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Reviews

"Highly intelligent, lucid, and elegantly wrought, Baroque Modernity enlivens the history it describes and speaks to epistemological concerns. Cermatori has a good eye and ear for the languages of the stage, amply demonstrated in his discussion of baroquely modernist spectacle, a counter-Wagnerian take on total theater."

"Cermatori's book has the advantage of proceeding from a fact that is both readily acknowledged and traditionally undertheorized: that the quality of being 'baroque' still exerts tremendous conceptual thrall over the aesthetic production of modernity. Baroque Modernity is a deeply necessary and timely intervention—a genuine tour de force."

"This wondrous work shows that modernism has been mistakenly and consequentially contrasted with the baroque in the service of a secularization narrative and a progressive narrative of periodization. The florid pre-history of spare modernism turns out never fully to fall away and, in Cermatori's splendid account, even the queer theoretical distinction between performative speech acts and theatricality turns out to be a result of that disavowal—and return—of the baroque. A brilliant and unsettling book!"