A Well-Ventilated Utopia | by Christopher Benfey | NYR Daily

NEW YORK REVIEW OF BOOKS | on Sun, Mar 19, 5:00 AM

Berlinische Galerie/Kai-Annett BeckerPaul Scheerbart: Nusi-Pusi, 1912Walter Benjamin contrasted the “well-ventilated utopias” of the distinctive German writer and illustrator Paul Scheerbart (1863-1915) with the “overheated fantasies” of the Surrealists. To bring our culture to a higher level, Scheerbart argued in Glass Architecture (1914), his marvelous utopian novel in the form of an aesthetic manifesto, the heavy Wilhelmine buildings of brick and stone needed to be replaced with glass, “wh...

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