Matei Călinescu. · Rating details · ratings · 12 reviews. Five Faces of Modernity is a series of semantic and cultural biographies of words that have taken. Five Faces of Modernity: Modernism, Avant-Garde, Decadence, Kitsch, Postmodernism. Front Cover. Matei Călinescu. Duke University Press, Modernist Cultures invites essays from various fields of inquiry, including anthropology, art history, cultural studies, ethnography, film studies, history, literature.

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The concept of modernity—the notion that we, the living, are different and somehow superior to our predecessors and that our civilization is likely to be succeeded by one even superior to ours—is a relatively recent Western invention and one whose time may already have passed, if we believe its postmodern challengers.

There’s a problem loading this menu right now. The moderns subjected antiquity and its defenders to a variety of criticisms, which may be divided into three broad categories. The argument of reason. History seemed to proceed by dramatic ruptures, alternating periods of enlightened grandeur with dark periods of decay and chaos.

Such terms as modernitas “modern times” and moderni “men of today” also became frequent, especially after the tenth century. Calinesch difficulty of this position comes from its implicit advocacy of a status quo that repels modern man’s imagination of change. Perrault was certainly criticized during the debate, and sometimes quite bitterly, but none cailnescu his adversaries could find fault with the principles themselves, in the name of which the ancients were being attacked.

Such conceptions were natural in an economically and culturally static society dominated by the ideal of stability and even quiescence — a society wary of change, in which secular values were considered from an entirely theocentric view of human life. He asserts that Modernism depends on an orientation inherited from Christianity which holds time to be linear and irreversible – ultimately, bringing a transvaluation of past and present.

The OED records the first occurrence of “modernity” meaning “present times” in It was much less difficult to perceive this common pf from a foreign perspective, and this was exactly what the modernistas succeeded in doing. Buy the selected items together This item: Ships from and sold by facws. These items are shipped from and sold by different sellers.

Share your thoughts with other customers. At another time he is friendly to it, ‘accommodates’ to it…. Good copy, good service! There are several statements of this paradox in Bacon’s writings. The concept of modernity—the notion that fuve, the living, are different and somehow superior to our predecessors and that our civilization is likely to be succeeded by one even superior to ours—is a relatively recent Western invention calinesscu one whose time may already have passed, if we believe its postmodern challengers.


To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. As a result of moderrnity Renaissance such notions as “antiquity” or the “ancients,” while preserving their strongly positive connotations, underwent a significant semantic change: Sign-in or register now to continue.

Five Faces of Modernity: Modernism, Avant-garde, Decadence, Kitsch, Postmodernism

He was convinced that the or study of antiquity could and should kindle a sense of emulation. Baudelaire’s portrait of Edgar Allan Poe, seen as a victim of American democracy and as a martyr in the catalogue of modern artistic alienation, sums up his main arguments against bourgeois modernity.

Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. Before referring more specifically to the origins of the split between the two modernities it is 42 useful to facces on the term “modernity” itself.

FIVE FACES OF MODERNITY Modernism Avant-Garde Decadence Kitsch | Veria Wang –

Vanja rated it really liked it Dec 03, On the one hand, the future is the only way out of the “nightmare of history,” which in the eyes of the utopist makes the present essentially rotten and intolerable; but on the other hand, the future — the begetter of change and difference — is suppressed in the very attainment of perfection, which by definition cannot but repeat itself ad infinitum, negating the irreversible concept of time on which the whole of Western culture has been built.

But the word ‘modernus’ was not yet available. The doctrine of progress, the confidence in the beneficial possibilities of science and technology, the concern with time a measurable time, a time that can be bought and sold and therefore has, like any other commodity, a calculable equivalent in mosernitythe cult of reason, and the ideal of freedom defined within the framework of an abstract humanism, but also the orientation toward pragmatism and the cult of action and success — all have been associated in various degrees with the battle for the modern and were kept alive and promoted as key values in the triumphant civilization established by modernnity middle class.

God is dead forever.

Five Faces of Modernity is a series of semantic and cultural biographies of words that have taken on special significance in the last century and a half or so: Fo most important moderinty was probably the enrichment of the term “modern” with a calknescu of sharply polemical connotations. In democratic societies public opinion is a pitiless dictator…. For whereas every Branch of Knowledge has received such wonderful Acquirements since his Age, especially within the last three Years or there- abouts; it is almost impossible, he could be so perfect in Modern Discoveries as his Advocates pretend.


Woe unto him who seeks in antiquity anything other than pure art, logic, and general method. The idea of art’s autonomy was by no means a novelty in the s, when the battlecry of Art for Art’s Sake became popular in France among circles of young Bohemian poets and painters.

Five Faces of Modernity | Duke University Press

Conversely, even the good Christians among the committed moderns of the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries felt that the religious argument was too atemporal for their purpose, and confined themselves to using secular concepts derived from the philosophy of reason and progress. Evil is done without 67 effort, naturally, inevitably; good is always the product of an art. A conservative thinker and defender of orthodox Roman Catholicism like Thomas Molnar, for instance, establishes a close connection between heresy and utopia, and discovers the latter’s structural traits in the millennialism of medieval chiliastic fsces and, more specifically, in the sharply dualistic Manichean premises of gnosticism.

The essentiality of modernity’s uto- pian dimension is verified — to scandalize Eastern “orthodox” Marxists — in the broad trend within contemporary Marxism that stresses the hidden utopian core of Marx’s moderniry and thus gives his philosophy utopian dignity.

Significantly, de Man starts his discussion of literary modernity by choosing among the possible opposites of “modernity” the one that he deems the most fruitful, namely “history.

Or are there two fundamental types of beauty, one pagan, the other Christian? Modernity, then, can be defined as the paradoxical possibility of going beyond the flow of history through the consciousness of historicity in its most concrete immediacy, in its presentness [….

Five faces of modernity: modernism, avant-garde, decadence, kitsch, postmodernism

This condemnation is a moral and aesthetic one. The Querelle proper started when some modern-minded French authors, led by Charles Perrault, thought fit to apply the scientific concept of progress to literature and art. He probably found it still suggestive, despite the rather grotesque od between dwarfs and giants, which might have appeared to his taste — educated by an epoch of demanding intellectual refinement — as both too crude and too childishly fabulous.