mArCEL Cornis-popE Modernity, then, can be defined as the paradoxical possibility of going beyond the flow of history through the consciousness of historicity in its most concrete immediacy, in its presentness.... Separated from tradition (in the sense of a body of works and procedures to be imitated), artistic creation becomes an adventure and a drama in which the artist has no ally except his imagination. --Matei Calinescu, Five Faces of Modernity (1987) When his 1987 book, Five Faces of Modernity: Modernism, Avant-Garde, Decadence, Kitsch, Postmodernism, was published, readers familiar with Calinescu's work recognized in it a movement of imaginative "revision," amplifying an earlier version of the book, Faces of Modernity (1977). In turn, this earlier book drew on his Romanian publications, before his emigration to the US: Eseuri despre literatura modern (Essays on Modern Literature, 1970) and Conceptul modern de poezie: de la romantism la avangard (The Modern Concept of Poetry: From Romanticism to the Avant-Garde, 1972). By adding a section on postmodernism, which rereads, in a retroactive movement of revision (1987, 292), the previous sections on modernism, decadence, avant-garde and kitsch, Calinescu produced in 1987 a new book. I would argue that much of his work, both
symploke – University of Nebraska Press
Published: Oct 23, 2009
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