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This book seeks, through an examination of the form and content of his texts, to extend our understanding of Adolf Loos and his role in the struggle to define the nature of modernity in Vienna at the turn of the nineteenth century. It makes extensive use of primary sources including archive material and newspaper reports, which serve to shed new light on the way in which Loos's writings are embedded in their socio-cultural context. Drawing on insights from German and Austrian studies, sociology and cultural history, this book offers a genuinely interdisciplinary approach to a figure who himself operated in an interdisciplinary fashion.
List of Illustrations. Acknowledgements. Introduction. 1. Investigating and Excavating. 2. The Other: National Cultural Mythologies. 3. The Self: Social Difference in Loos's Vienna. 4. The Display and Disguise of Difference. 5. Locating the Narrative: The City, its Artefacts and its Attractions. Conclusion: The Non-Contemporaneity of Loos's Critique. Notes. Bibliography. Index.