Popular Bohemia: Modernism and Urban Culture in Nineteenth-Century Paris / Edition 1
ISBN-10:
0674015304
ISBN-13:
9780674015302
Pub. Date:
02/28/2005
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Popular Bohemia: Modernism and Urban Culture in Nineteenth-Century Paris / Edition 1

Popular Bohemia: Modernism and Urban Culture in Nineteenth-Century Paris / Edition 1

by Mary Gluck
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Overview

A Radical Reconceptualization of Modernism, This Book traces the appearance of the modern artist to the Paris of the 1830s and links the emergence of an enduring modernist aesthetic to the fleeting forms of popular culture. Contrary to conventional views of a private self retreating from history and modernity, Popular Bohemia shows us the modernist as a public persona parodying the stereotypes of commercial mass culture. Here we see how the modern artist-alternately assuming the roles of the melodramatic hero, the urban flaneur, the female hysteric, the tribal primitive-created his own version of an expressive, public modernity in opposition to an increasingly repressive and conformist bourgeois culture. And here we see how a specifically modern aesthetic culture in nineteenth-century Paris came about, not in opposition to commercial popular culture, but in close alliance with it.

About the Author:
Mary Gluck is Professor of History and Comparative Literature at Brown University

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780674015302
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publication date: 02/28/2005
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 238
Product dimensions: 6.46(w) x 9.66(h) x 0.82(d)

About the Author

Mary Gluck is Professor of History and Comparative Literature at Brown University.

Table of Contents

1. The Historical Bohemian and the Discourse of Modernism

2. The Romantic Bohemian and the Performance of Melodrama

3. The Flâneur and the Phantasmagoria of the Modern City

4. The Decadent and the Culture of Hysteria

5. The Primitivist Artist and the Discourse of Exoticism

Notes

Index

What People are Saying About This

Gluck's book is a wonderfully conceived contribution to the overhaul of our understanding of modernism that has been in full swing in many fields for some time now. Our view of literary modernism, she argues, has been distorted by taking the aloof figure of the aesthete, and self-referential art, at the turn of the twentieth century as the ostensible end-points in the emergence of modernism, and then by looking back to romanticism to trace their genealogy. She challenges this view on a number of counts: it misinterprets the figure of the modernist artist as someone estranged from commercial society and public culture; it obscures our appreciation of "the transient, the commercial and popular forms of modernism"; and it ignores the lineage of realism in the making of modernism. It is not only that there is a lot of non-canonical modernist popular culture out there; others have said that, and she draws on their work judiciously. More interestingly, she is claiming that we misunderstand canonical figures such as Gautier, Baudelaire, and Huysmans unless we take their relationship to the "mass cultural public sphere" into account. Modernism is rooted in a "theatrical and public vision," not a withdrawal into interiority. The avant-garde project is the legitimate heir of an earlier, publicly oriented culture, not a retreat from it.

Walter Adamson

Gluck is a fine intellectual historian whose first book on Lukács was in every way a triumph of scholarship. Her new book, Popular Bohemia, is at the same level and may even exceed her earlier work in terms of originality. --(Walter Adamson, author of Avant-Garde Florence: From Modernism to Fascism)

John McCole

Gluck's book is a wonderfully conceived contribution to the overhaul of our understanding of modernism that has been in full swing in many fields for some time now. Our view of literary modernism, she argues, has been distorted by taking the aloof figure of the aesthete, and self-referential art, at the turn of the twentieth century as the ostensible end-points in the emergence of modernism, and then by looking back to romanticism to trace their genealogy. She challenges this view on a number of counts: it misinterprets the figure of the modernist artist as someone estranged from commercial society and public culture; it obscures our appreciation of "the transient, the commercial and popular forms of modernism"; and it ignores the lineage of realism in the making of modernism. It is not only that there is a lot of non-canonical modernist popular culture out there; others have said that, and she draws on their work judiciously. More interestingly, she is claiming that we misunderstand canonical figures such as Gautier, Baudelaire, and Huysmans unless we take their relationship to the "mass cultural public sphere" into account. Modernism is rooted in a "theatrical and public vision," not a withdrawal into interiority. The avant-garde project is the legitimate heir of an earlier, publicly oriented culture, not a retreat from it. --(John McCole, author of Walter Benjamin and the Antinomies of Tradition)

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