Time was when New York’s Museum of Modern Art plumed itself as an uncompromising guardian of Modernism. The arrival of its ‘themed’ re-hang—mimicked now at London’s Tate Modern—reduces a hundred years of defiguration to a stroll through an aesthetic department store.
MoMA2000: THE CAPITULATION
A few months ago, The Museum of Modern Art of New York had a very large exhibition, entitled ‘modernstarts’. So large, in fact, that it was not shown alongside the permanent collections but instead of them (it occupied all three floors of the Museum). Given that ‘modernstarts’ was just the beginning of the ‘MoMA2000’ project, and that the MoMA itself will move into a new building in four or five years, when the Statement from the Director spoke of ‘a unique opportunity for the Museum to literally reconfigure many of its galleries’, it was clear what was happening: they were trying to imagine a Modernism for the twenty-first century. What would it look like?
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Lukács’s Theory of the Novel
Centenary reflections on one of the landmarks of twentieth-century thought about literature. Lukács in tension between Novalis and Weber during the Great War, and the implications for literary enquiry today of a conjugation that could never historically be repeated.
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Flexible morality and capitalist imperatives of the bourgeois fin-de-siècle, as captured in the obscure misdeeds of Ibsen’s protagonists.
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Graphs, Maps, Trees - 3
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Graphs, Maps, Trees - 2
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Graphs, Maps, Trees - 1
The first of three essays setting out to demonstrate the power of abstract models to revolutionize our understanding of literary history. What do the quantitative curves of novel production tell us about the interplay of markets, politics, sexes, generations, in the life and death of literary forms?