By Giovanni Cianci, Peter Nicholls (eds.)
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2 It has become clear that their identity was taking shape long before Frazer’s status as literary celebrity was conﬁrmed for a generation. Constructions of modernist myth were not simply to do with readings of Jessie Weston or The Golden Bough. Political and social theory, Anglo-American imperialist ambitions and the limitations of those ambitions, new approaches to the origins of science and literature, all had a part to play. 32 G. Cianci et al. ), Ruskin and Modernism © Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2001 Ruskin, Myth and Modernism 33 The mythographic direction of Ruskin’s work of the 1860s and 1870s might seem far removed from modernist interests in anthropology and ethnography, for it was not as a writer on myth that Ruskin ﬁgured in the prevailing sense of literary tradition.
Like a wild north wind’ John Ruskin and Wilhelm Worringer shared an idée ﬁxe: the Gothic. If we read the Formprobleme der Gotik (1911) by the German art historian, comparing it with The Nature of Gothic, the approach of the two books coincides in many points. First of all, they are both discursive texts, not overtly scientiﬁc – in the tradition of rigorous artistic historiography – yet capable of exerting a deep inﬂuence far beyond the speciﬁc discipline, 2 combining the theoretic with the intuitive.
Son jugement de valeur inconsciemment penche du côté de l’Einfühlung’ (‘Lire Worringer’, introd. to the French edition, Abstraction et ‘Einfühlung’, trans. E. Martineau (Paris: Klincksieck, 1978), p. 18. Even on the stylistic level of Abstraction and Empathy, as Waite underlines, one could ﬁnd symptoms of such an empathy towards abstraction: ‘When he discusses abstraction his language becomes . . most empathetic and performative; when he discusses empathy, it becomes most anxious and, in Worringer’s terms, most abstract’ (Geoffrey C.
Ruskin and Modernism by Giovanni Cianci, Peter Nicholls (eds.)