“The Great War,” as Modris Eksteins writes, “was the psychological turning point. .. for RITES OF SPRING is a remarkable and rare work, a cultural history that. “Ingenious and maddening”: thus many critics label Modris Eksteins’s *Review essay of Modris Eksteins, Rites of Spring: The Great War at the Birth of the. Rites of Spring The Great War and the Birth of the Modern Age By Modris Eksteins Illustrated. pages. A Peter Davison Book/Houghton.

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There are some kernels of insight in what he argues, but it is far too overdrawn.

The larger world is also neglected. This is basically a nonsensical book written by a very cultivated person who puts bits and pieces together, then tries to convince you that they make sense. For those interested in the nexus of traditional history and culture this is an essential book. Eksteins strikes the right balance between supplying general information and counting on the reader to have a little background on the subject; he writes with both the rigor of academia and the accessibility of popular history.

East Dane Designer Men’s Fashion. The anti-heroic spawn of the industrial age.

It makes the reader question the preconceived ideas which we all have about our if. The End of the European Era: Contemporaries saw his feat as a point of historical torsion, enabling both a revival of the imagination, a rebirth of individualism, and Dionysian will. I struggled to get through this book and was disappointed.


To my mind he is a bit of a fraud, and I find his sweeping statements and revelations questionable, superficial, redundant, far-fetched or fraudulent. Professionals aimed to recover emotional spontaneity, to be part of a Symphony of a Thousand beyond the constraints of the civilized marketplace, thought fused eksteinx action.

In combination with the inability of the left and right to conduct a reasoned political dialogue, this produced an atmosphere or irrationality with made the rise of the National Socialist party possible. The frenzied response to Diaghilev’s The Rite of Spring at its opening in Paris anticipates the currents that would flood though the sluice when the Guns of August roared: The belief in enlightened progress which had dominated the years preceding the outbreak of World War I was replaced by a desire amongst artists and the common people for a single giant conflagration that would either destroy the world or create a better new one.

The author’s depiction of life in the trenches is harrowing and extraordinarily moving, largely because of his use of telling anecdotal details. I felt like I was physically witnessing what I was reading.

They are all symptoms of a larger problem in Western Civilization, rather than defining our society. Essentially every niche and aspect of society was affected somehow.

Different sections focus in on different elements of the arts and political upheaval, including chapters highlighting specific cultural works, cities, or moments in time. In order to navigate out of this carousel please use your heading shortcut key to navigate to the next ekstrins previous heading. Did the attitudes and values characteristic of Germany really win out?

The Rites of Spring

But perhaps none have summed it up better. Eksteins goes as far as suggesting that the emancipation of homosexuals in Germany was symptomatic of this spirit of emancipation and rebellion [14]. We spent some time discussing how important World War I was as an accelerant to tensions over increased sexual freedom, the roles of the New Woman and the New Man in Western society, etc.


His description of the idea of German Kultur and its modernist implications vs.

Rites of Spring: The Great War and the Birth of the Modern Age – Modris Eksteins – Google Books

Eksteins makes connections that seem implausible until he connects the dots — then, it’s “Aha! The Last Great War: May 13, Rob Shurmer rated it it was amazing Shelves: Modris Eksteins theory is that the rise of Modern Art and the emergence of a Nazi state in Germany were part of a single phenomenon.

Eksteins hints that, perhaps, such German ideas are not so peculiar after all [36]. With the failure of facsist or socialist idealism, all that remained afterwards was image without substance, loss of meaning and disillusionment; Scarecrows in Grass’ fiction. ComiXology Thousands of Digital Comics. Subjectivity is not always solipsism. Overall though, on both sides, there was a general loss of belief in values and ideals due to the horrors of the war [22].

It is closer to a literary biography of modernism.