Defining Modernism: Baudelaire and Nietzsche on Romanticism, Modernity, Decadence and Wagner

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Overview

Defining Modernism investigates the intellectual connections among three leading nineteenth-century European modernists - Baudelaire, Nietzsche, and Richard Wagner. Through a close reading of Baudelaire's and Nietzsche's essays on art and culture, Wagner's role in the two writers' attempts to define the radically new concept of "modernism" is elucidated. Gogrof-Voorhees explores the affinity between the two writers, which emerges from a juxtaposition of their formulations of the idea of a fractured, contradictory modernity that at once embraces, scatters, and reevaluates an entire constellation of ideas, including romanticism, pessimism, decadence, and nihilism.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Investigates the intellectual connections among three leading 19th century European modernists<-->Baudelaire, Nietzsche, and Richard Wagner. Through a close reading of Baudelaire's and Nietzsche's essays on art and culture, Wagner's role in their attempts to define the radically new concept of modernism is elucidated. The author explores the affinity between the two writers which emerges from a juxtaposition of their formulations of the idea of a fractured, contradictory modernity that at once embraces, scatters, and reevaluates an entire constellation of ideas, including romananticism, pessimism, decadence, and nihilism. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknew.com)
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Product Details

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
Baudelaire
Ch. 1 Romanticism and Modernity 17
I "The Salon of 1845" and the Search for Originality 17
II "The Salon of 1846" and Poetic Criticism 20
III Toward a New Romanticism 25
IV Capturing Modernity: Some Theories 33
V The Impact of Stendhal 39
VI The Artist as the Painter of Modern Life 42
Ch. 2 Decadence 53
I Dandyism: Baudelaire, Foucault, and Camus 53
II Critique of Progress in the Realm of the Arts: "The Universal Exhibition of 1855" 61
III Attempt at a Re-evaluation of Decadence 64
IV Against the Grain: Edgar Allen Poe 67
V Artificiality 78
Ch. 3 Richard Wagner 87
I Wagner's Situation in France in 1860 87
II Baudelaire's Letter 89
III The Essay on the Tannhauser 92
Nietzsche
Ch. 4 Romanticism and Modernity 107
I The Question of Romanticism in Nietzsche 107
II The Birth of Tragedy: Communication and Concealment 111
III The Tragedy: Classical Versus Romantic 118
IV Decline of Vitality: Critique of Modernity with Euripides and Socrates 122
V The Alexandrian Culture or the Illusion of Progress 126
VI Modern Life or the Unbearable Weight of Theoretical Knowledge 131
Ch. 5 Decadence 143
I A Question of Perspectives 143
II Two Kinds of Pessimism 147
III From Romantic Pessimism to Decadence: France 153
IV Theory of Decadence 158
Ch. 6 Richard Wagner 169
I A Collision of "Stars" 169
II A Question of Modern Optics 174
III Nietzsche's Paradox 179
Bibliography 189
Index 199
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