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Art & Thought… Challenges to Confidence of Victorian Intellect I. Realism & Naturalism I. Realism & Naturalism II. Examples in Literature II. Examples.

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Presentation on theme: "Art & Thought… Challenges to Confidence of Victorian Intellect I. Realism & Naturalism I. Realism & Naturalism II. Examples in Literature II. Examples."— Presentation transcript:

1 Art & Thought… Challenges to Confidence of Victorian Intellect I. Realism & Naturalism I. Realism & Naturalism II. Examples in Literature II. Examples in Literature III. Modernism III. Modernism IV. Modernism in Literature and Art IV. Modernism in Literature and Art V. Attack on Reason (Nietzsche & Freud) V. Attack on Reason (Nietzsche & Freud)

2 I. Realism & Naturalism A. Both rely on observation (like science… remember, this is primacy of science era)A. Both rely on observation (like science… remember, this is primacy of science era) –Realism = life like it REALLY IS (often dull, dark, violent & lacking hope or direction… no answers provided) –Naturalism = proving human conditions directly relate to social environment (Zola & the experimental novel… struggles due to nature of society) –Both attacked middle class morality & idea of world w/only beauty (the anti-Romantics… possibly valid to call early punks?)

3 II. Literature & Drama A. Gustave Flaubert: Madame Bovary (1857) (real)A. Gustave Flaubert: Madame Bovary (1857) (real) –A woman goes looking for love, spiritual and physical, that her Victorian husband doesnt provide. Challenges the Nick-at-Nite perfection many claimed existed in Victorian family life. First realist novel in many ways. B. Fyodor Dostoyevski: Crime and Punishment (1866) (Realist)B. Fyodor Dostoyevski: Crime and Punishment (1866) (Realist) –Man commits murder to obtain elderly womans savings. Isnt caught by police at first, but Dostoyevski analyzes his psychology of guilt… drives man crazy/insane that he is not punished… serves as much worse punishment

4 Lit and Drama Continued C. Emile Zola: Germinal (1885) (Nat.)C. Emile Zola: Germinal (1885) (Nat.) –Story of child labor in coal mines… little hope of escape or future/better life for these children who will likely die in their early teens, if lucky… pointed out unseen prolems often ignored by Victorian bourgeosie D. Henrik Ibsen: A Dolls House (1879) (Nat.)D. Henrik Ibsen: A Dolls House (1879) (Nat.) –Hopeless life of middle class wife… it aint that pretty (nothing nice in Cult of Domesticity… wife slams door on hopeless life)

5 III. Modernism A. Rebellion against traditional in art & literature… break all accepted rules (goal is to make art musical… more melodic than methodic)A. Rebellion against traditional in art & literature… break all accepted rules (goal is to make art musical… more melodic than methodic) –Like realism/natrualism in that its anti-Victorian values… but focused on the pretty (aesthetic) instead of social change as subject matter –Strong focus on inner self (feelings, imagination, etc.) –Glorified irrational& unpredictable in world that used to prize rational & orderly (again, think what Victorian home was supposed to look like… NOT unpredictable) –Music without harmonic chords (Stravinskys Rite of Spring ballet… combined many styles and went against tradition… honestly caused riots in initial cities it played since it was so revolutionary)

6 Literature in different forms, not just beginning, middle and endLiterature in different forms, not just beginning, middle and end –James Joyce, Ulysses Story that tells everyday story of peoples lives in Joyces hometown of Dublin, Ireland… seems to be pointless and is difficult to read due to his erratic styleStory that tells everyday story of peoples lives in Joyces hometown of Dublin, Ireland… seems to be pointless and is difficult to read due to his erratic style –little beginning and end or flow to paragraphs… –largely written in stream of conscious); hit on strong themes that challenged morality… –but was soon seen as a masterpiece (is supposed to be modern epic, –Joyces version of Homers ancient tales Iliad and Odyssey set amidst 20th century streets, pubs and houses)

7 –Virginia Woolf, Room of Ones Own –Early feminist critique of Victorian Cult of Domesticity… –says that only way for woman to be free and individual is if she possesses an escape from society… – literally a room to ones self –Influential member of Bloomsbury Group, progressive British writers at turn of century

8 B. Art 1. Best Example of Modernism… no more reliance on Renaissance rules (perspective, proportion… largely first group to break with traditions from the 15th/16th centuries)1. Best Example of Modernism… no more reliance on Renaissance rules (perspective, proportion… largely first group to break with traditions from the 15th/16th centuries) 2. Evolving art:2. Evolving art: –Impressionism (1860-86): capture picture as eye sees it in fleeting instant… 1st impression (natural landscapes popular subjects) –Post-Impressionism (1880s-90s): strong use of bold lines (wide brush strokes) & bright colors (art as emotional experience, not a photograph) –Cubism (1900s-10s): put 3-D image on flat canvas, using objects from multiple viewpoints… lots of geometry, very Modernist

9 Cubism Pablo Picasso, Les demoiselles dAvignon Interesting use of geometry and shape in painting… notice influence of African tribal art, as in masks. Shows Europes fascination with imperialism in Africa and Asia and newfound cultures introduced to the Continent through museums and anthropology.

10 IV. Nietzsches Revolt against Reason A. Many late 19th century philosophers thought animal instinct, NOT reason (as had been thought by Enlightenment philosophes), drove all human actionsA. Many late 19th century philosophers thought animal instinct, NOT reason (as had been thought by Enlightenment philosophes), drove all human actions B. Said inner drives & animalistic hunger drove men, not rational thoughtsB. Said inner drives & animalistic hunger drove men, not rational thoughts C. God is dead. Man liberated b/c Christianity bred weakness & followersC. God is dead. Man liberated b/c Christianity bred weakness & followers –(a way for the early slaves/plebians to govern the masters, like democracy was in his day… protected the masses, but held back greatness of the truly powerful and individualistic)

11 D. Good & Evil dont exist as absolute, global truths… man needs to shed bonds of traditional values to succeed in life (be true Individual… set your own rules)D. Good & Evil dont exist as absolute, global truths… man needs to shed bonds of traditional values to succeed in life (be true Individual… set your own rules) –Supermen (overmen) who lived free from restrictions, rules & codes of behavior… a ruthless warrior alone could save the timid European society E. Who listened/appreciated ideas?E. Who listened/appreciated ideas? –World War I enlistees (war would provide path to new, heroic age… shedding passive nature to find glory… didnt pan out just as hoped for them) –Hitler & Nazis (Nietzsche would have hated, but they twisted his ideas for own ends… eliminate the weak, forge master race, etc.)

12 V. Freuds Psychoanalysis People are NOT naturally good (as philosophes said); they are naturally reckless & aggressivePeople are NOT naturally good (as philosophes said); they are naturally reckless & aggressive –Dreams show these immoral values; id knows no good or evil… when awake, mind holds down bad thoughts –Id = immoral inner desires (everything Dirty that goes on in human minds… to Freud, this could mean MANY things)…Nietzsche? –Superego= societal norms/values & expectations (the anti-id, this is designed to act as conscious and suppress the Id) –Ego= middle ground… way people usually act… a mediation between both sides Society w/too much id was nasty place… need to find median to keep people sane & civil

13 Continuing Freud Father of psychoanalysis… talk to victims about problems to work them out –Problems usually rooted in or came from repressed or hidden sexual thoughts and/or childhood experience –Victorian society strongly frowned upon taboo subjects like sex… Freud brought it to the forefront Significance…Freud dealt with inner workings of mind and found that man had uncontrollable thoughts that could affect peoples actions (dream of water… wake up thirsty). This really scared Victorian era, whose people largely believed they had full control over the world as a whole. To hear that they lacked control over something as close as their own brains/thoughts was disturbing. They talked of a chaste life of traditional, ultra-conservative social values, but Freud argued that they were largely driven by animalistic impulses based on sexual drive, a very un- Victorian idea.

14 VI. Herzl & Zionism Anti-Semitism rising in Europe (started heaviest in Russia, leading to movement to W Europe… then anti-Jewish feeling picks up there as well)Anti-Semitism rising in Europe (started heaviest in Russia, leading to movement to W Europe… then anti-Jewish feeling picks up there as well) 1896, Theodor Herzl starts Zionist movement (call for independent Jewish country… find land of Zion)1896, Theodor Herzl starts Zionist movement (call for independent Jewish country… find land of Zion) Guarantee safety for Jews & end anti-semitismGuarantee safety for Jews & end anti-semitism Pre-cursor to modern day IsraelPre-cursor to modern day Israel

15 Leo XIII (1878-1903) Liberalizing pope Encyclical Rerum Novarum : –Addressed the conditions of the working classes –Of primary concern was the need for some amelioration for "the misery and wretchedness pressing so unjustly on the majority of the working class. –It supported the rights of labor to form unions –Rejected communism and unrestricted capitalism –But affirmed the right to private property

16 Theory of Evolution Charles Darwin and Sir Alfred Wallace simultaneously developed the theory of evolution, but Darwin is famous, because he was the first to publish the idea. In his works, The Origin of the Species (1859) and The Descent of Man (1871), Darwin held that the existing animals and plants (including man) have evolved during millions of years from simpler forms of life.

17 Darwin Darwin also held that forms of life are constantly changing, and that new forms of life are coming into existence all of the time. He claimed that life was a constant struggle for existence, with only the strongest, most adaptable species surviving. –He called this process Natural Selection or the Survival of the Fittest.

18 Effects of Darwinism Darwins ideas were met with a storm of protest, especially from religious circles. Social Darwinism: other people, such as Herbert Spencer, tried to apply Darwins evolutionary ideas to man and society. –Spencer stated that only the strongest, most fit, humans should survive, and thus, he attacked social welfare measures, such as shielding the poorer (and inferior) people from starvation, etc. –This justified the attitudes of many industrialists.

19 Other Effects of Darwinism Eugenics: (selective breeding of humans) Imperialism: colonizers were inherently better and had the right to exploit others. Elitism: some Social Darwinists saw superior people in all races & nationalities and urged the to band together so as to prevent their being submerged by the ignorant and inferior masses. –Nietzsche: superman –Extreme racial elitism later applied by the Nazi party during the holocaust.

20 The New Physics Science by late 19 th c. was a key pillar supporting Western societys optimistic and rationalistic view of the world. The New Physics: Challenged long-held ideas and led to uncertainty

21 Max Planck Developed the basis for quantum physics Postulated matter and energy might be the same thing Shook foundations of Newtonian physics that saw atoms as stable, building blocks of nature. W/ a different kind of UNBREAKABLE ATOM for each element

22 Einstein 1905: Theory of relativity of time and space challenged Newtonian physics United apparently infinite universe with incredibly small, fast-moving subatomic world M and E are interchangeable and that even a particle of matter contains enormous levels of potential E.

23 Werner Heisenberg Heisenberg Principle of Uncertaintyias it is impossible to know the position and speed of an individual electron, it is therefore impossible to predict its behavior. –Dynamics of an experiment alters the state of the subject

24 Impact of the New Physics New Universe seemed strange and troubling Universe was now relative dependent on the observers frame of reference Universe was uncertain and undetermined, w/out stable building blocks Physics no longer provided easy, optimistic answers, or any answers for that matter.


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