“We have created this island for ourselves...” Cover Image
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„Stworzyliśmy sobie taką wyspę…”
“We have created this island for ourselves...”

On the forms of social activities in 19th century Berlin salons

Author(s): Katarzyna Grzywka-Kolago
Subject(s): Theoretical Linguistics, Applied Linguistics, Philology
Published by: Wydawnictwa Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego
Keywords: salon; 19th century; Berlin; social life; entertainment
Summary/Abstract: The aim of the paper is to reconstruct the forms of social activity in 19th century Berlin salons based on the analysis of selected memoirs, diaries and letters of guests and/or host(esse)s. From the definition of the term “salon” and briefly discussing its history in Europe and Friedrich Schleiermacher’s theory of salon society, the author proceeds to examine such forms of salon activities as reading literary works aloud, playing music, amateur theatre performances, tableaux vivants, and party games. The text demonstrates that these activities were both a way to facilitate interaction between guests and to show appreciation to amateur performers. In addition, they provided a platform and a way to find wealthy protectors to less known artists and debutants, while offering opportunities to give tour-de-force performances to established artists, writers, and poets. They helped bring people with shared interests together, creating a microcosm in its own right that transcended social divisions.

  • Page Range: 183-192
  • Page Count: 10
  • Publication Year: 2021
  • Language: English, French, Polish