ModernismJamesDewBoas - AMERICAN MODERNISM Definitions and...

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AMERICAN MODERNISMDefinitions and representatives
DefinitionsDefinitions Nowadays modernism seems somehow distant referring to a period that ended in 1940s. It puzzles its students because unlike romanticism or classicism, it seems not to refer to the qualities of the works of art in a given period but simply to underlie their break with the past. This break with the past was connected with the loss of legitimacy of public authority, as a result of which the arts took onto themselves more of the job of defining the human horizon.One of the ways of explaining the roots of modernism is to view it as the consequence of the transformation of society brought about by industrialism and technology in the course of the nineteenth century. Understandably, the pressures of modernity were most intensely felt in the great urban centers of Europe such as Vienna, Paris, Berlin and it is not surprising that it was in these cities that what many people viewed as the extravagant or shocking works of modernism were fist produced.
ModernismModernismis usually defined as a climatic change is usually defined as a climatic change in human consciousness and historic practicesin human consciousness and historic practices“Modernism was in most countries an extraordinary compound of the futuristic and the nihilistic, the revolutionary and the conservative, the naturalistic and the symbolistic, the romantic and the classical. It was a celebration of a technological age and a condemnation of it; an excited acceptance of the belief that the old regimes of culture were over, and a deep despairing in the face of that fear; a mixture of convictions that the new forms were escapes from historicism and the pressures of the time with convictions that they were precisely the living expressions of these things. (Bradbury and MacFarlane 46).
Sociology of PostmodernismSociology of PostmodernismScott LashScott Lash “Not only contemporary arts but contemporary social practices, taken more generally, can be understood in terms of modernism …. modernism registers a fundamental break with the assumptions of modernity.” “Aesthetic modernism and its social correlates must be understood as a fundamental transformationof this project that includes not only both a deepening andan undermining of Enlightenment rationality, but also the transmutation and renewed development of instrumentalrationality. Modernism is thus a three-dimensional configuration ...involving a disruption of Enlightenment rationality, a new departure in instrumental reason, in which former principles of unity and transcendence are replaced by principles of plurality and immanence, and a deepening of Enlightenment rationality." (124)
Did it mean to the Americans the same as to the Did it mean to the Americans the same as to the Europeans, especially having in mind the constant Europeans, especially having in mind the constant American strife to break off from European American strife to break off from European tradition?

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