From Bauhaus to Dada, from Virginia Woolf to John Dos Passos, the Modernist movement revolutionized the way we perceive, portray, and participate in the world. This landmark anthology is a comprehensive documentary resource for the study of Modernism, bringing together more than 150 key essays, articles, manifestos, and other writings of the political and aesthetic avant-garde between 1840 and 1950.
By favoring short extracts over lengthier originals, the editors cover a remarkable range and variety of modernist thinking. Included are not just the familiar high modernist landmarks such as Gustave Flaubert, Ezra Pound, and James Joyce, but also a diverse representation from the sciences, politics, philosophy, and the arts, including Charles Darwin, Thorstein Veblen, W. E. B. Du Bois, Isadora Duncan, John Reed, Adolf Hitler, and Sergei Eisenstein. Another welcome feature is a substantial selection of hard-to-find manifestos from the many modernist movements, among them futurism, cubism, Dada, surrealism, and anarchism.
The approach of the millennium has inspired the publication of a number of books reflecting on the significance of Modernism. Oxford English professor and critic Conrad here examines Modernism's meaning and scope. While he offers insightful comments on the canonical works of modernist art, music, literature, architecture, and culture, he extends this discussion to the end of the century, looking at other works, genres, and media as well. For Conrad, Modernism is defined by its apocalyptic experiments, its overturning of previous assumptions, and its challenging of taboos. In turn, Conrad sees a continuity between Modernism and Postmodernism and an extension of modernist centers from Vienna, Moscow, and Paris to cities such as Los Angeles, Tokyo, and Hong Kong. His scope is monumental, his treatment perceptive and fluid. Modernism is more canonical in its focus, offering a rich selection of written material relevant to the study of Modernism from early anticipations in Marx in 1843 through Richard Wright in 1940. Rather than poems, plays, or other "primary" materials, the editors have compiled various modernist statements: letters, manifestos, and contemporary essays and reviews. An invaluable resource for the student of Modernism.--Thomas L. Cooksey, Armstrong State Coll., Savannah, GA