Classicism Of The Twenties: Art, Music, And Literature

Hardcover | January 8, 2015

byTheodore Ziolkowski

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The triumph of avant-gardes in the 1920s tends to dominate our discussions of the music, art, and literature of the period. But the broader current of modernism encompassed many movements, and one of the most distinct and influential was a turn to classicism.
 
In Classicism of the Twenties, Theodore Ziolkowski offers a compelling account of that movement. Giving equal attention to music, art, and literature, and focusing in particular on the works of Stravinsky, Picasso, and T. S. Eliot, he shows how the turn to classicism manifested itself. In reaction both to the excesses of neoromanticism and early modernism and to the horrors of World War I—and with respectful detachment—artists, writers, and composers adapted themes and forms from the past and tried to imbue their own works with the values of simplicity and order that epitomized earlier classicisms.
 
By identifying elements common to all three arts, and carefully situating classicism within the broader sweep of modernist movements, Ziolkowski presents a refreshingly original view of the cultural life of the 1920s.

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The triumph of avant-gardes in the 1920s tends to dominate our discussions of the music, art, and literature of the period. But the broader current of modernism encompassed many movements, and one of the most distinct and influential was a turn to classicism.   In Classicism of the Twenties, Theodore Ziolkowski offers a compelling ...

Theodore Ziolkowski is professor emeritus of German and comparative literature at Princeton University. He is the author of Modes of Faith: Secular Surrogates for Lost Religious Belief, also published by the University of Chicago Press.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:224 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.9 inPublished:January 8, 2015Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022618398X

ISBN - 13:9780226183985

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

List of Figures
Preface

Part 1     The Theory

1                      Prewar Classicism
Classicism as Term
Classicism as Reaction
Prewar Classicism
An Ironic Retrospective

2                      Classicism of the Twenties
Wartime Transitions
The Turning Point
The Dissemination
The Turn to Antiquity

Part 2     The Practice

3                      Three Exemplary Figures
The Composer: Igor Stravinsky
The Artist: Pablo Picasso
The Writer: T. S. Eliot
Summary

Part 3     Test Cases

4                      The Writers
James Joyce
Jean Cocteau
Hans Henny Jahnn
Paul Valéry

5                      The Artists
Giorgio de Chirico
Gino Severini, Fernand Léger, and Others
Francis Picabia

6                      The Composers
Paul Hindemith
Alfredo Casella

Part 4     Conclusions

7                      Classicism of the Twenties?

Notes              
Index

Editorial Reviews

“Ziolkowski presents a remarkable array of writers, artists, and composers, all of whom were keen to take art in new directions after the Great War finally put an end to the long nineteenth century. He usefully defines ‘classicism of the twenties’ as a telling meld of historical appropriation and ironic distance motivated by a war-battered need for order and clarity. This book will serve both as an enticing introduction for the uninitiated and a newly configured map for more experienced travelers.”