Okay, I feel really dumb about now, but I can’t seem to grasp this concept.
FTR, I’m not currently in college, I dont’ have a paper due on this, I’m not asking for help with an assignment for myself or for anyone.
I am just curios. Here’s what happened:
I was watching Interview with the Vampire again with the wife last night. The little girl at one point says “How avant-garde,”. Now, I have the wife duped into thinking I’m a pretty smart guy, so she always asks me questions. Ususally, I’m proud to say, I can answer correctly and explain things in a way she grasps easily without making her feel dumb. This is because she is actually a lot smarter than I am, but she refuses to admit it. Whatever.
In any case, she asked me “What does avant-garde mean?” and when I opened my mouth to answer, I realized I had no idea.
I said “You know what? I have no bloody idea. Let’s go look it up.”
http://www.m-w.com told me that avant-garde means:
an intelligentsia that develops new or experimental concepts especially in the arts
This made very little sense to me. So I looked up intelligentsia and was informed that it means:
intellectuals who form an artistic, social, or political vanguard or elite
I am certain that some of you are reading this and thinking “So what’s the problem? The definition is there in black and white.”
The problem is that while I can understand the definition, I cannot seem to get my mind around the concept.
Is my question making any sense? I sure hope no one submits this question to my pit thread about Stupid Questions.
Anyway, please, if you can, explain the concept of avant-garde to me.
Is it to refer to someone who is on the bleeding edge of an industry, or is it just for people who are visionaries and revolutionaries in the arts? Can you apply the term widley, or only to those who apply radically new concepts in the arts.
Further, as pertains the movie which started all this, when Louis observed “Vampires pretending to be human, pretending to be vampires,” why did Claudia reply “How avant-garde,”?
This has thoroughly thrown me for a loop, and I would like to have an understanding of the idea behind this term.
Thank you for your consideration.