1) The March of the ModernPerhaps it was the English Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley who first gave expression to the concept of an avant garde of artists on the cutting edge of innovation by asserting that “Poets are the unaknowledged legislators of the world”, although it is likely that the first use of the term in an artistic rather than military sense, was made by the French socialist philosopher Henri de Saint-Simon in 1825 in his “Opinions Litteraires, Philosophiques et Industrielles”. Thence in the Paris of the early 1830s, in the wake of the July Revolution, there arose what could be termed a seminal artistic avant garde in the shape of the Jeunes-France, a band of turbulent young Romantic litterateurs (dubbed the Bousingos by the press, allegedly following a night of riotous boozing on the part of some of their number), whose leading figures included a fiery Theophile Gautier long before he became a bona fide classic of French literature, and who cultivated dandified and eccentric personas intended to shock the bourgeoisie, or conventional middle class, while inclining to radicalism, but that does not imply that avant gardism has to of necessity be politically radical, although it very often… Read full this story
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