The Struggle of the Modern

The Struggle of the Modern

The Struggle of the Modern

The Struggle of the Modern

Excerpt

This is a book of personal reflections about those qualities in literature and art in the present century which I consider modern I say personal, because I discuss, autobiographically really, books I have read and some pictures I have looked at, recollecting and commenting on the characteristics which relate to the problems of inventing a specifically modern kind of art.

In publishing this, I am conscious that it is a book which leads in many directions which might have been followed. For example, there are many manifestos by imagists, expressionists, futurists, surrealists, and so on, together with many articles in 'little' magazines which form part of an immense documentation of modern art In writing these loosely connected chapters, I have been haunted all the time by another book, an authoritative, extensive survey which could be written. My book contains some of the thoughts one might have when reading such a survey.

This book is in some respects the fulfilment of an obligation to the University of California. In 1959, I gave the series of Beckman lectures at Berkeley, with the understanding that I should publish them. Parts Two, Three and Four are offered as a substitute for publishing these lectures. They have very little resemblance to the lectures given, the last traces of which I have eradicated in proof.

The first section, The Modern Imagination is based on the . . .

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