Features March 1986
Modernism and its enemies
On Fredric Jameson, Roger Starr, Daniel Bell et al.
Nowadays, for anyone who takes a keen interest in the arts and has acquired the habit of making them an object of critical thought, there is one issue—or perhaps I should say, one debate—which is more and more found to overshadow all others, and that is the debate over the nature and destiny of modernism. This debate takes many forms and addresses itself to a great many aspects of cultural life, from the most purely aesthetic to the most explicitly political. More over, the participants in this debate are extremely diverse. They include not only the expected artists and critics and patrons of the arts, and the administrators and publicists who preside over our arts institutions, but also specialists in the social sciences, political activists and theorists, journalists and editorial writers, and philosophers, intellectuals, and academics of all kinds—all of whom have lately discovered in the problem of...
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