Modernity, in terms of the views and values that have brought us out of the feudalism of the Medieval period and led us to the relative richness and comfort we enjoy today and which are rapidly spreading around the worldis under threat from the extremes at both ends of the political spectrum. Modernity is worth fighting for if you enjoy and wish others to enjoy the benefits of a first-world existence in relative safety and with high degrees of individual liberty that can express itself in functional societies.
Clement Greenberg This is Greenberg's breakthrough essay fromwritten for the Partisan Review when he was twenty-nine years of age and at the time more involved with literature than with painting. He came, later, to reject much of the essay -- notably the definition of kitsch which he later believed to be ill thought out as, indeed, it is.
Later he came to identify the threat to high art as coming from middlebrow taste, which in any event aligns much more closely with the academic than kitsch ever did or could.
The essay has an air and assurance of '30s Marxism, with peculiar assumptions such as that only under socialism could the taste of the masses be raised. But for all that, the essay stakes out new territory. Although the avant-garde was an accepted fact in the '30s.
Greenberg was the first to define its social and historical context and cultural import. The essay also carried within it the seeds of his notion of modernism. Despite its faults and sometimes heady prose, it stands as one of the important theoretical documents of 20th century Modernism in poetry essay.
All four are on the order of culture, and ostensibly, parts of the same culture and products of the same society. Here, however, their connection seems to end. A poem by Eliot and a poem by Eddie Guest -- what perspective of culture is large enough to enable us to situate them in an enlightening relation to each other?
Does the fact that a disparity such as this within the frame of a single cultural tradition, which is and has been taken for granted -- does this fact indicate that the disparity is a part of the natural order of things? Or is it something entirely new, and particular to our age?
The answer involves more than an investigation in aesthetics. It appears to me that it is necessary to examine more closely and with more originality than hitherto the relationship between aesthetic experience as met by the specific -- not the generalized -- individual, and the social and historical contexts in which that experience takes place.
What is brought to light will answer, in addition to the question posed above, other and perhaps more important questions. A society, as it becomes less and less able, in the course of its development, to justify the inevitability of its particular forms, breaks up the accepted notions upon which artists and writers must depend in large part for communication with their audiences.
It becomes difficult to assume anything. All the verities involved by religion, authority, tradition, style, are thrown into question, and the writer or artist is no longer able to estimate the response of his audience to the symbols and references with which he works.
In the past such a state of affairs has usually resolved itself into a motionless Alexandrianism, an academicism in which the really important issues are left untouched because they involve controversy, and in which creative activity dwindles to virtuosity in the small details of form, all larger questions being decided by the precedent of the old masters.
The same themes are mechanically varied in a hundred different works, and yet nothing new is produced: Statius, mandarin verse, Roman sculpture, Beaux-Arts painting, neo-republican architecture. It is among the hopeful signs in the midst of the decay of our present society that we -- some of us -- have been unwilling to accept this last phase for our own culture.
In seeking to go beyond Alexandrianism, a part of Western bourgeois society has produced something unheard of heretofore: A superior consciousness of history -- more precisely, the appearance of a new kind of criticism of society, an historical criticism -- made this possible.
This criticism has not confronted our present society with timeless utopias, but has soberly examined in the terms of history and of cause and effect the antecedents, justifications and functions of the forms that lie at the heart of every society.One of the thorny issues of discussing modernism is the word itself.
What is “modern”? What is the difference -- or is there one -- between poetry and A dictionary * The first five results in a Google search; Essay Assignment for the Poem.
Essay Assignment. An Aside: Assata on Race and Class, Strangers vs. Enemies. This gives us a chance to delve a bit more into Assata’s explicit treatment of race and class (in this same chapter, and elsewhere in her book).
Modernism Modernism was the most influential literary movement in England and America during the first half of the twentieth century. It encompassed such works as The Waste Land (), by T.
S. A Brief Guide to Modernism - "That's not it at all, that's not what I meant at all"—from "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock," by T. S. EliotEnglish novelist Virginia Woolf declared that human nature underwent a fundamental change "on or about December " The statement testifies to the modern writer's fervent desire to break with the past, rejecting literary traditions that seemed.
Chapter One: Modernism vs. Postmodernism. Modernism is like the need to awaken from “the nightmare of history,” as Nietzsche said, and also the need to “make it new”.
Ihab Hassan in his essay Beyond Postmodernism states that postmodernism is over and that we have entered the age of Postmodernity. “Hype and hyperbole, parody. Understanding the context of literary modernism (specifically, modernist poetry) is important for students before they analyze modernist texts themselves.
To that end, this lesson enables students to explore and consider the forces that prompted such a “fundamental change” in human nature.