Modernist Idealism: Ambivalent Legacies of German Philosophy in Italian Literature

By Michael J. Subialka

© 2022

Offering a new approach to the intersection of literature and philosophy, Modernist Idealism contends that certain models of idealist thought require artistic form for their full development and that modernism realizes philosophical idealism in aesthetic form. This comparative view of modernism employs tools from intellectual history, literary analysis, and philosophical critique, focusing on the Italian reception of German idealist thought from the mid-1800s to the Second World War.

Modernist Idealism intervenes into ongoing debates about the nineteenth- and twentieth-century resurgence of materialism and spiritualism, as well as the relation of decadent, avant-garde, and modernist production. The author aims to open new discursive space for the philosophical study of modernist literary and visual culture, considering not only philosophical and literary texts but also early cinema. Michael J. Subialka’s main contention is that, in various media and with sometimes radically different political and cultural aims, a host of modernist artists and thinkers can be seen as sharing in a project to realize idealist philosophical worldviews in aesthetic form.

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Product Details

  • Series: Toronto Italian Studies
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 368 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 1.0in x 9.0in
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SKU# SP006676

  • AVAILABLE JAN 2022

    From: $63.75

    Regular Price: $85.00

    ISBN 9781487528652
  • AVAILABLE JAN 2022

    From: $63.75

    Regular Price: $85.00

Quick Overview

Modernist Idealism develops a framework for understanding modernist production as the artistic realization of philosophical concepts elaborated in German idealism.

Modernist Idealism: Ambivalent Legacies of German Philosophy in Italian Literature

By Michael J. Subialka

© 2022

Offering a new approach to the intersection of literature and philosophy, Modernist Idealism contends that certain models of idealist thought require artistic form for their full development and that modernism realizes philosophical idealism in aesthetic form. This comparative view of modernism employs tools from intellectual history, literary analysis, and philosophical critique, focusing on the Italian reception of German idealist thought from the mid-1800s to the Second World War.

Modernist Idealism intervenes into ongoing debates about the nineteenth- and twentieth-century resurgence of materialism and spiritualism, as well as the relation of decadent, avant-garde, and modernist production. The author aims to open new discursive space for the philosophical study of modernist literary and visual culture, considering not only philosophical and literary texts but also early cinema. Michael J. Subialka’s main contention is that, in various media and with sometimes radically different political and cultural aims, a host of modernist artists and thinkers can be seen as sharing in a project to realize idealist philosophical worldviews in aesthetic form.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • Series: Toronto Italian Studies
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 368 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 1.0in x 9.0in
  • Author Information

    Michael J. Subialka is an assistant professor of Comparative Literature and Italian at the University of California, Davis.
  • Table of contents

    Introduction

    Modernist Idealism Revitalizing Italy
    D'Annunzio and Shimoi, Italy and Japan: A Case of Modernist Idealism
    Modernism, Idealism, and Modernist Idealism
    The Artistic Fruition of Idealism: Vitalism, Spiritualism, and the New Materialism
    Italian Modernity and Modernist Idealism: A Transnational Paradigm

    Chapter One

    Italy at the Banquet of Nations: Hegel in Politics and Philosophy
    Philosophy, Nationality, and a New Italy: Hegel Comes to Naples
    Hegelian Idealism as a Response to Modern Crisis: History, Nationality, and the State
    Modernity and Spiritual Renewal: Italian Modernism and Hegelian Idealism

    Chapter Two

    Italy’s Modernist Idealism and the Artistic Reception of Schopenhauer
    Alternative Ideals: From Hegel to Schopenhauer
    Schopenhauer in Italy: De Sanctis and His Philosophical and Cultural Reception
    The Other Side of Modernist Idealism

    Chapter Three

    Aesthetic Decadence and Modernist Idealism: Schopenhauer’s Literary-Artistic Legacy
    Aestheticism and the Decadent Imagination: Art as an Alternative to Modern Deadness
    A Sublime Death: Suicide and Decadent Aestheticism
    Ambivalent Idealism: Ascetic Aestheticism and Modernist Renewal

    Chapter Four

    Avant-Garde Idealism: The Ambivalence of Futurist Vitalism
    Futurist Lebensphilosophie: Practical and Mystical Revitalization
    Modernist Mysticism: A Dangerous Ideal(ism)
    Futurist Ambivalence and Modernist Idealism: The Case of Bruno Corra

    Chapter Five

    Occult Spiritualism and Modernist Idealism: Reanimating the Dead World
    Occult Irrationality and Material Positivism: Spirits at the Juncture in Deledda, Capuana, and Pirandello
    Spiritual Creation and Modernist Idealism
    Modernist Idealism and the Long Durée

    Chapter Six

    Cinematic Idealism: Modernist Visions of Spiritual Vitality Mediated by the Machine
    Cinematic Idealism: Existential Thought Experiments and the Vision of Photogénie
    Seeing Vital Rhythm: An Irrational Ideal in the Cinema of Futurism and Pirandello
    Cinematic Idealism Re-purposing Mechanization: A Surreal Coda

    Appendix

    Schopenhauer and Leopardi: A Dialogue between A and D by Francesco De Sanctis

    Notes

    Works Cited

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