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Modernism: A Very Short Introduction Paperback – September 3, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-0192804419 ISBN-10: 0192804413 Edition: 1st

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Editorial Reviews

Review

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

About the Author


Christopher Butler is Professor of English Language and Literature at Christ Church College, University of Oxford.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 136 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (September 3, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192804413
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192804419
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 0.2 x 4.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #79,248 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Bojan Tunguz HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on October 12, 2010
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.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By E. Allen on June 7, 2012
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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.
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By Kelly Wright on October 13, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Excellent intro to a complicated subject. Much superior to other more well-known -- and wordier -- attempts at explaining modernism.
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By Kris Lea on December 21, 2014
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Although I had expected something clear and understandable... it was far from that!
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By ej on March 15, 2015
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it's awfully pedantically written.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By towercity on July 22, 2012
Format: Paperback
This book is everything it claims to be. It's a short but relatively comprehensive introduction to its subject matter that you could easily read in one sitting, maybe while out on your back porch on a day off. You learn enough of the subject matter that, while you may not have a full understanding of it, you'll at least be able to follow along with a conversation about it.
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