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5th December 2012 - Politics and culture at the fin de siècle

Our readings were on the theme of 'Politics and culture at the fin de siècle'. The group was faciltated by Claire FitzGerald, from the History of Art Department.

The proposed extracts are the following:

Bernard Shaw, Sanity of Art (1908) - 'The Sanity of Art', 'Impressionism', Wagnerism' pp. 21-43; 'Why Law is Indispensable' pp. 52-69

http://archive.org/details/sanityart00shawgoog

Matthew Arnold, Culture and Anarchy (1869) - 'Introducton'; Chapter II, pp. 53-72

available online via Warwick Library catalogue

Oscar Wilde, The Artist as Critic (1891) - full text

http://www.online-literature.com/wilde/1305/

These readings should facilitate discussion around the concepts of culture and identity, tying into politics and debates on Aestheticism and degeneration at the fin-de-siècle spilling into the turn of the century.

In conjunction to the texts, the following images provide illustration and platforms for further discussion:

Aubrey Beardsley, How King Arthur saw the Questing Beast and thereof had great marvel, 1893

http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O186107/how-king-arthur-saw-the-drawing-beardsley-aubrey-vincent/

Alfred Gilbert, Epergne, 1887-1890

http://www.flickr.com/photos/unforth/3922054609/

Edward Burne-Jones, The Golden Stairs, 1880

http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/burne-jones-the-golden-stairs-n04005