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Modernism: A Very Short Introduction Paperback – Aug 22 2010

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A useful introduction, as lucid and engaging as it is concise. / Peter Blair, University of Chester

About the Author

Professor Christopher Butler is Professor of English Language and Literature at Christ Church College, University Oxford. His many publications include Early Modernism: Literature, Music, and Painting in Europe, 1900-1916 (OUP, 1994), Interpretation, Deconstruction, and Ideology (OUP, 1984), and Postmodernism: A Very Short Introduction (OUP, 2002).

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 12 reviews
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
An up-to-date look at Modernism Oct. 12 2010
By Dr. Bojan Tunguz - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Modernism" is a set of cultural, artistic, intellectual and social norms and developments that have been prevalent in the first few decades of the twentieth century. The exact dates that span the modernist movement are debatable, but they are not too relevant for the purposes of understanding what are considered its greatest achievements. This very short introduction focuses on the cultural developments roughly between 1909 and 1939, although many works that predate these years have had strong modernist characteristics. The book also doesn't deal much with the social, political and religious ramifications of modernism, although it acknowledges modernism has had a very strong interplay with the historical developments.

The three main cultural developments that the book focuses on are literature, painting, and music. The book brings alive one of the most intriguing and exciting periods in the history of art and literature. It discusses works by Pablo Picasso, James Joyce, T.S. Elliot, Virginia Woolf, Igor Stravinsky, and many others. The reader learns about the techniques that had been used in creating some of the modernist masterpieces, as well as the motivation behind those particular techniques. The book is extremely interesting to read, and makes one want to pick up a book by Joyce, take a look at a Dali painting, or listen to a Schoenberg piece. This introduction goes a long way in presenting those works of art in an accessible way, without being too pedestrian. It is one of the more inspiring books in the "Very Short Introduction" series.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Helpful and interesting introduction June 7 2012
By E. Allen - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a good quick introduction. A good supplement to a course on modernist literature or art. What is important is that it shows the Modernist project as something that encompassed art, literature, psychology, science, and politics--in other words, it contextualizes the movement.
RK Wright Oct. 13 2014
By Kelly Wright - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Excellent intro to a complicated subject. Much superior to other more well-known -- and wordier -- attempts at explaining modernism.
One Star Dec 21 2014
By Kris Lea - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Although I had expected something clear and understandable... it was far from that!
Three Stars March 15 2015
By ej - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
it's awfully pedantically written.