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The Invention of Politics in the European Avant-Garde (1906-1940)

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In 1906, for the first time in his life, F.T. Marinetti connected the term ‘avant-garde’ with the idea of the future, thus paving the way for what is now commonly called the ‘modernist’ or ‘historical avant-garde’. Since 1906 the ties between the early twentieth-century European aesthetic vanguard and politics have been a matter of debate. With a century gone by, <I>The Invention of Politics in the European Avant-Garde</I> takes stock of this debate. Opening with a critical introduction to the vast research archive on the subject, this book proposes to view the avant-garde as a political force in its own right that may have produced solutions to problems irresolvable within its democratic political constellation. In a series of essays that combine close readings of texts and plastic works with a thorough knowledge of their political context, the book looks at avant-garde works as media producing political thought and experience. Covering the canonised avant-garde movements of Futurism, Expressionism, Dadaism and Surrealism, but also focussing on the avant-garde in Europe’s geographical outskirts, this book will appeal to all those interested in the modernist avant-garde.

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