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Wiener Weltausstellung 1873: A ‘Peripheral’ Perspective of the Triester Zeitung

By Maria Carolina Foi


A consideration of the phenomenon of international exhibitions in the political and cultural history of central-European powers as opposed to the models represented by the London and Paris great exhibitions offers relevant insights into this topic. The Exposition organized in Vienna in 1873 – the first in the German language area – should be studied in the light of the strategic urgency which impelled the Habsburg Empire to fashion or redefine a representation of its multinational formation, in the wake of the military defeats it suffered on the French-Piedmont and Prussian fronts. As will become apparent in the later Berlin exhibition of 1879, the Wiener Weltausstellung already makes clear its desire to exhibit the network of global relations in which the central-European Empires were also trying to gain prominence, despite the essential irrelevance of their extra- European colonial enterprise, as compared to British and French imperialist ventures.The essay comprises a critical reassessment of the existing historiographies specifically devoted to the Viennese Exposition (the most significant of which dates to 1989), to be revised in the light of updated interpretive paradigms, and a further analysis which aims at a first systematic taxonomy of the most significant literary and journalistic echoes of this first central-European Weltausstellung. More specifically, the investigation will focus on the hundreds of articles, correspondence and notes which appeared in the Triester Zeitung, the principal newspaper in German in Habsburg Trieste. These textual sources have not as yet received scholarly attention and they make it possible to investigate the reception of the Exhibition within the geographical and cultural context of the multilingual and multicultural port of Trieste which, despite its peripheral position, was, nonetheless, of primary strategic importance to the central Austrian government

Publisher: EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Year: 2014
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Provided by: OpenstarTs
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