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Modernism: A Very Short Introduction

Christopher Butler



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Oxford University Press
01 October 2011
Art & design styles: Modernist design & Bauhaus; Literary theory; Literary studies: from c 1900 -; Classic fiction (pre c 1945); Philosophy: aesthetics
Modernism ushered in some of the most exciting innovations in art and literature, from Fauvism, Cubism, and Dada, to the novels of James Joyce and Franz Kafka, to such provocative works as Marcel Duchamp's Fountain. But Modernism also left many people puzzled in its wake. How can a routine bathroom fixture be considered a work of art? Shouldn't a novel have a beginning, a middle, and an end--or at least a story?

Whether we recognise it or not, virtually every aspect of our life today has been influenced in part by the aesthetic legacy of Modernism. In this Very Short Introduction, Christopher Butler provides a coherent account of Modernism across various aesthetic and cultural fields. Butler examines how and why Modernism began, explaining what it is and showing how virtually all aspects of 20th and 21st century life have been influenced by its aesthetic legacy. Butler considers several aspects of modernism, including some classic modernist works, movements and notions of the avant garde, and the idea of progress in art. Finally, Butler sheds light on modernist ideas of the self, subjectivity, irrationalism, people and machines, and the political dimensions of modernism as a whole.
By:   Christopher Butler
Imprint:   Oxford University Press
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 174mm,  Width: 114mm,  Spine: 8mm
Weight:   119g
ISBN:   9780192804419
ISBN 10:   0192804413
Series:   Very Short Introductions
Pages:   136
Publication Date:   01 October 2011
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active
1. The Modernist work; 2. Modernist movements and cultural tradition; 3. The Modernist artist; 4. Modernism and politics

Reviews for Modernism: A Very Short Introduction

A useful introduction, as lucid and engaging as it is concise. / Peter Blair, University of Chester

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