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Thinking with History: Explorations in the Passage to Modernism

Thinking with History: Explorations in the Passage to Modernism

Hardback

By (author) Carl E. Schorske

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Paperback $28.79
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Format: Hardback | 256 pages
  • Dimensions: 152mm x 229mm x 22mm | 542g
  • Publication date: 17 April 1998
  • Publication City/Country: New Jersey
  • ISBN 10: 0691059772
  • ISBN 13: 9780691059778

Product description

This work draws together a series of essays that reveal the changing place of history in 19th- and 20th-century cultures. In most intellectual and artistic fields, Carl Schorske argues, 20th-century Europeans and Americans have come to do their thinking without history. Modern art, modern architecture, modern music, modern science - all have defined themselves not as emerging from or even reacting against the past, but as detached from it in a new autonomous cultural space. This is in stark contrast to the historicism of the 19th century, he argues, when ideas about the past pervaded most fields of thought from philosophy and politics to art, music and literature. However, Schorske also shows that the 19th century's attachment to thinking with history and the modernist way of thinking without history are more than just antitheses. They are different ways of trying to address the problems of modernity, to give shape and meaning to European civilization in the era of industrial capitalism and mass politics. Schorske begins by reflecting in his own vocation as it was shaped by the historical changes he has seen sweep across political and academic culture. Then he offers a European sam

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Schorske knows a great deal about Vienna, and the essays ... are original and penetrating, particularly those on Mahler and Freud. -- Gordon Craig New York Review of Books Clever analysis... [A] subtle, important book. -- Douglas A. Sylva The New York Times Book Review Carl Schorske is ... a master; anyone acquainted with his classic Fin-de-Siecle Vienna will know that fact, and accordingly will relish the prospect of these ... essays. Together they are a brilliant feat of learning, gracefully served. -- A. C. Grayling Financial Times This new collection shows why Schorske, the eminent intellectual historian ... is a master craftsman... [W]e are fortunate to have Schorske as a guide... By his amazingly erudite and finely chiseled portraits of the potentialities of nineteenth-century culture, he has prepared the way for us to assess how we think with history in our own day. -- Jonathan Elukin The American Scholar Schorske is a very gifted writer and scholar, usually clearly and succinctly distilling his study of a great deal of material from many disciplines, avoiding historical and intellectual minutiae, and incorporating colorful anecdotes and quotes... A pleasurable and stimulating read. Kirkus Reviews What has interested Schorske and will fascinate readers is the interaction between history and the supposedly rootless modernism... These [essays]... show the astonishing breadth of Schorske's knowledge. Publisher's Weekly [A] reflective and provocative book... thea Hayter," The Spectator

Editorial reviews

Thirteen pieces by a first-rate scholar on diverse aspects of the intellectual and cultural history of western and central Europe, mainly from 1848 to 1914. Schorske, author of Fin-de-Siecle Vienna: Politics and Culture (1980), for which he was awarded a Pulitzer Prize, and other works, has three foci: his own evolution as a historian and his impressively open response to the "new history" that has emerged during the past three decades; perceptions of, and design battles over, the modern city; and the early, formative years of modernist culture. Two of his most interesting pieces focus on the architectural shaping of the Ringstrasse, the grand boulevard that encircled the heart of post-1848 Vienna. Its magisterial buildings, Schorske says, largely reflected the values of both those loyal to Kaiser Franz Josef and those committed to a more liberal, though hardly fully democratic, state; both tendencies would be sharply criticized beginning around 1890 by such modernist intellectuals as the architect Adolf Loos and the journalist and playwright Karl Kraus. Only three of Schorske's essays focus on one or more individuals - the English writer and utopian visionary William Morris, Wagner, Mahler, and Freud - but these are among the book's best. Concerning the latter, Schorske traces Freud's deep interest in the culture of ancient Egypt, as evidenced in his last major work, Moses and Monotheism, by first looking at the influence and mystique that three great western European cities (London, Paris, and Rome) played in Freud's thought. Schorske is a very gifted writer and scholar, usually clearly and succinctly distilling his study of a great deal of material from many disciplines, avoiding historical and intellectual minutiae, and incorporating colorful anecdotes and quotes (for example, Baudelaire on the pleasure of "bathing himself in the [urban] crowd"). A pleasurable and stimulating read. (Kirkus Reviews)

Table of contents

List of Illustrations The Book: Theme and Content 2 The Author: Encountering History Pt. 1 Clio Ascendant: Historicist Cultures in Nineteenth-Century Europe The Idea of the City in European Thought: Voltaire to Spengler 4 History as Vocation in Burckhardt's Basel 5 Medieval Revival and Its Modern Content: Coleridge, Pugin, and Disraeli 6 The Quest for the Grail: Wagner and Morris 7 Museum in Contested Space: The Sword, the Scepter, and the Ring Pt. 2 Clio Eclipsed: Toward Modernism in Vienna Grace and the Word: Austria's Two Cultures and Their Modern Fate 9 Generational Tension and Cultural Change 10 From Public Scene to Private Space: Architecture as Culture Criticism 11 Gustav Mahler: Formation and Transformation 12 To the Egyptian Dig: Freud's Psycho-Archeology of Cultures 13 History and the Study of Culture Index