Like many other people after the Industrial Revolution, Forster keenly felt the potential alienation implied by modernity, the perceived soullessness
of a modern science, all of which has summarily banished the sprites and fairies that once gave pre-modern life its unique character.
Wust pictures the city's putative soullessness
before the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Musil believed that this struggle against soullessness
degenerated into hysterics on the eve of the First World War, and in 1918 he saw Europe as teetering on the verge of apocalyptic change as a result of the German identity crisis.
Star Maria Bamford and co-creators Mitchell Hurwitz and Pam Brady have quite a bit to say about mental Illness, friendship, the soullessness
of the Hollywood machine, and the difficulty of forging real connections in a confusing world.
"As much as I fought against being a song-and-dance man, it was during those smoke-filled nights...that the Emcee's utter smiling soullessness
Karam's consistent production of multi-medium works across a variety of disciplines is an optimistic act of rebellion, as well as an affirmation of the power of creativity against the tedium, soullessness
in the face of terror, that at one time or another affect our lives, and cities.
Finally, a "Tool Presets" toolbar has one preset named and highlighted "Don't Forget." The toolbars, as well as the names of layers and presets, are calibrated to draw attention to familiar themes of culture jamming: the artifice of commercial simulation, the soullessness
of consumerism, and the passivity of too many citizens.
In kneading "futility and anarchy" into mythical order in The Waste Land, Eliot had made it possible for the few educated readers of his poetry in the 1920s to reimagine the world in terms that transcended the familiar experiences of modern loneliness, radical doubt, functional materialism, and urban soullessness
. Powerful though the poem may be, its audience, and consequently its social or public function, was narrowly limited.
It seems likely that a diet of greed over countless generations has made many Americans heavy with soullessness
. And they're happy to be that way.
As Benfey writes, Rilke saw America as 'a futuristic nightmare of rampant technology and soullessness
. "Over there," he claimed in a letter of 1925, even a house, an apple, a grapevine have "nothing in common with the house, the fruit, the grape into which went the hopes and reflections of our forefathers" (31).
But what I see in him is the kind of soullessness
too common in American politicians and the kind of careerism that makes American politics such a dreary spectacle.
In his Heidegger book, Dugin helps to bring out why certain intellectuals of the early 20th century gravitated toward fascism: a grim preoccupation with the perceived soullessness
of modernity, and a resolve to embrace any politics, however extreme, that seemed to them to promise what Heidegger called "spiritual renewal." (7) Dugin is now the latest thinker in this line of philosophers of the radical right.
In doing so the artist has challenged us to consider the natural beauty of the one against the modern alienation and soullessness
of the other.
Minsoo Kang's essay on automata imagery is especially noteworthy here, addressing the oft-overlooked question of how the image of man as a machine can be both positive, carrying connotations of great productivity, and negative, implying soullessness
. And it also contains wonderful snippets of information: Nonspecialists are unlikely to suspect just how valued dormice were as preparers of human display skeletons or would guess at the postmortem use to which the rectum of Thomas Thurlow, the bishop of Durham, was put.
Just when a reader might think she can't take any more evidence of Western depravity and soullessness
, the final long poem arrives: "Ask the Poetess: An Advice Column." It's shamelessly self-reflexive and meta-poetic, riffing on gender roles and bourgeois opinions about poetry, clearly the "feminine" art, and this is a large part of its humor.