By B. Hutchinson
Modernism is essentially decided by way of its dating to its personal notions of favor: oscillating among the poles of 'pure' sort and 'purely' type, this lines the stylistic self-conceptualization of modernism from Schopenhauer and Flaubert within the 1850s, via Nietzsche and the symbolists within the Eighties, to the excessive modernists of the 1920s.
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Additional info for Modernism and Style
George cultivated an hermetic, Introduction 29 highly stylized form of poetry, more interested in obscure mythological ﬁgures than in the issues of the modern world (his poems have been described as ‘counter-images to modernity’);89 his celebrated declaration that ‘no thing may be where the word breaks off’ (kein ding sei wo das wort gebricht)90 gives a fair indication of his symbolist view of the primacy of language over object, of signiﬁer over signiﬁed. George also carefully maintained a personality cult around his own image.
78 The conception of style in this period derives in the ﬁrst instance from two main directions: the visual idiom of art history, and the linguistic preoccupations deriving from the so-called Sprachkrise. In 1893, the Austrian art historian Alois Riegl had published Stilfragen (translated into English in 1993 as Problems of Style),79 in which he coined the inﬂuential idea of Kunstwollen, ‘artistic volition’, as the underlying reason for stylistic shifts from period to period. 80 Worringer contrasts ability (Können) with volition (Wollen): ‘ability is only a secondary consequence of volition.
85 If, as René Wellek notes, ‘the inﬂuence of Heinrich Wölfﬂin’s Kunstgeschichtliche Grundbegriffe (1915) on literary studies [was] particularly strong in Germany’,86 this was not only because of the post-war desire to 28 Modernism and Style escape political methodologies, but also because the notion of artistic style as predominantly a visual concept already had great currency in the wake of the Jugendstil movement of the 1890s (as well as that of its related literary counterpart, impressionism).
Modernism and Style by B. Hutchinson