The Entertainment Empire

Genevieve Abravanel

in Americanizing Britain

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780199754458
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199933143 | DOI:

Series: Modernist Literature and Culture

The Entertainment Empire

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In the period shortly after the First World War, the vast majority of films viewed in Britain and its Empire came from America. This worrisome state of affairs led some British politicians, cultural critics, and writers to assert in all seriousness that Hollywood film had the potential to undermine the British Empire. This chapter introduces the concept of the “entertainment empire” in order to explain how some in Britain perceived American entertainment as a new kind of imperialism, one based less on colonial occupation and more on the marketing of mass-reproduced leisure. The chapter further considers how a group of modernist film critics including H.D., Bryher, and Kenneth Macpherson recast the aesthetic philosophy of their pioneering journal, Close Up, in reaction to the new sounds of Hollywood.

Keywords: Hollywood; close up; H.D. Bryher; Kenneth Macpherson; blackmail; American English; borderline; Aldous Huxley; Evelyn Waugh

Chapter.  11371 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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