Weltschmutz-Nation Amerika

Weltschmutz-Nation Amerika

Die „schmutzwühlerische“ Eigenschaft amerikanischer Kultur.
„Die Literatur der Amerikaner ist in ihrer Gesamtheit eine utilitiristische, predigende, puritanische Literatur zum Zwecke der sittlichlichen Bildung und Läuterung… Die soziale Bedeutung dieser Literatur steht über der künstlerischen.“ — Régis Michaud, 1931.
Dies trifft besonders auf die „Literatur der Enthüllung“ (literature of exposure) zu, die zum Teil in die Literatur der „muckrakers“ einmündete, dessen Blütezeit etwa zwischen 1902 und 1914 fiel. Die Bezeichnung „muckraker“ leitet sich von einer männlichen Gestalt aus John Bunyans „Pilgrim’s Progress“ ab, die es ausschließlich mit Dreck zu tun hat und nie die ihm angebotene, über ihm schwebende himmlische Krone bemerkt:
„…the Interpreter leads the people into a room where there was a man that could look nowhere but downwards, with a muck rake in his hand. There stood also One over his head with a celestial crown in his hand, and proffered to give him that crown for his muck rake; but the man did neither look up nor paid any attention, but raked the straws, the small sticks, and dust of the floor.
Then said Christiana, “I’m convinced I know somewhat the meaning of this; for this is a figure of a man of this world. Is it not, good sir?” Interpreter, “Yes, that is correct,” said he: “and his muck rake does show his earthly mind. And as you see him rather give heed to rake up straws and sticks, and the dust of the floor, than to Him who calls to him from above with the celestial crown in his hand, it shows that heaven is but a fable to some, and the things that are counted here are only substantial things. Now, as it was also shown you that the man could look nowhere but downwards, it lets you know that earthly things, when they are mightily upon men’s minds, they completely carry their hearts away from God.”
Then said Christiana, “Oh, deliver me from this muck rake!” “The following prayer,” said the Interpreter, “has been set aside till it’s almost rusty: ‘Give me not riches’ is scarcely prayed by one of ten thousand. Straws, and sticks, and dust, with most are the great things now looked after.” With mercy Christiana wept and said, “It is, alas, too true.”
— From: “Pilgrim’s Progress” (1678), by John Bunyan. (Slightly modified.)

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