Smashed Brains in German Literature [abstract]
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Depictions of dissevered heads and smashed brains are abundant in German Literature: starting from descriptions of violence in the medieval literature, to the splattered brains of Dr. Faustus in early modern times to the brutal images of Expressionism. Especially brains as organs and ideas are strangely on the border between solid and fluid, precious and useless, body and mind. Therefore, by focusing on the brain, we concentrate on the connection between body and soul. The brain is considered to be the seat of the intellect. It distinguishes the human being from an animal, it is the place where the development of humanity took place. By destroying the brain the existence of a human is irrevocable executed. The topos of smashing brains appears in German Literature over several centuries.
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