Is a tower block, your unmade bed, your lavatory basin, or the bicycle chained to the gate next door a work of art? Why should a novel have a beginning, a middle, and an end; or even a story? Whether we recognise it or not, virtually every aspect of our life today has been influenced in part by the aesthetic legacy of Modernism. In this Very Short Introduction Christopher Butler examines how and why Modernism began, explaining what it is and showing how it has gradually informed all aspects of 20th and 21st century life. Butler considers several aspects of modernism including some modernist works; movements and notions of the avant garde; and the idea of 'progress' in art. Butler looks at modernist ideas of the self, subjectivity, irrationalism, people and machines, and political definitions of modernism as a whole. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
This introduction unravels the mysteries of the concept of postmodernism, casting a critical light upon the way we live now, from the politicizing of museum culture to the cult of the politically correct.
Release on 2016-01-27 | by Kirsten E. Shepherd-Barr
Author: Kirsten E. Shepherd-Barr
Pubpsher: Oxford University Press
The story of modern drama is a tale of extremes, testing both audiences and actors to their limits through hostility and contrarianism. Spanning 1880 to the present, Kirsten E. Shepherd-Barr shows how truly international a phenomenon modern drama has become, and how vibrant and diverse in both text and performance. This Very Short Introduction explores the major developments of modern drama, covering two decades per chapter, from early modernist theatre through post-war developments to more recent and contemporary theatre. Shepherd-Barr tracks the emergence of new theories from the likes of Brecht and Beckett alongside groundbreaking productions to illuminate the fascinating evolution of modern drama. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
John Heskett aims to transform the way readers think about design by showing how integral it is to our daily lives, from the spoon we use to eat our breakfast cereal, and the car we drive to work in, to the medical equipment used to save lives. This concise guide to contemporary design goes beyond style and taste to look at how different cultures and individuals personalize objects. Heskett also reveals how simple objects, such as a toothpick, can have their design modified to suit the specific cultural behaviour in different countries. Finally, the author gives us an exciting vision of what design can offer us in the future, showing in particular how it can humanize new technology.
Release on 2012-01-24 | by Roberto Gonzalez Echevarria
A Very Short Introduction
Author: Roberto Gonzalez Echevarria
Pubpsher: OUP USA
Category: Literary Criticism
This Very Short Introduction chronicles the trends and traditions of modern Latin American literature, arguing that Latin American literature developed as a continent-wide phenomenon, not just an assemblage of national literatures, in moments of political crisis. With the Spanish American War came Modernismo, the end of World War I and the Mexican Revolution produced the avant-garde, and the Cuban Revolution sparked a movement in the novel that came to be known as the Boom. Within this narrative, the author covers all of the major writers of Latin American literature, from Andres Bello and Jose Maria de Heredia, through Borges and Garcia Marquez, to Fernando Vallejo and Roberto Bolano.
Comparative Literature is both the past and the future of literary studies. Its history is intimately linked to the political upheavals of modernity: from colonial empire-building in the nineteenth century, via the Jewish diaspora of the twentieth century, to the postcolonial culture wars ofthe twenty-first century, attempts at "comparison" have defined the international agenda of literature. But what is comparative literature? Ambitious readers looking to stretch themselves are usually intrigued by the concept, but uncertain of its implications. And rightly so, in many ways: even theprofessionals cannot agree on a single term, calling it comparative in English, compared in French, and comparing in German. The very term itself, when approached comparatively, opens up a Pandora's box of cultural differences. Yet this, in a nutshell, is the whole point of comparative literature. To look at literature comparatively is to realize just how much can be learned by looking over the horizon of one's own culture; it is to discover not only more about other literatures, but also about one's own; and it is toparticipate in the great utopian dream of understanding the way nations and languages interact. In an age that is paradoxically defined by migration and border crossing on the one hand, and by a retreat into monolingualism and monoculturalism on the other, the cross-cultural agenda of comparativeliterature has become increasingly central to the future of the Humanities. We are all, in fact, comparatists, constantly making connections across languages, cultures, and genres as we read. The question is whether we realise it.This Very Short Introduction tells the story of Comparative Literature as an agent of international relations, from the point of view both of scholarship and of cultural history more generally. Outlining the complex history and competing theories of comparative literature, Ben Hutchinson offers anaccessible means of entry into a notoriously slippery subject, and shows how comparative literature can be like a Rorschach test, where people see in it what they want to see. Ultimately, Hutchinson places comparative literature at the very heart of literary criticism, for as George Steiner oncenoted, 'to read is to compare'.ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, andenthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
German writers, be it Goethe, Nietzsche, Marx, Brecht or Mann, have had a profound influence on the modern world. This Very Short Introduction illuminates the particular character and power of German literature, and examines its impact on the wider cultural world.
Preface -- Introduction: what is critical theory? -- The frankfurt school -- A matter of method -- Critical theory and modernism -- Alienation and reification -- Enlightened illusions -- The utopian laboratory -- The happy consciousness -- The great refusal -- From resignation to renewal -- Unfinished tasks -- Further reading -- Index