Classicistic Critique against Modern Literature and Art in Zürich, München and Moscow in 1966 Cover Image
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Класицистични критики срещу модерната литература и изкуство в Цюрих, Мюнхен и Москва в 1966 година
Classicistic Critique against Modern Literature and Art in Zürich, München and Moscow in 1966

Author(s): Angel Angelov
Subject(s): History, Language and Literature Studies, Fine Arts / Performing Arts, Cultural history, Visual Arts, Studies of Literature, History of Art
Published by: Институт за литература - BAN
Keywords: Classicism; classic; antimodernism; realism; decadent; Emil Staiger; Heinrich Lützeler; Michail Lifshitz; Benjamin Votier

Summary/Abstract: I discuss three publications, which reject modern art and Modernity in general and which address an audience, broader than literature and art specialists. Two of the publications are in high-circulation newspapers, and the other is the text of a delivered speech. The time is October–December 1966. The authors are Emil Staiger, Robert Scholz, Michail Lifshitz. The three of them have Classicistic-oriented conceptions; their aesthetic models are in the past. They equally criticize modern art and literature as decadent. For all their three positions, what is determinant is the works’ subject matter; the art experiment is not a notion for them to discuss. Modernism in art is a demolition of the classical criteria for good, beauty, and truth; modernism does not elevate but degrades what is human. For Scholz and Lifshitz, Picasso, and cubism in general, creates formlessness, monstrosity, and deceit. I discuss the use of medical metaphors regarding art and society. A contra-factual speculation is suggested what the impact of Heinrich Lützeler’s and Kenneth Clark’s TV series in Bulgaria would be if the series of both the authors were broadcasted, and not only „The Civilisation” of K. Clark. An interpretation is given of Votier’s performances „Regardez moi cela suffit”, which Lifshitz entirely rejects. The reception of Lifshitz in Bulgaria is considered in Alexander Atanassov’s work „About a Modern Realism against Modernism”. I draw the conclusion, based also on some other investigations of mine, that both rightist conservative positions to the west of the Iron Curtain and Marxist positions in the East defend similar or the same aesthetic and social values.

  • Issue Year: 64/2021
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 3-33
  • Page Count: 31
  • Language: Bulgarian