By Theodore Ziolkowski
The triumph of avant-gardes within the Twenties has a tendency to dominate our discussions of the song, artwork, and literature of the interval. however the broader present of modernism encompassed many routine, and essentially the most exact and influential used to be a flip to classicism.
In Classicism of the Twenties, Theodore Ziolkowski deals a compelling account of that move. Giving equivalent recognition to track, artwork, and literature, and focusing specifically at the works of Stravinsky, Picasso, and T. S. Eliot, he exhibits how the flip to classicism manifested itself. In response either to the excesses of neoromanticism and early modernism and to the horrors of global struggle I—and with respectful detachment—artists, writers, and composers tailored topics and types from the earlier and attempted to imbue their very own works with the values of simplicity and order that epitomized prior classicisms.
By deciding upon components universal to all 3 arts, and thoroughly situating classicism in the broader sweep of modernist pursuits, Ziolkowski offers a refreshingly unique view of the cultural lifetime of the Nineteen Twenties.
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Additional info for Classicism of the Twenties: Art, Music, and Literature
S. ” However, by analogy to the Constitution of the United States, these qualities could be interpreted either according to a strict doctrine of “original intent” or, more loosely, as adapted to shifting social and political circumstances. The latter inclination sometimes led in its application by specific individuals to unsavory consequences: anti-Semitism, antidemocratic sympathies with fascism, or nationalistic xenophobia. It tended to group its aversions under the general heading of romanticism.
It is only by tradition and orga nisation that anything decent can be got out of him” (61). Like Maurras, he credits the Church with the classical view and “the adoption of the sane classical dogma of original sin” (61). In that classical view, belief in the deity is as fixed as is the belief in the existence of matter, the objective world, the appetites, and the sexual instinct. Hulme notes that those instincts have sometimes been suppressed: in Florence under Savonarola, in Geneva under Calvin, and in England under the Roundheads—a suppression that causes the repressed instinct to assume abnormal forms.
S. Eliot and Ezra Pound conveyed in their letters a sense of the lively literary life in wartime London. For many, indeed, the war seems to have amounted to not much more than an inconvenience. Expatriates in Paris of military age, 36 Chapter Two such as Picasso and Giorgio de Chirico, who were not subject to the draft, were sometimes treated with disdain and offered white feathers by passersby on the streets. Meanwhile, in Germany Richard Strauss complained to his wife in December 1917 about the eight-hour train trip from Berlin to Bielefeld.