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The total work of art in European modernism

Author: David Roberts
Publisher: Ithaca, N.Y. : Cornell University Press : Cornell University Library, 2011.
Series: Signale : modern German letters, cultures, and thought; Signale (Ithaca, N.Y.)
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"In this groundbreaking book, David Roberts sets out to demonstrate the centrality of the total work of art to European modernism since the French Revolution. The total work of art is usually understood as the intention to reunite the arts into the one integrated whole, but it is also tied from the beginning to the desire to recover and renew the public function of art. The synthesis of the arts in the service of  Read more...
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Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: David Roberts
ISBN: 9780801450235 0801450233
OCLC Number: 687613449
Description: viii, 292 pages ; 23 cm.
Contents: Part I The artwork of the future --
Refounding society : Ancients and moderns: Rousseau's civil religion ; The festivals of the French Revolution ; Revolution and representation ; The abyss of political foundation --
The destination of art : The secularization of art: Quatremère de Quincy ; Aesthetic education: Schiller ; Aesthetic revolution: Hölderlin ; The destiny of art: Hegel --
Prophets and precursors: Paris 1830-1848 : Organic and critical epochs: Saint-Simon ; Musical palingenesis: Mazzini and Balzac ; The musical city: Berlioz ; Ancients and moderns: Wagner --
Staging the absolute : Modernism or the long nineteenth century ; The birth of tragedy: Nietzsche ; The great work: Mallarmé ; Dialectic of enlightenment: from the nineteenth to the twentieth century --
Part II The spiritual in art : Religion and art: Parsifal as paradigm ; The idea of return ; Religion and art ; The profoundest symbol: the Grail ; The theater to come --
The symbolist mystery : Homage to the Gesamtkunstwerk ; The ultimate fiction: Mallarmé's Book ; The last ecstasy: Scriabin's Mysterium ; Gnosis and ecstasy --
Gesamtkunstwerk and avant-garde : The avant-garde: analysis and synthesis ; From Dionysus to Apollo: Stravinsky and the Ballets Russes ; The spiritual in art: Kandinsky and the Blaue Reiter ; The crystal cathedral: Bruno Taut and the Bauhaus --
The promised land: toward a retotalized theatre : The theatre reform movement ; World theatre: Hofmannsthal and Claudel ; Theatre of cruelty: Brecht and Artaud ; Synthesis of the arts: a typology --
Part III The sublime in politics : National regeneration : The community to come ; Romain Rolland: Le théâtre du peuple ; Gabriele d'Annunzio: Il fuoco ; The Nietzschean sublime --
Art and revolution: the Soviet Union ; The birth of the new man ; Festivals of the revolution ; From art to life: the Russian avant-garde ; Stalin's total work of art --
The will to power as art: the Third Reich : The avant-garde and the breakthrough to totality ; Benjamin and the aestheticization of politics ; The state as work of art: Jünger's Der Arbeiter ; Hitler's Triumph of the will.
Series Title: Signale : modern German letters, cultures, and thought; Signale (Ithaca, N.Y.)
Responsibility: David Roberts.

Abstract:

"In this groundbreaking book, David Roberts sets out to demonstrate the centrality of the total work of art to European modernism since the French Revolution. The total work of art is usually understood as the intention to reunite the arts into the one integrated whole, but it is also tied from the beginning to the desire to recover and renew the public function of art. The synthesis of the arts in the service of social and cultural regeneration was a particularly German dream, which made Wagner and Nietzsche the other center of aesthetic modernism alongside Baudelaire and Mallarmé. The history and theory of the total work of art pose a series of questions not only to aesthetic modernism and its utopias but also to the whole epoch from the French Revolution to the totalitarian revolutions of the twentieth century. The total work of art indicates the need to revisit key assumptions of modernism, such as the foregrounding of the autonomy and separation of the arts at the expense of the countertendencies to the reunion of the arts; it cuts across the neat equation of avant-gardism with progress and deconstructs the familiar left-right divide between revolution and reaction, the modern and the antimodern. Situated at the interface between art, religion, and politics, the total work of art invites us to rethink the relationship between art and religion and art and politics in European modernism. In a major departure from the existing literature, David Roberts argues for twin lineages of the total work, a French revolutionary one and a German aesthetic one, which interrelate across the epoch of European modernism. These lineages culminate, Roberts shows, in the aesthetic and political radicalism of the avant-garde movements in response to the crisis of autonomous art and the accelerating political crisis of European societies from the 1890s forward."--Page 4 of cover.

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