The End of the American Avant Garde
American Social Experience Series
Publication Year: 1997
"By 1966, the composer Virgil Thomson would write, "Truth is, there is no avant-garde today." How did the avant garde dissolve, and why? In this thought-provoking work, Stuart D. Hobbs traces the avant garde from its origins to its eventual appropriation by a conservative political agenda, consumer culture, and the institutional world of art.
Published by: NYU Press
I would like to thank John C. Burnham at The Ohio State University for first suggesting to me that the end of the avant garde was a question worth answering. This book benefited greatly from his reading, as well as . . .
Part I. Toward the Last American Vanguard 1930-1955
Chapter 1. Introduction: The Avant Garde and the Culture of the Future
I n 1935, David Bernstein, editor of the American literary magazine The New Talent, characterized the avant garde as a group of writers motivated by the "spirit of revolt . . . against . . .
Chapter 2. The Communist Party, Modernism, and the Avant Garde
As the 1930s generation of American avant gardists sought a specific direction for cultural advance, many increasingly came to believe that the answer was to be found . . .
Part II. The American Avant Garde 1945-1960
Chapter 3. Alienation
In a 1956 poem entitled "The Suicide," Stuart Z. Perkoff noted that in the aftermath of such a tragedy, the question asked out loud was always "Why did he do it?" But Perkoff argued that the most important question remained unasked, festering inside and . . .
Chapter 4. Innovation
Cultural radicals are defined by more than their state of alienation from their culture; creative innovation is equally important. Poet and editor Cid Corman said in . . .
Chapter 5, The Future
Members of the last American vanguard, like previous avant gardists, understood themselves to be explorers on the frontiers of the future. They did not believe . . .
Part III. The End of the Avant Garde 1950-1965
Chapter 6. The Cold War, Cultural Radicalism, and the Defense of Capitalism
Political leaders of the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union defined the struggle as a war between cultures. The conflict between the "American way . . .
Chapter 7. Institutional Enthrallment
The assimilation of the advance guard that accompanied the Cold War gained the movement a place in cultural institutions from which it had historically been alienated. . . .
Chapter 8. Consumer Culture Commodification
By 1965, the relationship between avant gardists and their culture had changed greatly. Increasingly, innovative intellectuals were no longer alienated outsiders but . . .
Part IV. The End of the Avant Garde 1965-1995
Chapter 9. The Convention of Innovation and the End of the Future
In 1980, the German philosopher Jiirgen Habermas pronounced this verdict on modernism: "Modernism is dominant but dead." Habermas's dictum describes the ironic fate of the . . .
Page Count: 240
Publication Year: 1997
OCLC Number: 859686381
MUSE Marc Record: Download for The End of the American Avant Garde