Page 2 of 6 FirstFirst 1234 ... LastLast
Results 16 to 30 of 83

Thread: The 20th Century

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    29,754

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Corpsey View Post
    My view is that it's nice and satisfying to think that a century has a character but it's also a fabrication. A convenience.

    I suppose the fact that people KNOW they're living in, say, 1999 effects how they act. Or even knowing that they're living in 1983 not 1764. (Haven't things moved on?)
    Isn't this boring though?

  2. The Following User Says Thank You to luka For This Useful Post:


  3. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    29,754

    Default

    I don't see how you can reasonably look at the 19th and not consider industrialisation as fundamental to its character. It's not just random events that could of happened at any point in the timeline. That's silly.

  4. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Posts
    96

    Default

    there was this thing on the back page of the lrb that was a eton gossip girl column by a guy who was there at the same time as boris and rees mogg and he talks about how they all get the jan morris book on the british empire when they start which creates this depraved victorian worship, which is moronic clearly. but the things that seem amazing in the wake of computers, increasing virtuality and seemingly ineffable technological processes in modern life, are the absurdly literal heights that some of the inventions reached. pneumatic tubes being the pinnacle. just crazy enough to work.

  5. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    29,754

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Corpsey View Post
    My view is that it's nice and satisfying to think that a century has a character but it's also a fabrication. A convenience.

    I suppose the fact that people KNOW they're living in, say, 1999 effects how they act. Or even knowing that they're living in 1983 not 1764. (Haven't things moved on?)
    Read part iv of this https://monoskop.org/images/6/6d/Ben...nd_Version.pdf

  6. #20
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    29,754

    Default

    Incidentally that section ends on the increasing importance of statistics


    https://web.archive.org/web/20110718...ical-mentality

  7. #21
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    10,510

    Default

    It is boring, yeah, which is why I stopped studying history. All these annoying facts getting in the way of a cool story.

    Quote Originally Posted by luka View Post
    I don't see how you can reasonably look at the 19th and not consider industrialisation as fundamental to its character. It's not just random events that could of happened at any point in the timeline. That's silly.
    Yeah but some people argue that industrialisation began decades - even almost half a century - earlier. Which isn't to say that industrialisation WASN'T fundamental to 19th century Britain (and beyond), but it wasn't entirely a 19th century thing - of course you'll rightly say that that wasn't what you were arguing.

    "Although the structural change from agriculture to industry is widely associated with the Industrial Revolution, in the United Kingdom it was already almost complete by 1760."

    This reminds me of how some argue that there wasn't really a world war 1 and a world war 2, only one big world war with an intermission. Of course, you could run with that and find all sorts of antecedents for world war 1, and the antecedents to those. I guess it could all become infinitely vague and chaotic that way. Hence the need for stories!
    Αι ψυχαί οσμώνται καθ΄ Άιδην.

  8. #22
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    29,754

    Default

    You're in an irascible mood today corpsey! As I have just explained to Danny, facts don't matter.

  9. #23
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    29,754

    Default

    I don't think facts get in the way of characterising the 19th in a particular way, although this is giving me uncomfortable (false?) memories of a particularly stupid argument I had with Padraig a thousand years ago.

    Photography
    Railways
    Telegraph/submarine cable
    Nation building (Germany, Italy etc)
    Universal Education
    Standardisation of time and space
    Standardisation of languages
    Industrialisation
    Urbanisation
    Rise of America and Japan.

    So the forging of a single global economy comprised of larger standardised units. Mass culture replacing folk traditions. Shrinking of time and space. Shift from rural to urban. enormous growth in energy and economic capacity. Bourgeois/proletariat something something somethjng

  10. #24
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    10,510

    Default

    Perhaps what I was getting at was that separate centuries can be broadly characterized but the idea that they are anomalous or sui generis is too simplistic, as tempting as it is to do it. Like isn't it seductive to think of the 20th century as the Fall? The descent into the abyss. The most horrific, disillusioning century.

    But that's ignoring how horrific and disillusioning other centuries were for other people.

    Of course this is precisely the obverse of what Yeats thought. His great gyres. The blood dimmed tide. Seductive, that vision, the idea there's all an explanation behind it all.
    Αι ψυχαί οσμώνται καθ΄ Άιδην.

  11. #25
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Minneapolis
    Posts
    728

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by version View Post
    What comes to mind when you think of it? What do you feel were the most significant events, inventions and discoveries? Do you view it as an anomaly or a continuation?
    my associations are very similar to what you'd get in hauntology: a time when radical departure from the past seemed very possible; the pursuit of extremes; belief in meta-narratives and universal communication; the dawn of pop culture. basically a huge, chaotic expansion of possibilities that often imploded badly.

    guess I don't particularly think of it as an overtly bad or hellish time in its entirety despite the many extremely well-documented atrocities. maybe because for americans various decades of it are seen as the country's glory days, or defining moments, culturally.

  12. #26
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Minneapolis
    Posts
    728

    Default

    I wrote a rambling post about the beatles for the request a list thread but might as well post it here:

    Quote Originally Posted by thirdform View Post
    corpsey. 5 beatles tracks to put to bed the UK punk consensus of them being middle class wank (a consensus i subscribe to.)
    was just thinking about this the other day. I used to completely subscribe to this view because I a) found their music annoying ever since I was a kid and b) read the legendary piero scaruffi rant about how they paled in comparison to more obscure 60s bands and completely converted to that opinion as a teenager. but lately I’ve found it increasingly difficult to stick with the “beatles are way overrated” contrarian viewpoint.

    what gets me is how their music serves as a point of confluence for so many huge currents of 20th century music and culture. even if you think the revolutionariness of the 60s is overrated, it’s hard to imagine one music act being so in-the-center-of-things ever again. I mean I know this isn’t new information to anyone here but they were at the forefront of all of the following:

    -the rise of popular music / pop culture (they are the best selling, most widely known music artists of all time and it’s not even close)
    -popular music that acknowledged the developments of modernism / the avant garde (they were the archetypal heartthrob boy band and they took influence from some of the most "out there" music ever made. stockhausen himself, later completely unimpressed with mr. electronic super genius richard james, even called them the bridge between serious music and pop music )
    -studio-based music rather than live performance music (granted this could apply to a lot of artists from that period)
    -the rise of the album as a Serious Artistic Statement rather than as a secondary format for teen dance music
    -the rise of psychedelia / the counterculture

    maybe one could snarkily respond “that just proves they were middle class wank" to the last two but you get what I mean. the world was watching. you can scoff at their pastoral british whimsical humor but I’m guessing the beatles’ music has been played in the midst of more revolutions worldwide than any gabba track ever will be. the sound of the 20th century whether we like the tunes or not.

    Quote Originally Posted by luka View Post
    'about' is the enemy of art. art is the process. the process of history crystallised in your actions. you sync with it, are the same as-

    then you can't tell any lies.

  13. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to mvuent For This Useful Post:


  14. #27
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Minneapolis
    Posts
    728

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mvuent View Post
    I wrote a rambling post about the beatles for the request a list thread but might as well post it here:
    the connection being to the question of whether or not an entire century can have a discernible character. they're an interesting case study in that respect

  15. #28
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Posts
    7,113

    Default

    Images on the cover of Sgt. Peppers.

    Top row

    (1) Sri Yukteswar Giri (Hindu guru)
    (2) Aleister Crowley (occultist)
    (3) Mae West (actress)
    (4) Lenny Bruce (comedian)
    (5) Karlheinz Stockhausen (composer)
    (6) W. C. Fields (comedian/actor)
    (7) Carl Jung (psychiatrist)
    (8) Edgar Allan Poe (writer)
    (9) Fred Astaire (actor/dancer)
    (10) Richard Merkin (artist)
    (11) The Vargas Girl (by artist Alberto Vargas)
    (12) Leo Gorcey (image was removed from cover, but a space remains)
    (13) Huntz Hall (actor)
    (14) Simon Rodia (designer and builder of the Watts Towers)
    (15) Bob Dylan (singer/songwriter)

    Second row

    (16) Aubrey Beardsley (illustrator)
    (17) Sir Robert Peel (19th century British Prime Minister)
    (18) Aldous Huxley (writer)
    (19) Dylan Thomas (poet)
    (20) Terry Southern (writer)
    (21) Dion DiMucci (singer/songwriter)
    (22) Tony Curtis (actor)
    (23) Wallace Berman (artist)
    (24) Tommy Handley (comedian)
    (25) Marilyn Monroe (actress)
    (26) William S. Burroughs (writer)
    (27) Sri Mahavatar Babaji (Hindu guru)
    (28) Stan Laurel (actor/comedian)
    (29) Richard Lindner (artist)
    (30) Oliver Hardy (actor/comedian)
    (31) Karl Marx (political philosopher)
    (32) H. G. Wells (writer)
    (33) Sri Paramahansa Yogananda (Hindu guru)
    (34A) James Joyce (Irish poet and novelist) – barely visible below Bob Dylan
    (34) Anonymous (hairdresser's wax dummy)

    Third row

    (35) Stuart Sutcliffe (artist/former Beatle)
    (36) Anonymous (hairdresser's wax dummy)
    (37) Max Miller (comedian)
    (38) A "Petty Girl" (by artist George Petty)
    (39) Marlon Brando (actor)
    (40) Tom Mix (actor)
    (41) Oscar Wilde (writer)
    (42) Tyrone Power (actor)
    (43) Larry Bell (artist)
    (44) David Livingstone (missionary/explorer)
    (45) Johnny Weissmuller (Olympic swimmer/Tarzan actor)
    (46) Stephen Crane (writer) – barely visible between Issy Bonn's head and raised arm
    (47) Issy Bonn (comedian)
    (48) George Bernard Shaw (playwright)
    (49) H. C. Westermann (sculptor)
    (50) Albert Stubbins (English footballer)
    (51) Sri Lahiri Mahasaya (guru)
    (52) Lewis Carroll (writer)
    (53) T. E. Lawrence ("Lawrence of Arabia")

    Front row

    (54) Wax model of Sonny Liston (boxer)
    (55) A "Petty Girl" (by George Petty)
    (56) Wax model of George Harrison
    (57) Wax model of John Lennon
    (58) Shirley Temple (child actress) – barely visible behind the wax models of John and Ringo, first of three appearances on the cover
    (59) Wax model of Ringo Starr
    (60) Wax model of Paul McCartney
    (61) Albert Einstein (physicist) – largely obscured
    (62) John Lennon holding a french horn
    (63) Ringo Starr holding a trumpet
    (64) Paul McCartney holding a cor anglais
    (65) George Harrison holding a piccolo
    (65A) Bette Davis (actress) – hair barely visible on top of George's shoulder
    (66) Bobby Breen (singer)
    (67) Marlene Dietrich (actress/singer)
    (68) Mahatma Gandhi was planned for this position, but was deleted prior to publication
    (69) An American legionnaire[5]
    (70) Wax model of Diana Dors (actress)
    (71) Shirley Temple (child actress) – second appearance on the cover

    Props on the cover

    Cloth grandmother-figure by Jann Haworth
    Cloth doll by Haworth of Shirley Temple wearing a sweater that reads "Welcome The Rolling Stones Good Guys" – third and last appearance on the cover
    A ceramic Mexican craft known as a Tree of Life from Metepec, substituted at the request of Germαn Valdιs, who had been asked to give consent for his image to appear.
    A 9-inch Sony television set, apparently owned by Paul McCartney; the receipt, bearing McCartney's signature, is owned by a curator of a museum dedicated to The Beatles in Japan.[6]
    A stone figure of a girl
    Another stone figure
    A statue brought over from John Lennon's house
    A trophy
    A doll of the Hindu goddess Lakshmi
    A drumhead, designed by fairground artist Joe Ephgrave[7]
    A hookah (water pipe)
    A velvet snake
    A Fukusuke, Japanese china figure
    A stone figure of Snow White
    A garden gnome
    A baritone horn
    A three-stringed flower guitar

    People excluded from the cover

    (12) Leo Gorcey – was modelled and originally included to the left of Huntz Hall, but was subsequently removed when a fee of $400 was requested for the use of the actor's likeness.[8][9]
    (54A) Unidentified laughing figure – barely visible
    (56A) Sophia Loren (actress) – behind The Beatles waxworks
    (58A) Marcello Mastroianni (actor) – behind The Beatles waxworks, only the top of the hat is slightly visible
    (65B) Timothy Carey (actor) – was modelled and originally included but largely obscured by George Harrison in the final picture
    (68) Mahatma Gandhi – was modelled and originally included to the right of Lewis Carroll, but was subsequently removed.[8][9] According to McCartney, "Gandhi also had to go because the head of EMI, Sir Joe Lockwood, said that in India they wouldn't allow the record to be printed".[5]
    Jesus Christ – was requested by Lennon,[5] but not modelled because the LP would be released just over a year after Lennon's controversial statement that the band was "more popular than Jesus".[10] He was, however, said to be hidden behind the band during the shoot.[4]
    (45C) Adolf Hitler – was requested by Lennon[11] and modelled to the right of Larry Bell,[12] but was removed[13] and hidden behind the band.[4][11]

  16. #29
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Posts
    7,113

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Corpsey View Post
    Yeah but some people argue that industrialisation began decades - even almost half a century - earlier. Which isn't to say that industrialisation WASN'T fundamental to 19th century Britain (and beyond), but it wasn't entirely a 19th century thing - of course you'll rightly say that that wasn't what you were arguing.

    "Although the structural change from agriculture to industry is widely associated with the Industrial Revolution, in the United Kingdom it was already almost complete by 1760."

    This reminds me of how some argue that there wasn't really a world war 1 and a world war 2, only one big world war with an intermission. Of course, you could run with that and find all sorts of antecedents for world war 1, and the antecedents to those. I guess it could all become infinitely vague and chaotic that way. Hence the need for stories!
    It's easy to slip into the idea that there's a clean break or set of bookends to each century, much like the idea that the moment a decade hit all the things we associate with it arrived in an instant rather than three or four or five years in.

    I guess you can't help but note down markers and reference points, I tend to view 2000 - 2010 as beginning with 9/11 and ending with the financial crisis, but the former was almost two years in and the latter three years or so before the end and that's assuming you can isolate the events from the causes.

  17. #30
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    29,754

    Default

    Obviously a new chapter doesn't magically open at the start of every new century but if you accept the arbitrary time frame it is possible to make generalisations about any given period. To say, for instance, that mass communications play a defining role in the 20th in a way they don't in the 16th.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •