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Ladislav Kesner on Branko Mitrović, Rage and Denials. Collectivist Philosophy, Politics, and Art Historiography, 1890-1947

27 June 2016

Exorcising the demons of collectivism in art history

Review of:

Branko Mitrović, Rage and Denials. Collectivist Philosophy, Politics, and Art Historiography, 1890-1947, University Park, Pennsylvania University Press 2015, 242pp.ISBN 978-0-271-06678-3

Ladislav Kesner 15/LK1

Abstract: Branko Mitrović´s  Rage and Denials. Collectivist Philosophy, Politics, and Art Historiography, 1890-1947 traces the history of collectivist approaches in (art) historiography and debates between the individualist and collectivist positions, with the dominant focus on German-speaking scholarship. Author further suggests that denials and false appropriations and other forms of  bizzare and irrational claims inherent in many of these collectivist historiographies originated in the failures of self-esteem regulation of their authors.  The review then critically examines some problematic claims and assumptions which constitute the theoretical and conceptual backbone of the historical survey.

Key words: individualism, collectivism, historiography, self-esteem, denial, cognition, perception

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