By Theodore Ziolkowski
The triumph of avant-gardes within the Nineteen Twenties has a tendency to dominate our discussions of the tune, artwork, and literature of the interval. however the broader present of modernism encompassed many routine, and some of the most specified and influential was once a flip to classicism.
In Classicism of the Twenties, Theodore Ziolkowski deals a compelling account of that stream. Giving equivalent recognition to tune, paintings, and literature, and focusing specifically at the works of Stravinsky, Picasso, and T. S. Eliot, he indicates how the flip to classicism manifested itself. In response either to the excesses of neoromanticism and early modernism and to the horrors of worldwide battle I—and with respectful detachment—artists, writers, and composers tailored issues and types from the previous and attempted to imbue their very own works with the values of simplicity and order that epitomized previous classicisms.
By determining components universal to all 3 arts, and punctiliously situating classicism in the broader sweep of modernist routine, Ziolkowski offers a refreshingly unique view of the cultural lifetime of the Twenties.
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Additional resources for Classicism of the Twenties: Art, Music, and Literature
S. Eliot in their opposition to romanticism and what they considered its contemporary excrescences in the form of symbolism, impressionism, and expressionism. While Maurras had arrived at politics by way of aesthetics, Hulme (1883–1917) followed the opposite route. Entering Cambridge as a gifted mathematician, he managed to get himself sent down and, rather than pursuing his studies, journeyed in 1906 to Canada, where his travels across the vast spaces stimulated both his early philosophical speculations (collected under the rubric “Cinders”) as well as poetic efforts.
In the group of people in France who call themselves L’Action française,”57 for they had succeeded not only in reviving the intellectually dead French Conservative Party but also in overcoming radical liberalism. Hulme undertook this challenge in a five-piece essay entitled “A Tory Philosophy,” which appeared in Commentator in the spring of 1912. ” The former believes that man is by his very nature essentially limited and incapable of anything extraordinary. . . The classical attitude, then, has a great respect for the past and for tradition, not from sentimental, but only purely rational grounds.
It tended to group its aversions under the general heading of romanticism. It is worth noting that a trip to Greece alone did not always suffice to turn contemporaries toward classicism or against romanticism. Unlike Maurras, who experienced his epiphany on the Acropolis, or Renan, who was moved to his earlier Prière sur l’Acropole, two German writers who visited Greece in the first decade of the century had utterly different reactions. When the dramatist Gerhart Hauptmann, who had not benefited from a classical education, experienced in 1907 his “Greek Spring” (Griechischer Frühling, 1908), he almost aggressively resisted anything that might smack of the “weakly Graecicizing, the bloodless love for a bloodless Greece,”73 that he attributed to the scholars he sometimes encountered there.
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