By Andreas Killen
Berlin Electropolis ties the German discourse on anxiety within the overdue 19th and early 20th centuries to Berlin's transformation right into a capital of the second one business revolution. concentrating on 3 key groups--railway body of workers, infantrymen, and cellphone operators--Andreas Killen lines the emergence within the Eighteen Eighties after which later decline of the assumption that modernity brought on apprehensive disease. in this interval, Killen explains, Berlin turned arguably the main complicated city in Europe. a bunch of adjustments, many linked to breakthroughs in applied sciences of transportation, verbal exchange, and rest, mixed to notably adjust the form and pace of lifestyle in Berlin. The ensuing recognition of speeded up social switch and the shocks and afflictions that observed it stumbled on their consummate expression within the discourse approximately anxiousness. splendidly researched and obviously written, this e-book deals a wealth of latest insights into the character of the fashionable city, the mental aftermath of worldwide conflict I, and the operations of the German welfare nation. Killen additionally explores cultural attitudes towards electrical energy, the evolution of psychiatric proposal and perform, and the prestige of ladies staff in Germany's swiftly industrializing financial system. eventually, he argues that the backlash opposed to the welfare country that happened through the overdue Weimar Republic led to the ultimate decoupling of modernity and worried sickness.
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Additional info for Berlin Electropolis: Shock, Nerves, and German Modernity (Weimar and Now: German Cultural Criticism)
73 By 1900 this analogy had become a standard feature of popular medical pamphlets such as the one published by Berlin physician Dr. Kurt Hartmann, Die Nervenpﬂege. ” Breakdowns occurred when these stations became overloaded. 74 Out of this combination of scientiﬁc speculation and technological enthusiasm emerged a new conception of the self according to which body and psyche were conﬁgured as a delicately balanced thermodynamic system, traversed by ﬂows of energy and subject to breakdowns. 75 The possibility of a thermodynamic crisis of the body would come to occupy a central place in the work and thought of specialists across a broad range of new ﬁelds, including scientists of work, industrial psychologists, medical experts, and insurance administrators.
The 4 August 1904 edition of the Berliner Lokaler-Anzeiger documented one of the accidents that had become a common occurrence at these exchanges. According to the article, a series of recent dramatic thunderstorms had charged the atmosphere with electricity. Excess charge had entered the telephone lines to such an extent that, at Exchange 1 in Französischestrasse, one operator had suffered a bad shock from electrical current and was knocked senseless. Service had been brieﬂy disrupted while the young woman was attended to.
They thus served as testing grounds for a future society based on the principles of scientiﬁc management. 30 Railway travel, with its timetables, reinforced this new time consciousness and drastically compressed geographical space. The experience of time also became more compressed, particularly through the acceleration of the news cycle. Berlin’s newspapers increased dramatically in number, using technological innovations to report on the day’s events with ever greater immediacy. 31 The city’s topography underwent continuous further alteration during the 1890s.
Berlin Electropolis: Shock, Nerves, and German Modernity (Weimar and Now: German Cultural Criticism) by Andreas Killen