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Avant garde still living in the past.

Chronological divisions, 'avant'  garde, 'post' modernism are meaningless in themselves, but we tend to project onto them aspirations and anxieties which have quite other sources.

Conscious of personal and social decadence, hopeful of renovation, people transfer their mood to the decade. 

They bestow on to themselve the illusory dead weight of an old century behind them,'post'
 and before them 'avant', the equally illusory promises of a new one.

Let us focus on the avant garde.  In the arts these ages of transition tend to breed avant-gardes to whom contempt for the past is a necessary condition of radical innovation.

There,the past is done with, the old calendar thrown out as the new one is hung up.

Yet when we look back at such movements, who in time become elements of the past which has been so denigrated.

If we accept this we may view these chronological divisions of 'avant' and 'post' not only as harbingers of the new, but movements mired still in the tradition they thought to displace.

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