Transfinite Life: Oskar Goldberg and the Vitalist Imagination

Research output: Book/ReportBook

Abstract

Oskar Goldberg was an important and controversial figure in Weimar Germany. He challenged the rising racial conception of the state and claimed that the Jewish people were on a metaphysical mission to defeat race-based statism. He attracted the attention of his contemporaries--Walter Benjamin, Gershom Scholem, Thomas Mann, and Carl Schmitt, among others--with the argument that ancient Israel’s sacrificial rituals held the key to overcoming the tyranny of technology in the modern world. Bruce Rosenstock offers a sympathetic but critical philosophical portrait of Goldberg and puts him into conversation with Jewish and political figures that circulated in his cultural environment. Rosenstock reveals Goldberg as a deeply imaginative and broad-minded thinker who drew on biology, mathematics, Kabbalah, and his interests in ghost photography to account for the origin of the earth. Caricatured as a Jewish proto-fascist in his day, Goldberg’s views of the tyranny of technology, biopolitics, and the “new vitalism” remain relevant to this day.

Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherIndiana University Press
Number of pages368
ISBN (Electronic)9780253030160
ISBN (Print)9780253029706
DOIs
StatePublished - 2017

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Tyranny
Kabbalah
Vitalism
Cultural Environment
Modernity
Statism
Carl Schmitt
Conception
Defeat
Jewish People
Thomas Mann
Weimar Germany
Political Figures
Ghost
Biopolitics
Metaphysical
Gershom Scholem
Photography
Mathematics
Walter Benjamin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)

Cite this

Transfinite Life : Oskar Goldberg and the Vitalist Imagination. / Rosenstock, Bruce.

Indiana University Press, 2017. 368 p.

Research output: Book/ReportBook

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