Paradoxy of Modernism

Paradoxy of Modernism

by Robert Scholes
     
 

ISBN-10: 0300108206

ISBN-13: 9780300108200

Pub. Date: 03/11/2006

Publisher: Yale University Press

In this lively, personal book, Robert Scholes intervenes in ongoing discussions about modernism in the arts during the crucial half-century from 1895 to 1945. While critics of and apologists for modernism have defined modern art and literature in terms of binary oppositions—high/low, old/new, hard/soft, poetry/rhetoric—Scholes contends that these

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Overview

In this lively, personal book, Robert Scholes intervenes in ongoing discussions about modernism in the arts during the crucial half-century from 1895 to 1945. While critics of and apologists for modernism have defined modern art and literature in terms of binary oppositions—high/low, old/new, hard/soft, poetry/rhetoric—Scholes contends that these distinctions are in fact confused and misleading. Such oppositions are instances of “paradoxy”—an apparent clarity that covers real confusion.
Closely examining specific literary texts, drawings, critical writings, and memoirs, Scholes seeks to complicate the neat polar oppositions attributed to modernism. He argues for the rehabilitation of works in the middle ground that have been trivialized in previous evaluations, and he fights orthodoxy with such paradoxes as “durable fluff,” “formulaic creativity,” and “iridescent mediocrity.” The book reconsiders major figures like James Joyce while underscoring the value of minor figures and addressing new attention to others rarely studied. It includes twenty-two illustrations of the artworks discussed. Filled with the observations of a personable and witty guide, this is a book that opens up for a reader’s delight the rich cultural terrain of modernism.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780300108200
Publisher:
Yale University Press
Publication date:
03/11/2006
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.10(d)

Table of Contents

Contents

Preface....................ix
PART I Paradoxies ONE High and Low in Modernist Criticism....................3
TWO Old and New in Modernist Art....................33
THREE Poetry and Rhetoric in the Modernist Montage....................95
FOUR Hard and Soft: Joyce and Others....................120
PART II Paradoxes FIVE Durable Fluff: The Importance of Not Being Earnest....................143
SIX Iridescent Mediocrity: Dornford Yates and Others....................162
SEVEN Formulaic Creativity: Simenon's Maigret Novels....................195
PART III Doxies EIGHT Model Artists in Paris: Hastings, Hamnett, and Kiki....................221
NINE The Aesthete in the Brothel: Proust and Others....................257
Works Cited....................281
Index....................285

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