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By R. Bruce Elder

This booklet bargains with the early highbrow reception of the cinema and the style within which artwork theorists, philosophers, cultural theorists, and particularly artists of the 1st many years of the 20 th century replied to its creation. whereas the belief persists that early writers on movie have been stricken by way of the cinema’s lowly shape, this paintings proposes that there has been one other, mostly unrecognized, pressure within the reception of it. faraway from worried approximately film’s provenance in renowned leisure, a few writers and artists proclaimed that the cinema was once an important paintings for the moderns, because it exemplified the vibrancy of up to date life.

This view of the cinema was once particularly universal between these whose commitments have been to complex creative practices. Their notions approximately tips to recast the paintings media (or the kinds cast from these media’s fabrics) and the urgency of doing so shaped the critical a part of the conceptual middle of the creative courses complicated by way of the forefront artwork activities of the 1st half the 20th century. This publication, a better half to the author’s past, concord & Dissent, examines the Dada and Surrealist activities as responses to the arrival of the cinema.

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That was the conception of knowledge and truth inaugurated in the philosophy of Plato, and between the mid-seventeenth and mid-nineteenth centuries the same conception seemed close to finding fulfillment. With Russell’s paradox, however, that program unravelled. ”—reverberated through the intellectual and artistic communities. 16 More recently, postmodern thinkers have simply accepted that we cannot find “truth and certitude” and have argued that the illusion that it is possible to find truth has contributed to the enfeebling of Western consciousness at least since Plato (if that illusion is not the product of an inherent tendency of the human mind).

However, another volume in this series deals with the Cubist and Futurist movements, and in that volume I deal with the origins and character of the Cubist practice of collage at considerable length. The analysis I offer there connects that topic to the fundamental argument about the nature of cinema’s influence on Cubism (and on Futurism). I do not wish to repeat that commentary in this volume. Furthermore, Dada collage has a different character than Cubist collage, and for that reason I did not incorporate my discussion of Dada collage in the section in the Cubist book in which Cubism’s influence is discussed.

We spent our winters in London, and during the winters I did not attempt to work, but the two summers of 1903 and 1904 remain in my mind as a period of complete intellectual deadlock. It was clear to me that I could not get on without solving the contradictions, and I was determined that no difficulty should turn me aside from the completion of Principia Mathematica, but it seemed quite likely that the whole of the rest of my life might be consumed in looking at that blank sheet of paper. 11 Russell broke down in despair.

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