Visionary Mimesis and Occult Modernism in Literature and Art Around 1900
The concept of visionary mimesis, central to this chapter, entails that the artist-author, who identifies as a visionary, aims not to imitate the material world but rather to represent spiritual reality. Writers such as Guy de Maupassant, Gustav Meyrink, August Strindberg, and Rainer Maria Rilke—who are investigated here—strove to move beyond naturalism by challenging traditional conceptions of realism and of reality. Proceeding from the idea that reality contains elements that are immaterial but still partly perceptible, these writers set out to achieve a new visual expression of mimesis incorporating the material and immaterial, the mundane and spiritual. This chapter investigates how the creative potential of visionary mimesis is expressed in the works studied.