Early Modernism is a uniquely integrated introduction to the great avant-garde movements in European literature, music, and painting at the beginning of this century, from the advent of Fauvism to the development of Dada.
In contrast to the overly literary bias of previous studies of modernism, this book highlights the interaction between the arts in this period. It traces the fundamental and interlinked re-examination of the languages of the arts brought about by Matisse, Picasso, Schoenberg, Eliot, Apollinaire, Marinetti, Ben, and many others, which led to radically new techniques, such as atonality, cubism, and collage. These changes are set in the context both of the art that preceded them and of a new and profound shift in ideas. Theories of the unconscious, the association of ideas, primitivism, and reliance upon an expressionist intuition led to a reshaped conception of personal identity, and Butler examines the representation of the modernist self in the work of figures including Mann, Joyce, Conrad, and Stravinsky.
Accessible and wide-ranging, the book is lavishly illustrated with over sixty illustrations, many in color. It provides an elegant and incisive guide to a momentous period in the history of European art.
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About the Author:
Christopher Butler is Tutor in English Literature and Curator of Pictures at Christ Church, Oxford.
'This new book offers a deeper analysis of how changes in artistic technique relate to shifts in thought.' Frances Spalding, Sunday Times
'an outstandingly readable survey of writing, painting and music in Europe' Michael Horovitz, New Statesman and Society
`a learned, readable and wonderfully informative study of the origins, over 80 years ago,of the avant-garde culture that is now a social institution.' The Tablet, Books of the Year
'it is an excellent guide for both staff and students engaged in "Modernism" courses - and a useful corrective for those who think they understand what artistic modernism was from books on "Postmodernism" ... generously illustrated - especially so if the paperback price ... is borne in mind: no university library should be without it ... It is a measure of Christopher Butler's critical balance that he gives Lewis the painter ... an important place in the British contribution to European modernism. Anyone interested in either modernism or the postmodern should read it.' Dennis Brown, Wyndham Lewis Annual
`Butler sustains a light-fingered yet authoratitive grip upon a mass of primary material...a crisp and purposeful compendium of current critical knowledge about the arts of the period. To say that Butler's Early Modernism seems destined to become a classic of undergraduate eading lists is by no means to belittle this exercise in scholarly synthesis, for this is a book which even specialists who know the story well can enjoy for the elegance of its re-telling.' The Burlington Magazine
`Butler has written a book that is a useful contribution to the history of early modernism insightfully drawing out many of its complexities and contradictions, a book which will help to invigorate debates about modernism and its many histories.' Jon Kear, The Oxford Art Journal - 19:2, 1996
`The great strength of this book is the way in which it leads the reader through a complicated and intellectually challengingvseries of events with clarity and a firm sense of direction. Particually useful is the way in which it discusses the subject is a cross disciplinary way- showing the links between the different art forms.' Thomas Almond University of Wolverhampton.
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Book Description Oxford University Press, USA, 1994. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0198117469