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Chapter Summary

This introductory chapter presents an overview of the book. The concept of culture, as it emerges in the second half of the eighteenth century, is a particularly complex one, covering a number of closely interrelated, but also distinct notions, resulting in various ambiguities and contradictions. The basic theme and topic that is addressed by the book, however, is something narrower, the specific idea of high culture characterising the modern times. Contemporary science recognises its own historicity, constantly probing the limits of its own claim at atemporal, universal validity. There are no less serious internal problems and difficulties concerning the idea of "high art" as well. The author discusses them mostly referring to the conception of "high literary art". In modernity all works of literature succeed or fail to meet with their intended, adequate recipients though the mediation of the institutions of cultural market like bookstores.

Keywords: art; culture; modernity



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