All posts by ngk10

Cassanova’s Modern

“It is also inevitably an occasion of rivalry and competition: because the modern by definition is always new, and therefore open to challenge, the only way in literary space to be truly modern is to contest the present as outmoded – to appeal to a still more present present…”

Casanova, Pascale. “The World Republic of Letters”. transl. M. B. Devoise. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1999. pp. 92.

Cassanova opens his piece by getting straight to his point that modernity is challenging the present. There are many different modernities that can occupy the present, and they all have their own unique way of not conforming to the present style. What i find extremely interesting about this statement is that Cassanova implies that to be modern, one has to not be modern, in a sense: modern is an ongoing process that is always moving, which seems as though to say that there is not one true vision of what is presently modern. Instead, to be modern, one has to figure out new ways to stay ahead of what was once considered to be modern .

lying as an art form

One of the chief causes that can be assigned for the curiously commonplace character of most of the literature of our age is undoubtedly the decay of Lying as an art, a science, and a social pleasure” 

Vivian starts the discussion by expressing her feelings on how nature is flawed and mundane. She then leads into a discussion where she relates lies to works of art in that the observer can be captivated if done artfully. The “decay of lying” that she refers to in the quote can serve to say that she is seeing less originality and art in her time. Rather, things seem to be ordinary and mundane to Vivian. It is interesting for Vivian to refer to lying as a “social pleasure” because it reveals an uncommon viewpoint of the act of lying. Usually, people view lying as something horrible, but Vivian discusses lying as something that keeps variety in society adds interest as well as makes interesting people.