After the great divide


After the great divide : modernism, mass culture, postmodernism

Bloomington ; Indianapolis : Indiana university press, 1986, XII-244 p.

ISBN 978-1-597-40555-3

MOND 508

Résumé :
Ever since the mid-19th century, the culture of modernity has been characterized by a volatile relationship between high art and mass culture. Indeed, the emergence of early modernism in writers such as Flaubert and Baudelaire cannot be adequately understood on the basis of an assumed logic of « high » literary evolution alone. Modernism constituted itself through a conscious strategy of exclusion, an anxiety of contamination by its other : an increasingly consuming and engulfing mass culture. Both the strengths and the weaknesses of modernism as an adversary culture derive from that fact. Not surprisingly, this anxiety of contamination has appeared in the guise of an irreconcilable opposition, especially in the l’art pour l’art movements of the turn of the century (symbolism, aestheticism, art nouveau) and again in the post-world war II era in abstract expressionism in painting, in the privileging of experimental writing, and in the official canonization of « high modernism » in literature and literary criticism, in critical theory and the musuem.

Table des matières :


Part one : The vanishing other : mass culture
1. The hidden dialectic : avangarde, technology, mass culture
2. Adorno in reverse : from Hollywood to Richard Wagner
3. Mass culture as woman : modernism’s other

Part two : Texts and contexts
4. The Vamp and the machine : Frits Lang’s Metropolis
5. Producing revolution : heiner Müller’s Mauser as learning play
6. The politics of identification : « Holocaust » and west german drama
7. Memory, myth, and the dream of reason : Peter Weiss’s Die Ästhetik des Widerstands

Part three : Toward the postmodern
8. The cultural politics of pop
9. The search for tradition : avantgarde and postmodernism in the 1970s
10. Mapping the postmodern

Axe de recherches :

  • Axe transversal : Cultures visuelles

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