Skip to content
Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter December 6, 2018

Totemismus und Gesellschaft

  • Johannes Endres
From the journal Scientia Poetica


Sergei Eisenstein’s visit to Hollywood and Mexico, from 1930 to 1932, finds the famous director in rather unfamiliar territory. While his stay yielded little artistic output, in the form of an unfinished movie on Mexico, his theoretical reflections on American film and its foremost champions, Charlie Chaplin and Walt Disney, count among the most fascinating, yet also contentious elements of Eisenstein’s intellectual biography. A central part of his American aesthetics is his theory of »totemism«, which he develops in an intricate dialogue with the various encounters on his journey as well as from a plethora of literary references that seems to betray the agenda of his communist beginnings. The article argues that, despite its mystical overtones and logical contradictions, Eisenstein’s theory of »totemism« remains connected to his earlier convictions through an attempt to reconcile his new insights with a critical social or sociological theory.

Online erschienen: 2018-12-06
Erschienen im Druck: 2018-12-01

© 2018 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston

Downloaded on 28.5.2023 from
Scroll to top button