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 focus 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.