Picasso, Primitivism, and Anticolonialism.
Of course, "modernity" can mean many things, and for the purposes of this field, I am focusing on three aspects, in descending order of emphasis: In approaching these issues, I am beginning with the idea that modernism is more than those styles and intellectual foci associated with canonical literary modernists, that it be understood as a range of aesthetics that have responded to modernity and mediated its experience.
Thus I will be considering the different cultural negotiations performed by both mass consumed genre works and the signature art of literary authors. My statements here, and my later use of the term "vernacular mdoernism" are much influenced by Miriam Hansen's essay, "The Mass Production of the Senses," in New German Critique, Summer This will permit reflection on the extent to which post modernism both derives from nascent tendencies in modernism as well as marks some significant breaks from the former.
A basic question, whether regarding modernism or postmodernism, is where and how the interaction between serious art and mass culture has resulted in progressive or detrimental formations. Indeed, the role of mass culture has had a direct bearing on the Modernist v. Charles Jencks and Andreas Huyssen have both argued that Modernism depends upon a distinction between elite and low art, whereas Postmodernism, at least in its overtures, is more populist.
It is my sense that until the Cold War American literary modernism did not have so adversarial a relationship to mass culture or to populist art as its European counter parts; whether the absence of an avantgarde in this country between the world wars is a concomitant factor we might also consider.
The competing historical account of Postmodernism represented on my list by Alan Nadel and Ann Douglas sees Postmodernism originating during the Cold War as a theoretical praxis intended to make language and representation ideologically accountable.
The backfire of the theory is that every semiotic instance becomes ideologically hyper coded. The stance becomes that signs necessarily dissemble, concealing ideology, or that the presumption of reference is itself ideological.
Language and representation can no longer be conceived as mimetic or descriptive; they are always rhetorical in function, and the subject cannot say of what he is being persuaded.
In these scenarios, it is the task of a critical elite to seek behind language for either the hidden ideological imperative or the lack of reference, the nonsense, of the signifier.
There is a tension between the progressive, egalitarian version of Postmodernism and the version which casts it as radically skeptical, politically enervating, and defensively self referential. If we accept that there are conflicting tendencies in post modernism, how have the debates over mass culture been used by both?
Does mass culture itself register the conflicting tendencies and provide accessible idioms for dynamizing the dialectic? I must emphasize that while I am attentive to the questions of periodization involved here, I ultimately am much more concerned here with specific discursive formations.
Which brings me to the content of my primary sources. In my selection of literary sources, I have chosen representative works of the most important authors of my period.
It is a fist of great works excepting the Norman Mailer, which is present under sheer obligation. In my choice of genre films, I have used different criteria. Genre works, by their very modes of production and consumption, call attention to their inter relationship with other examples of the form.
At both syntactic and semantic levels, genre films depend for their coherency and their meaning on easily recognizable paradigms of plot, character type, and dramatic situation that have been in circulation.
This shared history means that every genre film is in dialogue with films before it, and that dialogue is enriched by the longevity the form earns in the cultural imagination. To preserve a sense of the range and flexibility of the genres, my choices among them are variously prototypical, seminal, and baroque.
Moreover, I have not only been selective in my choices within genres, I have also been selective in my emphasis on genres relative to each other.
In the interest of providing range without sacrificing depth, however, I simply had to make excisions. As for those genres that receive major coverage, I have chosen them in anticipation of the literary works on the list.
It is my sense that certain genres, such as the film noir or the horror film, exhibit the anti realism, the disjointed and spatialized temporality, the breakdown of psychological causality, the quotation of styles, the intentional reversibility of signification, and the effacement of a unified narrator which characterize high modernist and postmodernist aesthetics, whereas other genres, such as the Western or the Domestic Melodrama, do not display concomitant qualities except in novel, or baroque, instances Johnny Guitar and Written on the Wind, for example.
My point is not to privilege aesthetic categories of high modernism or post modernism, but to assess the points of confluence and difference between the literary forms and the genre films. What permits certain works to circulate with more ease between popular and elite audiences?
Where there is interpenetration, I consider the possibility for a two directional dialectic: I must also consider, however, that such inter penetrations are not always matters of direct influence.
Some examples can be seen, rather, as synchronic developments to shared historical stimuli. There are four reasons:LOCATING POSTMODERNIST SYSTEM IN BIRTWISTLE’S MODERNISM: A RE-EVALUATION OF COMMON THEORETICAL CATEGORIES A work can become modern only if it is first postmodern.
Australian Women Writers An exhibition of material from the Monash In After the Great Divide: Modernism, Postmodernism, and Mass Culture, Andreas Huyssen contends In the mass, their efforts in this field can be creditably linked with the output of men.
Not so in verse. Huyssen, Andreas () `Mass Culture as Woman: Modernism's Other', pp. in After the Great Divide: Modernism, Mass Culture and Postmodernism. . Huyssen A After the Great Divide Modernism Mass Culture Postmodernism from SOCI 12A at Santa Clara University.
Definition: Definition Modernism is a literary and cultural international movement which flourished in the first decades of the 20th century. Cambridge Core - English Literature - Modernism and Cultural Conflict, – - by Ann L.
Skip to main content. Huyssen, Andreas, After the Great Divide: Modernism, Mass Culture, Postmodernism, Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press,
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