Modernism And Nihilism

Paperback | January 15, 2011

byShane Weller

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At the heart of some of the most influential strands of philosophical, political, and aesthetic modernism lies the conviction that modernity is fundamentally nihilistic. This book offers a wide-ranging critical history of the concept of nihilism from its origins in French Revolutionary discourse to its place in recent theorizations of the postmodern. Key moments in that history include the concept's appropriation by political activists in mid-nineteenth-century Russia, by Nietzsche in the 1880s, by the European avant-garde and 'high' modernists in the early decades of the twentieth century, by conservative revolutionaries in Germany in the interwar years, and by major theorists in the post-Holocaust period. Focusing in particular on the abiding impact of Nietzsche's claim that art is the 'only superior counterforce' to nihilism, Weller argues that an understanding of modernism (and, indeed, of postmodernism) is impossible without a reflection upon the decisive role played by the concept of nihilism therein.
 


 

 

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At the heart of some of the most influential strands of philosophical, political, and aesthetic modernism lies the conviction that modernity is fundamentally nihilistic. This book offers a wide-ranging critical history of the concept of nihilism from its origins in French Revolutionary discourse to its place in recent theorizations of ...

SHANE WELLER  is Professor of Comparative Literature and Co-Director of the Centre for Modern European Literature at the University of Kent, UK. His publications include A Taste for the Negative: Beckett and Nihilism (2005), Beckett, Literature, and the Ethics of Alterity (2006), and Literature, Philosophy, Nihilism: The Uncanniest of...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:192 pages, 7.93 × 5.07 × 0.43 inPublished:January 15, 2011Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230231047

ISBN - 13:9780230231047

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Modernity, Modernism, Nihilism
PART I: PHILOSOPHICAL MODERNISM AND NIHILISM
From the French Revolution to Nietzsche
Nietzsche's Long Shadow
PART II: AESTHETIC MODERNISM AND NIHILISM
From Flaubert to Dada
Kafka and After
PART III: POSTMODERNISM AND NIHILISM
Our Only Chance?
Bibliography
Index