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From Dawn to Decadence: 500 Years of Western Cultural Life, 1500 to the Present
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ART - ARCHITECTURE - CULTURE > 18. FROM DAWN... September 28 ~ October 4- Part Four - Chapter XXVI and XXVII (713 - 763) Non-Spoiler

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message 1: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Sep 29, 2009 11:38PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bentley | 30605 comments This week's reading assignment is as follows:

September 28 – October 4 ~~ Part IV, The Artist Prophet and Jester (713-744)
Also: Embracing the Absurd (first section) (745-763)

The moderator tries to stimulate/instigate discussion; but please feel free to open up with any questions of your own or your own opinions. These threads are for all of you.

Additionally, it is never too late to pick up the Barzun book and participate. We welcome all of the membership to this discussion.

We always keep the threads open of the previous spotlighted book even though it will be moved to an Archive spot until the completion of the next in line selection; so there is still plenty of time to get caught up. In the case of this book, I plan to reread it myself.

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From Dawn to Decadence 500 Years of Western Cultural Life 1500 to the Present by Jacques Barzun

message 2: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bentley | 30605 comments This section starts off with a bang. Barzun defines what his meaning of a philistine is all about and that one notable death that occurred in the Great War was the death of a special kind. Barzun also appears to be bordering on sarcasm as he kicks off the chapter titled "The Artist Prophet and Jester".

Once again his childhood memories of visitors to his home (Cubist painters visiting his parents) continually surfaces in his writing as allusions to the Cubist Decade.

Barzun introduces his definition of art; he mentions the difference in interpretation from the early 1800s to the 1920s and by the mid and late 20C..he sort of sees a transformation from the philistines to the "stupid bourgeois" who Barzun states "had through the alchemy of war come out the docile consumer of the mid-and late 20C."

From all of the above emerges what Barzun terms popular Modernism.

What does the reader think about Barzun's use of sarcasm here?

Pages 713 - 714

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