The Legends of the Modern: A Reappraisal of Modernity from Shakespeare to the Age of Duchamp (Hardcover)
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What made art modern? What is modern art? The Legends of the Modern demystifies the ideas and "legends" that have shaped our appreciation of modern art and literature.Beginning with an examination of the early modern artists Shakespeare, Michelangelo, and Cervantes, Didier Maleuvre demonstrates how many of the foundational works of modern culture were born not from the legendry of expressive freedom, originality, creativity, subversion, or spiritual profundity but out of unease with these ideas. This ambivalence toward the modern has lain at the heart of artistic modernity from the late Renaissance onward, and the arts have since then shown both exhilaration and disappointment with their own creative power. The Legends of the Modern lays bare the many contradictions that pull at the fabric of modernity and demonstrates that modern art's dissatisfaction with modernity is in fact a vital facet of this cultural period.
About the Author
Didier Maleuvre is Professor of Comparative Literature and French Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, USA. He is the author of Museum Memories: History, Technology, Art (1999), The Religion of Reality: Inquiry into the Self, Art, and Transcendence (2006), The Horizon: A History of our Infinite Longing (2011), and The Art of Civilization: A Bourgeois History (2016)