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Presentation on theme: "THE AGE OF UNCERTAINTY MODERNISM AND THE CRISIS OF REPRESENTATION."— Presentation transcript:




4 COMPARE THIS: The walls and ceiling were perfectly black with age and dirt. There was a deal table before the fire: upon which were a candle, stuck in a ginger-beer bottle, two or three pewter pots, a loaf and butter, and a plate. In a frying-pan, which was on the fire, and which was secured to the mantel-shelf by a string, some sausages were cooking; and standing over them, with a toasting fork in his hand, was a very old shrivelled Jew. Dickens, Oliver Twist

5 TO THIS: I love flowers I’d love to have the whole place swimming in roses God of heaven there’s nothing like nature the wild mountains then the sea and the waves rushing then the beautiful country with fields of oats and wheat and all kinds of things and all the fine cattle going about that would do your heart good to see rivers and lakes and flowers all sorts of shapes and smells and colours springing up even out of the ditches primroses and violets nature it is as for them saying there’s no God I wouldn’t give a snap of my two fingers for all their learning why don’t they go and create something I often asked him atheists or whatever they call themselves go and wash the cobbles off themselves first then they go howling for the priest and they dying and why why because they’re afraid of hell on account of their bad conscience ah yes I know them well who was the first person in the universe before there was anybody that made it all who ah that they don’t know neither do I so there you are they might as well try to stop the sun from rising tomorrow the sun shines for you he said the day we were lying among the rhododendrons on Howth head in the grey tweed suit and his straw hat the day I got him to propose to me yes Joyce, Ulysses

6 COMPARE THIS The Tinted Venus John Gibson, RA

7 TO THIS Marcel Duchamp Fountain



10 COMPARE THIS SENSE OF CERTAINTY ABOUT OUR PLACE IN THE WORLD: “I have never found one among them who would deny that a single shelf of a good European library was worth the whole native literature of India and Arabia” Thomas B. Macaulay’s Minute on Education, 1835,

11 OR THIS: Take up the White Man's burden-- Send forth the best ye breed-- Go, bind your sons to exile To serve your captives' need; To wait, in heavy harness, On fluttered folk and wild-- Your new-caught sullen peoples, Half devil and half child. Rudyard Kipling, ‘The White Man’s Burden’, 1899

12 WITH THIS: I grow old … I grow old, I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled. Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach? I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each. T.S. Eliot, ‘The Lovesong of J. Alfed Prufrock’, 1917.

13 THE RISE OF THE GREAT BEARDS OF THE 19 TH CENTURY Do I dare disturb the universe?


15 DEGENERATION AND THE FEAR OF DECAY Max Nordau Degeneration, 1889 Cesare Lombroso

16 T.S. ELIOT, ‘THE LOVESONG OF J. ALFRED PRUFROCK’ “The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap And seeing that it was a soft October night Curled once about the house, and fell asleep”

17 Then she saw her host's shoes: he had left them lying on the sofa. Rickie was slightly deformed, and so the shoes were not the same size, and one of them had a thick heel to help him towards an even walk. "Ugh!" she exclaimed, and removed them gingerly to the bedroom. There she saw other shoes and boots and pumps, a whole row of them, all deformed. "Ugh! Poor boy! It is too bad. Why shouldn't he be like other people? This hereditary business is too awful." She shut the door with a sigh. Then she recalled the perfect form of Gerald, his athletic walk, the poise of his shoulders, his arms stretched forward to receive her. Gradually she was comforted. E.M. Forster, The Longest Journey



20 E.M. FORSTER – A ROOM WITH A VIEW "Remember," he was saying, "the facts about this church of Santa Croce; how it was built by faith in the full fervour of medievalism, before any taint of the Renaissance had appeared. Observe how Giotto in these frescoes--now, unhappily, ruined by restoration--is untroubled by the snares of anatomy and perspective. Could anything be more majestic, more pathetic, beautiful, true? How little, we feel, avails knowledge and technical cleverness against a man who truly feels!" "No!" exclaimed Mr. Emerson, in much too loud a voice for church. “Remember nothing of the sort! Built by faith indeed! That simply means the workmen weren't paid properly. And as for the frescoes, I see no truth in them. Look at that fat man in blue! He must weigh as much as I do, and he is shooting into the sky like an air balloon."

21 Capitalist production, therefore, develops technology, and the combining together of various processes into a social whole, only by sapping the original sources of all wealth - the soil and the labourer. vs.

22 THE LONGEST JOURNEY – E.M. FORSTER "I don't know," said Rickie sadly. They were none of them so clever, after all. "Hegel," she continued vindictively. "They say he's read too much Hegel. But they never tell him what to read instead. Their own stuffy books, I suppose. Look here--no, that's the 'Windsor.'" After a little groping she produced a copy of "Mind," and handed it round as if it was a geological specimen. "Inside that there's a paragraph written about something Stewart's written about before, and there it says he's read too much Hegel, and it seems now that that's been the trouble all along." Her voice trembled. "I call it most unfair, and the fellowship's gone to a man who has counted the petals on an anemone."

23 In the room the women come and go Talking of Michelangelo. And indeed there will be time To wonder, "Do I dare?" and, "Do I dare?" Time to turn back and descend the stair, With a bald spot in the middle of my hair— (They will say: "How his hair is growing thin!") My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin, My necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin— (They will say: "But how his arms and legs are thin!") Do I dare Disturb the universe? In a minute there is time For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse



26 SALVADOR DALI – UN CHIEN ANDALOU And if you’re squeamish, you might want to close your eyes at around 1:45 in to this movie.

27 FORSTER, A ROOM WITH A VIEW "Nothing ever happens to me," she reflected, as she entered the Piazza Signoria and looked nonchalantly at its marvels, now fairly familiar to her. The great square was in shadow; the sunshine had come too late to strike it. Neptune was already unsubstantial in the twilight, half god, half ghost, and his fountain plashed dreamily to the men and satyrs who idled together on its marge. The Loggia showed as the triple entrance of a cave, wherein many a deity, shadowy, but immortal, looking forth upon the arrivals and departures of mankind. It was the hour of unreality--the hour, that is, when unfamiliar things are real. An older person at such an hour and in such a place might think that sufficient was happening to him, and rest content. Lucy desired more.

28 She fixed her eyes wistfully on the tower of the palace, which rose out of the lower darkness like a pillar of roughened gold. It seemed no longer a tower, no longer supported by earth, but some unattainable treasure throbbing in the tranquil sky. Its brightness mesmerized her, still dancing before her eyes when she bent them to the ground and started towards home. Then something did happen. Two Italians by the Loggia had been bickering about a debt. "Cinque lire," they had cried, "cinque lire!" They sparred at each other, and one of them was hit lightly upon the chest. He frowned; he bent towards Lucy with a look of interest, as if he had an important message for her. He opened his lips to deliver it, and a stream of red came out between them and trickled down his unshaven chin. That was all.




32 "I only know what it is that's wrong with him; not why it is." "And what is it?" asked Lucy fearfully, expecting some harrowing tale. "The old trouble; things won't fit." "What things?" "The things of the universe. It is quite true. They don't." "Oh, Mr. Emerson, whatever do you mean?"

33 Miss Bartlett, in her room, fastened the window-shutters and locked the door, and then made a tour of the apartment to see where the cupboards led, and whether there were any oubliettes or secret entrances. It was then that she saw, pinned up over the washstand, a sheet of paper on which was scrawled an enormous note of interrogation. Nothing more. "What does it mean?" she thought, and she examined it carefully by the light of a candle. Meaningless at first, it gradually became menacing, obnoxious, portentous with evil. She was seized with an impulse to destroy it, but fortunately remembered that she had no right to do so, since it must be the property of young Mr. Emerson. So she unpinned it carefully, and put it between two pieces of blotting-paper to keep it clean for him. Then she completed her inspection of the room, sighed heavily according to her habit, and went to bed.

34 MORE OF ‘THE LOVESONG OF J. ALFRED PRUFROCK’ And would it have been worth it, after all, Would it have been worth while, After the sunsets and the dooryards and the sprinkled streets, After the novels, after the teacups, after the skirts that trail along the floor— And this, and so much more?— It is impossible to say just what I mean! But as if a magic lantern threw the nerves in patterns on a screen: Would it have been worth while If one, settling a pillow or throwing off a shawl, And turning toward the window, should say: "That is not it at all, That is not what I meant, at all."

35 “The modernist crisis of representation was two- fold: a crisis in what could be represented and a crisis in how it could be represented, or in other words, a crisis in both the content and the form of artistic representation.” Pericles Lewis The Cambridge Introduction to Modernism.



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