Five Faces of Modernity: Modernism, Avant-garde, Decadence, Kitsch, Postmodernism

Five Faces of Modernity: Modernism, Avant-garde, Decadence, Kitsch, Postmodernism

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Author/Editor: Calinescu, Matei, Professor
Publisher: Duke University Press
Date: 1987
Binding: Trade paperback (US). Glued binding. 412 p. Audience: General/trade.
Condition: USED - Very good. An unmarked copy with tight binding and minimal edge wear.

Five Faces of Modernity is a series of semantic and cultural biographies of words that have taken on special significance in the last century and a half or so: modernity, avant-garde, decadence, kitsch, and postmodernism. The concept of modernity--the notion that we, the living, are different and somehow superior to our predecessors and that our civilization is likely to be succeeded by one even superior to ours--is a relatively recent Western invention and one whose time may already have passed, if we believe its postmodern challengers. Calinescu documents the rise of cultural modernity and, in tracing the shifting senses of the five terms under scrutiny, illustrates the intricate value judgments, conflicting orientations, and intellectual paradoxes to which it has given rise.