This book seeks, through an examination of the form and content of his texts, to extend our understanding of Adolf Loos and his role in the struggle to define the nature of modernity in Vienna at the turn of the nineteenth century. It makes extensive use of primary sources including archive material and newspaper reports, which serve to shed new light on the way in which Loos's writings are embedded in their socio-cultural context. Drawing on insights from German and Austrian studies, sociology and cultural history, this book offers a genuinely interdisciplinary approach to a figure who himself operated in an interdisciplinary fashion.
'A revealing analysis of Viennese thinker whose enthusiasm for western modernity - which for him ws exemplified by the manners and attire of the English gentleman - was curiously old-fashioned.' - Architecture Today
'This is an excellent book that will further expand our understanding of the peculiarities of Viennese modernism and serve a new generation of students and scholars alike.' - The Art Book
'Janet Stewart's fascinating new study finally provides a corrective to this limited and specialized reception of Loos.' - Modernism/Modernity
'Presents perhaps the most complete and sharply drawn picture to date in English of Loos as cultural critic.' - Harvard Design Magazine
List of Illustrations. Acknowledgements. Introduction. 1. Investigating and Excavating. 2. The Other: National Cultural Mythologies. 3. The Self: Social Difference in Loos's Vienna. 4. The Display and Disguise of Difference. 5. Locating the Narrative: The City, its Artefacts and its Attractions. Conclusion: The Non-Contemporaneity of Loos's Critique. Notes. Bibliography. Index.