Solar Dance: Van Gogh, Forgery, and the Eclipse of Certainty (Paperback)

Solar Dance: Van Gogh, Forgery, and the Eclipse of Certainty By Modris Eksteins Cover Image
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In Modris Eksteins's hands, the interlocking stories of Vincent van Gogh and art dealer Otto Wacker reveal the origins of the fundamental uncertainty that is the hallmark of the modern era. Through the lens of Wacker's sensational 1932 trial in Berlin for selling fake Van Goghs, Eksteins offers a unique narrative of Weimar Germany, the rise of Hitler, and the replacement of nineteenth-century certitude with twentieth-century doubt.

Berlin after the Great War was a magnet for art and transgression. Among those it attracted was Otto Wacker, a young gay dancer turned art impresario. His sale of thirty-three forged Van Goghs and the ensuing scandal gave Van Gogh's work unprecedented commercial value. It also called into question a world of defined values and standards that had already begun to erode during the war. Van Gogh emerged posthumously as a hero who rejected organized religion and other suspect sources of authority in favor of art. Self-pitying Germans saw in his biography a series of triumphs--over defeat, poverty, and meaninglessness--that spoke to them directly. Eksteins shows how the collapsing Weimar Republic that made Van Gogh famous and gave Wacker an opportunity for reinvention propelled a third misfit into the spotlight. Taking advantage of the void left by a gutted belief system, Hitler gained power by fashioning myths of mastery.

Filled with characters who delight and frighten, Solar Dance merges cultural and political history to show how upheavals of the early twentieth century gave rise to a search for authenticity and purpose.

About the Author

MODRIS EKSTEINS is professor emeritus of history at the University of Toronto. His bestselling," "acclaimed "Rites of Spring "was published in 9 countries, won the Wallace K. Ferguson Prize and the Trillium Book Award and was named one of the Best Books of the Year by "The Globe and Mail" and "The New York Times." "Walking Since Daybreak "was also a national bestseller, winner of the Pearson Writers' Trust Non-Fiction Prize and was named one of the Best Books of 2000 by "The Times Literary Supplement," the "Los Angeles Times" and "The Globe and Mail." The author lives in Toronto, ON.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780674283985
ISBN-10: 0674283988
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publication Date: May 5th, 2014
Pages: 368
Language: English