Muses Under Arms: Aesthetization of War in the Speeches of Mavro Špicer

Kristian Novak; Filozofsi fakultet Zagreb
This paper presents a discourse analysis of the public speeches of Mavro Špicer (1862 – 1936), a distinguished Croatian esperantist, lexicographer, translator, literary anthologist and officer in the army of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. In this survey a semiological analysis of the topics, motives and argumentation strategies was conducted in order to specify the fetaures of recontextualisation of two social practises – warfare and artistic creation. Analysis has shown that the contents of the speeches incorporate two levels: on the one hand, the speeches present art historical overwievs over major works and poetics of world literature, music and visual arts, respectively. On the other hand, there is a noticeable explicit persuasive intent to mediate several political concepts and opinions, such as the positive effects of military education and the need for recruitment and military buildup. The symbolic interface between these two levels is the leitmotif of all the analyzed speeches – the concept of an unbreakable and interactive connection between artistic creation and warfare throughout the history of mankind.
Key words
Mavro Špicer; World war I.; aesthetization of war; militarism; discourse analysis
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