The Politics of Modernism: Against the New Conformists

The Politics of Modernism: Against the New Conformists

by Raymond Williams
     
 

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The death of Raymond Williams in 1988 robbed us of one of the most formidable British intellectuals. Considered to be the founding father of British cultural theory, Williams was concerned throughout his life to apply a materialist and socialist analysis to all forms of culture, defined generously and inclusively as 'structures of feeling'. In this, his last major… See more details below

Overview

The death of Raymond Williams in 1988 robbed us of one of the most formidable British intellectuals. Considered to be the founding father of British cultural theory, Williams was concerned throughout his life to apply a materialist and socialist analysis to all forms of culture, defined generously and inclusively as 'structures of feeling'. In this, his last major work, Williams applies himself to the problem of modernism. Rejecting stereotypes and simplifications, he is especially preoccupied with the ambivalent relationship between revolutionary socialist politics and the artistic avant-garde. Judiciously assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the modernist project, Williams shifts the framework of discussion from merely formal analysis of artistic techniques to one which grounds these cultural expressions in particular social formations. Animating the whole book is the question which Williams poses and brings us significantly closer to answering: namely, what does it mean to develop a cultural politics which goes 'beyond the modern' and yet which avoids the trap of postmodernism's 'new conformism'?

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Editorial Reviews

Village Voice
“Williams is the Western thinker who, along with Antonio Gramsci, has done most to enlarge our understanding of the political complexities of culture.”
Terry Eagleton
“A toughly analytic mind is fueled by the rich emotional resources of a creative writer.”
From the Publisher
“A toughly analytic mind is fueled by the rich emotional resources of a creative writer.”—Terry Eagleton

“Williams is the Western thinker who, along with Antonio Gramsci, has done most to enlarge our understanding of the political complexities of culture.”—Village Voice

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781859841617
Publisher:
Verso Books
Publication date:
10/17/1996
Series:
Classics Ser.
Edition description:
Older Edition
Pages:
218
Product dimensions:
5.28(w) x 8.46(h) x 0.65(d)

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Terry Eagleton
A toughly analytic mind is fueled by the rich emotional resources of a creative writer.

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