Talk:Modernism

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Section: Late 19th to early 20th centuries[edit]

I have doubts about the inclusion of the long list of modernist writers -- which I added at some point! -- it disrupts the flow of the article. Should it be deleted and in its place a link provided to Modernist literature? The alternative would be to place it at the very end of the article. At the same time there is a need for more discussion of modernist literature, but in the following section, 'Explosion, 1910–1930'. There is also, surprisingly, no discussion of the film, or sculpture. Rwood128 (talk) 13:57, 15 November 2013 (UTC)

Beginnings -- combine first two sections?[edit]

Is there any objection to combining the following sections?

1.1 Beginnings: the 19th century
1.2 Late 19th to early 20th centuries

Rwood128 (talk) 13:17, 16 November 2013 (UTC)

I'd recommend keeping them separate. The first seems intended to deal mainly with context and precursors, and defining when modernism is thought to have begun; the second with the early flourishing of modernism. It makes sense to treat this material in two sections, although at present the two are not well differentiated. Ewulp (talk) 23:08, 16 November 2013 (UTC)

I experimented with removing the division, and was rather surprised to find that it already reads like it might be one document. 1.1 in fact does deal with the late 19th century in more than one place. 1.2 needs serious pruning, and not only where it covers material more appropriate to the next section, and this could reduce it to half its current length. 1.1 would also be improved by judicious cutting. However, for now I'm focussing on providing more citations. Rwood128 (talk) 00:12, 17 November 2013 (UTC)

Further thoughts:

  • (1) The cut-off date between section 1.1 and 1.2 is roughly 1880, but the major turning point in the 19th century for modernism was in the 1850s and 1860s, with the development of impressionism and symbolism in France,.
  • {2) Section 1.2 focusses on background history, philosophers, physicists, etc, and most of its discussion of modernist art and literature is also covered in 1.3.

Is the idea of one section for the 19th century, with a sub-heading, say 'Impressionism and Symbolism in the 1850s and 1860s', or 'The beginnings of modernism in France', acceptable?

There is a need, in the article as a whole, to draw attention to the idea that modernism in the English-speaking world came later than in France.Rwood128 (talk) 13:02, 17 November 2013 (UTC)

Rwood128 (talk) 13:02, 17 November 2013 (UTC)

Your ideas sound good to me. 'The beginnings of modernism in France' is the better subheading; we don't want to imply that Impressionism began in the 1850s. Ewulp (talk) 18:16, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
My raw take regarding modernist painting is it roughly starts with Manet in the 1860s in France. I've sometimes thought of both Goya and Courbet as modernist antecedents; but Manet in the mid 1860s brings it on...Modernist (talk) 00:16, 18 November 2013 (UTC)

Modernism: 1930–1945 -- no real discussion of art[edit]

Given the strong focus on art in this article, it is surprisingly there is hardly any mention of it -- or music, architecture, sculpture, for that matter -- in the above section. Even Picasso's Guernica (1937) is ignored. Is there any expert out there who can fix this serious gap?

Also British art seems to be mostly ignored before WWII, but is this because there were no significant modernist artists in the UK until the second half of the 20th-century? Rwood128 (talk) 23:21, 20 November 2013 (UTC)

I added text - ...Modernist (talk) 00:01, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
British art takes off after WWII; Henry Moore and The "London School" including Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, Frank Auerbach, Leon Kossoff, and Michael Andrews as well as David Hockney, Anthony Caro, and many others; see: Art of the United Kingdom...Modernist (talk) 00:08, 21 November 2013 (UTC)

Great job -- that was certainly fast! Perversely, (and ungratefully) I now wonder if there's now a little too much detail for this context? This is certainly true with regard to Guernica. Is there any objection to some cautious pruning? Rwood128 (talk) 00:48, 21 November 2013 (UTC)

I want you to prune - feel free...Modernist (talk) 03:06, 21 November 2013 (UTC)

Modernism vs Modern Art[edit]

Neither this nor Modern art article describe what constitutes the difference between the two concepts. What's more, the two terms seem to be used interchangeably on both pages. In fact, it's hard to find the difference between the two concepts anywhere in the internet. Do you think these articles should be merged? Konryd (talk) 19:19, 27 November 2013 (UTC)

I'm not qualified to comment on the question posed re modern art vs. modernist art, but this article deals with literature and music, etc, as well as the visual arts. Also I don't believe modern is always a synonym for modernism, even with regard to 20th-century painters and sculptors, as there are Neo-Romantic painters. And I was already wondering about the inclusion of following in this article: "Social Realism and American Scene Painting, in the work of Grant Wood, Edward Hopper, Ben Shahn, Thomas Hart Benton". Rwood128 (talk) 22:00, 27 November 2013 (UTC)

Modernism is a philosophy which impacted and influenced religion, literature, music, visual art, culture and attitudes toward the past, present and future. Modern art refers to painting and sculpture and other forms of visual art. Grant Wood, Edward Hopper, Ben Shahn, and Thomas Hart Benton all reflect modernist attitudes in their work. Hopper clearly expresses alienation; loneliness, and isolation through his work; Shahn uses caricature and irony to reflect political insight; while Benton exaggerates and simplifies his dissection of social mores; while Grant Wood also used satire and irony to portray his version of contemporaneous isolation and alienation. I think all of those artists are reflections of modernist thought albeit taking different form and using more conventional imagery than Pollock, Picasso, Matisse and Duchamp...Modernist (talk) 04:03, 28 November 2013 (UTC)

Would the following emendation to the opening preamble be acceptable?

The term Modernism describes the modernist, innovative, avant-garde movement in the arts, its set of cultural tendencies and associated cultural movements, originally arising from wide-scale and far-reaching changes to Western society in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Because some modern painters, sculptors, composers, writers, etc. have not radically broken with past traditions, the term modernism is not used here as synonymous with modern, or contemporary. Modernism rejects the lingering certainty of Enlightenment thinking, and many modernists rejected religious belief.[1][2]

Poor lead[edit]

I find the current lead paragraph vague and poorly worded. I copy edited it and replaced the definition (sourced to the OED) but it was reverted without specific reasons. Bhny (talk) 23:45, 15 December 2013 (UTC)

Dear Bhny. I was the one that reverted your good faith edits. Here is why: You wrote

"Modernism is a movement in the arts that aims to break with classical and traditional forms."

And your source writes

"[Modernism is a] movement in the arts that aims to break with classical and traditional forms."

The text prior to your copy-and-paste intervention seemed better. See source: Pericles Lewis, Modernism, Nationalism, and the Novel (Cambridge University Press, 2000). pp 38–39. Coldcreation (talk) 00:00, 16 December 2013 (UTC)

Ok I'll try a compromise. Bhny (talk) 00:52, 16 December 2013 (UTC)
Done. What I have attempted to fix is the lack of a meaningful definition (a movement about what?), and also remove the redundant "term that describes" wordiness. Bhny (talk) 01:01, 16 December 2013 (UTC)

Take the sentence from your source: 'Modernism is a movement in the arts that aims to break with classical and traditional forms'. Just as Modernism was not restricted to the arts, it was comprised of many movements, and it was not categorically a "break", but a continuation in many cases. Also, classical and traditional forms of what? Forms and shapes? Forms of expression? That source needs to be overhauled. Coldcreation (talk) 01:09, 16 December 2013 (UTC)

Both of our versions say that it is a movement in the arts. Bhny (talk) 01:13, 16 December 2013 (UTC)

Yes, true, I was in the process of modifying my answer above when you posted. I was thinking of architecture and so on, then I saw the disambiguation page. Nevertheless, the sentence from your source is too vague and inaccurate. Coldcreation (talk) 01:18, 16 December 2013 (UTC)

Forms as in "forms of art". Just saying it is a movement isn't helpful. The second paragraph says that it favors the new over the traditional. Why can't we say something meaningful like that in the first sentence. Bhny (talk) 01:25, 16 December 2013 (UTC)
I think the lead remains poor. "Modernism" is a post-rationalisation and lumping together of many disparate things believed by some to have a common cause of some sort. The article has dispensed with the dictionary definition, which seems to say this more or less and what such common cause might be, in favour of something more concrete, detailed and I find more misleading. Most of the introduction seems to therefore to be POV. Though it is referenced it provides a particular view because that is what it seems to set out to do. LookingGlass (talk) 19:03, 22 February 2014 (UTC)

Abstruse jargon[edit]

The following makes use of too much abstruse jargon: "of reprise, incorporation, rewriting, recapitulation, revision and parody in new forms." Are there any good synonyms? Rwood128 (talk) 12:46, 16 December 2013 (UTC)

Perhaps the solution would be to provide concrete examples of these various techniques? Rwood128 (talk) 13:20, 16 December 2013 (UTC)

In fact the citations provide quotations that explain the technical terms, though because most readers won't realise this, these quotations needed to be paraphrased and incorporated into the text. Rwood128 (talk) 19:01, 23 December 2013 (UTC)

  1. ^ Pericles Lewis, Modernism, Nationalism, and the Novel (Cambridge University Press, 2000). pp 38–39.
  2. ^ "[James] Joyce's Ulysses is a comedy not divine, ending, like Dante's, in the vision of a God whose will is our peace, but human all-too-human...." Peter Faulkner, Modernism (Taylor & Francis, 1990). p 60.