- Paperback: 192 pages
- Publisher: University of Minnesota Press; 1 edition (18 Sept. 1984)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0816610681
- ISBN-13: 978-0816610686
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.5 x 22.9 cm
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 224,752 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Theory of the Avant-garde (Theory & History of Literature) Paperback – 18 Sep 1984
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The avant-garde comes in as the first moment that artists became self-conscious of the effects of art's autonomy and sought to destroy it. Burger uses a Hegelian-Marxist framework (although he is sensitive to teh Althusserian critique) to argue that the avant-garde constituted the moment of self-criticism of the institution of art which revealed the truth of the institution's past, just as Marx's self-criticism of bourgeois society produced historical materialism, making possible a generalized science of history.
This summary only scratches the surface of Burger's 100 page essay. In developing this central argument, he has fascinating arguments regarding Benjamin, Adorno, Lukacs and Brecht, and thought-provoking readings of various avant-gardiste techniques. I'd venture to say there are few books triple the length of this one that contain the same amount of careful, creative, and exciting writing.