Film is more than the twentieth-century art. It's another part of the twentieth-century mind. It's the world seen from inside. We've come to a certain point in the history of film. If a thing can be filmed, the film is implied in the thing itself. This is where we are. The twentieth century is on film. You have to ask yourself if there's anything about us more important than the fact that we're constantly on film, constantly watching ourselves.
Today's Uncle Tom doesn't wear a handkerchief on his head. This modern, twentieth-century Uncle Thomas now often wears a top hat. He's usually well-dressed and well-educated. He's often the personification of culture and refinement. The twentieth-century Uncle Thomas sometimes speaks with a Yale or Harvard accent. Sometimes he is known as Professor, Doctor, Judge, and Reverend, even Right Reverend Doctor. This twentieth-century Uncle Thomas is a professional Negro -by that I mean his profession is being a Negro for the white man.
Because it is written by a nineteenth-century American, and because of its closeness to the twentieth century, The Portrait of a Lady foregoes Victorian affirmations. The price it pays, however (together with several twentieth-century novels) is that it eventually leaves the reader, along with its heroine, 'en Vair' amid its self-reflections.
The greatest achievements in the science of this [twentieth] century are themselves the sources of more puzzlement than human beings have ever experienced. Indeed, it is likely that the twentieth century will be looked back at as the time when science provided the first close glimpse of the profundity of human ignorance. We have not reached solutions; we have only begun to discover how to ask questions.
Fatally, the term 'barbarian' is the password that opens up the archives of the twentieth century. It refers to the despiser of achievement, the vandal, the status denier, the iconoclast, who refuses to acknowledge any ranking rules or hierarchy. Whoever wishes to understand the twentieth century must always keep the barbaric factor in view. Precisely in more recent modernity, it was and still is typical to allow an alliance between barbarism and success before a large audience, initially more in the form of insensitive imperialism, and today in the costumes of that invasive vulgarity which advances into virtually all areas through the vehicle of popular culture. That the barbaric position in twentieth-century Europe was even considered the way forward among the purveyors of high culture for a time, extending to a messianism of uneducatedness, indeed the utopia of a new beginning on the clean slate of ignorance, illustrates the extent of the civilizatory crisis this continent has gone through in the last century and a half - including the cultural revolution downwards, which runs through the twentieth century in our climes and casts its shadow ahead onto the twenty-first.
One of the major changes in attitude that occurred in the world of art as we moved from the nineteenth into the twentieth century was that the twentieth century artist became more involved with personal expression than with celebrating exclusively the values of the society or the church. Along with this change came a broader acceptance of the belief that the artist can invent a reality that is more meaningful than the one that is literally given to the eye. I subscribe enthusiastically to this.
The great crimes of the twentieth century were committed not by money-grubbing capitalists but by dedicated idealists. Lenin, Stalin, and Hitler were contemptuous of money. The passage from the nineteenth to the twentieth century has been a passage from considerations of money to considerations of power.
Most of the makers of the twentieth-century mind, figures such as Freud, Heisenberg, Picasso, Joyce, and Eliot, have in common an about-face on the subject-object question and the mindmatter question; they all reject the dualism that arbitrarily and irreversibly splits the world into pieces. This rejection of dualism and the corresponding reach for monism are of the essence in understanding the revolutionary nature of twentieth-century science and art.
Jewel Spears Brooker
Reading The Waste Land, then, is in part reading about reading in the early twentieth century. The crisis in epistemology brought on by the discrediting of objectivity is especially relevant to understanding the poem, because the problem of knowledge is itself one of its major subjects. Like Joyce, Valery, and other contemporary writers, Eliot consciously adds a dimension in which his work is self-reflexive, a dimension in which it refers to itself and its nature as a linguistic structure, a dimension which incorporates the larger subject of the crisis in Western culture into the process of reading. The Waste Land contains, in addition to its many other gifts, a partial set of instructions on how to read in the twentieth century. We believe and shall try to demonstrate that Eliot's poem, in one of its aspects, is a brief and striking primer, a McGuffey's Eclectic Reader for the twentieth century.
Jewel Spears Brooker
The recently ended twentieth century was characterized by a level of human rights violations unparalleled in all of human history. In his book Death by Government, Rudolph Rummel estimates some 170 million government-caused deaths in the twentieth century. The historical evidence appears to indicate that, rather than protecting life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness of their citizens, governments must be considered the greatest threat to human security.
One of the most intensely unlikeable figures of the twentieth century, fanatical anti-Semite, enemy of labour unions and proud recipient of medals from Nazi Germany, where Hitler held him in veneration, Henry Ford was also an employer who paid his workers more than his competitors, an innovator who pioneered the assembly line and a visionary whose part in the creation of the twentieth century was so great that Aldous Huxley, in his Brave New World, prefigured a society whose calendar was divided into BF and AF-Before Ford and After Ford.
It has been said that the three great develpments in twentieth century science are relativity, quantum mechanics, and chaos. That strikes me the same as saying that the three great developments in twentith century engineering are the airplane, the computer, and the pop-top aluminum can. Chaos and fractals are not even twentieth century ideas: chaos was first observed by Poincare and fractals were familiar to Cantor a century ago, although neither man had the computer at his disposal to show the rest of the world the beauty he was seeing.
Robert L. Devaney
When I die, I want to be remembered as a woman who lived in the twentieth century and who dared to be a catalyst of change. I don't want to be remembered as the first black woman who went to Congress. And I don't even want to be remembered as the first woman who happened to be black to make a bid for the Presidency I want to be remembered as a woman who fought for change in the twentieth century. That's what I want.