The Politics of Modernism: Against the New Conformists

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9780860919551: The Politics of Modernism: Against the New Conformists
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This is an exploration of the ambivalent relationship between revolutionary politics and modernist or avant-garde art. Williams clarifies many of the issues that have dogged recent critical discussion: the term “modernism” itself; the distinction between modernism and avant garde; and the possibility of a cultural theory “beyond the modern” which avoids the pitfalls of postmodernism. Raymond Williams is the author of Politics and Letters, Problems in Materialsm and Culture, Resources of Hope and Writing in Society.

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From the Back Cover:

The death of Raymond Williams in 1988 robbed us of one of the most formidable British intellectuals. Considered to be the founding father of British cultural theory, Williams was concerned throughout his life to apply a materialist and socialist analysis to all forms of culture, defined generously and inclusively as 'structures of feeling'. In this, his last major work, Williams applies himself to the problem of modernism. Rejecting stereotypes and simplifications, he is especially preoccupied with the ambivalent relationship between revolutionary socialist politics and the artistic avant-garde. Judiciously assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the modernist project, Williams shifts the framework of discussion from merely formal analysis of artistic techniques to one which grounds these cultural expressions in particular social formations. Animating the whole book is the question which Williams poses and brings us significantly closer to answering: namely, what does it mean to develop a cultural politics which goes 'beyond the modern' and yet which avoids the trap of postmodernism's 'new conformism'?

About the Author:

Raymond Williams (1921–1988) was for many years Professor of Drama at the University of Cambridge. Among his many books are Culture and Society, Culture and Materialism, Politics and Letters, Problems in Materialism and Culture, and several novels.

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Williams, Raymond
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ISBN 10: 0860919552 ISBN 13: 9780860919551
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Raymond Williams
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ISBN 10: 0860919552 ISBN 13: 9780860919551
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