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Theorizing the Avant-Garde: Modernism, Expressionism, and the Problem of Postmodernity

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Overview

In Theorizing the Avant-Garde Richard Murphy mobilizes theories of the postmodern to challenge our understanding of the avant-garde and assesses its importance for the debates among theorists of postmodernism such as Jameson, Eagleton, Lyotard and Habermas. Murphy reconsiders the classic formulations of the avant-garde and investigates the relationship between art and politics via a discussion of Marcuse, Adorno and Benjamin. Combining close textual readings of a wide range of films as well as works of literature, this interdisciplinary project will appeal to all those interested in twentieth-century modernist movements and postmodernity.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...original and fascinating..." Journal of English and Germanic Philology

"Murphy's book nevertheless makes an entirely persuasive and superbly documented case for the continuing impact of the historical avant-garde on the culture of postmodernity." College Literature

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Product Details

Table of Contents

1. Theories of the avant-garde; 2. Revisions of Bürger's theory; 3. Re-writing the discursive world: revolution and the expressionist avant-garde; 4. Counter-discourses of the avant-garde: Jameson, Bakhtin and the problem of realism; 5. Döblin and the avant-garde poetics of expressionist prose; 6. Benn: modernity and the double bind of rationality; 7. Bakhtin and double voiced discourse: Döblin's 'The Murder of a Buttercup' and the double bind; 8. The poetics of hysteria: expressionist drama and the melodramatic imagination; 9. Kafka's photograph of the imaginary: dialogical interplay between realism and the fantastic (the metamorphosis); 10. Weimar silent film and expressionism: representational instability and oppositional discourse in The Cabinet of Dr Caligari; 11. Framing the interpretation: the frame-narrative and the conflict of discourses; 12. Towards a poetic of postmodernism: simulation, the sublime and the expressionist avant-garde; 13. Lyotard's postmodern sublime and Habermas's 'enlightenment project of modernity': modernism, mass culture and the avant-garde; Bibliography.
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