From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
“Man cannot become attached to higher aims and submit to a rule if he sees nothing above him to which he belongs. To free himself from all social pressure is to abandon himself and demoralize him.” --Suicide (1897) by Émile Durkheim
1897 (MDCCCXCVII) is the 897th year of the 2nd millennium, the 97th year of the 19th century, and the 8th year of the 1890s decade.
Art and culture
- Scientific-Humanitarian Committee is established by Magnus Hirschfeld, President. Hirschfeld tries to ban paragraph 175 of the Prussian penal code which bans homosexuality
- Grand Guignol theater opens in Paris
- "Funeral March for the Obsequies of a Deaf Man" by Alphonse Allais first appears in print
- The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells
- Un coup de dés jamais n'abolira le hasard by Stéphane Mallarmé
- Dracula by Bram Stoker
- La Ronde written by Schnitzler, not performed until 1920
- The Secret Rose by W. B. Yeats
- The Year 3,000 by Paolo Mantegazza
- What Is Art? by Tolstoy
- Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Volume 1 by Havelock Ellis is published, an investigation of human sexual practices. It is banned by a judge in Britain as "filth masquerading as science."
- Officiorum ac Munerum, a list of forbidden books by Pope Leo XIII.
- Hofatelier Elvira, Munich by August Endell
- Intimacies by Félix Vallotton
- Album primo-avrilesque (April Foolish Album), a portfolio of seven monochromatic images by French artist Alphonse Allais.
- The Vampire, a painting by the British painter Philip Burne-Jones (1861 – 1926).
- The Sleeping Gypsy by Henri Rousseau
- "Artichoke" wallpaper, by John Henry Dearle for William Morris & Co.
- Femmes damnées by Carlos Schwabe
- Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?, a painting by Paul Gauguin
- January 27 – William Mortensen, American photographer (d. 1965)
- March 11 – Henry Cowell, American avant-garde composer (d. 1965)
- March 24 – Wilhelm Reich, Austrian psychotherapist (d. 1957)
- March 25 – Jean Epstein, French film director and film theoretician (d. 1953)
- April 17 – Thornton Wilder, American dramatist (d. 1975)
- April 26 – Douglas Sirk, German-born director (d. 1987)
- May 14 – Sidney Bechet, American musician (d. 1959)
- May 18 – Frank Capra, American producer, director, and writer (d. 1991)
- September 10 – Georges Bataille, French writer, anthropologist, archivist and philosopher (d. 1962)
- September 25 – William Faulkner, American writer, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1962)
- October 3 – Louis Aragon, French author (d. 1982)
- October 29 – Joseph Goebbels, German Nazi propagandist (d. 1945)
- April 3 – Johannes Brahms, German composer (b. 1833)
- September 30 – St Thérèse de Lisieux, French Catholic saint (b. 1873)
- December 17 – Alphonse Daudet, French writer (b. 1840)