An Index of Cultural & Literary Topics from the Modernist Era

Cultural and Literary Topics

  • Avant-garde
    • Related keyterms: abstraction, aestheticism, art for art’s sake, autonomy of art, crisis in verse, crisis of representation, disinterestedness, experimentation, formalism, free verse, immediate experience, the new, non-objective painting, originality, shocking the bourgeoisie (“épater les bourgeois”), stream of consciousness, theatrical crisis, ugly
    • Related figures: See Art Movemements and Cultural Groups
  • Bergson
    • Related keyterms: change, creative evolution, dualism, durée (duration, internal time), élan vital (life force), flow, flux, free will (vs. determinism), intuition, memory (voluntary vs. involuntary), organic whole, phenomenology, “process” philosophy, self, stream of consciousness, time (internal vs. external, spatialized)
    • Related figures: Henri Bergson (1859-1941), T. E. Hulme (1883-1917), Edouard Le Roy (1870-1954), A. D. Lindsay (1879-1952)
  • Censorship
    • Related keyterms: Comstock laws, censorship of the theater (Britain), erotica, Hicklin test, the National Purity League, obscenity, Obscene Publications Act  (1857), prurient interest, salacious material
    • Related figures: Anthony Comstock (1844-1915), Samuel Roth (1893-1974)
  • Classicism
    • Related keyterms: vs. Romanticism
    • Related figures: T. E. Hulme
  • Cosmopolitanism
    • Related keyterms: bohemia, bohemian (v. philistine), city (vs. country), Cobdenism, crowds, expatriation, international (vs. national identity), liberation, lost generation, melting pot, metropolis, migration, national capitals, sophistication, urbanity (vs. provincialism), urbanized intellectual (vs. provincial)
  • Cultural stratification
  • Experimentation (see avant-garde)
  • Formalism
  • Little magazines
  • Manifestos
  • Nietzsche
    • Related keyterms: aristocracy (vs. democracy), crisis of reason, The Eagle and the Serpent (British Nietzschean journal: 1898-1903), egotism (vs. altruism), epistemology, eternal return (or recurrence), herd mentality, interpretation, metaphor (vs. truth), myth (mythmaking, the mythopoetic), nihilism, perspectivism, power, relativism, superman (overman, Übermensch, hero), transvaluation of values, will to power
    • Related figures: J. B. Burnhill, Thomas Common, Havelock Ellis, Remy de Gourmont, Oscar Levy, Anthony Ludovici, H. L. Mencken, Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900), A. R. Orage, George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950), Oswald Spengler, Alexander Tille
  • Primitivism
    • Related keyterms: Africa (African masks), barbarism, classical antiquity, collective, crisis of reason, energy, folk, folk art, instinct, jazz, medievalism, noble savage, Other (vs. Same), prelogical, prehistorical, regression, rhythm, savage, simplicity (vs. complexity), syncopation, tribal (vs. individual), unity (vs. differentiation), vitality (vs. exhaustion, sterility)
    • Related figures: Fauves (Matisse)
    • Locations: the Trocadéro museum in Paris, the Dresden Ethnographical Museum, Oceania, South Pacific, Polynesia (Tahiti)
  • Representation
  • Russian Literature
  • Saussure
    • Related keyterms: Course in General Linguistics (1916), differences (vs. positive terms), parole vs. langue, signified vs. signifier, structuralism, structural linguistics, synchronic (vs. diachronic) linguistics
    • Related figures: Leonard Bloomfield (1887-1949), Franz Boas (1858-1942), Edward Sapir (1884-1939), Ferdinand Saussure (1858-1913)
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