Purism

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purism

insistence on traditional canons of correctness of form or purity of style or content, esp in language, art, or music

Purism

 

a movement in French painting in the second and third decades of the 20th century. The founders and chief proponents of purism were A. Ozenfant and C. E. Jeanneret (Le Corbusier). The purists protested against what they considered to be the merely decorative tendencies of cubism, which was marked by deliberate distortion. They sought to clearly render “stable” objective forms and to represent “primary” elements, which could be apprehended with minimum effort. Purist works were marked by emphatic two-dimensionality and the flowing rhythm of semitransparent silhouettes and outlines of objects (intentionally of one type—carafes, tumblers, and similar items). Purism failed to develop in painting, but, after undergoing a substantial number of theoretical revisions, found application in modern architecture, particularly in the designs of Le Corbusier.

REFERENCES

Modernizm (collection of articles). Moscow, 1973.
Jeanneret, C. E., and A. Ozenfant. Après le cubisme. Paris, 1918.

Purism

 

efforts to purify a literary language of foreign borrowings and neologisms and to prevent its penetration by non-normative lexical and grammatical elements, including colloquialisms, popular speech, and dialectisms.

Purism is characteristic of a period in which the norms of a national literary language are becoming established and its stylistic system is changing. Such periods, marked by an influx of new lexical elements and their stylistic redistribution, are generally associated with political and cultural movements; this has been the case in Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Turkey, India, and elsewhere. Purists have sometimes insisted that if a national language is to be distinctive, it must be completely purged of even essential borrowings: that is, words of foreign origin already part of the language must be replaced by native words or by neologisms composed from native morphemes.

In Russian democratic literary criticism of the 19th century, represented by such writers as V. G. Belinskii, the term “purism” denoted a formal, conservative attitude toward language; the chief proponents of this view were A. S. Shishkov, F. V. Bul-garin, N. I. Grech, and M. P. Pogodin.

REFERENCES

Vinokur, G. O. “O purizme.” In his book O kul’ture iazyka, 2nd ed.
Moscow, 1929. Vinokur, G. O. Russkii iazyk. Moscow, 1945.

T. V. VENTTSEL