Anarchism and the Avant-Garde

Radical Arts and Politics in Perspective


Editor: Carolin Kosuch
Anarchism and the Avant-Garde: Radical Arts and Politics in Perspective contributes to the continuing debate on the encounter of the classical anarchisms (1860s−1940s) and the artistic and literary avant-gardes of the same period, probing its dimensions and limits. Case studies on Dadaism, decadence, fauvism, neo-impressionism, symbolism, and various anarchisms explore the influence anarchism had on the avant-gardes and reflect on avant-garde tendencies within anarchism. This volume also explores the divergence of anarchism and the avant-gardes. It offers a rich examination of politics and arts, and it complements an ongoing discourse with theoretical tools to better assess the aesthetic, social, and political cross-pollination that took place between the avant-gardes and the anarchists in Europe.

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Carolin Kosuch, Dr. phil. (2014) University of Leipzig, is Research Associate at the University of Göttingen. She has published extensively on nineteenth-century European history, including Missratene Söhne. Anarchismus und Sprachkritik im Fin de Siècle (Göttingen, 2015).
 List of Illustrations
 Notes on Contributors
Carolin Kosuch

Part 1: Frictions: Aesthetics or Politics

 1 The Symbolist Movement: Anarchism and the Avant-Garde in Fin de SiècleFrance
Richard Shryock
 2 Egoism, Homosexuality, and Joie de vivre: Jacob Epstein’s Tomb of Oscar Wilde
Mark Antliff
 3 A Politics of Technique: Fauvism and Anarchist Individualism
Patricia Leighten
 4 Anti-Art? Dada and Anarchy
Daniela Padularosa

Part 2: Fractions: Declining – Pioneering − Redeeming

 5 Decadent Anarchism, Anarchistic Decadence: Contradictory Cultures, Complementary Politics
David Weir
 6 ‘We Are Too Far Ahead to be Understood’: Vanguard Creation in Fin de Siècle Anarchism
Carolin Kosuch
 7 ‘Theocratic Anarchism’? Walter Benjamin and Gershom Scholem in Switzerland: Anarchism, Messianism and the Avant-Garde
Gabriele Guerra

Part 3: Focal Points: Art and Education in Local and Transnational Settings

 8 Syndicalism and Art in France before 1914: Propaganda and Prefiguration
Constance Bantman
 9 Anarchism, Geography and Painting: Élisée Reclus and Social Art
Federico Ferretti
 10 Teaching Revolution through Arts? Anarchism, the Avant-garde and Education Critically Revisited
Piotr Laskowski
This volume will be of interest to scholars who work on the debates surrounding anarchism in culture and politics. The same counts for scholars interested in the specifics of the avant-gardes.