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Titel: Inventing Bergson
Verlag: Princeton University Press
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At the turn of the century the philosophy of Henri Bergson captivated France, and Bergson's theories of intuition and élan vital influenced artistic and political notions of the supreme individual, the collective consciousness of a class or race, and the esprit of the nation itself. Here Mark Antliff demonstrates how various artists in prewar France positioned themselves and their art in this plurality of political discourse. By interrelating such movements as Futurism, Cubism, and Fauvism, he elucidates the pervasive impact of Bergson on Modernism in Europe, especially in terms of theories of organic form.
Antliff defines the anarcho-individualism of Gino Severini as it relates to the anarcho-syndicalism of other Futurists, and contrasts both to the Puteaux Cubists, who embraced a leftist discourse of Celtic nationalism. All these groups, including the "Rhythmists," an international group of Fauve painters, defined their Bergsonism in reaction to the campaign against Bergson launched by the royalist organization L'Action Française. Antliff shows that the organicism central to the Bergsonism of these leftist groups had a postwar legacy in fascist ideologies in France and Italy, and charts the transformation of an anticapitalist critique into the politics of reaction. Thus Antliff relates the Bergsonism of these movements to the larger political culture confronted by the Parisian avant-garde, exposing the volatile relation of art and culture to ideology in prewar France.
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