The Lure of Heresy from Baudelaire to Beckett and Beyond
W. W. Norton & Company, Hardcover, 9780393052053, 610pp.
Publication Date: November 1, 2007
Peter Gay's most ambitious endeavor since Freud explores the shocking modernist rebellion that, beginning in the 1840s, transformed art, literature, music, and film with its assault on traditional forms. Beginning his epic study with Baudelaire, whose lurid poetry scandalized French stalwarts, Gay traces the revolutionary path of modernism from its Parisian origins to its emergence as the dominant cultural movement in world capitals such as Berlin and New York. A work unique in its breadth and brilliance, Modernism presents a thrilling pageant of heretics that includes (among others) Oscar Wilde, Pablo Picasso, and D. W. Griffiths; James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, and T. S. Eliot; Walter Gropius, Arnold Schoenberg, and (of course ) Andy Warhol. Finally, Gay examines the hostility of totalitarian regimes to modernist freedom and the role of Pop Art in sounding the death knell of a movement that dominated Western culture for 120 years. Lavishly illustrated, Modernism is a superlative achievement by one of our greatest historians.
About the Author
Peter Gay (1923 2015) was the author of more than twenty-five books, including the National Book Award winner The Enlightenment, the best-selling Weimar Culture, and the widely translated Freud: A Life for Our Time.