Wallstein Verlag

Peter Bürger

Theory of the Avant-garde

192 pages, 12,5 x 21,0
ISBN: 978-3-8353-3119-8 (2017)


German Version

The new edition of one of the most important books on left-wing theory from the 1970s, with the addition of new texts.

Duchamp, Warhol, Picasso, Heartfield – what do they have in common, these and other artists whose works were perceived as pure provocation when they first appeared in the art world? In his »Theory of the Avant-garde«, Peter Bürger searches for answers to this and many other questions. Essentially, the issue is always the meaning of the work of art – and art in general – for modern society.
The Theory of the Avant-garde, published in 1974, met with considerable response. In 1976, Martin Lüdke, a collector of critiques, presented a volume providing answers. An English translation was published in 1984 in the USA, triggering lively discussions.
The new edition of the Theory of the Avant-garde combines the unchanged text of the first edition from 1974, the epilogue of the second edition, and new texts by Peter Bürger: a dialogue with Thomas Hettche on the emergence and effect of the book, along with a reflection on »the ambivalent legacy of the Avant-garde«.

Peter Bürger, born in 1936, was a lecturer of literary studies and aesthetic theory at the University of Bremen; since becoming an emeritus professor, he has lived and worked in Berlin. Publications include: »Nach vorwärts erinnern« (»Remembering Forwards«. Re-reading Works between Hegel and Nietzsche, 2016); Nach der Avantgarde (After the Avant-garde, 2014); Ursprung des postmodernen Denkens (The Origins of Post-Modern Thought, 2000); Prosa der Moderne (Prose of the Modern Age, with Christa Bürger, 1988); Kritik der idealistischen Ästhetik (Critique of Idealistic Aesthetics, 1983); Theorie der Avantgarde (Theory of the Avant-garde, 1974); Der französische Surrealismus (French Surrealism, 1971).
Rights soldPortuguese (Brazil): Ubu Editora
Turkish: İletişim Yayınları
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