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New in Sun News Tucson
A Review of A Forest of Symbols

This month in Sun News Tucson, Cliff Cunnigham discusses Andrei Pop’s A Forest of Symbols: Art, Science, and Truth in the Long Nineteenth Century. Click here to learn more about the book. Click here to read the full review. An excerpt appears below:

“The author of this book about symbolism, Andrei Pop, sets a very high bar for what he is attempting to achieve. He identifies a ‘present crisis in the humanities” that relates directly to the fragmentation of our society. “Without working out the logical bases for our shared aesthetic, scientific, moral and political projects, I do not see how we will overcome the tribalism overtaking twenty-first century life.’

To approach this problem Pop, a member of the Department of Art History at the University of Chicago, takes a fresh look at symbolist art. The term originated in a work by Charles Baudelaire in 1857, from which the author takes the title of his book, the ‘forest of symbols that regard man with a familiar gaze.’ Pop explores how the term symbolism or symbolist was first applied to art in 1886 and what it meant in the final years of the nineteenth century.”