Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Total Work of Art in European Modernism$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

David Roberts

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780801450235

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801450235.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM Cornell University Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.cornell.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Cornell University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in Cornell for personal use. date: 03 March 2021



(p.255) Conclusion
The Total Work of Art in European Modernism

David Roberts

Cornell University Press

This concluding chapter argues that the idea of the total work of art can be described as both specter and founding myth of aesthetic modernism, the redemptive dream of the avant-gardes that brought the totalizing aesthetic and political revolutions of the first third of the twentieth century into the closest proximity. It then looks back over the 150 years from the French Revolution to the German revolution and discusses fundamental features of the total work that stand out: (i) the total work as the product of the historical caesura of the French Revolution and as the response to the secularization of religion, and to politics, in the modern period; (ii) the total work as organon of philosophies of history; (iii) the total work as the performative re-fusion of art, religion, and politics; (iv) the total work as the bearer of holistic, redemptive-revolutionary visions of modernity; and (v) the translation of the idea of the total work from the Old to the New World after the Second World War as signifying a rebirth of the total work under the new conditions of mass culture.

Keywords:   total work of art, aesthetic modernism, French Revolution, secularization, religion, politics, modernity

Cornell Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.