Fall 1979 • Vol. I No. 4 Editor's Notes |

Editorial: A Note on Modernism and Value

Modernism is a term like left and right: its meaning depends on which way one is facing. What constitutes the "modern" changes not only with time but even more importantly with the scope and emphasis of one's definition, especially when that definition has, as it ought to, palpable designs upon the cultural future. But it's a useful term nevertheless. Thus when we proclaim the imminent death of modernism it will be understood that we believe it is still alive, that we believe it is something that can die, and that in some sense we welcome its demise. Most of the animating impulses of modernism are now worked out and exhausted. Those impulses derived from the great post-Renaissance attempt to find grounds upon which certainty in art, philosophy, and especially morality and politics could be founded: first Reason, in the Enlightenment; then Nature, in the Romantic Movement; and finally Whatever We Have Least Control Over, in the Modern Period. The major ideological arguments of th

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