Penn State

Matthew Jordan - Associate Professor of Media Studies, Penn State University Park

Book Title: Thinking With History: Explorations in the Passage to Modernism

Author: Carl E. Schorske

Book Description:

In this book, Schorske shows how a variety of modern cultural forms (music, architecture, literature, philosophy, psychoanalysis) emerged at the fin-de-siecle through their encounter with the past. Yet the cultural forms ways that came to dominate the 20th Century (modern art, modern music, modern architecture, and modern science) defined themselves as separate or detached from history. This elegantly written collections of essays - one that inspired me as a graduate student - dramatizes how rich and rewarding it is to make sense of culture and our relation to it by thinking  with history, by examining ourselves and the ideas that inhabit our mental lives as conditioned by the historical present. Each of the essays not only explicates, but shows this mode of making meaning as a cultural practice, one that can enrich the thinking of students of any discipline. 

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