Notebook, 1993-

APPROACHES --- Modernism --- The Modern Tradition

Ellmann, Richard and Charles Feidelson, Jr, eds. The Modern Tradition, Backgrounds of Modern Literature. New York: Oxford University Press. 1965.

Symbolism: Part - I - Part - II - Notes

The Modern Tradition - Notes

1. On Nature in general, see Section 3.

2. See Section 2.

3. In addition to later passages in thits section, related selections from Rilke appear in SEctions 3 and 7.

4. A realted selection from Malraux appears in Section 4.

5. Compare Cassirer's account of mythical thought in Section 6.

6. For related selections from Blake, see Sections 5, 6, and 7.

7. Compare Whitehead's comment on Wordsworth's visionary experience [Section 3].

8. For related selections from Yeats, see Sections 4 and 7.

9. For other examples of romantic attitudes toward nature that tend in the direction of symbolism, see "Organicism" in Section 3.

10. In addition to later passages in his section, related selections from Flaubert appear in Section 2.

11. A realted selection form Eliot appears in Section 6.

12. For related selections from Nietzsche, see Sections 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, and especially the selection from The Birth of Tragedy in Section 5.

13. The symbolist problem of the relation between imagination and abstract thought is analogous in some ways to the existentialist problem of concrete thinking in relation to abstract or objective truth. Compare the selections from Kierkegaard and Nietzsche under "The Definition of Existence" in Section 8, as well as Kierkeegaard's idea of "indirection" [Section 7].

14. For a related selection from Wagner, see Section 6.

15. Compare the controversies of Henry James with H. G. Wells, and of Flaubert with George Sand, in Section 2.

16. Compare Henry James's fictional device of the "center of consciousness" [Section 7]. But for James, "consciousness" implies order, and his work is non-objective because for him objective life implies irrationality.

17. For related selections from Gide, see Sections 3, 7, and 9.

18. Compare the concept of the mask in Section 7 [Nietzsche and Yeats].

19. On poetic alongicality, ccompare the programs of Dadaism and Surrealism [Section 5], as well as Gide's cultivation of inconsistency and Schlegel's concept of irony [Section 7]. Whitehead's account of the structure of nature [Section 2] and Cassirer's accound of the structure of mythical thought [Section 6] are close in many ways to the symbolist theory of poetic structure.

20. In connection with artistic heroism, see the expressionist credo of Kandinsky and Nietzsche's moral ideal of self-overcoming in Section 7.

21. The idea of life as art is developed by Yeats into a vision of history as art [See Section 4]

22. Compare Malraux on the triumph of art over history [Section 4].

23. See Section 9.

24. In connection with the social and quasi-religious function of symbolist art, see Section 6 [Myth] and the selections from Arnold and Santayana in Section 9.

[Notes to The Introduction/Symbolism, from Ellmann, Richard and Charles Feidelson, Jr, eds. The Modern Tradition, Backgrounds of Modern Literature. New York: Oxford University Press. 1965.]



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