Modernism and the Frankfurt School

Tyrus Miller

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Available Open Access - please use the tab below to download your copyProvides a single-volume introduction to the important connection of Frankfurt School thought and modernist culture
  • Introduces well-studied major figures such as Benjamin and Adorno in a new light, while connecting their ideas with problems in modernist art and culture
  • Offers a clear, thorough, and relevant survey of major ideas and figures
  • Provides a revisionary view of the rigorous connection of Frankfurt School theory and modernist culture

Tyrus Miller's book offers readers a focused introduction to the Frankfurt School's important attempts to relate the social, political, and philosophical conditions of modernity to innovations in twentieth-century art, literature, and culture. The book pursues this interaction of modernity and modernist aesthetics in a two-sided, dialectical approach. Not only, Miller suggests, can the Frankfurt School's penetrating critical analyses of the phenomena of modernity help us develop more nuanced, historically informed and contextually sensitive analyses of modernist culture; but also, modernist culture provides a field of problems, examples, and practices that intimately affected the formation of the Frankfurt School's theoretical ideas.

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1. Modernism, Modernity, and the Demand for Interdisciplinarity
2. Walter Benjamin
3. Theodor Adorno
4. Herbert Marcuse
5. The New Wave: Modernism and Modernity in the Later Frankfurt School.
This book is masterful in the economy of its summaries, paraphrases, and analyses of the principal contributors to the School, in the scope of its references and allusions to context, and in its insights into the historicity of the School's development in the different locales and phases through which the School passed over the course of its evolution. Miller has a gift for grasping the heart of the matter of any complex argument or performance.
Hayden White
While the Frankfurt school shaped the concept of "modernism", it also got stuck between "high art" and "mass culture". Modernism and the Frankfurt School audaciously reframes the critical discussion. It engages with literature, music, the visual arts and the theater, to highlight modernism’s "turbulent now" with unrivaled brilliance and intelligence.
Jean-Michel Rabaté, Professor of English and Comparative Literature, University of Pennsylvania
Tyrus Miller is professor of Art History and English at University of California, Irvine. He is the author of Modernism and the Frankfurt School (EUP, 2014); Singular Examples: Artistic Politics and the Neo-Avant-Garde (Northwestern University Press, 2009); Late Modernism: Politics, Fiction, and the Arts Between the World Wars (University of California Press, 1999). He edited the (Cambridge University Press, 2016) and was editor and translator of Georg Lukács’s post-World War II essays in Hungarian, The Culture of People’s Democracy: Hungarian Essays on Literature, Art, and Democratic Transition, 1945-1948 (Brill, 2013).

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