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Modernism: The Lure of Heresy - From Baudelaire to Beckett and Beyond
 

Modernism: The Lure of Heresy - From Baudelaire to Beckett and Beyond (Paperback)

By Gay, Peter

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Traces and explores the rise of artistic Modernism, the cultural movement that heralded and shaped the modern world, dominating western high culture for over a century. This book explores the shocking modernist rebellion that, beginning in the 1840s, transformed art, literature, ... read full description below.

ISBN 9780099441960
Barcode 9780099441960
Published 15 November 2008 by Vintage
Format Paperback
Availability
Internationally sourced; usually ships 2-3 weeks

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Full details for this title

ISBN-13 9780099441960
ISBN-10 0099441969
Stock Available
Status Internationally sourced; usually ships 2-3 weeks
Publisher Vintage
Imprint Vintage
Publication Date 15 November 2008
International Publication Date 21 December 2009
Publication Country United Kingdom United Kingdom
Format Paperback
Author(s) By Gay, Peter
Category The Arts: General Issues
History Of Art & Design Styles: C 1800 To C 1900
Modernist design & Bauhaus
Literary Studies: 19Th Century
Literary Studies: From C 1900 -
Number of Pages 640
Dimensions Width: 129mm
Height: 198mm
Spine: 40mm
Weight 460g
Interest Age General Audience
Reading Age General Audience
NBS Text The Arts: General & Reference
ONIX Text General/trade
Dewey Code 700.9034
Catalogue Code 75215

Description of this Book

Acclaimed cultural historian Peter Gay traces and explores the rise of artistic Modernism, the cultural movement that heralded and shaped the modern world, dominating western high culture for over a century. Peter Gay's most ambitious endeavour since Freud explores the shocking modernist rebellion that, beginning in the 1840s, transformed art, literature, music, and film with its assault on traditional forms. Beginning his epic study with Baudelaire, whose lurid poetry scandalised French stalwarts, Gay traces the revolutionary path of modernism from its Parisian origins to its emergence as the dominant cultural movement in world capitals such as Berlin and New York.A work unique in its breadth and brilliance, Modernism presents a thrilling pageant of heretics that includes (among others) Oscar Wilde, Pablo Picasso, and D. W. Griffiths; James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, and T. S. Eliot; Walter Gropius, Arnold Schoenberg, and (of course!) Andy Warhol. Finally, Gay examines the hostility of totalitarian regimes to modernist freedom and the role of Pop Art in sounding the death knell of a movement that dominated Western culture for 120 years. Lavishly illustrated, Modernism is a superlative achievement by one of our greatest historians.

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Awards, Reviews & Star Ratings

NZ Review Beautifully written, wide-ranging and psychologically acute, Modernism: The Lure of Heresy is a celebration of the subversive energies that decisively transformed art and culture in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. At once bracingly intelligent and elegiac, Gay's magisterial book is richly rewarding for anyone who wants to understand the fractured world we have all inherited. Stephen Greenblatt Peter Gay has outdone himself. In his hands Modernism adds up to more than the sum of its subversive, sensational, unsettling parts. This is cultural history of the highest magnitude, a work as astute in its analyses as it is massive in its ambition. And as ever, it is written with stunning lucidity. A splendid, invigorating achievement. Stacy Schiff A wonderful book. You can be sure that students and journalists and teachers will be stealing from Modernism for years to come. Bravo! Hilton Kramer Superbly researched and well recounted. The extent to which many [modernists] sold out to their wealthy patrons, adopting the values they once scorned, makes for some engrossing reading Scotsman Highly readable, well-illustrated... an intelligent and exciting account of creative individuals and the times in which they worked...an enormous achievement New Statesman
US Review A veteran cultural historian weighs in with an encyclopedic account of the fecund 120 years that engendered artists as varied and brilliant as Frank Lloyd Wright, T. S. Eliot and Marcel Proust.Like a playwright or director, Gay (Schnitzler's Century: The Making of Middle-Class Culture, 1815 - 1914, 2001, etc.) sets the scene and describes the principal players, then brings them onstage, watches them perform and gives them notes afterward. His range and erudition are bewildering - is there a modernist novel, poem or play he has not read? A painting, sculpture, film or building he has not seen? He deals with many players in perfunctory fashion, but to numerous others - the notables - he devotes a few pages each (there is room for no more tonnage in this tome). He begins with the founders of the movement - Baudelaire, Monet and Oscar Wilde among them - and moves on to the painters and sculptors, featuring van Gogh, Munch, Beckmann and Picasso. Then it's off to the writers, with special attention to Joyce and Woolf. In this section, he occasionally loses control of his usually restrained prose. Like a seasoned animal tamer, he writes, Woolf cracked her whip on her prose and made the most feral brute cringe at her orders. Proust and Kafka also merit much attention before the music begins and the dancers leap onto the stage. Mahler, Schoenberg, Stravinsky and Balanchine compose and cavort before it's time for the architects - Wright, Le Corbusier, the Bauhausers and others. The theater and the cinema follow, and Gay enshrines Eisenstein, Chaplin and Welles in his Modernist museum. A final ominous chapter assesses the effects of 20th-century totalitarian governments on the Modernists. He concludes with the rather patent commonplace that the principal effect of fascism on the arts, then, was negative. An educational summary and analysis of a most miraculous cultural era. (Kirkus Reviews)

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Author's Bio

Peter Gay's first volume of his two-volume work, The Enlightenment- An Interpretation, won a National Book Award, and his bestselling Freud- A Life for Our Time was finalist for the National Book Award. His other numerous works include studies on the eighteenth century, Voltaire's Politics and The Party of Humanity, and essays on the writing of history, Style in History and Art and Act. The recipient of Guggenheim and Rockefeller Foundation Fellowships, and Overseas fellowship at Churchill College, Cambridge, and the Heineken Prize for Historical Study, Peter Gay is Sterling Professor of History at Yale University.

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