Modernism: A New Perspective

.Modernism: A New Perspective Scope of the Seminar  This presentation is not intended to be a comprehensive study of Modernism nor a detailed analysis of its characteristics.  The coming 30-40 minutes will be an attempt to shed light on one of most important factors that made it inevitable for modernism to emerge.

forms of art. values. literature.  Modernism is a blanket term for an explosion of new styles and trends in the arts of the beginning of the 20th century. . religious faith. architecture.Modernism: A New Perspective What is Modernism?  It is a 20th century self-consciousness movement that revolted against the socalled outmoded traditions. social organization and daily life.

the centre cannot hold. it is necessary to go back into history. .Modernism: A New Perspective  The best quotation that sums Modernism up all is these lines from the Irish poet W. To know what centre Yeats is referring to.B. Yeats’ poem “The Second Coming” (1919): Things fall apart. Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world.

its characteristics are disintegration.Modernism: A New Perspective Roots of Modernism  To understand Modernism one needs to know its relation to Modernity. This latter is considered to describe a way of living and of experiencing life which has arisen with the changes wrought by industrialisation. urbanisation. . and secularisation. ephemerality and insecurity.

. The main value of the age.Modernism: A New Perspective Modernity and the Age of Enlightenment  What fell apart in the modern era were the values of the 18th century. was the idea of progress. besides reason. known also as the Age of Reason.  In the 18th century thinkers became optimistic that by using the universal values of science. logic and reason they could get rid of all the myths and holy ideas that kept humanity from progressing.

it opened the way to doubt all the deep rooted beliefs that so far provided the solid foundation for western civilization. Therefore I am” Whereas his principle was intended to free human mind from the fetters of irrational imagination. He declares that the only thing one cannot doubt is one’s own existence: “I Think.Modernism: A New Perspective  At the centre of this world view lies the philosophy of the French Rene Descartes (1596-1650). .

. Nothing but Science!  Through reason and science.  Reality was supposed to be understood and perceived through the rational mind of the Enlightenment. 18th century people spent the long night of their century disturbed only by the nightmares of the open possibilities of their new rational religion. all poverty.Modernism: A New Perspective Science. ignorance and injustice would finally be banished.  With this in mind.

human bondage. a blow that marked the end to all what was considered Enlightenment. and the writings of thinkers like Friedrich Nietzsche and Karl Marx among others.Modernism: A New Perspective The Dawn of the 20th Century  The growing suspicion about the validity and durability of these beliefs was assured by the increase in poverty.  The one most important blow to these ideals. . These ideals were shattered by the same tools that were thought they would bring prosperity and freedom to human kind. deteriorating life conditions. was WWI.

Modernism: A New Perspective In Search for a New Centre  Where western society had previously a centre: whether in Christian Religion or in the ideals of science and progress. . this emptiness. suddenly it had NOTHING!  There was an urging need to fill in this void. Nothingness itself was used as a filling to this void.

Earnest Hemingway in his short story “ A Clean. Well-Lighted Place” uses the word “nada” (“nothing” in Spanish) to substitute significant places of Lord’s Prayer . If science proved to be futile then something else must take its place.Modernism: A New Perspective Modernism as a Filling!  Man’s need for a centre to cling to was a compulsive drive behind the emergence of Modernism.

halewed be thy name.”  “Our Father.” . Let thy kingdom come. nada be thy name. thy kingdom nada. who art in Heaven.Modernism: A New Perspective  “Our nada who art in nada. Thy will be fulfilled…. thy will be nada in nada as it is in nada….

James Joyce.S. each developed their own distinct way of perceiving their reality . Eliot.  Writers like T.Modernism: A New Perspective Modernist Artists as Supermen  Nietzsche’s idea of the superman who is beyond good and evil provided the impetus for artists to pursue their own distinct way of filling this void. George Bernard Shaw.

.  Cubism is another school that represented the world in a three dimensional way. To bring back an affirmation. Surrealism sprang from Dadaism to be a new way of representing reality.Modernism: A New Perspective Modern Schools of Painting  Dadaism was among the earliest schools of painting that called for the destruction of all the traditional methods and styles of painting. It was total negation.

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