The Student of Prague


What was “Weimar thought”? To a remarkable degree, much of the literature we now regard as foundational for modern thought derives from a single historical moment: the astonishing cultural and intellectual ferment of interwar Germany circa 1919–33. The era of the Weimar Republic was arguably the foremost crucible of intellectual innovation in political theory and sociology, cultural criticism and film theory, psychology and legal theory, physics and biology, and modernism in all of its diverse forms. Its brief lifespan saw the emergence of intellectuals, scholars, and critics who rank amongst the foremost thinkers of the twentieth century. A representative list would no doubt include philosophical radicals such as Walter Benjamin, Martin Heidegger, and Max Scheler; theorists of political crisis such as Carl Schmitt, Ernst Jünger, Hannah Arendt, Hans Kelsen, and Oswald Spengler; innovators in theology such as Karl Barth, Franz Rosenzweig, Gershom Scholem, and Ernst Bloch; and exponents of aesthetic rebellion in literature, film, drama, music, and the fine arts, including Alfred Döblin and Siegfried Kracauer, Bertolt Brecht and Ernst Krenek, Hannah Höch and Kurt Schwitters. No doubt the list could well be expanded to far greater length. (Weimar Thought: Continuity and Crisis, Peter E. Gordon and John P. McCormick)

The Student of Prague was created in 1913. It is described as the first art film, the first horror film and the first auteur film.