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May 25, 2017
This week’s theme
Words borrowed from German

This week’s words
gemutlich
anschauung
gesellschaft
gesamtkunstwerk
krummholz

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

gesamtkunstwerk

PRONUNCIATION:
(guh-ZAHMT-koonst-vuhrk)

MEANING:
noun: A work of art that makes use of many different art forms.

ETYMOLOGY:
From German Gesamtkunstwerk (total artwork), from gesamt (total, whole) + Kunst (art) + Werk (work). Earliest documented use: 1939.

NOTES:
The concept is Gesamtkunstwerk is associated with the composer Richard Wagner who described it in a series of essays in an attempt to synthesize music, drama, dance, poetry, etc.

USAGE:
“Here all the arts were to amalgamate into one gigantic Gesamtkunstwerk: music, voice, song, dance, color, scent.”
Marjana Gaponenko; Who is Martha?; New Vessel Press; 2014.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
The true test of a civilization is, not the census, nor the size of the cities, nor the crops -- no, but the kind of man the country turns out. -Ralph Waldo Emerson, essayist (25 May 1803-1882)

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