Thursday, August 05, 2010

Gesamtkunstwerk vs. Concinnity...

I know, you're constantly confusing gesamtkunstwerk and concinnity in your everyday communications. Don't worry, me too, it's a common mistake.

Just remember that gesamtkunstwerk refers to a "total work of art" that incorporates many creative disciplines, whereas concinnity is the harmonious or purposeful reinforcement of the various parts of a work of art. The former is concerned with the whole; the latter is concerned with the successful integration of the parts.

A couple of simple mnemonics... Think of the final "e" in GesamtkuntswErk to remind you of Eusebius Trahndorff, whom you will remember, was the first to use the word in an 1827 essay. Concinnity: Think of the Latin root "concinnitas" which of course means skillfully put together. And there you are, confusion be darned!

("Gesamtkunstwerk" by Victoria Topping)


Anonymous kfc said...

Concinnity, I thought it was in Ohio.

9:28 PM  

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