The First Moderns: Profiles in the Origins of Twentieth-Century Thought / Edition 2

The First Moderns: Profiles in the Origins of Twentieth-Century Thought / Edition 2

by William R. Everdell
     
 

ISBN-10: 0226224813

ISBN-13: 9780226224817

Pub. Date: 07/28/1998

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

In the early 1870s, mathematicians like Cantor and Dedekind discovered the set and divided the mathematical continuum; in 1886, Georges Seurat debuted his visionary masterpiece, Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte; by the end of 1900, Hugo de Vries had discovered the gene, Max Planck had laid claim to the quantum, and Sigmund Freud had laid bare…  See more details below

Overview

In the early 1870s, mathematicians like Cantor and Dedekind discovered the set and divided the mathematical continuum; in 1886, Georges Seurat debuted his visionary masterpiece, Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte; by the end of 1900, Hugo de Vries had discovered the gene, Max Planck had laid claim to the quantum, and Sigmund Freud had laid bare the unconscious workings of dreams. Throughout the worlds of art and ideas, of science and philosophy, Modernism was dawning, and with it a new mode of conceptualization. With astounding range and scholarly command, William Everdell constructs a lively and accessible history of nascent Modernism -- narrating portraits of genius, profiling intellectual breakthroughs, and richly evoking the fin-de-siecle atmosphere of Paris, Vienna, St. Louis, and St. Petersburg. He follows Picasso to the Cabaret des Assassins, discourses with Ernst Mach on the contingency of scientific law, and takes in the riotous premiere of Stravinsky's 'Rite of Spring'. But how are we to define the inception of an era predicated upon such far-flung and radically disparate innovations? Everdell is careful not to insist on the creative interrelation of these events. Instead, what for him unites such germinally modernist achievements is a profound conceptual insight: that the objects of our knowledge are - contrary to the evolutionary seamlessness of nineteenth-century thought -- discrete, atomistic, and discontinuous. The gray matter was found to be made out of neurons, poems out of disjunctive images, and paintings out of dots of color, all by innovators whose worlds were just beginning to align. Theoretically sophisticated yet marvelously entertaining, The First Moderns offers an invigorating look at the unfolding of an age.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780226224817
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Publication date:
07/28/1998
Edition description:
1
Pages:
509
Sales rank:
1,229,521
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.50(d)

Related Subjects

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
1Introduction: What Modernism Is and What It Probably Isn't1
2The Century Ends in Vienna: Modernism's Time Lost, 189913
3Georg Cantor, Richard Dedekind, and Gottlob Frege: What Is a Number, 1872-188330
4Ludwig Boltzmann: Statistical Gases, Entropy, and the Direction of Time, 1872-187747
5Georges Seurat: Divisionism, Cloisonnism, and Chronophotography, 188563
6Whitman, Rimbaud, and Jules Laforgue: Poems Without Meter, 188680
7Santiago Ramon y Cajal: The Atoms of Brain, 1889100
8Valeriano Weyler y Nicolau: Inventing the Concentration Camp, 1896116
9Sigmund Freud: Time Repressed and Ever-Present, 1899127
10The Century Begins in Paris: Modernism on the Verge, 1900142
11Hugo de Vries and Max Planck: The Gene and the Quantum, 1900159
12Bertrand Russell and Edmund Husserl: Phenomenology, Number, and the Fall of Logic, 1901177
13Edwin S. Porter: Parts at Sixteen per Second, 1903193
14Meet Me in Saint Louis: Modernism Comes to Middle America, 1904206
15Albert Einstein: The Space-Time Interval and the Quantum of Light, 1905227
16Pablo Picasso: Seeing All Sides, 1906-1907241
17August Strindberg: Staging a Broken Dream, 1907251
18Arnold Schoenberg: Music in No Key, 1908265
19James Joyce: The Novel Goes to Pieces, 1909-1910283
20Vassily Kandisky: Art with No Object, 1911-1912303
21Annus Mirabilis: Vienna, Paris, and St. Petersburg, 1913321
22Discontinuous Epilogues: Heisenberg and Bohr, Godel and Turing, Merce Cunningham and Michael Foucault346
Notes361
Select Bibliography423
Index463

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