Like many artists who were inspired by his work, Paul Cézanne was contaminated with the malady of the modern condition – indeterminacy, which can be seen in his art. He agonized over his paintings, and revised many of his canvasses over a number of years, while others remained incomplete with blank spots. Even with scrupulous observation, Cézanne realized that he could never be certain about the details of what he was seeing and so he was unable to complete a decisive, definitive representation.Continue reading Nothing Old Fashioned
Genealogy of Cynicism
This blog will illustrate a nonlinear trajectory of the “cynic” from antiquity to the present that relies on the historiographer Mark Phillips‘ conception of “reframing,” a master metaphor for historical change that demonstrated cultural transmission as a technique of using and making. Continue reading Genealogy of Cynicism
The Concept of Decline in the West
I’m interested in history as a narrative by philosophers of history, such as Hegel and Spengler. In this post I’ll go over the observations of two twentieth century thinkers: Oswald Spengler and Emil Cioran. Continue reading The Concept of Decline in the West
Other Post-Postmodernisms: a glossary
The previous blog focused on pseudo-modernism, on whether it was a sufficient successor to the dominant cultural paradigm. In my research, I realized that there were way too many “posts” to postmodernisms that I needed a program to tell them all apart. Continue reading Other Post-Postmodernisms: a glossary
Is postmodernism really dead, finally, after a thousand articles and books arrogantly, yet prematurely announced its death? Or perhaps tomorrow belongs to it because postmodernism is born post-humously? Kirby made a strong case in his article, Death of Postmodernism and Beyond (2006), in which he claims that the Internet is essentially proof that the zeitgeist has lurched from the text back to the reader — now an active participant in the creation of text. Continue reading Pseudo-modernism
New Seven Deadly Vices: Boredom
There are two aspects of boredom: Kurzeweile (short while) and Langeweile (long while).
Langeweile is the condition of modernity and one isn’t held accountable for being born in a certain epoch. However kurzeweile is a response to a short stretch of time where nothing happens. Continue reading New Seven Deadly Vices: Boredom
Have we ever been “modern” at all?
Bruno Latour has an interesting take with regards to modernity. In his book, We Have Never Been Modern, Latour claims that modernity emerged from two rigid absolutisms – the division of human culture from nonhuman nature, or the difference between the soft sciences and the hard sciences and the distinction between the present and the past. Continue reading Have we ever been “modern” at all?
The tragic fate of Tragedy…
Recently I’ve thought about how tragedy has been minimized in modern culture if not totally eliminated. If tragedy is supposed to be the aesthetic experience par excellence, the most divine product, then its slow fade to black is worth investigating. It is a given that the greatest of literary geniuses of the modern era consistently fail to produce a contemporary account of tragedy, and the reasons are legion. Continue reading The tragic fate of Tragedy…
genealogy of modern art
Modern art emerged during the end of realism or the crisis of representation (Cezanne, Cubism, Dadaism, Surrealism). Realism is defined as the mirror theory of knowledge where the mind is a mirror of reality and objects that exist independently of the mind are represented (reproduced by a concept/work of art) adequately, accurately and true. Continue reading genealogy of modern art