In the early decades of the twentieth century Modernist artists, composers, and writers barraged European sensibilities with chaotic images, dissonant sounds, and incomprehensible novels. Picasso's "Les Desmoiselles d'Avignon" was panned by the art critics.
Parisian audiences booed the premiere of Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring." James Joyce had to have "Ulysses" privately published to circumvent British and American censors. Yet today, such works of art, music, and literature are considered contemporary classics.
Although Modernism has become an accepted feature of the cultural landscape, retracing the history of this movemnet within its original cultural, intellectual, and historical contexts helps us to see what was culturally vital and revolutionary about it, both then and now. This book is designed to bring the main features and contributions of Modernism, historical, cultural, intellectual, economic and political, to a general audience in a clear, readable and jargon-free style.