Early Modernisms

Organiser: Tiziano Toracca (University of Udine)

The panel aims to clarify when and how modernism and its aesthetics emerge, as well as to investigate the boundaries between the category of Modernism, at its origins, and other contemporary trends and poetics, such as Realism, Naturalism, Decadentism, and Symbolism. The panel focuses on both the formal aspects of literary works and the culture that promotes the modernist turn. The panel consists of three papers: Bulatova (Södertorn) questions the value of food in early Soviet culture, and she intends to demonstrate that, unlike scientific experiments, which involved statistical and biomedical analyses of starving humans and other animals, avant-garde artists and writers suggest more sustainable ways of engaging with food. Başak Çün ((Fenerbahçe) questions the figure of Oscar Wilde, putting forward the hypothesis that Wilde is a modernist in spirit, and a precursor to the values of the upcoming age, both through the explanation of his interest in the vogue and an analysis of “The Decay of Lying”. Luca Somigli (Toronto) addresses the figure of Gabriele D’Annunzio tracing it back to Modernism understood as a response to the process of modernization in a context in which two competing sets of social, cultural, political and economic values overlap and are simultaneously accessible (Jameson). Specifically, Somigli suggests that Le vergini delle rocce (1895) articulates these overlapping temporalities.


Luca Somigli (University of Toronto) – On the Borders of Modernism (Again): D’Annunzio and the Problem of Decadentism

Asiya Bulatova (Södertorn University) – Revolutionary Sustainability: Famine and Food Utopias of Early-Soviet Modernism

Öĝr Uyesu Başak Çün (Fenerbahçe University) – Is Wilde’s Aesthetics “Lying”? Art as a Modernist Commodity