Sunday, August 10, 2008

Clark refers often to the origins of Modernism in the striving of the petty bourgeoisie, caught in the push-pull antagonism of individual and community. By the end of the book we find him celebrating the lyrical overreach of Adolph Gottlieb.

If successful Modernism is overreach laced with irony, then the next step is to admit that Modernism was from the beginning caught in a dance of or to the death with Kitsch. Modernism at it's best was nothing more than a formally subtle (rigorously beautiful) argument for the efficacy of kitsch desire: an intensely, desperately, mediated dithyramb against mediation. And Fascism was nothing less than Modernist desire, replacing the formal argument with the fist in the face.

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