Positivism fit very well with the materialism of the day and its unsavory association with rampant industrialism and literary and theatrical commercialism. The avant-garde felt the world was drowning in mediocrity. There was “a sense prevalent among intellectuals of alienation and exclusion from the forefront of public life, coupled with a political disillusionment which was exacerbated by the scandals and corruption of contemporary political life."
-Keith Beaumont, 1984 Alfred Jarry: A Critical and Biographical Study. Leicester: Leister University Press
Sounds a little too close to home with the current “Two Hummers in every Garage” time we live in. N’est-ce pas, mes amis?