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History of a ShiverThe Sublime Impudence of Modernism$
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Jed Rasula

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199396290

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199396290.001.0001

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Sublime Impudence

Sublime Impudence

Synesthesia and Music from Romanticism to Modernism

(p.54) 2 Sublime Impudence
History of a Shiver

Jed Rasula

Oxford University Press

This chapter identifies German romantic theory (from the Jena circle that produced the yearbook Athenaeum) as establishing the conceptual premises from which modernism emerged. The primary dictum, by Friedrich Schlegel, was: “Every poem a genre unto itself.” Exhorting a permanently exploratory outlook on art, romantic theory ended up valorizing music as the exemplary practice of “eternal agility.” Walter Pater noted in 1877 that all the arts aspired to the condition of music, resulting in a yearning for all the arts to surmount local conditions and be gathered into a composite enterprise, generally associated with the total art work (Gesamtkunstwerk) advocated by Richard Wagner.

Keywords:   German romanticism, Athenaeum, Friedrich Schlegel, music, Gesamkunstwerk

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