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Posts tagged modernism


What [Adorno and Horkheimer] championed was neither high art or low culture, but art that exposed the contradictions of capitalist society rather than smoothing them over — in short, modernist art.
— Stuart Jeffries in Grand Hotel Abyss

This semester I’ve been thinking a lot about preaching and what it is. It is not primarily art and it’s not all about capitalism and society, but still — exposing the contradictions, crossing high and low; I would be very, very proud to be called a modernist preacher.

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A Scrupulous P.

For all their palpable differences, modernists of all stripes shared two defining attributes . . .: first, the lure of heresy that impelled their actions as they confronted conventional sensibilities; and, second, a commitment to a principled self-scrutiny.
Peter Gay, Modernism: The Lure of Heresy

See? Modernism!

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Fighting and loving.

[To be modern] is to be both revolutionary and conservative: alive to new possibilities for experience and adventure, frightened by the nihilistic depths to which so many modern adventures lead, longing to create and to hold on to something real even as everything melts. We might even say that to be fully modern is to be anti-modern: from Marx’s and Dostoevsky’s time to our own, it has been impossible to grasp and embrace the modern world’s potentialities without loathing and fighting against some of its most palpable realities.

Ivan Karamazov says that, more than anything else, the death of children makes him want to give back his ticket to the universe. But he does not give it back. He keeps on fighting and loving; he keeps on keeping on.
Marshall Berman

This is what keeps me an English major. It’s all about the modernists.

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