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The World as a Labyrinth - Gustav René Hocke and the Fantastic Art Tradition


The Dark Side of Culture

Humanist thought, in which he believed to the last, was the weapon Gustav René Hocke deployed against both National Socialism and Communism. In 1937, the heyday of the Nazi era, he published Das geistige Paris (Spiritual Paris), a plea for European humanism and Franco-German reconciliation. Even then he shared Louis Pasteur’s belief that peace and science would pave the way to a better, more united Europe.

His visit to Italy in 1937 provided the incentive for Magna Graecia. Wanderungen durch das griechische Unteritalien (Magna Graecia. Travels in Greek Southern Italy, 1939). This travel diary describes a magical landscape abounding in natural beauty and cultural relics. It is a vivid portrait of the home of such eminent figures as Pythagoras.