Paradoxy of Modernism
eBook - PDF

Paradoxy of Modernism

Robert Scholes

  1. 320 pages
  2. English
  3. PDF
  4. Available on iOS & Android
eBook - PDF

Paradoxy of Modernism

Robert Scholes

Book details
Table of contents

About This Book

A reconsideration of the all-too-neat assumptions we make about modernism in art and literature

In this lively, personal book, Robert Scholes intervenes in ongoing discussions about modernism in the arts during the crucial half-century from 1895 to 1945. While critics of and apologists for modernism have defined modern art and literature in terms of binary oppositions - high/low, old/new, hard/soft, poetry/rhetoric - Scholes contends that these distinctions are in fact confused and misleading. Such oppositions are instances of "paradoxy" - an apparent clarity that covers real confusion.

Closely examining specific literary texts, drawings, critical writings, and memoirs, Scholes seeks to complicate the neat polar oppositions attributed to modernism. He argues for the rehabilitation of works in the middle ground that have been trivialized in previous evaluations, and he fights orthodoxy with such paradoxes as "durable fluff", "formulaic creativity," and "iridescent mediocrity." The book reconsiders major figures like James Joyce while underscoring the value of minor figures and addressing new attention to others rarely studied. It includes twenty-two illustrations of the artworks discussed. Filled with the observations of a personable and witty guide, this is a book that opens up for a reader's delight the rich cultural terrain of modernism.

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Table of contents

  1. Contents
  2. Preface
  3. Part I. Paradoxies
  4. 1. High and Low in Modernist Criticism
  5. 2. Old and New in Modernist Art
  6. 3. Poetry and Rhetoric in the Modernist Montage
  7. Part II. Paradoxes
  8. 5. Durable Fluff: The Importance of Not Being Earnest
  9. 6. Iridescent Mediocrity: Dornford Yates and Others
  10. 7. Formulaic Creativity: Simenon’s Maigret Novels
  11. Part III. Doxies
  12. 8. Model Artists in Paris: Hastings, Hamnett, and Kiki
  13. 9. The Aesthete in the Brothel: Proust and Others
  14. Works Cited
  15. Index
Citation styles for Paradoxy of Modernism

APA 6 Citation

Scholes, R. (2008). Paradoxy of Modernism (1st ed.). Yale University Press. Retrieved from (Original work published 2008)

Chicago Citation

Scholes, Robert. (2008) 2008. Paradoxy of Modernism. 1st ed. Yale University Press.

Harvard Citation

Scholes, R. (2008) Paradoxy of Modernism. 1st edn. Yale University Press. Available at: (Accessed: 14 October 2022).

MLA 7 Citation

Scholes, Robert. Paradoxy of Modernism. 1st ed. Yale University Press, 2008. Web. 14 Oct. 2022.