Modris Eksteins: New, Fast and Modern
21 February 2008
Show More Modernism: The Lure of Heresy from Baudelaire to Beckett and Beyond by Peter Gay.
Heinemann, 610 pp., £20, November 2007, 978 0 434 01044 8Show More
“... Voici le temps des assassins,’ Rimbaud announced in the wake of the Paris Commune. One could argue that the central motif in Modernism was the notion of violation: André Breton saying that ‘the simplest surrealist act consists of dashing into the street, pistol in hand, and firing blindly, as fast as you can, into the crowd’; Otto Dix portraying a crazed murderer dismembering a female body, flinging limbs hither and thither; Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí slitting an eyeball with a razor in the unwatchable opening sequence of Un Chien andalou ...”