Jean-Michel Rabaté
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1913, the future in the past
in 1913: The year of French modernism
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In 1913 James Huneker publishes The Pathos of Distance in New York, a book that, according to Rabaté, materializes the spirit of 1913 as the unstable compound of the new and the old. Borrowing from Nietzsche’s Genealogy of Morality, Hunker defined modernism as the blending of canonical beauty and the sublime American contemporaneity. Widening the scope of French modernism by discussing its American reception, Rabaté shows how Huneker’s ambiguous feelings about French art, infused with the new ethics of ‘egoism’ and the contrast between the aesthetics of past and the new French creators, belong to the ‘spirit of 1913’ and will have a tremendous impact on American modernism.

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