THE DIARIES OF PAUL KLEE, 1898-1918 by Felix- Ed. Klee


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Klee was always give to making statements about his work, or at least in making statements which were pithy enough, or ""peculiar"" enough, for passage through modernist channels the later, after the '30's, through the Academy. His diaries, extending from his 19th to 40th year, are not only full of aesthetic speculations, but also of sentiments which have reached a scriptural status, e.g., The more horrifying this world becomes (as it is in these days) the more art becomes abstract."" Eliot said much the same thing, (and at about much the same time), regarding literature; and with both, of course, a totalist viewpoint-ward the arts, anyway- is implied. With Klee, however, the industrial agony turned him more outwards than inwards. Even his early, rather grubby, struggles ere graced wit a robust romanticism: la vie boheme tempered by philosophic humor. Thus here the Italian and Tunisian sojourns, relations with Kandinsky and Marc, litary service and domesticity, interest in poetry and music, all filter by in appropriately varying dark and light tones, yet each furthering the dominant drive of the man's personality and creations. This was a drive, to use his own terminology, towards the ""primal ground,"" towards ""a dialogue with nature,"" where innocence and the demonic might be: ""secretly perceived."" The Diaries record this remarkable development in intimate detail; they have aphoristic bite, a lean nsuosity, and frequently an indisputable candor.

ISBN: 0520006534
Publisher: Univ. of California