Following a definition of classicism generally, this chapter reviews the manner in which the concept was invoked by cultural critics of the pre-World War I years--notably Maurras and Lasserre in France, T. E. Hulme in England, and Samuel Lublinski in Germany--in the pursuit of order as a reaction against the perceived excesses of neo-romantic movements. Two examples are introduced to show that a trip to Greece and the use of classical themes alone do not suffice to justify the term “classical.” The chapter concludes with a look at Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain as an ironic retrospective of pre-war classicism.
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