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Organicism By Pokhrel, Arun Kumar

DOI: 10.4324/9781135000356-REM376-1
Published: 09/05/2016
Retrieved: 12 April 2024, from


Modernist organicism emphasizes the interrelationship between the natural world and society, and links sociocultural changes with nature, biology, and aesthetic forms in imagining the human being—and society—as organic structures. Modernist organicist aesthetics follow the modernist organic principle of art, “form follows function.” Crucial to the theory of modernist organicism are theories of biology and life such as those of Charles Darwin, Henri Bergson, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Herbert Spencer. Importantly, modernist organicist aesthetics emphasizes a sense of place or region and ecological consciousness (e.g., the Garden City movement in Britain in the early 20th century and the cultural or anthropological turn of the 1930s). A list of modernist organicists might include D. H. Lawrence, and later Virginia Woolf, E. M. Forster, Patrick Geddes, Ebenezer Howard, Richard Llewellyn, Lewis Grassic Gibbon, Lewis Mumford, Willa Cather, Mina Loy, Gertrude Stein, William Carlos Williams, and Louis Zukofsky, to name only a few. These artists viewed nature as a living force and showed the interdependence between nature and human beings.

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Citing this article:

Pokhrel, Arun Kumar. Organicism. Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism, Taylor and Francis,

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