By Marshall Berman
"A effervescent caldron of rules . . . Enlightening and valuable." —Mervyn Jones, New Statesman.
The political and social revolutions of the 19th century, the pivotal writings of Goethe, Marx, Dostoevsky, and others, and the production of latest environments to interchange the old—all have thrust us right into a sleek international of contradictions and ambiguities. during this attention-grabbing booklet, Marshall Berman examines the conflict of periods, histories, and cultures, and ponders our clients for coming to phrases with the connection among a freeing social and philosophical idealism and a fancy, bureaucratic materialism.
From a reinterpretation of Karl Marx to an incisive attention of the effect of Robert Moses on sleek city dwelling, Berman charts the development of the twentieth-century event. He concludes that version to continuous flux is attainable and that therein lies our wish for attaining a really glossy society.
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Extra info for All That Is Solid Melts into Air: The Experience of Modernity
Goethe's Earth Spirit is saying to Faust, Why don't you strive to become a Mensch-an authentic human being-instead. The Tragedy of Development 43 Faust's problems are not his alone; they dramatize larger ten sions that agitated all European societies in the years before the French and Industrial Revolutions. The social division of labor in early modern Europe, from the Renaissance and Reformation to Goethe's own time, has produced a large class of relatively inde pendent producers of culture and ideas.
He is straining to find a way for. the abundance of his inner life to overflow, to express itself through action in the world outside. Leafing through his magical book, he encounters the symbol of the Earth Spirit; and all at once, I look and feel my powers growing, As if I'd drunk new wine I'm glowing. I feel the courage to plunge into the world, To bear all earthly grief, all earthly joy; To wrestle with the storm, to grapple and clinch, To enter the jaws of the shipwreck and never to Hinch. [462-67] He invokes the Earth Spirit and, when it appears, asserts his kin ship with it; but the spirit laughs at him and his cosmic aspirations and tells him he will have to find a spirit closer to his real size.
This has freed them from extravagant generalizations and vague totalities-but also from thought that might engage their own lives and works and their place in hisJOHNsoN: What good does it do you to believe in good things? soNTAG: Because I . . JOHNSON: It's feudal and futile. I think it much better to be nihilistic and forget it all. I mean, I know I'm attacked by my moral friends, er, but really, don't they shake themselves up over nothing? Johnson's monologue goes on and on, interspersed with perplexed stammers by Sontag, who, although she clearly wants to play, can't quite bring herself to kiss morality goodbye.
All That Is Solid Melts into Air: The Experience of Modernity by Marshall Berman