39-52.

Spitzer, Leo, Classical and Christian Ideas of World Harmony [1944], Baltimore 1963.

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Translated by Rebecca Pohl (1)

DOI: 10.3898/NEWF:93.02.2017

(1.) In order to attend to its linguistic and philosophical peculiarity, the term 'Stimmung' has not been translated. Where text in translation is quoted, the term denoting Stimmung is marked for reference. Stimmung is usually translated as: (Engl.) mood, attunement, atmosphere; (Fren.) humeur, accord, atmosphere; (Ital.) umore, intonazione, atmosfera; (Span.) humor, afinacion, atmosfera.

(2.) Leo Spitzer, Classical and Christian Ideas of World Harmony: Prolegomena to an Interpretation of the Word 'Stimmung', ed. A. Granville Hatcher, Baltimore, Johns Hopkins, 1963, p. 5.

(3.) Cf Otto-Friedrich Bollnow, Das Wesen der Stimmungen, Frankfurt, Klostermann, 1941; Bollnow, Les tonalites affectives, trans. L. and R. Savioz, Neuchatel, Editions de la Baconniere, 1953.

(4.) Cf 'tonalite' in Le nouveau petit Robert: Dictionnaire alphabetique et analogique de la langue francaise, ed. J. Rey-Debouve and A. Rey, Paris, 2003, p2629.

(5.) Rudolph Hermann Lotze, Medicinische Psychologie oder Physiologie der Seele, Leipzig, Weidmann'sche Buchhandlung, 1852, p514.

(6.) Heidegger, Being and Time, trans. J. Macquarie and E. Robinson, Oxford, Blackwell, 1962, p173. (Hereafter Being and Time).

(7.) Cf Rainer Maria Rilke, 'Herbststimmung' [1895], in Rilke, Samtliche Werke, ed. Rilke-Archiv, Vol. I, Frankfurt, Suhrkamp, 1956, p35.

(8.) Johann Wolfgang Goethe, 'Commentary on Falconet', in John Gage, ed. and trans., Goethe on Art, London, Scolar Press, 1980, p17. (Hereafter Falconet).

(9.) Cf 'Stimmen; Stimmung', in Johann Georg Sulzer, Allgemeine Theorie der schonen Kunste, Vol. IV, Leipzig, Weidmann, 1794, pp464-7.

(10.) 'Stimmen', in Johann Christoph Adelung, Grammatischkritisches Worterbuch der hochdeutschen Mundart, Vol. IV, Leipzig, Breitkopf, 1801, p383.

(11.) Christian Cay Lorenz von Hirschfeld, Theorie der Gartenkunst (1779-1785), Vol. IV, Leipzig, 1782, p83.

(12.) Immanuel Kant, The Critique of the Power of Judgment, ed. Paul Guyer, trans. Paul Guyer and Eric Matthews, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2000, p10 ([section]9).

(13.) Friedrich Schiller, On the Aesthetic Education of Man in a Series of Letters, trans. and ed. Elizabeth M. Wilkinson and L.A. Willoughby, Oxford, Clarendon, 1967, p141.

(14.) Wilhelm von Humboldt, Aesthetische Versuche. Erster Teil: 'Uber Goethes Hermann und Dorothea' (1799), in Humboldt, Gesammelte Schriften, Vol. II, ed. Koniglich Preussische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Berlin, Behr, 1904, p318.

(15.) Cf Wilhelm Dilthey, Weltanschauungslehre: Abhandlungen zur Philosophie der Philosophie [1911], in Dilthey, Gesammelte Schriften, Vol. VIII, Gottingen, Vandenhoeck und Ruprecht, 1960, p82.

(16.) Carl Gustav Cams, 'Neun Briefe uber Landschaftsmalerei' [1831], in Cams, Briefe und Aufsatze uber Landschaftsmalerei, ed. G. Heider, Kiepenheuer, Leipzig, 1982, pp32, 263.

(17.) Friedrich Schlegel, Dialogue on Poetry and Literary Aphorisms, trans. Ernst Behler and Roman Struc, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania State University Press, 1968, p62.

(18.) Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Aesthetics: Lectures in Fine Art, Vol. II, trans. T M. Knox, Oxford, Clarendon, 1975, pp1119 20 [emphasis in original].

(19.) Cf Walther Killy, Elemente der Lyrik, Munich, Beck, 1972, pp114-28.

(20.) Cf Dieter Henrich, Fichtes ursprungliche Einsicht, Frankfurt, Klostermann, 1967, ppl7-21.

(21.) Johann Gottlieb Fichte, 'Ueber Geist und Buchstab der Philosophie' [1794], in Fichte, Samtliche Werke, ed. I.H. Fichte, Vol. VIII, Berlin, Veit und Comp, 1846, p287.

(22.) Ernst Mach, Die Analyse der Empfindungen und das Verhaltnis des Physischen zum Psychischen [1886], Darmstadt, Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1991, p20.

(23.) Friedrich Nietzsche, 'Ueber Stimmungen' [1864], in Nietzsche, Fruhe Schriften, ed. H.J. Mette et al, Vol. II, Munich, Beck, 1994, p406.

(24.) Friedrich Nietzsche, Human, All Too Human: A Book for Free Spirits, trans. R. J. Hollingdale, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1986, p19 [emphasis in original].

(25.) Hugo von Hofmannsthal, 'Poesie und Leben' [1896], in Hofmannsthal, Gesammelte Werke in Einzelausgaben, ed. H. Steiner, Vol. I, Frankfurt, Fischer, 1950, pp306-7. (Hereafter Poesie und Leben).

(26.) Friedrich Theodor Vischer, Aesthetik oder Wissenschaft des Sckonen, Vol. IV, Munich, Meyer und Jessen, 1923, p363.

(27.) Hugo von Hofmannsthal, 'Das Gesprach uber Gedichte' [1903], in Hofmannsthal, Gesammelte Werke in Einzelausgaben, ed. H. Steiner, Vol. II, Frankfurt, Fischer, 1951, p97.

(28.) Cf Fritz Mauthner, 'Beitrage zu einer Kritik der Sprache', Vol. I, Zur Sprache und zur Psychologie [1902], in Mauthner, Das Philosophische Werk, ed. L. Lutkehaus, Vienna, Bohlau, 1999, pp122-4.

(29.) Cf Alois Riegl, 'Die Stimmung als Inhalt der modernen Kunst' [1899], in Riegl, Gesammelte Aufsatze, ed. K.M. Swoboda, Filser, Augsburg, 1929, p31.

(30.) Arthur Schopenhauer, The World as Will and Representation, 2 vols., trans. E.FJ. Payne, New York, Dover, 2012.

(31.) CfJoachim Ritter, 'Landschaft: Zur Funktion des Asthetischen in der modernen Gesellschaft', in Ritter, Subjektivitat, Frankfurt, Suhrkamp, 1974, pp141-64.

(32.) Riegl, 'Jacob van Ruysdael' [1902], in Riegl, Gesammelte Aufsatze, ed. K.M. Swoboda, Augsburg, Filser, 1929, p140.

(33.) Georg Simmel, 'The Philosophy of Landscape', trans. Josef Bleicher, Theory, Culture & Society, 24, 7-8, 2007, pp20-9, p22.

(34.) Cf Theodor Lipps, Grundlegung der Asthetik, Vol. I, Hamburg, Voss, 1903, pp445-7.

(35.) Moritz Geiger, 'Zum Problem der Stimmungseinm fuhlung', Zeitschrifi fur Asthetik und allgemeine Kunstwissenschaft, 6 (1911), p21.

(36.) Being and Time, p172ff.

(37.) Cf Georg Simmel, Schopenhauer and Nietzsche, trans. Helmut Loiskandl, Deen Weinstein and Michael Weinstein, Urbana, University of Illinois Press, 1991.

(38.) Cf Franz Josef Wetz, 'Stimmung', in Joachim Ritter and Karlfried Grunder, eds., Historisches Worterbuch der Philosophie, Vol. X, Basel, Schwabe, 1990, p174.

(39.) Being and Time, p173.

(40.) Cf Fritz Kaufmann, 'Die Bedeutung der kunstlerischen Stimmung' [1929], in Kaufmann, Das Reich des Schonen: Bausteine zu einer Philosophie der Kunst, Stuttgart, Kohlhammer, 1960, pp96 125. (Hereafter Bedeutung).

(41.) Cf Kaufmann, 'Das Bildwerk als asthetisches Phanomen' [1924], in Kaufmann, Das Reich des Schonen: Bausteine zu einer Philosophie der Kunst, Stuttgart, Kohlhammer, 1960, pp11-95.

(42.) Cf Oskar Becker, 'Von der Hinfalligkeit des Schonen und der Abenteuerlichkeit des Kunstlers' [1929], in Becker, Dasein und Dawesen: Gesammelte Philosophische Aufsatze, Pfullingen, Neske, 1963, pp1140.

(43.) Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy and Other Writings, trans. Ronald Speirs, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1999, p30.

(44.) Hegel, op cit, p1133; Nietzsche, op cit, p30.

(45.) Martin Heidegger, Nietzsche, Vol. I: The Will to Power as Art, trans. David Krell, San Francisco, Harper, 1979, pp105-6.

(46.) Franz Rosenzweig, The Star of Redemption, trans. William W. Halo, Notre Dame, University of Notre Dame Press, 1970, p354.

(47.) Cf Hermann Schmitz, System der Philosophie, Vol. II/III: Der Gefuhlsraum, Bonn, Bouvier, 1981, pp89-90.

(48.) Cf Ludwig Binswanger, 'Das Raumproblem in der Psychopathologie', Zeitschrift fur die gesamte Neurologie und Psychiatrie, 145, 1933, pp618-43.

(49.) Hermann Schmitz, Der Leib, der Raum und die Gefuhle, Ostfildern, Tertium, 1998, pp63-4.

(50.) Cf, for example, Schmitz, Der unerschopfliche Gegenstand, Bonn, Bouvier, 1990.

(51.) Schmitz, Der Leib, der Raum und die Gefuhle, pp104-5.

(52.) Gernot Bohme, Atmosphare als Grundbegriff einer neuen Asthetik' [1992], in Bohme, Atmosphare: Essays zur neuen Asthetik, Frankfurt, Suhrkamp, 1995, p25.

(53.) Cf Dieter Henrich, Versuch uber Kunst und Leben, Munich, Hanser, 2001, p199.
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Date:Jun 22, 2018
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