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Rites of spring: The Great War and the birth of the Modern Age epub

by Modris Eksteins


Rites of spring: The Great War and the birth of the Modern Age epub

ISBN: 0886192005

ISBN13: 978-0886192006

Author: Modris Eksteins

Category: History

Subcategory: Military

Language: English

Publisher: Lester & Orpen Dennys; 1st edition (1989)

Pages: 396 pages

ePUB book: 1129 kb

FB2 book: 1636 kb

Rating: 4.4

Votes: 490

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Rites of Spring book.

Rites of Spring book. Modris Eksteins' fantastic autopsy of the European mindset before, during, and after the Great War-the half-decade of unmitigated slaughter that brought a thunderous mailed fist down upon all that a near century of European peace had accomplished-opens with an electrifying setpiece, one which brought to my mind Thomas Mann's The Magic Mountain.

Thus, Rites of Spring is not a book about the absurdity of the existence, but a book about the human existence facing . Don't try to comprehend the war by counting the corpses and the wounded. The building that were destroyed or the ruined cathedrals. There is another option.

Thus, Rites of Spring is not a book about the absurdity of the existence, but a book about the human existence facing the dilemma of choosing between blind options; blind because the consequences are always hard to grasp. The IWW was the end of an era and the begininng of another. The bridge between the two banks took a heavy toll. Try instead listening Stravinsky and reading Eksteins' Rites of Spring.

Dazzling in its originality, Rites of Spring probes the origins, impact, and aftermath of World War I, from the premiere of Stravinsky's ballet The Rite of Spring in 1913 to the death of Hitler in 1945. Other readers will always be interested in your opinion of the books you've read. Whether you've loved the book or not, if you give your honest and detailed thoughts then people will find new books that are right for them.

The Great War," Eksteins writes, "was the psychological turning point. for modernism as a whole

The Great War," Eksteins writes, "was the psychological turning point. for modernism as a whole. The urge to create and the urge to destroy had changed places.

World War, 1914-1918, Civilization, Modern. Boston : Houghton Mifflin. Books for People with Print Disabilities. Internet Archive Books. SIMILAR ITEMS (based on metadata).

Modris Eksteins (born December 13, 1943) is a Canadian historian with a special interest in German history and modern culture

Modris Eksteins (born December 13, 1943) is a Canadian historian with a special interest in German history and modern culture. Born in Riga, Latvia, his works include Rites of Spring: The Great War and the Birth of the Modern Age (1989), which won the Wallace K. Ferguson Prize and the Trillium Book Award. org to approved e-mail addresses.

Rites of Spring The Great War and the Birth of the Modern Age By Modris Eksteins Illustrated. What is most disturbing about ''Rites of Spring'' is its implication that simply by acknowledging those forms we are participating in the destructive spirit that created them

Rites of Spring The Great War and the Birth of the Modern Age By Modris Eksteins Illustrated. A Peter Davison Book/Houghton Mifflin Company. In ''Rites of Spring: The Great War and the Birth of the Modern Age,'' Modris Eksteins takes a dim view of modernism. His is not a novel attitude, of course. What is most disturbing about ''Rites of Spring'' is its implication that simply by acknowledging those forms we are participating in the destructive spirit that created them. It is not a dance of creation we are doing when we celebrate these rites of spring, Mr. Eksteins seems to say. Even if we only follow the beat, we are doing a dance of death.

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Book by Eksteins, Modris
This is a truly great work. It is really not a history book in the conventional sense. It is closer to a literary biography of modernism. Its key contention is that the First World War changed everything at a fundamental level. The most important change was ideological or moral. The old values that had held sway through the 19th century no longer seemed tenable or even relevant. Before the war the avant-garde had adopted modernism as a rebellion against bourgeois conformity and sterility. Its anti-rational and nihilistic tendencies had however limited its adoption by the wider public. The Great War shattered the old verities and led to a general rejection of accepted values. This led to a general growth and expansion of modernism. With the death of traditional values and standards, people sought to escape the constraints of history and fashion an artistic construct to provide meaning for their lives. This tendency,he claims, helped give rise to Fascism and Nazism.
I bought this book after reading Paul Fussell's The Great War and Modern Memory. Looking for something that followed the basic idea of a mix between literature and war I found this extraordinary book. In the case of the former, Fussell gives a very comprehensive account about writers who were soldiers and viceversa. In the case of Eksteins, he proposes a drama in three memorable acts: I) the life before the war, II) the war itself, and III) the aftermath of the war. Fussell's Great War is a big collection of data put together to make sense of a senseless war. Eksteins' Rites of Spring, on the other hand, it's the chronicle of a difficult birth, the birth of an epoch.

What I have said doesn't mean that one book is better than the other. Instead it means that they are complementary works. Now well, in this vein, what you get in Rites of Spring is an elaborated but very natural picture of a crazy world. So crazy, that if you take what Eksteins calls the First Act and then you compare it with the Third one, you arrive to the conclusion that the Great War didn't have any sense from the start and that after all those millions of deaths and wounded you arrive to the Third Act without knowing who really won the conflict.

Thus, Rites of Spring is not a book about the absurdity of the existence, but a book about the human existence facing the dilemma of choosing between blind options; blind because the consequences are always hard to grasp. The IWW was the end of an era and the begininng of another. The bridge between the two banks took a heavy toll. The industrial revolution gave us the telephone and the machine gun, the airplaine and the bomber, the anesthesia and the poisonous gas. So the question is how do you solve the equation. If you want the telephone, then you have to face the machine guns.

So strange an epoch...

The first time I heard Stravinsky's Rites of Spring I thought, boy, what a rarity. It's neither Bach nor Mozart. It's absolutely new, different, weird. In 1913 it was even harder to translate those armonies if you didn't know The Beatles or The Rollingstones. To me it was easier to love that strange and sophisticated music than to those guys in Paris on 1913. Gee, it had to be really hard to them. To understand an epoch like the twentieth century you need something different, you need to take a walk on the wild side which is the aesthetic side of life. So here enters Eksteins to give you a memorable and delicate comprehension of a crazy epoch, an epoch that gave birth to a child whose mother was a steam engine that nobody could call mummy.

Perhaps this is the reason why Eksteins suggests that art is the only method for explaining the war. Don't try to comprehend the war by counting the corpses and the wounded. The building that were destroyed or the ruined cathedrals. There is another option. Try instead listening Stravinsky and reading Eksteins' Rites of Spring.

Five stars plus.
The book starts out with a review of the changes in architecture and art near the end of le Belle Époque in France. The book covers the writings of such luminaries as Thomas Mann (literature), Nijinsky (Ballet), Auguste Perret (architecture), and Igor Stravinsky (music). The initial theme of the book basically covers that fact that the seeds of change are born many years before the cataclysmic events that we relate to and remember as the cause of the change. (In effect, the OLD is swept away by a series of events and the NEW is now free to grow and bloom on the ashes and wreckage of the old.) This is evoked by the production of Stravinsky's "The Rites of Spring" as performed at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in 1913 in Paris. The theater itself is an astonishing departure from its most famous predecessor, the Opéra de Paris Garnier. A comparison of the latest changes from the era of le Belle Époque is shown in the Opéra de la Bastille (not mentioned in the book).

The concrete structure of the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, the production of "The Rites of Spring", and the dancing of Nijinsky all come together to show that the NEW was in it's infancy and only lying in wait for the OLD to be swept away. The First World War was this instrument of destruction. The book then proceeds to work through the many ways that the war performed this destruction.

Some of these include:
1) The wholesale destruction of the early combatants (and their now old fashioned sensibilities of combat) by a newly mechanized and industrial method of warfare.
2) The realization as the war progressed that there really were no non-combatants as everybody soon became potential targets under the (proverbial) guns. The German naval raids on Hartlepool and Scarborough, the first air raids of London, and the shelling of Paris (the Paris Gun) all portended the truly mass destruction of cities in the Second World War.
3) The deployment of the new weapons of war, the airplane, submarine, and tank.
4) The use of mechanical weapons as mass killing machines like the Maxim machine gun (infantry), the breech loaded pneumatically recoiled rapid fire canon like the French 75 (infantry and counter-battery), and the super heavy cannon like the Skoda 30.5cm & the Krupp 42cm (fortifications).

And, finally, the pace of the war itself as it went through the destruction of men, machines, cities, and regimes. (And, while not mentioned in this book, I personally believe that the Second World War was a continuation of this process. Just have a look at modern views of Paris, which was not heavily damaged in WW2 with London & Berlin, which were, for examples of architectural changes.)

So, stick to it with the book & you will get an alternative view to the ultimate results of the war other than a simple rendition of the effects of the combat.

Additionally, when reading this book:
1) Use an internet connection and take a look at the write-ups on the people, events, and machines mentioned. Wikipedia is a pretty good reference here as it covers basic historical events and is not influenced by the flame wars of more modern topics or people (like Bush & Obama where the descriptions change on an hourly basis).
2) Get a copy of Stravinsky's "The Rites of Spring" from your local library and listen to it. Also, you might also want to listen to "The Firebird".
I have watched on television many documentaries on WW1 and WWII and have read several books, but, for me, none have explained the inner thoughts and motivations of the people of all segments of the involved societies as well as Ekstein's "Rites of Spring." The book has given me much to think over as I continue my study of the events that have formed the thoughts and beliefs of those in our world of today.
Very well researched and densely written history of the impact of the Great War on our own time. Not for the casual reader, however.