Creator, itinerant guide, sage
1879 - 1958
An article on Monte Verità of 1903, just discovered (28.9.2022):
Wagner and the Return to Nature
A Utopian society has established itself in Ascona, a little place on the borders of Italy and Switzerland. This little society, which numbers thirty-eight individuals, seeks to solve the problem of how to live happily. The members are pledged to observe certain simple rules of living, which they have carried out now for three years. They eat no meat, but live principally on fruits and herbs. and they wear one simple garment only, and no hats. There are sixteen women in the sect. They know no laws save those of nature. and they amuse themselves with Wagnerlan music. The founder of the colony is a Belgian. Each new member is initiated on his finding sufficient money to buy a plat of land, by the cultivation of which he is expected to support himself.
London Daily Mail. San Francisco Call, Vol. 94, 22. Juni 1903, Nr. 22, S. 3. Quelle: California Digital Newspaper Collection.
This page opens the door to Gusto Gräser's world
|The poet and nature-prophet
Gustav Arthur Gräser was a unique figure in the first half of
the twentieth century. Intellectual leaders of his time saw
him as the personification of the "new human being", the
materialisation of the ideals of Nietzsche and Walt Whitman,
and at the same time a new Francis of Assisi. His life outside
the rules of civilisation was unconceivable for the people; it
generated scandal and hatred. But for others he became an
idol; poets like Hermann Hesse and Gerhart Hauptmann rose him
to a mythical rank.
Most of his own poetry remained unpublished during his lifetime. He distributed epigrams and poems on postcards and handbills, calling mankind for a radical change. Today his image is linked above all to his creation, the "Mountain of Truth" or Monte Verità in Ascona, which has become the symbol of a nature-worshipping counter-culture free of violence.
Gräser was born on 16th February 1879 in Kronstadt, Transsylvania, and he died on 27th October 1958 in Freimann near Munich. Together with friends he created the society-reform colony on Ascona's vineyard. In "Public conversations" in major German cities he called for a cultural renewal. He left a life-work of poetry that revives fundamental human symbols.