Thursday, May 01, 2008

Modernism's Existential Crisis

This quote is from a book review...

For all its erudition, Modernism can never quite capture the profundity of the modernist moment, its intense disillusionment with the social world, and its concomitant yearning for its re-enchantment - or, paraphrasing Baudelaire, to find the ‘beauty’, ‘the eternal’ and ‘the immutable’ in ‘the transient, the fleeting, the contingent’. Reducing the modernist sensibility to something that often seems no more than a psychological impulse – the lure of heresy – Gay misses the great historical, existential crisis that modernism expresses. (Tim Black)

I tried to find the original quote by Baudelaire but I was only able to find this small snippet...

Modernity is the transient, the fleeting, the contingent; it is one half of art, the other being the eternal and the immovable.

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